International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India


A NAMDHARI SIKH'S TESTIMONY
SARDAR TEJA SINGH NIAMDHARI, M.L.C.
(Punjab)

We Namdhari Sikhs are strict non-meateaters including egg and fish. We are enjoined by the Namdhari Rahatnama or Code of spiritual and moral principles, set by Satguru Ram Singh Ji and our present spiritual Head, Shri Satguru Pratap Singh Ji Maharaj, to abstain from all kinds of alcoholic drink and tobacco taking in any form i. e. smoking or inhaling as Snuff. Consequently all cannot even serve these articles to our nearest and dearest relatives or friends. Our food consists of milk and milk products, cereals, nuts, vegetables, and pulses. These articles of food we take sparingly and in a most economic manner, avoiding wastage.

We believe and practise the tradition of a common kitchen for all on the occasion of our Melas or meetings and Dewans or religious gatherings. We distribute this simple food to all. including our spiritual Head, on these occasions. Among us, one poor in riches, but rich in the wealth of service of his fellow beings and possessing moral virtues, is more respected and honoured than a mammon worshipper rolling in millions and billions.

As Vegetarians are to take a simple diet, they use pure stuff. The health of a Namdhari, man or woman, is far better than other people around him. Namdharis can easily be recognized by their smiling faces, broad shoulders, and energetic forms. They were and are still famous for undergoing long journeys on foot, even covering great distances at full speed, and odd miles in dark nights during the British rule, when they had to undergo strict police surveillance for their anti-British rule activities. An average Namdhnri possesses a better health than an average Punjabi . They are a stock of sturdy peasants, artisans, and manual workers being in rural areas. Their cultivated fields and their cattle are decidedly better than those of their brethren. Because of their vegetarian habits they have great love for the Cow, the sacred animal of Bharat. They believe this noble animal to be a symbol of goodness, peace and prosperity.

The Vegetarian habits of Namdharis are responsible for their simple lives gifted with great moral achievements. They are against all kind of show. Their marriages and funeral ceremonies are the simplest possible. No Namdhari spends more than thirteen rupees on a marriage. Vegetarianism has saved them from several ruinous customs. Meat-eating is naturally accompanied by the taking of liquor, as it cannot be well digested or enjoyed without it. Liquor-taking is responsible for fatal evils. The habits of meat-eating and liquortaking,
as they go hand in hand, have been the cause of the ruins and fall of many an empire, nation, and tribe in the past. Meat-eaters having no hatred for bloodshed develop in themselves an indifferent attitude to the sufferings and pains of others. The future or the world lies with men of sober habits, industrious nature, and balanced minds, loving all and hating none. These qualities can only be developed with a simple diet of vegetables, milk, milk products, cereals, nuts, and fruits.

Namdharis strictly believe that every Saviour of humanity was a vegetarian and that vegetarianism can help greatly in saving the world from coming destruction and in establishing an everlasting pence.