Vegetarianism functioned as a purification. When you eat animals you are more under the law of necessity. You are heavy, you gravitate more towards the earth. When you are a vegetarian you are light and you are more under the law of grace, under the law of power, and you start gravitating towards the sky.
Your food is not just food: it is you. What you eat, you become. If you eat something which is fundamentally based on murder, on violence, you cannot rise above the law of necessity. You will remain more or less an animal. The human is born when you start moving above the animals, when you start doing something to yourself which no animal can do.
Vegetarianism is a conscious effort, a deliberate effort, to get out of the heaviness that keeps you tethered to the earth so that you can fly – so that the flight from the alone to the alone becomes possible.
The lighter the food, the deeper goes the meditation. The grosser the food. then meditation becomes more and more difficult. I am not saying that meditation is impossible for a non-vegetarian – it is not impossible, but it is unnecessarily difficult.
It is like a man who is going to climb a mountain, and he goes on carrying many rocks. It is possible that even when you are carrying rocks you may reach to the mountain peak, but it creates unnecessary trouble. You could have thrown those rocks, you could have unburdened yourself, and the climb would have been easier, far more pleasant.
The intelligent person will not carry rocks when he is going to the mountain, will not carry anything unnecessary. And the higher he moves, the lighter and lighter he will become. Even if he is carrying something, he will drop it.
When Edmund Hillary and Tenzing reached Everest for the first time, they had to drop everything on the way – because the higher they moved, the more difficult it was to carry anything. Even very essential things were dropped. Just to carry yourself is more than enough.
Vegetarianism is of immense help. It changes your chemistry. When you eat and live on animals…. The first thing: whenever an animal is killed the animal is angry, afraid – naturally. When you kill an animal…just think of yourself being killed. What will be the state of your consciousness? What will be your psychology? All kinds of poisons will be released in your body, because when you are angry a certain kind of poison is released into your blood. When you are afraid, again a certain other kind of poison is released into your blood. And when you are being killed, that is the utmost in fear, anger. All the glands in your body release all their poison.
And man goes on living on that poisoned meat. If it keeps you angry, violent, aggressive, it is not strange; it is natural. Whenever you live on killing, you don’t have any respect for life; you are inimical to life. And the person who is inimical to life cannot move into prayer – because prayer means reverence for life.