Question: From the spiritual point of view, is eating fish as harmful as eating meat?

Sri Chinmoy: Fish is worse than meat. Animals, by nature, are aggressive, but at the same time animal life-blood is very powerful and strong. In the animal consciousness there is some dynamic push forward. It may be undirected and wild, but at least there is some dynamic push forward. An animal runs here and there; it does not want to remain satisfied. This dynamic quality can energise us to some extent. But when it enters into the human consciousness, it also creates problems. Its restlessness disturbs our purity, our peace of mind.

The least harmful kind of meat to eat is lamb. The lamb is quite mild, whereas other animals are more aggressive. Also, chicken will not be as harmful as red meat. It is not good to eat any kind of meat, but if one cannot stop, it is better to eat meat than fish.

Spiritually, the fish is less evolved than the animal. An animal runs here and there; it does not remain satisfied. But a fish is a creature of sloth, inertia, sluggishness, impurity and inconscience. Inertia is its satisfaction, meanness is its satisfaction, and next to meanness is death’s world. When we are bound by meanness, immediately death comes to us and binds us more. The consciousness of a fish immediately enters into the mud of inconscience and lifelessness. Although you may feel that a fish is innocent, humble and mild, these qualities are only on the surface. Its inner qualities are meanness, inertia, sloth and darkness itself. There is no feeling in fish for progress.

If you want to eat fish or if you must eat fish, please try to eat small fish, rather than large fish. Small fish at times want to open consciously or unconsciously to the light. But large fish never want to open to the light either consciously or unconsciously; they shut out the light.