From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Māhsāhara literally means ‘meat as food’.

The food that a human being consumes may be of two types. They are:

  1. Sasyāhāra - vegetarian food
  2. Māhsāhāra - non-vegetarian food, flesh or meat

Though māhsāhāra was quite common in the earlier ages, it was gradually superseded by sasyāhāra because the latter came to be considered as more sāttvik. Hence vegetarian meal was more conducive to spiritual pursuits. The spread of Vedāntic ideas, Jainism and Buddhism significantly contributed to this trend.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore