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People often object from the Ramayana with the gold deer episode and here from there, shloka, without any investigation, insists that Shri Ram was a non-vegetarian and a hunter. Tries to understand all things on the basis of facts.
Let us first start with the deer episode.
1. In VR, when sage Vishwamitra comes to ashram of sage Vashishtha, the Vashistha entertain Vishwamitra with sugarcane, rice, kheer, curd etc. no mention of meat here.
Proof 2:- Rama, Sita and Lakshmana etc. already knew that in this forest, the form of the elusive demon deer do violence.

"इदं दुर्गमं ही कान्तारं मृग राक्षससेवितम्"

Means

This inaccessible forest deer is full of demons.
Proof 3:- Actual seen was like this:-

Mother Sita asks Shri Ramchandra to catch the golden deer in this way-

If you catch it alive, this wonder substance will surprise you by staying in the ashram

Where has it been asked to kill?
Laxman said:-

शंका:मानस्तू तं द्रष्टवा लक्ष्मणो राममब्रवीत।
तमेवैनमहं मन्ये मारीच्ं राक्षसं मृगम्ं।
There is no doubt that this is the Marich.
Ram says:-

अहमेनं वधिश्यामि ग्राहीश्याम्यथ्वा मृगम्ं ।
If he's Marich then I will surely kill him. if it's deer, I will bring it alive.
विनदन भैरवं नादं धारण्यमल्प जीवितः।
म्रियमास्तू मारीचौ जहौ तां कृत्रिमो तनुमं।।

And when after inspection it became clear that this deer is indeed Mareech, Ram killed him by his arrow. Then Mareech also removed his disguise.
The second episode is that a verse is tried to prove that Rama was a non-vegetarian and that the verse is: -

चतुर्दश हि वर्षाणि वत्स्यामि विजने वने।
मधु मूल फलैः जीवन् हित्वा मुनिवद् आमिषम्।।

Meaning:
When Shri Ram was preparing to go to forest, he told Mata Kaushalya that I will stay in forest for 14 years and will never eat forbidden meat and live on only Kand mool which are prescribed for the Sages living in forest. He is leaving Rajsi Food. No mention of meat here too.
गुहा निधी निहितौ ब्राह्मणस्य।

Meaning

Dhuloka and prithvilok are two treasures of that intellect. The solution of all the problems of human beings is dependent on their proper use.
In Sundarkand, When Sita explains about Ram, she says:

न मांसं राघवो भुङ्ते न चापि मधुसेविते।
वन्यं सुविहितं नित्यं भक्तमाश्राति पञ्चमम्।।

Ram never consumed meat nor he drink alcohol. He always lived on kand mool available in forests everyday that too only at dusk.
Did people hunt in Sanatana culture? Does hunting prove that it was meant for eating?

Yes. Kings Did hunt. But, it was not for purpose of eating. Rather, it was means of entertainment and weighing one's power. They hunted predators. Does it mean that they are lions? NO.
Did Buddhism and Jainism brought vegetarianism in Sanatan Culture?

Let's check this claim through evidence from Scriptures.

1. O teeth, you eat rice, barley, urad and seeds. This is delightful food for you. Never indulge in any violence for food.
Atharva Veda
2. Whom you kill with consent and those who cut limbs apart. Those who kill, buy, sell, eat meat all these 4 are deadly. Nobody is going to sin more than those who wish to increase their flesh from flesh of others. These are all in prohibition.
- Manusmriti
Reference:
Yajurveda
Atharva Veda
Aranya kand
Manusmriti
Sundar kand
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