You have asked me a very pertinent question about the eating of non-fertile eggs and have tried to rationalize that unfertilized eggs are vegetarian food. God made eggs for conveying life; so every egg, whether fertilized or unfertilized, has a potential life factor. Besides, as you must have read in The Inner Voice, an egg, whether fertile or infertile, is a food which excites animal instincts, interferes with concentration and thus works against our spiritual progress.
In this connection, I might at the outset tell you that we recognize that on this earth, life subsists on life. The big fish eat small fish, the wild animals eat smaller game, and the smaller animals eat insects and plants. None of these living beings appear to survive on stones or sand. Therefore, in the scheme of things, we recognize that life must subsist on life by extinguishing other life which is used as food. However, the extinguishing of life for nourishing our life affects the structure of our mind. Although operating from a focal point between and behind the eyes, our mind is scattered all through the body as well as the entire world outside, of which the mind gets awareness through sense perception.
Saints and sages who have achieved practical realization have all given indication that the path to God or to self-realization lies within ourselves and that we must collect our attention within, at the eye centre, rather than scattering it without. Our attention being the only available part of our consciousness which we can manipulate, our spiritual practice requires the concentration of attention at its natural focal point, which is between and slightly above the eyes.
Food, like actions, affects the mind and therefore its capacity to concentrate at its natural focal point. Killing a man causes a more severe mental reaction than killing a goat. Similarly, killing a goat causes a more severe mental reaction than plucking an apple from a tree. Concentration of mind would therefore be, as a rule, proportionately more difficult in the case of a man who has committed murder than in the case of a man who has killed a goat or one who has plucked an apple from a tree. The reason is that the manifest form of life in a man, in a goat, and in an apple tree has different degrees of consciousness or awareness. Accordingly, the extinguishing of life in each of them causes varying degrees of mental reaction, and therefore obstruction to spiritual concentration of the mind.
The food we eat also implies the extinguishing of life of the category to which the food belongs. Thus the eating of animal food (flesh) makes spiritual concentration more difficult than the eating of fish and fowl, while the eating of fish and fowl (including eggs) makes spiritual concentration more difficult than the eating of plants (vegetables and fruits). It is for this reason that we recommend all practitioners on the spiritual path to extinguish life of the lowest degree for their nourishment. In other words, we recommend a strictly vegetarian diet.
You have drawn a distinction between the fertile and non-fertile eggs. In fact, nature has made an egg for the hatching of the chick. The mere fact that life is prevented in the egg by artificial means does not make the egg a different category of food. You have said that a non-fertile egg has no life. That way you could also say that a goat that is already killed has no life and similarly the rooster dressed up for sale in the grocery store has no life.
The question is not whether the food has life at the time when you eat it, but whether it was intended to be a vehicle of life, and the category of life to which it belongs. The laws of nature are fairly obvious and those which are not so obvious are being made obvious by the work of man, and it will not be difficult to see how nature has made the egg as much a vehicle of life as a hen or a rooster.
I would, therefore, recommend that eggs, whether fertile or infertile, being an ‘exciting’ food and of the category intended for conveyance of life, should be avoided in order to successfully practise the spiritual methods of concentration and realization.
On this path, the food and the drink rule is very rigid and no exception can be made in this respect. It is not hard to live on vegetables, fruits, etc., and abstain from the forbidden drinks for the prize we seek. This is no sacrifice for achieving God-realization. We are prepared to sacrifice many more precious things for worldly attainments and achievements. Why not make some sacrifice for the good of the soul?
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light