Question: since we need to transcend sankalpa and vikalpa, should we also transcend a vikalpa like “non-meat eating” and start to eat meat again?
First, we have to understand what sankalpa and vikalpa are in this context. Sankalpa is taking a beneficial decision and respectfully following it, while vikalpa is confusion and indecisiveness between many choices, not knowing which is right and which is wrong, which one to take and which not. When Krishna advises us to rise above both, He refers to sankalpa and vikalpa within mundane, mortal limits. He wants us to rise above that type of sankalpa, which aims at or refers to a target that is within mundane limits. Because those will be proven futile in the end, the same as vikalpa or indecisive actions. When a big, rich and powerful person dies he goes to the same level as somebody poor and ordinary, because all his mundane gain is lost at the moment of death. All his previous material wealth, power and position do not have any real use or value at the end — they become zero. There is nothing mundane that he could take with him. All of his achievements through mundanely limited sankalpa were futile. When children are building sandcastles on the beach with so much care & attention (sankalpa) — no matter how beautiful and intricate they are, soon they will be washed away by waves or destroyed by other people walking around. Their achievement is temporary and futile. Mundane sankalpa (besides vikalpa) are also like that.
So therefore Krishna says that we should neither be puffed up and proud of our temporary mundane success, nor be disappointed with failure, because in the end they are the same — mortal…Hence we must rise above mortally oriented success or failure, sankalpa or vikalpa. He (Krsna) says that we also need to go beyond or transcend all kinds of material determination or success i.e. sankalpa besides the vikalpa, our indecisive alternative actions. He points out that we actually need to go to the plane of perfection.
So how about no-meat-eating? Should we go beyond i.e. reject that beneficial principle which is promoting our spiritual life, and go back to meat-eating for the sake of transcending dualities? No, Krishna is never speaking about going back to our bad habits, rather He speaks about rising to such pure plane where any such issue or question of eating meat is irrelevant. Like for herbivore animals, there is no question of the prohibition of eating meat, because normally they never had an idea or need to do that. Similarly, if there is a warning against drinking poisonous water — the drinking-water in its natural state is pure and beneficial for health. The very fact that there needs to be a warning against drinking water means, that it’s original nature has been somehow polluted by the addition of a poison. In its natural state, there is no question of warning against poison in the water, because there is not any.
So rising above eating meat and not eating meat does not mean eating meat. Krishna says — simply go beyond both, to the pure sattvic state, where the instruction of not eating meat is irrelevant, because, by the highest pure nature, there is no question of eating meat. There is no need to say: “Don´t eat meat!” This is the proper way to understand.
Krishna says: “Rise above dualities of sankalpa and vikalpa!” Does it mean that we should also give up or rise above the spiritually beneficial ideals or principles (sankalpa), besides giving up/rising above the unbeneficial ones (vikalpa)? The answer is no. Actually ‘sankalpa’ herein is contextually referring to the limiting targets of the mundane plane only which merely goes up to the level of sattva guna at it’s best. But we ultimately need to go beyong that — to the pure level of visuddha sattva. Even the best mortal target (sankalpa) will one day come in vain.
So decisions or indecisions, healthy or sickly within the mundane limits — will all die in the end. But a spiritual sankalpa, which is of immortal nature and transcendentally established, is never to be given up. Krishna never says that we should give up pure spiritual principles. Principles, which are transcending mortality, do not need to be transcended again. Mundane and spiritual decisions are two different things and they should not be mixed up. There is a sky and earth difference between them — mundane sankalpa and beyond-mundane sankalpa (which is of divine nature by it’s inner essence). So there is no question of going back to meat eating, rather we should rise to the level where, by nature, there is no question of meat eating and therefore the instruction of not eating meat doesn’t exist there at all. Thus rise beyond ‘no-meat-eating’ sankalpa too which is relevant only on this mundane plane of exploitation (but simply irrelevant on the higher plane of divinity which is naturally full of nonviolence, kindness, love and affection in relation to the Absolute Good).
PS. A little further clarification (if needed): So according to the Siddhanta — 1. A devotee’s great convictions, ideas, concepts and projections which are already qualified with higher spiritual merits and nature from the beginning, i.e. which are not actually the by-products of our limited mundane intellect, knowledge or perceptions derived from a calculative ascending method, but are rather understood as revealed truths and are self-validated by the super-subjective descending method, shouldn’t be considered as stuffs of mundane duality and therefore do not need to be surpassed, because, by inner character, essence or purpose they are already of transcendental quality/nature.
2. “Meat eating is bad” is not just a personal belief or conviction, it’s rather understood as a commonly accepted fundamental, beneficial spiritual principle meant collectively for all the high-class human beings (excluding certain exceptional cases)…which is already supported by the higher universal law of karma which maintains and sustains the ideals of nonviolence, kindness and affectionate care for all animals & other living beings. Such principles are also not meant to promote any false ego or judgementalism, but (instead) some noble ideals and characters in human beings..
3. Trying to be crushing the ‘personal beliefs and convictions’ is also not a good idea or way to overcome the duality, because such ways (crushing etc.) can also be involved in i.e. affected by certain types of duality. Hence, the better & best way to transcend the dualities is to be cultivating the mode & humble mood (spirit) of dedication to the Lord and just be doing it (i.e. rising above duality) with the spirit of complete detachment & indifference as much as possible…