Dr. Gurbakhash Singh
Does Langar have to be always Indian foods?
No. All foods are acceptable. Chapati, bread, pizza, sandwiches, doughnut, fruit, vegetables, beans, etc., can be served in Langar.
However, no meat is allowed to be served in Langar. Only vegetarian foods of any kind acceptable to the people can be served in the Langar.
Use of meat is prohibited because each religion tells its own method of sanctifying it. Some religions do not permit eating meat at all. Muslims prepare Halal meat; Jews prepare Kosher. Muslims don't eat pork at all and Hindus don't eat beef. Similarly, Christians and Jews are also prohibited to eat certain kinds of meat on certain days. Sikhs are not allowed to eat Halal. Some people do not eat meat at all. They are strict vegetarians all the time.
Langar is meant for people of all religions and all beliefs. A particular kind of meat or a particular method of its preparation, will suit only a limited number of people and not all of the Sangat. Most of the people in Sangat, therefore, will be not able to eat Langar if meat is served there. To welcome all people on all the days, only vegetarian Langar is permitted. Meat is totally prohibited from being cooked or served in the Langar. Eggs and seafoods are also considered a kind of meat and hence, are not allowed in Langar.
There is one more condition for a Langar to be served to the Sangat. All people have to be served without any distinction and without any obligation to anyone. All are entitled for equal distribution. Some kinds of popular foods cannot be reserved for some influential people in the Sangat or in the organization. Langar cannot be in the name of any individual. It's always in the name of Guru.
Sewdar Monthly - July 98