Some Vedic sacrifices of this century
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 19 11:16:21 CST 1999
On Fri, 17 Dec 1999 10:15:18 -0600, Sankaran Jayanarayanan
<kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU> wrote:
>AFAIK, none of the shAstras twist a man's arm into performing such yaGYas.
>Nowhere can you find an *injuction* that a yaGYa with an animal sacrifice
>_must_ be performed. When the tirukkuraL, a tamil book on ethics says,
>"Refraining from performing one animal sacrifice is better than the
>performance of a thousand such sacrifices," the ParamAchArya DOES NOT say
>the tirukkuraL is mistaken. Rather, he is careful to point out that the
>tirukkuraL does not say that performing such a sacrifice is wrong, and
>therefore one should not condemn animal sacrifices.
>The dharma-shAstras say that eating beef is OK. But I would definitely
>find fault with someone who is brought up a vegetarian, EXPECTED by
>his/her parents to continue in the tradition, and then relishes eating
>beef while quoting the shAstra! To such a person, one should quote from
>the taittirIya upanishhad.h "mAtR^i devo bhava, pitR^i devo bhava..."
>(parents are to be considered gods). If his parents have forbidden him
>from eating meat, why should he not pay heed to them?
"vasante vasante jyotishhA yajeta" - as per this one must perform
the agnishhToma yajna every spring. In fact, even the ParamAchArya
of Kanchi mentions people called "prati-vasanta-somayAji" who used
to perform this soma yajna (agnishhToma-jyotishhToma) every spring.
Now, any soma yajna involves both the soma juice and animals. So one
could make an argument that there is an injunction to conduct such
The trouble is that people on both sides of the "vegetarian/ahiMsA
vs. non-vegetarian" issue do not fully understand what the shAstra says
and doesn't. If one does perform a soma yajna, animal(s) must be
sacrificed. There is no excuse for not sacrificing animal(s) in such
yajnas. But at the same time, if one does NOT perform such yajnas,
one must NOT kill animals or eat meat simply as part of one's diet.
Outside the context of such yajnas, meat-eating must be avoided.
Manu and other authors of smR^iti are quite clear on this.
People who hold that ahiMsA has to be practised in all contexts,
even in yajnas, as well as people who hold that meat-eating can be
justified in any context are both wrong!
>> I have heard
>> from a reliable source that as recently as a couple years ago, such a
>> yajna was performed near Gokarna, Karnataka. So there is really no way
>> to insist on "ahiMsA" in such yajnas.
>I just realized that ALL the places mentioned are outside of Tamilnadu.
>Two-thirds are in Karnataka! I have not heard of any animal sacrifices in
>Tamilnadu. That's why it's news to me.
Note that the book I was referring to is in Kannada and as such is
meant mainly for people living in a limited geographical area. I am
sure that any yajna conducted in TN or elsewhere and in accordance
with the shrauta rules would not be done any differently. There is
no systematic recording of such shrauta events. That makes it hard
to cite examples in other areas unless there are "eye-witness"
or otherwise reliable accounts.
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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