Meat-eating (Was Re: Some Vedic sacrifices...)
kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Jan 11 16:13:55 CST 2000
On Tue, 21 Dec 1999, Anand Hudli wrote:
> Manu discusses meat-eating in his smR^iti and then goes on to
> present his concluding remarks on the subject. These concluding
> remarks or rules (Manu 5.26 to 5.56) are to be taken as the final
> verdict of Manu who surely must have considered a greater number
> of texts than either you or I can possibly quote.
> In fact, Manu goes even further to prescribe the consumption
> of meat in rites such as yaGYa's:
> niyuktastu yathaanyaayaM yo maa.nsaM naatti maanavaH |
> sa pretya pashutaaM yaati saMbhavaanekavi.nshatim.h || 5.35 ||
> The man who, although engaged in a rite (such as certain yaGYa's)
> does not eat meat (which should be eaten) according to the rules,
> becomes an animal for 21 lives after death.
> Manu makes an unambiguous and conclusive statement in 5.52:
> svamaa.nsaM paramaa.nsena yo vardhayitumichchhati |
> anabhyarchya pitR^In.h devaa.nstato.anyo naastyapuNyakR^it.h ||
> There is no greater sinner than one who desires to increase his own
> flesh by (eating) the flesh of other (animals) without worshipping
> the Gods and manes.
How would you interpret the final shloka on the subject in Manu 5.56:
"There is no fault in meat-eating...but abstinence bears great fruit."
This cannot refer to consecrated meat: for "abstinence bears great fruit"
does not make sense in the light of 5.35.
Nor can it refer to unconsecrated meat: "There is no fault" wouldn't make
sense considering 5.52.
I'm only asking because this verse being the conclusion seemed out of
place, considering Manu delineates what meat ought to be eaten and what
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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