Adhyaatmic significance of navaraatri

S. V. Subrahmanian svskotra at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 5 13:47:17 CDT 2000

I have not read any karma kANda part of Vedas (only heard recitations from
pundits).  Can anyone tell me if there is really any mention of animal
sacrifice in the Vedas.  I keep hearing/reading about it often.

If it is not there how did the custom originate ?

If it is there, how did the wise men of the past reconcile with their vision
of Truth ?  Is it meant to be allegorical (like animal would mean animal
qualities etc)?  Again if it is only allegorical to a deeper philosophy, is
it ok to do away with it, without any harm to the tradition ?

Note:  In the move "Adi Shankaracharya" by G.V. Iyer.  There is a sequence,
where Sri SureshvarAcharya is complaining to Sri Shankara about how even
after Buddha had eradicated the abominal practice, people are using
vegetarian substitutes (dough, to be exact), to continue doing their

Is there any credence to that section of the movie ?

Was his attack aimed at animal sacrifice or the age old question of
karma(animal sacrifice serving as an extreme example) vs jnana ?

If anyone has answered this earlier, please point me to it and I will read

>"Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at> wrote on 10/04/00 11:33 PM:
> > eighth day of Navaratri has another sort of significance.  It is called
> > Havanashtami and it when the Homa and Balidana should be done.  Balidana
> > is the sacrifice of an animal (usually a goat or sheep.)  Bengalis and
> > other North Indians actually do this.  But in Gujarat and other places
> > were people are more likely to be vegetarian, a substitute is used
> > instead.  Like at our local mandir, they slice a watermelon in half.
> > It's not quite as dramatic but a lot gentler!
>In south India, when boiled urad dhal by itself is mixed with yogurt, it is
>considered meat! This is the substitute we use.
>bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
>bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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