Animal Sacrifices (was Re: [Advaita-l] Web-sites related to advaita)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Mon Jan 17 12:22:57 CST 2005

--- Ravi Parimi <rparimi at> wrote:

> Does this mean that had there been no fear of animal right activists,
> an animal would've been sacrificed during the yaagam?

If you're unhappy with performing animal sacrifices as enjoined by the
Vedas, you are in very good company -- Veda VyAsa himself approves of
vegetarian substitutes instead of real animals in the context of the
Vedic yaGYa! The story from the MahAbhArata is at

Those who imagine protests against animal sacrifices to be "purely
Buddhist" fail to note that historically, several BrAhmaNas were averse
to performing them, and in fact refrained from doing so. I have read
this in a book but don't have the reference available. Even so, we can
find similar arguments being considered by the Late Kanchi Paramacharya
in the book "Hindu dharma":

"Animal Sacrifice in the Age of Kali"

"An argument runs thus: In the eons gone by mankind possessed high
ideals and noble character. Men could sacrifice animals for the
well-being of the world because they had great affection in their
hearts and were selfless. They offered even cows and horses in
sacrifice and had meat for sraddha...In our own Kali age we do not have
such men who are desireless in their actions, who can subdue their
minds and give up all works to become ascetics and who will remain
chaste at heart even in the company of women. So it is contended that
the following are to be eschewed in the Kali age: horse and cow
sacrifices, meat in the sraddha ceremony, sannyasa, begetting a son by
the husband's brother."

Note that the very fact that the Paramacharya considers such an
argument is proof of the fact that there were BrahmaNas who gave such
arguments to refrain from performing animal sacrifices! Although the
Paramacharya does indeed refute the main part of the argument, he gives
some credit to it, as revealed by his conclusion: "The prohibition in
Kali applies to certain types of animal sacrifices, meat in sraddha
ceremonies and begetting a son by the husband's brother."

Of course, the Paramacharya is very much for animal sacrifices, which
he defends in the chapter "Is Sacrificial Killing Justified?" --

> --ravi


Do you Yahoo!? 
Yahoo! Mail - now with 250MB free storage. Learn more.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list