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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Tue Jan 18 12:07:33 CST 2005

--- Navin Rajaram <navinr at> wrote:

> Hari Om,
> S Jayanarayanan wrote:
> >>
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >It's a given that meat eaten as prasAdam (by a BrAhmaNa or anyone
> else)
> >after performing an animal sacrifice following the correct Vedic
> >procedure is sAttvic. 
> >  
> >
> That comes as quite a surprise to me because the animal nature is
> linked 
> with Tama-guna and Raja-guna -identification per se with the body and
> the senses.  My understanding was that in an effort to transcend
> these 
> gross levels of identification, meat eating and/or killing of animals
> is 
> to be avoided. 

What you say holds in general -- that killing animals or eating their
meat is to be avoided.

However, killing of animals in the context of the Vedic sacrifice is
commanded by the shruti, and the partaking of their meat is enjoined by
the smR^iti, so it cannot be rAjasic or tAmasic. This is therefore an
exception to above general rule. 

You can

> I guess the same might not apply to a spiritual
> seeker, 
> say in the Sahara or the North pole where vegetation is at a minimum
> and 
> meat is the main source of food.
> >I was only arguing that a "minority view" exists within the Vedic
> >tradition itself regarding (non)performance of animal sacrifices.
> >  
> >
> I agree..there are conflicting views on this topic.

They aren't so conflicting as there is a general rule, and exceptions
to the general rule in specific cases. 

In the case of animal sacrifices, I'm certain that there were always
BrAhmaNas who were unhappy with performing them, and it is for them
that an alternate way of vegetarian substitutes is recommended.

> Inspite of 
> personally choosing to be a vegetarian, I do not know how these
> choices 
> are themselves responsible for higher moral ground. Maybe these are
> just 
> circumstantial choices of food habits.
> >-Kartik
> >  
> >
> Navin
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