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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Wed Jan 19 12:56:08 CST 2005

Sorry drag on with this topic, but this interests me a lot:

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <rama.balasubramanian at>

> A general comment on sacrifices. Animal sacrifices are indeed
> advocated in some yajnas and are even compulsory in some cases. This
> is beyond any debate. Even advocates of not using animals mention
> only
> kali yuga as an excuse, and do not refute the actual fact of using
> animals in yajnas.

The article in the Hindu dharma raises several questions:

1) Is meat-eating at a shrAddha ceremony an injunction from shruti or
smR^iti? And does the "Kali Yuga" excuse come from shruti or smR^iti?
If shruti is for meat-eating at shrAddha ceremonies, and the Kali Yuga
excuse is only from the smR^iti, is this not an example of smR^iti
over-riding shruti?

2) The Kali Yuga excuse is accepted as regards meat-eating in shrAddha
ceremonies (i.e., meat is not eaten at shrAddha ceremonies) but
rejected as regards animal sacrifices (i.e. animal sacrifices are
done). Why is the excuse valid for one and not the other?


The most interesting thing about the entire discussion is this:

> What is dharmic or not is known from the vedas, not from anyones
> likes
> and dis-likes, or stray quotations from smR^iti. If any one feels
> squeamish about animal sacrifice, he/she should not participate in
> it.

Note that the smArtas (in your original posting) *did* finally use
vegetarian substitutes in the Vedic YaGYa. If using vegetarian
substitutes were altogether prohibited in the context of a Vedic
YaGYas, how and why did such a vaidIka YaGYa take place with the
sanction of the smArtas at all? Going by your above statements, the
smArtas should have unequivocally not participated in such a "wrongly
performed" Vedic YaGYa in the first place!

> Why enact laws against it? This is an actual problem faced by the
> pundits who still perform sacrifices.

What I don't comprehend is this -- there are people in India who kill
animals and eat them on a daily basis. There are Muslims and Christians
who have no "vegetarianism" to speak of in their religion, and freely
indulge in eating meat obtained from slaughterhouses in the most cruel
manner. Yet animal rights activists are silent when it comes to all
this, but want to pick on a poor Pandit who is trying his best to
follow the shAstras?

> Rama


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