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

Ravisankar Mayavaram abhayambika at
Wed Jan 19 14:34:51 CST 2005

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 10:56:08 -0800 (PST), S Jayanarayanan
<sjayana at> wrote:

> 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!

If I am not mistaken Anand Hudli discussed this in some context a
while ago. Even if you use a vegetarian substitute, you are indeed
killing it as you have to do prANa pratishhTa.  Unlike other
religions, in vaidika traditions sin committed in mind is also a sin.
That is why we pray for  manasa, vaacha etc.  If someone objects to
killing, in principle, one is  indeed in killing just by the virtue of
prANa pratishhTa.

I think substitutions may not be wrong as such, but shows the aversion
of brahmaNa-s to kill physically. Hence, doing something like that
becomes equivalent to homa dravya substitution.

> > 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?

Animal right activists can do that because, there are laws which back
them. Those who wrote the Indian constitution and who continue to have
modify it have a little or no regard for vedic religion. There are
laws in different states which prohibit sacrificing animal for
religious reasons. For instance

quoted from a website:
Laws that prohibit animal sacrifice

Though Article 51 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution of
India states that individuals should show kindness and compassion
towards all living beings, animals continue to be slaughtered in a
cruel and illegal manner for the purpose of sacrifice.

Specific laws prohibiting animal sacrifice have been passed only in a
few states of India. These states are, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,
Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu  and Pondicherry. The rule
regarding animal sacrifices in all these states roughly contain the
same facts. Section 2(b) of the Andhra Pradesh Animals and Birds
Sacrifices (Prohibition) Act, 1950, defines "sacrifice" as the killing
or maiming of any animal or bird for the purpose of any animal or bird
for the purpose of any religious worship or adoration.

These Acts specially prohibit any person from officiating, performing,
assisting or participating in any sacrifice. It also maintains that no
one can knowingly allow such a sacrifice to be performed at any place
of religious worship or place under his control.

The penalty for contravention extends to a fine and/or imprisonment.

In so far as the other states which lack such specific Acts, the
following legal provisions can be used: ...<clip>

My 2c and corrections are welcome.

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