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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Fri Jan 21 11:55:50 CST 2005

--- 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. In the smaartha tradition, this is not considered
> to be a valid excuse. What is said in the Mahabharata may not have a
> general application. It may be the view of a particular person merely
> recorded by vyaasa, and not his own view on the matter. In any case,
> it goes against all other shruti and smR^iti that it's very likely
> that vyAsa was merely recording the view of some person.


Are arguments like "vyAsa merely recorded some events that happened, so
the events in the MahAbhArata cannot be held to be authoritative with
respect to dharma" accepted as true in general? Such an argument may
prove nothing as to *any* event in the MahAbhArata, as for instance:

1) Sureshvara quotes the MB to show that even Kshatriyas and Vaishyas
can take up sannyAsa, and contradicts Shankara when the latter says
that only BrAhmaNas can do so. Note that one can easily dismiss
Sureshvara's quote in a similar manner as above, by saying, "VyAsa
recorded some adhArmic events like Kshhatriyas taking up sannyAsa."

2) Even the GItA itself can be held to be "SaMjaya recounting to
dhR^itaraashhTra about a certain dialog between KR^ishhNa and arjuna,
therefore this need not be taken too literally". 

Extending this argument to other dialogs, nothing that the MB actually
says need have any bearing on dharma! 

Veda VyAsa recorded events that teach us about dharma, artha, KAma and
moksha -- this is as per the MB itself (beginning few verses). It
cannot be held that VyAsa somehow recorded an event such as the dialog
between the R^ishhis and devas if he did not see that it had some
bearing on dharma.


Do you Yahoo!? 
The all-new My Yahoo! - What will yours do? 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list