[Advaita-l] Food habits

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 25 15:50:28 CST 2005

Manu smR^iti (MS) is oft-quoted to show that Meat eating is permissible
_only_ in the context of a Vedic YaGYa:


The problem with MS is that it contradicts itself when it comes to the


The contradiction is in these verses:
MS 5.35: "Consecrated meat (i.e. meat from a YaGYa) should be eaten."
MS 5.52: "Unconsecrated meat (i.e. meat not from a YaGYa) should not be
MS 5.56: "There is no fault in meat-eating...but abstinence bears great

Note that the meat that is being referred to in MS 5.56 can be neither
consecrated nor unconsecrated.

But besides MS, the Apastamba dharma sUtra clearly is pro-meat-eating:
One commentator on this shAstra, Haradatta, even says that hunting dogs
can be used to hunt down animals (such as deer) for their meat!

However, modern sages such as Ramana Maharshi who are accepted as seers
by the advaita tradition are clearly anti-meat-eating. RM has also
advised against eating eggs, saying, "There is life in eggs". 

But going by shishhTAchAra, the only Brahmins to eat meat are Bengali,
and there may be historical reasons for this exceptional conduct.


--- Anand Krishnamurthy <anand_krishnamurthy2001 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> What do our shastras say about vegetarianism? I have a
> very close Bengali Brahmin friend, whose family
> associates itself with the Puri Math. He tells me that
> his family has always been consuming meat with taboo
> on beef consumption. I think most other communities
> also consume meat. Is the origin vedic or jaina?
> Thanks 
> Anand
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