[Advaita-l] Some questions on dharma

K Kathirasan NCS kkathir at ncs.com.sg
Sun Oct 8 21:31:37 CDT 2006

Namaste Siddharthaji,

To understand the diet of our early vedic peoples, pls study this book:

In my opinion, this book does not deserve the negative publicity. The
author has done a good job in tracking the development of vegetarianism
cum cow worship objectively. 

One need not be a non-vegetarian to appreciate this book. :-) 


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of
Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy
Sent: Saturday, October 07, 2006 12:11 PM
To: advaita-l
Subject: [Advaita-l] Some questions on dharma

praNAm.h All,
       I have a few questions on dharma:

-- What is the advaita vEdAntic position on ahiMsA vis-a-vis
non-vegetarianism? Two reasons that came up in discussion are -- For a
metaphysical basis, the world has no reality apart from the Self, and
a GYAni does not have to feel the need to act. So, let alone
non-vegetarianism, even eating does not make much sense to a GYAni (at
theoretically). Another reason is that by eating an animal, you are
short its opportunity for sadhana in its present life.

But the kShatriyas were allowed to eat meat. It seems like even the
brAhmaNas (at some point) were allowed to eat meat going by the episodes
vishvAmitra and yAGYavAlkya. And we do know from the rAmAyaNa that shrI
ate meat. One metaphysical reason is that the animal's sins would be
when it is sacrificed with the correct hymns and the meat partaken of.
this seems like needless interference with the animal's life. What then
the metaphysical basis in advaita vEdAnta for vegetarianism?

-- The episode of bhIShma fighting on behalf of the kauravas. Is not
being adhArmic? Some reasons usually given are that he took a vow to
hastinApura at all times, but going again by the story of "the vow of
kauShika" as also the vow of arjuna to kill yudhiShThira, we see that
adherence to a vow is not dhArmic. Another reason could be that since
kauravas never gave him cause for offence (as was not the case with
vibhIShaNa who was greatly insulted by rAvaNa and mEghanAtha
he was bound to serve the kauravas. But if I remember right, there is a
reference from the atharva vEda branch of teaching on rAja nIti that one
(and should) always desert a king who is adhArmic.

So, was bhIShma deliberately being adhArmic, or are there other issues
we need to consider to understand bhIShma's action?


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