[Advaita-l] Fw: Re: [AIVS] about the secrets of blood: sacrificeand Ahimsa

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Sep 30 05:04:30 CDT 2009

I have always taken the story of Abraham to be a moral lesson : true
surrender to the Lord requres ultimately, surrender of all bhava such as 'my
life', 'my son' etc. But this is not a surrender required by the gods, but
for one's own self..

But the 'staging' of this lesson implies a familiarity with the practice of
sacrifice, be it human or 'animal' (which means having a soul.)

But as I've said before, the mind, and the valuation of a present life must
have been very different in its valuations, in a different yuga ?


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Sunil
Sent: 30 September 2009 02:53
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] Fw: Re: [AIVS] about the secrets of blood:
sacrificeand Ahimsa

--- On Mon, 9/28/09, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>

From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [AIVS] about the secrets of blood: sacrifice and Ahimsa
To: AIVS at yahoogroups.com
Cc: WAVES-Vedic at yahoogroups.com, USBrahmins at yahoogroups.com,
Date: Monday, September 28, 2009, 6:40 PM

We have had discussion on a somewhat similar topic in another group also.
There could have been the practice of ritual sacrifice of human beings in
the ancient times in different societies. Was the event of the prophet
Abaraham's trying to sacrifice his son an indication that before his times
human sacrifice was practised in those regions? Purusamedha could also be
one such ancient practice, if it really existed..
As regards animal sacrifice Manu has indeed said that animal can
be killed during the sacrificial rites (Manu Smriti 5. 23 & 39). He also
said that one should avoid meat and the meat eaters will be eaten up by
their victims (5. 33 & 48). If however one  wants to take meat one should
first sprinkle water on it,  with recitation of the holy mantras Manu Smriti
(5.7 &27). To my knowledge,for that purpose a particular vedic verse, where
Lord Vishnu is invoked as Mriga (Mrigendra), is recited. Even then there are
restrictions like one should not take domesticated pig's meat.(5. 19) 
But human sacrifice can be looked at from an entirely different angle also
as the human flesh is  not for consumption, even though there could have
been some  cannibals, who could have done that secretly. For whatever reason
some people became threat to the society and in the ancient times there were
no ways the society could keep those peolple away from harming the society
due to logistical and other reasons. Exiling them to some remote distant
land was not feasible in every society and life imprisonment was also not
practicable in the ancient times. Probably some of the  prisoners of war
could have been sacrificed after much deliberation. As per the rules of war
in the ancient times if the enemy surrenders he cannot be killed. So trials
could have been held there for finding out if any of them deserved death
punishment. Thus Willy nilly people had to be killed and what could be the
better way to sacrifice them to the realm of the gods and the
 manes, where they could be possibly / supposedly controlled. This could be
the reason why the human sacrifice could have been  practised with the usual
restrictions but only with the prior proper approval of the relevant
authorities. There could have been degradation of the practice, in the
course of time,  as every practice gets misused sometime or the other.
Actually the deity does not eat what is offered but only accepts it with the
eyes. After the sacrifice the devotees eat what has been offered to the
deity and the deity gets the taste of it (or can we say the deity is
pleased?). There is a Sanskrit verse on this, in a book published by Swami
Sukhobodhananda, if I remember correctly.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Mon, 9/28/09, Mehrdad <mhrd.azari at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Mehrdad <mhrd.azari at yahoo.com>
Subject: [AIVS] about the secrets of blood: sacrifice and Ahimsa
To: AIVS at yahoogroups.com
Date: Monday, September 28, 2009, 11:43 AM

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