[Advaita-l] Advaitic Foods - Vedic ritual involving animal-killing

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 1 15:06:17 CST 2011

May I add a few lines here. Manu had sanctioned eating meat but that should be sanctified before cooking. The procedure folowed by many Hindus is that the raw meat is first offered to Mrigendra (lion) form of Lord Vishnu. (See Vishnu sukta). It is generally accepted that even for the ritual killing the animal has to be killed in one stroke with a very sharp jack-knife. If the animal is not killed in one stroke it is painful to the animal and is considered a great sin and it is believed that he (to whom the meat is offered) becomes angry.


sunil kb

--- On Sat, 1/1/11, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Advaitic Foods - Vedic ritual involving animal-killing
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011, 12:06 PM

On Sat, 18 Dec 2010, Shrisha Rao wrote:

> El dic 18, 2010, a las 10:03 a.m., V Subrahmanian escribió:
>> I have always wondered what was the compelling reason for Sri Madhwacharya
>> to introduce the practice of using a 'pishTa pashu', a flour-image of a
>> pashu, in Vedic yAga?
> I don't think it is accurate to credit Madhva with introducing such practice, which is already sanctioned in Manu (V-37) and finds justification in the Mahabharata as well.

I don't know about the Mahabharata but this is Manu 5.37:

kuryAddhR^itapashuM sa~nge kuryAtpiShTapashuM tathA |
na tveva tu vR^ithA hantuM pashumichchhetkadAchana || 37 ||

"If he cannot control his appetite he may make an animal[1] but let him never kill an animal without a reason[2]."

[1] The commentator kulluka bhaTTa says the piShTapashu is to be made of ghee and flour.  See the greatness of our ancestors.  Not only did they invent 0 and quantum physics, they also invented the veggie burger! :-)

[2] Dharma is a reason according to Kulluka BhaTTa.  So this shloka refers to killing animals for food not for sacrifice.

> I seem to recall that the पराशर-स्मृति gives a list of कलिवर्ज्‌्यs including meat-eating, which were allowed in other Yuga-s but are not permitted in the Kali Yuga.  The quote कलौ पराशरस्मृतेः (from the पराशर-स्मृति itself) is said to justify why these restrictions should be followed now, rather than adopting the more relaxed standards permitted in other स्मृतिs. However, I do not believe this is unique to Madhva's tradition; even orthodox स्मार्तs accept this reasoning.

The nirNayasindhu which is widely followed by smartas include ashvamedha, gomedha, purushamedha, and the use of mAMsa in shrAddha in the list of kalivarjyAni however that does not include jyotishtoma and agnichayana etc.  Somayajnas including the sacrifice of a pashu have continued sporadically until the present day.  It is however true that even the staunchest Smartas owing to their vegetarianism, have become rather squeamish about the whole idea.

>> In the Brahmasutra 'अशुद्धमिति चेन्न शब्दात्’ 3.1.25 Shankaracharya has
>> argued that the Veda will not be teaching something that will bring sin to a
>> performer of a vedic ritual, as ordained by the Veda.  And the vedic
>> injunction involving an animal is not violative of the general rule: mA
>> himsyAt sarvaa bhUtAni (no being should be injured).  He has said that the
>> two operate like a general rule and an exception.  I do not know how the
>> other Acharyas have commented on this sutra.

OOps. when I wrote my earlier message today I didn't see that Shri Subrahmanian has already mentioned this sutra but anyway the key point is to notice that both the pro and anti side invoke the authority of Shruti which you would not expect from Jains or Buddhists.

-- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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