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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jan 5 22:55:42 CST 2011

On Sat, 1 Jan 2011, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> May I add a few lines here. Manu had sanctioned eating meat but that 
> should be sanctified before cooking.

I think that is an overly simplified view of what he said but I'll write 
more on that topic later.

> 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.

The practices followed in the North-East are base on vamachari tantric 
principles and is condemned by the Vedas.

In vaidika dharma blood and the shedding of blood is considered polluting 
and the sacrificial animals were garotted with a noose not decapitated. 
In the tantras, the flow of blood is important precisely because it is 
polluting hence the use of a knife or sword.

Although the sacrifice of animals was part of the shrauta ritual because 
it a microcosm of creation and death is a part of life, it was still 
considered unauspicious and was done in a place on the edge of the 
sacrificial ground.  By contrast, tantric sacrifice takes place on the 
altar itself.

Many years back, the local Bengali community didn't have a priest for 
Durga Puja and my Guruji was asked to officiate.  He refused unless he was 
allowed to conduct the havan etc. according to Gujarati achara.  A Smarta 
may no more be involved in such tantrik worship than in Muslim or Christian 

On Tue, 4 Jan 2011, Venkatesh Murthy wrote:

> Is a Tantrika allowed union with his own wife in Maithuna part of
> Tantric rituals? Some people say this Maithuna is symbolic only but
> not real. Where this Maithuna is used?

The Vamacharis in fact say it should be another woman involved.  The 
whole point of their philosophy is to be as transgressive of the norms 
as possible.  Less extreme tantriks say it should be with ones own wife 
and the dakshinacharis who are more in tune with the Vedic path say it is 
a symbolic concept only.  (This is also why we make balidana with a 
coconut or a melon instead of an animal.)

> In Dharma Shastra a man can go to his wife in the Ruta Kala but not
> other times.  Then he keeps his Brahmacharya.

Shastras say should not go but do not forbid it outright.  Even without 
bringing tantra into the picture, kama is a purushartha just like dharma 
and artha and the pursuit of pleasure is not wrong as long as it does not 
violate the niyamas of dharma.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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