[Advaita-l] Animal Sacrifice

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jul 5 16:54:20 CDT 2011

On Tue, 5 Jul 2011, Rajaram Venkataramani wrote:

> Are animal sacrifices allowed in Vedic Yajnas?

Yes.  Some dharmashastrakaras say most (but not all) of the pashuyagas are 
not possible in the Kaliyuga.  Even in the case of those who would 
defend the practice in principle, there is a certain distaste which led to 
them becoming increasingly rare in practice.

> Did we become
> vegetarians due to the influence of buddhists and bhagavatas?

The Buddhist objection to sacrifices is that karma means that the 
suffering of the victim will result in bad future consequences for the 
sacrificer.  This view is found in "Hindu" shramanic philosophies as well. 
(For instance Samkhyakarikas also view animal sacrifices negatively and 
you have mentioned the Bhagavatas.) it did not necessarily extend to 
killing animals for food.  In fact there is not a single traditional 
Buddhist culture with anywhere near the percentage of vegetarians found in 
Hinduism and therefore there is no reason to believe that Indian Buddhists 
were vegetarians either.

If there is any "outside" influence it is from the Jains who are the only 
ones who are  consistently and totally pro-vegetarian.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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