[Advaita-l] Animal Sacrifice

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Jul 6 02:40:45 CDT 2011

According to few bhagavatha scholars, there is no sanction for animal
sacrifice in the Vedas. It is a misinterpretation of the terms such as
alambhanam which means to touch not cut. They argue that ahimsa is
supreme dharma and it is scriptural interpolations which support
animal sacrifice.
Yes, ahimsa is the supreme dharma and that is why the animal sacrifice (as sanctioned by shrauta sutras) is called "a-dhvara".  dhvara implies himsa and "a" means the
negation.  So, the so-called himsa (as coined by someone) involved in the yaga is 
called "adhvara" and its supervisor is called Adhvarya.  
One should be crystal clear with the concepts of vidhi & niyoga otherwise confusion arises.Don't think shruti is so apathetic towards himsa? There is a mantra for extracting
sOma rasa from sOma lata for sOmayAga.  It is asking for forgiveness due to the pain
caused to that sOmalata and later the yajamAna prays to the creeper for higher & noble
life in future as it "sacrificed itself" for a good cause ie., sOmayAga.
That said, there is a provision of usage of "piShTa pashu" instead of live species if one
is so sensitive towards ahimsa.  There is a mention of this in mahAbhArata.  
When a great sOmayAga was performed in Shivpuri by Shri Gajanan Maharaj of Akkalkot (who happens to be the devotee of Akkalkot Maharaj), around 3000 ritwiks participated who came from all over the country.  At the time of baliharaNa, piShTa pashu was used
with the approval of the then present shrauta ritualists.

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