[Advaita-l] vedic yajna

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Fri Nov 25 04:10:18 CST 2011

> In vAdAvaLi when we were discussing the same bruhadAraNyaka maNtra,
> somebody quoted the following to substantiate that meat or non-veg
> delicacies  including beef were there in our ancient Rishi/muni's menu card
> :-))  Here is what he quoted :
> //quote//
> Atharva Veda 9.6 Meat is distributed to the brahmanas Satapatha Brahmana
> Cows and bulls are prohibited. At the same time sage Yagnavalkya
> is said to eat the flesh of cows provided it is tender. Atharvavediya
> Kausika Grhya Sutra 12.8 One desiring harmony of minds should eat calf meat
> mixed with some sour substance On the lighter note, so, brAhmaNa bandhu-s,
>  those who are born in brAhmaNa kula & hesitating to add meat in their menu
> now can do so with the support of pramANa from our own sacred shAstra-s :-))
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

I do not know if the above statements are made in ignorance of vedic
practices or in jest. If it is in jest, it is unmindful of cruelty to
animals and untrue to the tradition. Traditionally, we eat food which is
offered in yajna. Lord Krishna clearly says that one who eats food that is
not offered in yajna is verily eating sin. yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo
mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ bhuñjate te tv aghaḿ pāpā ye pacanty
ātma-kāraṇāt (BG 3.13). Now, even vegetarian food has to be offered and
purified before consumption to avoid sin. Food cannot be taken for one's
sense gratification (atma karanat) but as a remnant of yajna or sacrifice
(prasadam). My knowledge of yajnas is very primitive but as far as I
know there 400 extant yajnas classified as paka, havir and soma yajnas.
Most of them are vegetarian. In soma yajnas, there is animal sacrifice but
there are specific rules in terms of who can perform them, when and how the
remnants should be taken. Kanchi Mahaperiyava says that Ch. Up. which
insists on ahimsa says that that sacrifice in a vedic yajna is not
considered himsa (anyetra trebhyah). Sridhara Swami in his commentary to
11.5.13 says that sacrificial killing is not violence. Satapataha Brahmana
warns that animal killing is not allowed in any other context (except
yajna). It is like a soldier killing in a righteous war is not consider
murder. There was a dislike for meat despite this and that is why Manu says
that one who does not partake of the offerings in a yajna as per its rules
will sink to hell for 21 births. Even Rama did not eat meat after Sita was
abducted because he could not perform the yajna in the absence of his
dharma patini. Hanuman tells that to Sita in Ashoka Vana. How can one eat
meat from super-market and hope that it is not sinful? If we dont believe
in the sastras, even then we should be mindful of the cruelty to animals
which are able to feel intense pain due to well developed nervous system.

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