[Advaita-l] vedic yajna
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 27 00:46:20 CST 2011
Adi Sankaracharya was a great person and he could have realised that the recommendation for eating veal (calf-meat) and not just any cow's meat, by a pregnant woman was only for a very specific purpose and that had merit only for that special case. Mastering the four Vedas is a super humanly task. Not only the six Vedangas have to be mastered before that, the fifth veda (consisting of all the 18 puranas, 18 upa-puranas and the two epics) is also to be mastered before one could really understand the four Vedas in totality. It is for this reason that Vedavyasa separated the four Vedas, towards the end of the Dwapara yuga, so that thereafter one would not necessarily have to study all the Vedas. So also as a corollary the custom of taking Veal by a pregnant woman became practically redundant. It is also possible that goat-meat was not considered suitable for that specific purpose.
Being a Hindu the beef-eating is a no no for me, yet from the books I gathered that nutritionally speaking veal is fantastic. Unlike other meat it is a white meat, easy to digest and is lean. The protein in it is of Qua structure, a lot like human protein and thus it is easily assimilated. Apart from Protein it is loaded with Zinc, Niacin, Magnesium, Vitamin B12. The ancient wisdom recommended that to be an ideal food item for the brain development of a child, who in future would master the four Vedas. Why at all have we to try to generalize this exceptional case? Probably apart from the consecration of the Veal-meat to Lord Vishnu in his Mrigendra roopa one had no other ritual to perform for this act, in those days.
From: Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:05 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] vedic yajna
On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 12:18 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan
<svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Question- Do you say we have to use Bull meat in Kali Yuga? If Yes you
>> are in contradiction to Smruti and Sistachara. If Adi Sankara said
> This question only arises for one who has the desire to do this particular
> rite. I don't, so it is immaterial for me. If someone has the desire to do it,
> he must consult his family purohita and/or other SishTa-s and follow their
> advice. End of the matter. The trouble comes when you apply your limited
> understanding of general rules to specific cases where they don't apply.
> If nothing else, the SAnkara-bhAshya proves that well into kaliyuga, he
> did not talk of an exception to or modification of the rule described in the
> upanishad reference.
The matter is not so simple to end there. Question- If a man living
today in 2011 wants to get a learned son and he sees Sankarbhashya
talking of Bull meat for getting a learned son, should he follow A the
Sankara Bhashya or B should he follow the Sistachara and Smrutis
prohibiting cow meat and bull meat and make subsititution?
If your answer is A it is wrong because it contradicts Smruti and
Sistachara. Sri V Subrahmanian has said Sankara Bhashya allows
modifications or following Sistachara in case of doubt. If answer is B
you are correct.
> We are not talking of mAMsa to feed brAhmaNa-s in a SrAddha or for
> madhuparka to honor a guest. For these instances, yes, there are smRti
> texts that describe the older practice and modify it for our circumstances.
> I have not seen such for this particular rite and you haven't provided one
> yet, in all your numerous posts on this topic.
There is a general permission to modify a ritual if it has meat
prescription. No particular permission is needed. Sankara Bhashya is
agreeing Dharma can be changing. Even the eating Bull Meat becomes
Adharma now. Example in Navaratri the Brahmins will cut a Pumpkin for
Durga, not an animal. In Sraddha they are using Urad Dal not meat.
Like this whenever meat is prescribed we have to substitute by
vegetarian food for Brahmins. Some exceptions for Soma Yaga are there
but no Cows are used. Even there some use flour made animals.
> On the other hand, if you overlook the proper methods of interpretation
> and apply your generalizations, to claim that SankarAcArya's explanation
> should be set aside, and further claim that this is because he was only a
> saMnyAsin and not a ritualist, then you are overstepping all SishTAcAra
> at the very root and claiming for yourself a superior interpretation to the
> bhAshya, without justification. Are you of the view that SankarAcArya was
> not aware of the smRti texts and SishTAcAra that you cite?
He has allowed his own interpretation to be modified according to
Subrahmanian's mail. When there is conflict in Srutis we have to look
at Smruti, Purana and Sistachara. Vedas saying Cows are Aghnya is
conflicting with the Upanishad talking of Bull meat. Now we have to
look at Smruti and Sistachara only. There is no other way.
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