[Advaita-l] Vegetarianism

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 06:45:19 CDT 2012

In deference of the rule to restrict the number of posts per day, I will
group my response.

First, I repeat that we dont need sastras to tell us what is himsa. It is
what causes pain. We know it through direct experience and inference.
Creationism of Evolution has nothing to do with it. We need sastras only to
tell us when the himsa will not produce the negative reaction as in the
case of a righteous war or a vedic yajna. We need sastras in this case only
because we cannot see the future result of actions when we perform them. If
anyone writes that they need sastras to tell them what is himsa, I have a
simple recommendation - "chop your hand off". If sastras dont tell you it
is himsa, then dont experience it. In BSB 3.1.25, Sankara does not say that
there is no violence involved in vedic yajna. He recognises that there is
violence involved but it will not produce a negative effect for the
performer. Also, the general rule is that kamya karma will bind you to the
results and all karma has to be performed without desire for results to
avoid being bound. Anything that binds is a sin.

Second, sastras may recognize the natural propensity to enjoy sex, drink
liquor and eat meat. But it is not an injunction to engage in any of these
as per our whims and fancies. Sastras ask us to reach up to higher ideals
while giving us the vaidhika karma marga to satisfy our desires naturally
and rise to the state of desirelessness. The only context where there is an
injunction to eat allottted quota - nothing more - of meat is when it is
the remnant of a yajna (rf. Manu Dharma). It is because rejecting prasadam
due to attraction and aversion is incorrect. But there is no room to
indiscriminately kill as yajnas cannot be performed just like that. The
existence of a custom such as that in Nepal or Bengal is not a proof of
what sastras teach. Which yajna is performed daily where meat is offered?

Third, just because an act of adharma is done by an atma jnani or for that
matter even god does not make it dharma. Dharma shastras are
eternal. Bhagavatham describes that when Lord Krishna killed a demon in the
form of a bull, the gopis ask him to bathe in holy waters as a prayaschitta
for killing a member of the bovine species. Lord Krishna had to invite all
the holy rivers in to Shyama Kunda  and bathe in it. Madhusudana says that
all acts of a great person, if they contradict sastras, are not to be
followed by the intelligent as if that were so, then there will arise the
contingency that it is essential to spit because vasishta maharishi did so.
Even if Ramakrishna Paramahamsa were a jivan mukta, we cannot eat fish if
it is not a remnant of a yajna. In which yajna, do you offer fish? If
Ramakrishna was not a paramahamsa, it is just a fishy behaviour :)

Fourth, time and again the anti-hindu forces have tried to turn the Hindu
mind away from the dharma shastras. The British sponsored BB Rajendra Lal
to write "Beef in Ancient India" and it was countered to some extent in
"Review of Beef in Ancient India". "The Myth of The Holy Cow" is of that
genre as D.N. Jha is well known for his anti-Hindu stand. The counter to
that is very simple. We cannot eat any food that is not offered in a yajna
to the lord as that will cause sinful reaction. There are 400 extant yajnas
classified in to paka, havir and soma yajnas. None of the paka yajnas
require animal slaughter and most mandatory yajnas fall in this category.
Those who say that there are mandatory yajnas that involve animal slaughter
should show scriptural evidence. It is not enough to say that some elder
said so because some other elders (e.g. Kanchi Mahaperiyava) dont say so.

Fifth, someone said it is safe to organically grown animals. The animals
dont feel so. They only feel fear and pain when you slaughter them whether
you feed them organic food or rubbish. We have cows and others grazing on
toxic wastes leading to disease and death. Those Hindu mutts that do not
work towards go-samrakshana have no reason to exist. Those who approve of
cruelty to animals in slaughter houses in the garb of being
sampradayikas should only claim shukracharya as their guru.

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