[Advaita-l] Meat eating quotes?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Apr 16 01:50:29 EDT 2017

On Sat, 15 Apr 2017, Sanju Nath via Advaita-l wrote:

> I received the following in a whatsapp group.  How do we respond other 
> than countering with quotes of sattvik veg foods? Are these quotes 
> accurate?  How can they be explained if accurate?

They are somewhat accurate but wildly taken out of context.

> I believe that these protesters are ignorant of what our/their religion 
> preaches. They are simply going against their own religious scriptures.

Hinduism doesn't have "scriptures" We are not "people of the book."  We 
have shastra and shishtachara.  Both of which favor vegetarianism.

> Let me quote some of the  Hindu scriptures:
> Manusmriti
> chapter 5 verse30:
> *"It is not sinful to eat meat of eatable animals,for God has created 
> both the eaters and the eatables".*

If you read the whole passage what it says is that while eating meat is 
not a sin, refraining from eating meat is a virtue.  There is no moral 
equivalency between the two.  One incurs no hypocracy by prefering and 
advocating vegetarianism over meat-eating.

> says, *"The cow should be slaughtered on the arrival of a guest, on the 
> occasion of 'Shraaddha of ancestors and on the occasion of a marriage".*

This is irrelevant to the present day as those kinds of shraddhas only 
occured in previous yugas.  (They are kalivarjya according to dharmasindhu 
and similar commonly used dharmashastras.)

Furthermore the slaughter of animals in yajnas implies nothing about 
whether or meat is to be eaten as food.

> Rigveda (10/85/13): declares, *"On the occasion of a girls marriage oxen 
> and cows are slaughtered".*

The same criticism applies except for this mantra is not even a vidhi 

> Rigveda (6/17/1) : states that, *"Indra used to eat the meat of cow, 
> calf, horse and buffalo".*

This is a terrible translation.  What it says is that Indra is a great 
warrior who captures the domestic animals (cows, calves etc.) of his 

Again mantras do not establish injunction (vidhi) or prohibition 

> Vashishta Dharmasutra (11/34): says, *"If a Brahmin refuses to eat the 
> meat offered to him on the occasion of ,'Shraaddha' he goes to hell".*

Once again this is talking about the ritual use of meat and not every day 
culinary habits.  Yes, a purohit taking part in a shraddha  must partake 
of the offerings.  But these types of shraddha no longer occur so it is a 
moot point.

> Hinduisms great propagator Swami Vivekaanand said thus: *"You will be 
> surprised to know that according to ancient Hindu rite and rituals, a 
> man cannot be a good Hindu who does not eat beef ".* (The complete works 
> of Swami Vivekanand vol :3/5/36)

Vivekanand was not an astika (and not even a swami.) His opinions on 
Hinduism are no more relevant to astikas as anyone else.

> *"The book The history and culture of the indian people"* – published by 
> Bharatiya vidya bhawan, Mumbai and edited by renowned historian R C 
> Majumdar (vol 2, page 18 says): *This is said in the mahabharata that 
> "king Ratindra used to kill 2000 other animals in addition to 2000 cows 
> daily in order to give their meat in charity".*

The author began by claiming Hindus are not following their "scriptures" 
and is now quoting random history books?

As to the Mahabharata.  We think of it as history.  When evaluating 
history and its relevance for today, we cannot just pick a random point 
and leave it at that.  We have to look at the whole sweep of time.

If this person wishes to make the claim that a long time ago eating meat 
was considered more acceptable than it is now there would be no quarrel 
but if he is at all honest, he will admit that the trend even from early 
times has been in one direction only -- away from eating meat.

> *Aadi shankaraachaarya commentary on Brahadaranyako panishad 6/4/18 
> says: 'Odaan' rice mixed with meat is called 'maansodan' on being asked 
> whose meat it should be, he answers 'Uksha' is used for an ox, which is 
> capable to produce semen...*

This is once again describing a particular ritual.  Is this particular 
ritual practised today?  No it is not.

Now if the author was not simply parroting things he has read elsewhere 
and actually knew what he was talking about he would have found a better 
Shankaracharya quote.  Well marginally better.  Commenting on the 
brahmasutra ashuddhamiti chet, Shankaracharya reaffirms the view of 
Bhagavan Badarayana that no sin accrues in the slaughter of an animal in a 
vedic yajna.  However he explicitly notes that this is a case of "the 
exception that proves the rule"  In other words the specific exemption for 
yajnas is noted _precisely_ because the general rule is not to kill 

> Now who do you want to follow?
> *Religious Books or the illiterate sanghi?

Neither.  We base our conduct on our parampara and the instructions of our 
acharyas.  If some political faction should share the same views so much 
the better but whether they do or not is irrelevant.

The whole line of argument is disingenous and bogus.  A person does not 
walk into McDonalds because he is trying to follow the Vedas.  Shame on 
the author for accusing others of being illiterate when he is not capable 
of rational thought himself.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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