Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Beef Eating in the Hindu Tradition


On the good counsel of @icountu, who I believe is a well wisher and a supporter of the "Revive Sanskrit" programme, this article has been removed for revision. It will be edited, updated and re-posted at a later date.




11 comments:

Rohini Bakshi said...

Taking the liberty of posting an email sent to me by my friend Shivani Bhargava. It's quite a vindication of what I'm trying to do, so...

Rohini I am most grateful to you for this blog! It has cleared years and years of ignorant but firm belief in my own conviction that there is no link between eating beef and religion (or the hindu scriptures). Like you, I too have utmost respect for people's choice in the food they eat or don't but to blindly use religion, scriptures and faith to assert that individual choice and censure others for theirs is the most appalling hypocrisy or stupidity in my opinion. and today you have lifted that hazy curtain of ignorance by highlighting (and bringing to our attention) what the scriptures did or did not say. Now people can make an informed choice and not a blind one and also respect other's choice in the matter! that is what true secularism is all about.

Karthikeyan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karthikeyan said...

"There is no fault in eating meat ... that is the natural activity of creatures." is incomplete without " yet abstaining from it is highly fruitful" from Manusmriti.
Manusmriti also says that killing of a cow is equalent to killing of a brahmin. Garuda Purana says killing of a brahmin is one among five great sins (pancha maha paathakas) that guarantees hell.
In Gita, where Arjuna says "I have never seen any other wealth comparable to Cows" (Gobhistulyam na pashyami dhanam kinchit iha Achyutha). "Gavo vishvasya maatarah" (cow is world's mother), "Sarva devamayi hi gau" (cow's body is full of gods), etc are very familiar quotes from auspicious texts (err.. auspicious texts because I don't know where they come from).
From these, we can easily conclude that scriptures from Hinduism does forbid from eating beef. I don't know about Vedas, but your excerpts that Cows were sacrificed in rituals during vedic period is (I suppose) a mistranslation by foreign translators. Just like 99.99% Hindus haven't read vedas, 99.99% of those who have read vedas have read from inaccurate foreign translations.

Rohini Bakshi said...

Thank you Karthikeyan. Open debate is what Hinduism has always been about. The habit of talking about 'scriptures' as a monolithic unit has lead to a one sided focus, which this blog post tries to correct through selective quotes. What we deliberately try to gloss over is that till the early centuries BC,the ancient religion that we could call Brahmanism was not only non-vegetarian, but beef eating. Also, we tend to gloss over the fact that all the texts that are quoted in favour of one side of the debate are post Buddhist influence - like Manusmriti and the Gita. If you examine the early texts like the Vedic Samhitas and the Brahmanas, you will find they are overwhelmingly about the sacrifice and consumption of animals, and do not promote vegetarianism in even one place. All I'm saying we should embrace the diversity that has been our religion for all of 4,000 years (at least) and not pick only those portions that suit us.

Karthikeyan said...

Thanks Rohini Ji. I have come across a couple of blogs that keep repeating that there is beef eating in Hindu scriptures. There is virtually an entire system that is promoting this topic, that even google believes it! (Enter "beef eating" in google, it suggests "... in Hindu scriptures". See that?). This is a case of repeating a lie 100 times makes it truth. But you know what? I haven't come across even a single sloka (in sanskrit, not foreign translation) in their support. Yet all authors claim to be experts of all Vedic Samhitas and Brahmanas. That may best be called an "expert opinion" rather than truth that prevailed 4000 years back.

Rohini Bakshi said...

Dear Karthikeyan, Sorry I didn't reply sooner, as I was travelling. I have quoted several verses from the Samhitas and Brahmanas in this article. You can follow the references in the Sanskrit texts if you wish. If you need more detail, I can provide that as well. However just to reiterate, my intention is only to balance the debate. I respect the changes that have taken place in the last 2,500 years in Hinduism on the issue of Vegetarianism. That does not mean that we conveniently ignore what is in the sections of Vedas that we say we revere.

Anonymous said...

pls consult a arya samaj centre nearby and discuss coweating.. also pls read get true info on this issue.. cow eating is myth..

Unknown said...

Can we all meet personally whoever says that beef eating was allowed? I would love to enlighten them mentally and physically

Unknown said...

Right now I wanna say does blogger here wants to conclude that every life on earth was a carnivorous since life started?

Unknown said...

Read this

http://nationalizm.blogspot.in/2012/04/blog-post.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

http://agniveer.com/no-beef-in-vedas-part2/