PDA

View Full Version : Veggies



satay
16 December 2006, 10:24 PM
Most hindus believe in a vegetarian diet. I know the practice and the reasons behind it at a very personal level.

However, I wonder if this practice was actually influenced by buddhists. The bottom line reasoning of not eating meat is that the food is not satvic since someone lost their life in the process and for our enjoyment. This reasoning basically falls on the principle of ahimsa. And since our understanding of ahimsa today is very much influenced by the buddhist thought I wonder if the practice of vegetarianism is also influenced. That is to say, that perhaps during buddhist era, we took this habit of eating satvik food to the nth degree and said absolute no to eating meat.

I am not advocating eating meat here but our sastras are not clear on this so maybe buddhists influenced it during shankara's time or before it.

Thoughts?

sm78
17 December 2006, 03:37 AM
But there is no requirement of being a vegetarian in buddhism, by a rather funny logic.

As far as I know dietary rigidity exist in Sanatana Dharma only. The classification of
food as swattic etc is also our own's, not sure how much it is related to ahimsha

But there were/are always many hindus who were/are non-veg.

Agnideva
19 December 2006, 07:13 AM
Jainism is very strict in advocating ahimsa and vegetarian diet for all its followers. Many believe the vegetarian ideal in Hinduism and Buddhism was influenced by Jainism. I believe that Jains have the highest percentage of vegetarians, while Hindus have the highest numbers.

A recent survey (http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/08/14/stories/2006081403771200.htm) done in India showed that vegetarianism was highest in the north and west of India, and lowest in the south and east.

Regards,
A.

satay
19 December 2006, 08:47 AM
Influence of Jainism makes sense. In fact, one of Gandhi's parents was Jain (I forget it was mother or father). That may be the reason of his advocating non-violence to the extreme where he believed that one should not even fight back when someone attacked you, your mother or anyone else.

The underlying point here is that the meaning of ahimsa as we know it today in hinduism has been influenced by either jainism or buddhism or both.

The hindu sages we see them sitting on a lion's skin meditating. I wonder who hunted the animal, and who processed the skin for the sage to sit on. E.g. who removed it from the body of the animal, who cleaned it and so forth. Was it the sage who it did it himself?

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that we as young hindus need to find the original meaning of non-violence and ahimsa. Though we have the utmost respect for buddhists and jainis we are not practicing those religions.

Agnideva
19 December 2006, 06:42 PM
Namaste Satay,


In fact, one of Gandhi's parents was Jain (I forget it was mother or father). That may be the reason of his advocating non-violence to the extreme where he believed that one should not even fight back when someone attacked you, your mother or anyone else.
HmmmÖ I didnít know that one of his parents was Jain, but I did know that he was strongly influenced by Jainism. I think the Hindu idea of ahimsa does not go to that extreme.


The hindu sages we see them sitting on a lion's skin meditating. I wonder who hunted the animal, and who processed the skin for the sage to sit on. E.g. who removed it from the body of the animal, who cleaned it and so forth. Was it the sage who it did it himself?
This question was once asked of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. He answered that the skins that sages sit on are taken from dead animals. They are not hunted. In any case, I think some professional has to do it from them Ö I donít think any sage peels and dries the skin off of dead animals himself ;).


I guess the point I am trying to make here is that we as young hindus need to find the original meaning of non-violence and ahimsa. Though we have the utmost respect for buddhists and jainis we are not practicing those religions.
The Mahabharata has extensive discussions where Bhishma tells Yudhishtira about the virtues of ahimsa and vegetarianism. Perhaps we can find that and post it here?

OM Shanti,
A.

saidevo
19 December 2006, 09:34 PM
The Mahabharata has extensive discussions where Bhishma tells Yudhishtira about the virtues of ahimsa and vegetarianism. Perhaps we can find that and post it here?


I found this link that has quotes from scriptures plus the five reasons why Hindus would avoid meat eating:
http://www.flex.com/~jai/articles/hinmeat.html

satay
19 December 2006, 11:31 PM
Namaste Satay,


HmmmÖ I didnít know that one of his parents was Jain, but I did know that he was strongly influenced by Jainism. I think the Hindu idea of ahimsa does not go to that extreme.



I stand corrected. I was working from my memory which always fails me.
I looked at the source again ("Eastern Philosophy" by kevin burns page 71) and it only says "Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, into a political family with deep religious convictions, both Hindu and Jain." The next sentence reads, "His father was prime minister of Porbandar."

My brain must have connected the two sentences in memory and what I getting back was 'his father must have been jain!!' strange...I should eat some ginko maybe. :)




[FONT=Verdana]
This question was once asked of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. He answered that the skins that sages sit on are taken from dead animals. They are not hunted. In any case, I think some professional has to do it from them Ö I donít think any sage peels and dries the skin off of dead animals himself ;).


Yes, I agree re sages not peeling the skin off dead animals, however, the point I was trying to make was that even sitting on a dead animal's skin gives the impression of himsa. doesn't it? Why would they sit on a dead animal's skin if the main message of hinduism is 'ahimsa' unless the meaning of ahimsa as we understand today is completely different than the sages understood it.

Not sure...

Agnideva
20 December 2006, 02:35 PM
Yes, I agree re sages not peeling the skin off dead animals, however, the point I was trying to make was that even sitting on a dead animal's skin gives the impression of himsa. doesn't it? Why would they sit on a dead animal's skin if the main message of hinduism is 'ahimsa' unless the meaning of ahimsa as we understand today is completely different than the sages understood it.
Not sure...
Iím told that sages began using animal hides when meditating in the forest because animal skins keep away creepy-crawlies. But, I see your point. I donít know if there was a thread on ahimsa here before, but may be we can start a new thread? I mean one about our personal ideas of ahimsa, and how it applies to life today.

Regards,
A.

atanu
23 December 2006, 09:40 AM
---...I should eat some ginko maybe. :)



What is ginko? May we all have some? Is it something like Soma?

By the way, many think that Lion hide represents skinning the ego dead. Devi riding a lion also represents the same.

Om Namah Shivayya

Agnideva
23 December 2006, 12:08 PM
Namaste Atanuji,

What is ginko? May we all have some? Is it something like Soma?
:D Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement. It comes from traditional chinese medicine, and now famous in the west. It is supposed to enhance memory.


By the way, many think that Lion hide represents skinning the ego dead. Devi riding a lion also represents the same. Very interesting. Thanks for that. Sitting on the lion or tiger means taming or subduing the ego ... makes sense. If I remember correctly, Ayyappa also tames and rides tigers, and is even able to milk a tigress to cure the local queen.

OM Shanti,
A.

sm78
24 December 2006, 05:59 AM
I’m told that sages began using animal hides when meditating in the forest because animal skins keep away creepy-crawlies. But, I see your point. I don’t know if there was a thread on ahimsa here before, but may be we can start a new thread? I mean one about our personal ideas of ahimsa, and how it applies to life today.

Regards,
A.


My ideal of ahimsha lies in the following 2 lines, I don't read too many scriptures. But to me anything else has [roven to be a much poor ideal.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam

sm78
24 December 2006, 07:04 AM
By the way, many think that Lion hide represents skinning the ego dead. Devi riding a lion also represents the same.

Devi slaying the demon mahisasura represents the slaying of ego in a sense.

Devi rides on a lion, because it requires characteristics of a lion - a fearless seeker of truth to grasp the essense of para shakti tatva. Also in collective social sense the truth & justice can rise in the face injustice and asuric oppression only when there are individuals with hearts of lion to carry the truth. Lion is a divine animal.

Sitting on animal skins may be much more practical. Skins with the head attached (mundi asana) signifies quest for knowledge. Head holds the secrets of knowledge.

satay
25 December 2006, 12:48 AM
My ideal of ahimsha lies in the following 2 lines, I don't read too many scriptures. But to me anything else has [roven to be a much poor ideal.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

:bowdown:

sm78
25 December 2006, 08:41 AM
Unless of course, it an offensive act to even consider as an ideal the example set by the greatest guru of all.

Or chanting his name and churning out theories of how he is separate and superior is the only respect we can provide to his teaching.

Shakti
08 January 2007, 09:20 AM
To my knowledge, Buddhism branched off from Hinduism. I have heard that the Dalai Lama eats meat and not all Buddhists abstain from meat. They have certain conditions under which meat can be eaten. (I learnt this from Buddhists on another forum).

Agnideva
08 January 2007, 09:58 AM
To my knowledge, Buddhism branched off from Hinduism. I have heard that the Dalai Lama eats meat and not all Buddhists abstain from meat. They have certain conditions under which meat can be eaten. (I learnt this from Buddhists on another forum).

Per statistics most Hindus are also meat eaters. However, in many Hindu traditions (but not all) vegetarianism is stressed as a very important basic virtue if you're to follow any form of yoga (bhakti, jnana, raja, etc.).

Some Chinese Buddhists once told me that they believe if you didn't see an animal being killed, if you didn't kill it yourself, and if you didn't have it killed for you specifically, then it's okay to eat that meat. I don't think Hindus have such beliefs.

Sudarshan
08 January 2007, 10:02 AM
Yes, I agree re sages not peeling the skin off dead animals, however, the point I was trying to make was that even sitting on a dead animal's skin gives the impression of himsa. doesn't it? Why would they sit on a dead animal's skin if the main message of hinduism is 'ahimsa' unless the meaning of ahimsa as we understand today is completely different than the sages understood it.

Not sure...

I think this position is not scriptural, probably folklore. Rishis sit on kuSAsana, which is a bed of kuSa grass. Even if they sit on deer skin it must have been from a dead deer.