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Thread: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

  1. #11

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Namaste dear friends,here is an interesting read on how to "slay" a victim at the sacrifice.

    Turn the animal's feet northwards. Make its eyes go to the Sun, dismiss its breath to the wind, its life to the air, its hearing to the directions, its body to the earth. In this way he(Hotr) connects it with these world. Take of the entire skin without cutting it. Before opening the navel tear out the omentum. Stop its breathing within (by stopping its mouth). Thus the Hotr puts breath in the animals. Make of its breast a piece like an eagle, of its arms (two pieces like) two hatchets, of its forearms (two pieces like) two spikes, of its shoulders (two pieces like) two kashyapas (tortoises), its loins should be unbroken (entire); make of its thighs (two pieces like) two shields, of the two kneepans (two pieces like) two oleander leaves; take out its twenty-six ribs according to their order; preserve every limb of its in its integrity. Thus he benefits all its limbs. Dig a ditch in the earth to hide its excrements.
    Link: http://books.google.co.in/books?id=K...tareya&f=false

    Now,how the heck would one take off the entire skin of the animal without cutting it?. How can we make breasts(the softest part) in shape of an eagle? How do we make the shoulders like tortoises?

    I'm starting to think that the Vedic sacrifices were purely symbolical.
    "Only one is the fire,which is inflamed in numerous ways.Only one is the sun, which pervades the whole universe.Only one is the dawn,which illuminates all things. Similarly,all that exists is The One and it has manifested into everything here.”

    ~ Rg Veda 8.58.2

  2. #12

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryavartian View Post
    Now,from the sources that i am aware of,there are five kind of pashus which are mainly used in Yajnas viz man,bull,horse,ram and he-goat....could these five pashus symbolize something esoteric?I have also read that vapa or omentum offering is important in pashubandha,could this also be symbolical?

    I have came across certain enigmatic passages in Satapatha,Taittiriya,Aitareya and Panchavimsha Brahmanas,which states that the offering of cakes made up of grains(purodasha) is equal to the animal offering.
    My limited personal opinion:

    Personally I think it is very likely that the ancient sacrificed real animals and that they did not see anything wrong with it. I think modern man has a rather distorted understanding of the ideas that ancient man had. Mythology was written in poems, the language of symbolism. Then philosophy came up written in prose and it changed everything. Everything symbolic became literal, Through reading prose we have become literalist, we take things literal. Then the understanding of things becomes limited in non-contradictory terms we call logic. Thus we say: ahimsa means not hurting any being, so certainly not killing any animal by the people we hold high as the wise.

    I think our minds then become less sensitive. Modern man can no longer deal with ambiguity. Simplification through logic leads inevitably to contradiction when dealing with old texts. Modern man thinks contradictions mean that something is wrong. That is because we no longer live in Nature, but in self-created mindscapes (Mental landscapes). We created whole new languages like mathematics that no longer allow contradictions. We superimpose this rigid thinking on reality. The Gita actually is a monument, the pinnacle of precise, logical thinking. A philosophical world wonder. But it can not reflect the subtlety of Nature. It is not the Rig Veda. It is an abstraction of the the Vedas. It is made to be perfect, but it is limited by its logic, and blinds us.

    That is why we no longer see that Reality is full of subtle contradictions, ambiguity, nuances that challenge our literal thinking. In our rigid logical thinking we believe that if something (like non-violence) is beneficiary, it is even better if we take it to the extreme. That is why we have literalists putting a large amount of effort in not using anything of dead animals no matter how small. In this mindset it even becomes unthinkable that the wisest of the wise would have done something so evil as killing animals.

    But that is a projection of modern thinking on ancient customs. To begin with I am sure that the ancient would disagree that animal sacrifice was harmful to the animal. They would content that this was the best that could happen to any animal for many reasons. First of all we have a rather naive picture of nature. Nature can be very brutal to animals, and animals rarely die of old age. So if a sacrificial animal was well fed and taken care off before he was ultimately killed that would be a blessing to the animal. Secondly, an animal sacrificed to the Gods would be the best fate that any animal could wish for. It would bring him immediately to a higher plane. This is the opposite of harming an animal. Thirdly, special care was taken not anger the spirit of the animal. Rituals and prayers were done for that, for they were very concerned that an angry spirit would take revenge on them. Even today in Africa there are still tribes who do animal sacrifices in this way.

    Did you notice something about man, bull, horse, ram and he-goat. They did not sacrifice arbitrary animals, but the ones they depended on, and they sacrifices the males, not the females. The principle behind sacrice is that Gods are basically multipliers. What we give them they return in abundance, ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times. So to get a good harvest, you preserve grain from last harvest and sacrifice it to the Gods. To get enough rain you sacrifice water, to get enough milk, you pour milk. To get more animals you sacrifice animals. Soma offered to the Gods multiplies happiness.
    Why males? Because it is the Dharm of males to be sacrificed. It is their Dharm to protect the lives of their wifes and children. Why are wars fought between men? Because men are expendable. Children need the mother more than the father. A whole generation of men can be slaughtered in a war, but after one generation people are back on their original numbers as their children grow up. For warriors war was also a ritual sacrifice. A way for men to reach the highest goals, as even Krishna points out to Arjuna. With animals too, you only need a few male animals for reproduction. They do not have the value of the female animals that give milk and nurture the young ones. That is why male animals were sacrificed in all cultures and often slaughtered as calves.

    A sacrifice is always symbolic as what we sacrifice is a token for what we want to receive. As man discovered the power of symbols, especially words, the sacrifices changed. The right word sounds, especially names, have the power to evoke things. You could say prayers instead, so mantras are sacrifices too. But the original direct way was to sacrifice what you wanted given. This can be done by throwing things at the Gods. that is why people still throw water and rice on occasions. The fire was a very powerful way to send gifts to the Gods, the fire being a mediator God itself.

    I personally reject the idea that ritual animal sacrifice is against ahimsa because literalists create a simplistic notion of it. This idea that the ancient people were all peaceful forest dwellers that did not kill animals and pacified them with their tranquil minds is beautiful but not very realistic. Such great men exist but they are exceptions. Most sacrifices were simply done to secure that people had enough to eat. And the rule is simple, give part of your food to feed the Gods and they multiply it in return. This is simply how nature works, sow leftover grain in mother Earth and you are rewarded with abundance of grain. This goes for karma too: one small deed can have an avalanche of effects.

    As I see it, the ancients were not religious fundamentalists that had sworn to veganism, they were practical people seeking harmony with nature. Why? because that is the best way to create a good life and to survive. They understood that Nature like our body is a system whose balance one must not disturb. No killing for pleasure, lust or greed. No indiscriminate killing. Animal predators in Nature obey to these rules, they kill but seldom for pleasure. Thus they service the animals they prey on by keeping the population healthy and prevent starvation by overpopulation that hits all.

    Seeking ahimsa is a byproduct of seeking harmony, as much as the other way round. Brahman is in all, also means that everything in nature serves each other. Nothing lives for his own sake. Yes animals too serve each other as food. That is seva too. Nowadays we live with the idea that everything has to live until it dies from the misfortunes of old age, but nature is not based on that. More important than dying of old age is leading a life that fulfills its purpose, its Dharma. If death itself can fulfill a purpose too, that is a beautiful thing. That is the idea that also makes us worship hero's that give their life for the benefit of others.

    In my country they try to recreate wild life. But due to a lack of natural predators there is often overpopulation of animals like deer and horses that leads to large scale starvation in winter, which is an enduring awful suffering for all the animals. But people reject shooting a few animals for reasons of ahimsa. But without predators, human or animal, there is no balance in nature, and without balance there is no harmony either. Idealizing philosophical ideas that neglect or reject Nature only lead to more suffering.

    I think it is great that developed minds stops eating meat not wanting to hurt, but as a rigid principle it would have averse effects. If in my country people would stop eating meat, then most animals would simply become superfluous and be killed. We would genocide them, problem solved, no more animals, so no more animal killing and suffering. And if the end of all suffering of man is the goal, than killing the human race would be the logical solution. That is why Abramists believe God will come to destroy the world, the final solution. That is where this limited logical philosophical thinking leads to. It also leads to people taking on suffering freely in life to escape suffering in next lives. It leads to all kind of life-denying conclusions, rejecting joy of life.

    That is not what I read in the Vedas. In the Vedas I witness people that cherish life, people that use sacrifices as way to lead harmonious lives in accordance with Nature. The Vedas do not state like the Bible that the rest of Nature is giving to man for his wants. It teaches true respect of Nature. But everything is sacrifice to each other, everything serves each other. There is constant transformation. In the end every being is eaten, if not by the big animals then by fungus and micro-organisms.

    Renunciates of the world strive for not using any particle of killed animals. They strife for perfection. They believe in a perfect God. To be perfect like their God they see as a way to reunite with him. They think contributing to animal suffering in any way is ungodlike.

    I am a polytheist. I reason, if such perfect God would exist that created this world, he could have done a better job. It would not need saving, nor would it be filled with suffering to be saved from. Yes monotheist have many explanations, like: we self-inflicted it, sufferings helps us in understanding God, etc. Okay than suffering has the same benefit to animals, it will help them become humans. If not so, why does God hurt these poor beings so much? It is so easy to create all kinds explanations that it easily leads to life rejecting thinking and behavior. That is why Dharma based on Laws of Nature is superior to book morale. Nature neither forbids nor imposes but challenges us seek the right actions according to the circumstances, thus we seek harmony and happiness finds us in return. Nature celebrates life, that is why it is so abundant, but at the same time it renews itself through birth and death. Being part of this is not evil like monotheist think. It is the expression of Brahman.
    Last edited by Avyaydya; 12 January 2014 at 11:18 PM.

  3. #13

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Avyaydya View Post
    My limited personal opinion:

    Personally I think it is very likely that the ancient sacrificed real animals and that they did not see anything wrong with it. I think modern man has a rather distorted understanding of the ideas that ancient man had. Mythology was written in poems, the language of symbolism. Then philosophy came up written in prose and it changed everything. Everything symbolic became literal, Through reading prose we have become literalist, we take things literal. Then the understanding of things becomes limited in non-contradictory terms we call logic. Thus we say: ahimsa means not hurting any being, so certainly not killing any animal by the people we hold high as the wise.

    I think our minds then become less sensitive. Modern man can no longer deal with ambiguity. Simplification through logic leads inevitably to contradiction when dealing with old texts. Modern man thinks contradictions mean that something is wrong. That is because we no longer live in Nature, but in self-created mindscapes (Mental landscapes). We created whole new languages like mathematics that no longer allow contradictions. We superimpose this rigid thinking on reality. The Gita actually is a monument, the pinnacle of precise, logical thinking. A philosophical world wonder. But it can not reflect the subtlety of Nature. It is not the Rig Veda. It is an abstraction of the the Vedas. It is made to be perfect, but it is limited by its logic, and blinds us.

    That is why we no longer see that Reality is full of subtle contradictions, ambiguity, nuances that challenge our literal thinking. In our rigid logical thinking we believe that if something (like non-violence) is beneficiary, it is even better if we take it to the extreme. That is why we have literalists putting a large amount of effort in not using anything of dead animals no matter how small. In this mindset it even becomes unthinkable that the wisest of the wise would have done something so evil as killing animals.

    But that is a projection of modern thinking on ancient customs. To begin with I am sure that the ancient would disagree that animal sacrifice was harmful to the animal. They would content that this was the best that could happen to any animal for many reasons. First of all we have a rather naive picture of nature. Nature can be very brutal to animals, and animals rarely die of old age. So if a sacrificial animal was well fed and taken care off before he was ultimately killed that would be a blessing to the animal. Secondly, an animal sacrificed to the Gods would be the best fate that any animal could wish for. It would bring him immediately to a higher plane. This is the opposite of harming an animal. Thirdly, special care was taken not anger the spirit of the animal. Rituals and prayers were done for that, for they were very concerned that an angry spirit would take revenge on them. Even today in Africa there are still tribes who do animal sacrifices in this way.

    Did you notice something about man, bull, horse, ram and he-goat. They did not sacrifice arbitrary animals, but the ones they depended on, and they sacrifices the males, not the females. The principle behind sacrice is that Gods are basically multipliers. What we give them they return in abundance, ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times. So to get a good harvest, you preserve grain from last harvest and sacrifice it to the Gods. To get enough rain you sacrifice water, to get enough milk, you pour milk. To get more animals you sacrifice animals. Soma offered to the Gods multiplies happiness.
    Why males? Because it is the Dharm of males to be sacrificed. It is their Dharm to protect the lives of their wifes and children. Why are wars fought between men? Because men are expendable. Children need the mother more than the father. A whole generation of men can be slaughtered in a war, but after one generation people are back on their original numbers as their children grow up. For warriors war was also a ritual sacrifice. A way for men to reach the highest goals, as even Krishna points out to Arjuna. With animals too, you only need a few male animals for reproduction. They do not have the value of the female animals that give milk and nurture the young ones. That is why male animals were sacrificed in all cultures and often slaughtered as calves.

    A sacrifice is always symbolic as what we sacrifice is a token for what we want to receive. As man discovered the power of symbols, especially words, the sacrifices changed. The right word sounds, especially names, have the power to evoke things. You could say prayers instead, so mantras are sacrifices too. But the original direct way was to sacrifice what you wanted given. This can be done by throwing things at the Gods. that is why people still throw water and rice on occasions. The fire was a very powerful way to send gifts to the Gods, the fire being a mediator God itself.

    I personally reject the idea that ritual animal sacrifice is against ahimsa because literalists create a simplistic notion of it. This idea that the ancient people were all peaceful forest dwellers that did not kill animals and pacified them with their tranquil minds is beautiful but not very realistic. Such great men exist but they are exceptions. Most sacrifices were simply done to secure that people had enough to eat. And the rule is simple, give part of your food to feed the Gods and they multiply it in return. This is simply how nature works, sow leftover grain in mother Earth and you are rewarded with abundance of grain. This goes for karma too: one small deed can have an avalanche of effects.

    As I see it, the ancients were not religious fundamentalists that had sworn to veganism, they were practical people seeking harmony with nature. Why? because that is the best way to create a good life and to survive. They understood that Nature like our body is a system whose balance one must not disturb. No killing for pleasure, lust or greed. No indiscriminate killing. Animal predators in Nature obey to these rules, they kill but seldom for pleasure. Thus they service the animals they prey on by keeping the population healthy and prevent starvation by overpopulation that hits all.

    Seeking ahimsa is a byproduct of seeking harmony, as much as the other way round. Brahman is in all, also means that everything in nature serves each other. Nothing lives for his own sake. Yes animals too serve each other as food. That is seva too. Nowadays we live with the idea that everything has to live until it dies from the misfortunes of old age, but nature is not based on that. More important than dying of old age is leading a life that fulfills its purpose, its Dharma. If death itself can fulfill a purpose too, that is a beautiful thing. That is the idea that also makes us worship hero's that give their life for the benefit of others.

    In my country they try to recreate wild life. But due to a lack of natural predators there is often overpopulation of animals like deer and horses that leads to large scale starvation in winter, which is an enduring awful suffering for all the animals. But people reject shooting a few animals for reasons of ahimsa. But without predators, human or animal, there is no balance in nature, and without balance there is no harmony either. Idealizing philosophical ideas that neglect or reject Nature only lead to more suffering.

    I think it is great that developed minds stops eating meat not wanting to hurt, but as a rigid principle it would have averse effects. If in my country people would stop eating meat, then most animals would simply become superfluous and be killed. We would genocide them, problem solved, no more animals, so no more animal killing and suffering. And if the end of all suffering of man is the goal, than killing the human race would be the logical solution. That is why Abramists believe God will come to destroy the world, the final solution. That is where this limited logical philosophical thinking leads to. It also leads to people taking on suffering freely in life to escape suffering in next lives. It leads to all kind of life-denying conclusions, rejecting joy of life.

    That is not what I read in the Vedas. In the Vedas I witness people that cherish life, people that use sacrifices as way to lead harmonious lives in accordance with Nature. The Vedas do not state like the Bible that the rest of Nature is giving to man for his wants. It teaches true respect of Nature. But everything is sacrifice to each other, everything serves each other. There is constant transformation. In the end every being is eaten, if not by the big animals then by fungus and micro-organisms.

    Renunciates of the world strive for not using any particle of killed animals. They strife for perfection. They believe in a perfect God. To be perfect like their God they see as a way to reunite with him. They think contributing to animal suffering in any way is ungodlike.

    I am a polytheist. I reason, if such perfect God would exist that created this world, he could have done a better job. It would not need saving, nor would it be filled with suffering to be saved from. Yes monotheist have many explanations, like: we self-inflicted it, sufferings helps us in understanding God, etc. Okay than suffering has the same benefit to animals, it will help them become humans. If not so, why does God hurt these poor beings so much? It is so easy to create all kinds explanations that it easily leads to life rejecting thinking and behavior. That is why Dharma based on Laws of Nature is superior to book morale. Nature neither forbids nor imposes but challenges us seek the right actions according to the circumstances, thus we seek harmony and happiness finds us in return. Nature celebrates life, that is why it is so abundant, but at the same time it renews itself through birth and death. Being part of this is not evil like monotheist think. It is the expression of Brahman.
    Namaste Avyaydya,interesting input,however it is to be noted that female animals were also sacrificed in rituals.For eg cows were sacrificed for paying homage to the deceased.I somewhere read that ancients sacrificed cows because they thought the cows would accompany the deceased on the way to heaven.

    However,for the sacrificial rituals i.e Yajna,i think only male animals were used.
    "Only one is the fire,which is inflamed in numerous ways.Only one is the sun, which pervades the whole universe.Only one is the dawn,which illuminates all things. Similarly,all that exists is The One and it has manifested into everything here.”

    ~ Rg Veda 8.58.2

  4. #14
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    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryavartian View Post
    Namaste Avyaydya,interesting input,however it is to be noted that female animals were also sacrificed in rituals.For eg cows were sacrificed for paying homage to the deceased.I somewhere read that ancients sacrificed cows because they thought the cows would accompany the deceased on the way to heaven.

    However,for the sacrificial rituals i.e Yajna,i think only male animals were used.
    Namaste,

    Were the cows milk-giving cows or old cows?

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  5. #15

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality Amrut View Post
    Namaste,

    Were the cows milk-giving cows or old cows?

    Hari OM

    Namaste Amrut,

    In Satapatha Brahmana,it is anustarani cow or a barren,aged cow which is sacrificed.

    But in Grhya sutras,it doesn't specify which cow is sacrificed.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30032.htm

    However like i said in earlier post,these sacrifices may be purely symbolical.Brahmana texts says the sacrificial animal should abandoned by its father,mother,siblings etc....now how the heck is that possible?


    EDIT: Here is the link to the sacrifice of cow to the fathers:http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30087.htm
    Last edited by Aryavartian; 13 January 2014 at 08:06 AM.
    "Only one is the fire,which is inflamed in numerous ways.Only one is the sun, which pervades the whole universe.Only one is the dawn,which illuminates all things. Similarly,all that exists is The One and it has manifested into everything here.”

    ~ Rg Veda 8.58.2

  6. #16

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryavartian View Post
    Namaste Amrut,

    In Satapatha Brahmana,it is anustarani cow or a barren,aged cow which is sacrificed.

    But in Grhya sutras,it doesn't specify which cow is sacrificed.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30032.htm

    However like i said in earlier post,these sacrifices may be purely symbolical.Brahmana texts says the sacrificial animal should abandoned by its father,mother,siblings etc....now how the heck is that possible?


    EDIT: Here is the link to the sacrifice of cow to the fathers:http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30087.htm
    Namaste Aryavarti

    RgVedic words tell us all..there is no contradiction between its language and its themes (golden rule, I'd say).

    So aśva (a+śva, "who doesn't get to live"), and hari (hara, "taken away"), that is, the horse, is taken and understood to be the sacrificial animal, symbolically and literally. AsviniKumar is the presiding god of the central theme, Yagya or sacrifice, of the RV.

    Cow, is not. Neither is any kind of pasu-dhana (cattle).

    In the various Sutra-s we have to make necessary distinction from the Veda. For example, in Grihya-sutra (ritual book for conducting domestic Yagya), the post-Vedic mentality could run as thus:
    "Let us provide our forefathers with the pasu-dhana by sacrificing it to them".

    Whereas, in Veda, "cows" are something to be gained, not to be lost.

    With the coming of Kaliyuga, Vedic consciousness was lost upon the people, and many desperate seekers (call them the lefties, or naxals) fell into the trap of annihilation, even if just to have a peep on what lies there beyond the visible, beyond the mundane, and beyond the ego.

    Even then, I prefer to see the Left (of Hinduism) as a child of the Vedic age, as much as the Right of Hinduism which though mistakingly called the "mainstream" seems to have over stressed on the ahimsa part and in all reality on the ground has given way to the Left.

    KT
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

  7. #17

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aryavartian View Post
    Namaste Amrut,

    In Satapatha Brahmana,it is anustarani cow or a barren,aged cow which is sacrificed.

    But in Grhya sutras,it doesn't specify which cow is sacrificed.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30032.htm

    However like i said in earlier post,these sacrifices may be purely symbolical.Brahmana texts says the sacrificial animal should abandoned by its father,mother,siblings etc....now how the heck is that possible?


    EDIT: Here is the link to the sacrifice of cow to the fathers:http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe30/sbe30087.htm
    Namaste Aryavartian,

    To me, it does not appear the description of the sacrifices is symbolic. These are precise instructions like one finds in a cook book.

    What is symbolic is how the it is done. For instance
    • He sprinkles (the cow with water)
    • they kill it to the west of the fire, its head being turned to the west, its feet to the south.
    • he sprinkles water round (the fire) from right to left
    Those things have symbolic meaning. But the sacrifice itself serves a practical purpose, we can also read:
    • The other parts (S�tra 5) he should offer to the Br�hmanas and should feed them
    • May you live on that milk, O Fathers, all together.
    Some of the symbolism is explained in the other text:
    26. The head of which is turned to the east, the feet to the north, if the rite is sacred to the gods,
    27. The head to the south, the feet to the west, if the rite is sacred to the Manes.
    West (Sunset) is generally associated with death. East (Sunrise) is generally associated with the Gods. That is symbolism.

    Also these sacrifices were central in all nature religions, and only later abandoned. For instance in Judaism something like 90% of the commandments are related to sacrificing animals and preparing the food. That is only logical as birth and death connect us to the spirit world.

    I think, today we are focused on the death of the animal because we have become terrified of death ourselves. We live more in the I and the ego can not comprehend its own end. But in the past people accepted death much more as a passing on. They were more concerned about what was next, than to delay death. For instance the Germanics were scared to die in bed, they wanted to die on the battlefield so they could go to the heaven of warriors, Valhalla. But these same people sat very peacefully around their holy oaks to worship everything in Nature.

    In later religion the warrior caste became a professional army, soldiers for hire, who no longer fought for their own people. These people were not seeking honorable death but survival. They no longer have a warrior code but want to win by any means possible. That depreciated death from something that could also be glorious if done in the prescribed way. This life preservation led to the perversion we see today, in which the US wages wars in which it kills millions but almost without any casualties on her side (They are pro-life). Or we use drones to kill people with remote controls. Now war has become a mindless butchering.

    As I see it: The great evil of this age is not that we kill animals, but that we do it mindlessly. We have degraded them to a raw material in an industry. We no longer see animals, we see meat. We no longer see trees, we see wood. We no longer see people, we see labor. We took the spirit out of Nature. Brahman within became God above. A God only understood by man, a projection of his ego on the universe. In my country the industrial farming is often in the hands of very bible believing monotheists. This God, this universal I, has little compassion with lower creatures, unbelievers or animals. They do not go to heaven.
    Last edited by Avyaydya; 13 January 2014 at 11:50 AM.

  8. #18
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    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Thank you Aryavartian,

    Quote Originally Posted by Avyaydya View Post

    Some of the symbolism is explained in the other text:
    West (Sunset) is generally associated with death. East (Sunrise) is generally associated with the Gods. That is symbolism.
    Namaste Avyaydya,

    I think It is south that is associated with death. North is highly spiritual. When we do rituals related to deva-s, we wear sacred thread on left side and sit facing east.

    So, sitting facing east means on left side there is north and on right side there is south. Our back faces west.

    When performing rituals related to pitr-s (our ancestors), we switch sacred thread to right side so that it points to south. After the ritual is over we switch back thread on left shoulder. Kanchi Paramacharya says that when we do not any ritual, sacred thread has to be wore like a garland, but today nobody is following this custom. We keep our sacred thread on left shoulder even when we are not doing anything and switch to right shoulder only when performing rites and rituals related to ancestors.

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  9. #19
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    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    ... and even if there is symbolic meaning, it does not mean that literal meaning has to be discarded. It is journey from extrovert to introvert. Even in tantra, same pattern is followed. In this beginning, there are external rituals. Later there is a mixture of both internal and external (misra - mixed) and then later on it is entirely introvert. Deity, objects to be offered like flower (sometimes it is chakra-s) are all imagined within us, inside mind.

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

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  10. #20

    Re: Why Is Shrī Agni Called "Agni Vaishvānara"?

    Namaste Avyaydya,

    Quote Originally Posted by Avyaydya View Post
    Namaste Aryavartian,

    To me it does not appear the description of the sacrifices is symbolic. These are precise instructions like one finds in a cook book.
    By symbolic,i meant pratima(substitute figure) of the victim made of of grains would be used instead of actual animal.You can see the verses of Satapatha Brahmana from 1.2.3.5-8 which explains the use of grain cakes instead of actual animals.

    The pratima purodasha or grain cake looks like this(shown in the OP):




    When it is roasted/baked,it will become hard,much like a terracotta figure.We can then deal it with as if we are dealing with an actual animal.

    Many other Brahmanas like Taittiriya,Aitareya,Panchavimsha etc also makes mention of this "cake animal".

    Anyway,i am not denying actual animal sacrifices,just showing a possibility
    "Only one is the fire,which is inflamed in numerous ways.Only one is the sun, which pervades the whole universe.Only one is the dawn,which illuminates all things. Similarly,all that exists is The One and it has manifested into everything here.”

    ~ Rg Veda 8.58.2

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