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Thread: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices

  1. #1

    Talking Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices


    I've been reading extracts from the vedas and I noticed it mentions animal, horse and human sacrifice in the texts. I just found that to be confusing as the concept of non-violence, respecting nature and that we are all essentially manifestations of Brahman or supreme soul - even Animals.

    How can animal sacrifice be in the vedas, which is an authoritative text, when it is essentially an adharmic action (as you're killing an animal)?

    I've also read that these animal sacrifices have been mis-translated from Sanskrit - does anyone know if this is true?

  2. #2
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    October 2012
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    Re: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices


    One should not jump into conclusion based on the knowledge gained by reading extracts. I am of the opinion, it is a useless exercise to understand Veda(s) without the basic knowledge of Sanskrit.

  3. #3

    Re: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices

    Namaste Shahvikram,

    Please try to read this to get the feel for how the texts are expressing experiences

    We are not concerned with the further details of the pravargya rite, but what has been stated is necessary and sufficient to enable us to understand the significance of the ritual act of which the knowledge of madhu is an important limb. Light is thrown on the symbolic character by the suggestive names of the substance that is cooked, of what is poured into it and the vessel in which the preparation takes place.
    In the system of Vedic symbolism, gharma is brilliant heat, it is a kindred of ghrta and ghrni, all of the same family meaning " to shine, to burn", payas is milk, luminous yield of the Cow of Light, mahavira, the earthen vessel, is the human body of great heroic mettle. Now the sacrificer, the human soul, after his consecration for the performance of the Soma sacrifice which is the offering of all one's experiences and the delight of existence to the Gods ( Devas) , the Universal Powers of the Supreme Godhead, starts with an act by which the nourishing rays of Light, the yield of the luminous Cow, enter into the vessel of human body of heroic strength for the sustenance and completion of the sustenance that is cooked.
    It is the brilliant heat of tapas held in the human vessel that is trained, kept under control and so purified and disciplined by the rigours of tapasya, mahavirya-samskara, that it can hold the healthy and brilliant heart of the substances of being to be offered to the Gods. To make the process of preparation pleasant and intelligible, more and more of the soothing luminous rays of knowledge enter the course of the sadhana at work in the body.
    This is still an introductory stage, when the human souls with disciplined life and mind prepares for the ultimate goal, needs the help of the higher powers, and has consecrated itself for offering it's all to the Gods. This indeed requires a heroic strength, for the soul giving of itself is not a mental offering done in a metaphysical manner, it is a felt abandoning of itself, its strength and knowledge and material lodgement to the care and joy of the Gods.
    For such a consummation aimed at, the soul whose embodiment is feeble is not competent to aspire and receive what it gets in response, for it will break, cannot hold the gifts of the Gods in their turn. For, as it is stated in a different connection by the seer Pavitra, "He taste not that Delight who is unripe and whose body has not suffered in the heat of the fire, they alone are able to bear that and enjoy who has been prepared by the flame."

    Symbolism of the words in pravargya~~excerpt from Lights on Upanishads

    The texts are not dealing with gross physical matter, gross physical phenomena is not the focus, and doesn't have that much importance as far as I can see. There is something bigger and more subtle and profound going on.

  4. #4
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    Re: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices


    Though this post is not a reply to OP, making a request to senior members through this thread.

    1. What is the right way to learn Veda?
    2. What are the preliminary steps before learning Veda (like for example, we should know language and its grammar before reading a book)?
    3. Is there a good reliable (free from vested interests) translations of four veda(s) like we have Srimad Bhagavad Gita. I gathered from google that Sri Dayananda Saraswathi did a commendable job. How ever, I find Arya Samaj not very intellectually attractive.

    I am still learning and re learning Srimad Bhagavad Gita, how ever would like to know

  5. #5
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    September 2006
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    Re: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices

    hariḥ om̐


    Many times people read the veda and look to its literal meaning. This ( many times) causes confusion between the word, intent, and the subtle meaning of what is being offered.
    The veda works within parokṣa, saṃketa and śailī to give us a deeper sense of the truth. What are these words ?

    Please consider this post/string for a continuation on this matter:

    Language cuts forms in Reality1 - ṛg veda 1.164.41

    iti śivaṁ

    1. gaurīrmimāya salilāni takṣatyekapadī davipadī sā catuṣpadī |
    aṣṭāpadī navapadī babhūvuṣī sahasrākṣarā parame vayomana ||1.164.41
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva


  6. #6

    Re: Meat eating and Animal Sacrifices

    Namaste - This is just my opinion.

    The veda's are interpreted by philosophers and experts differently. We have to use out mind and hearts to understand it and possibly have some guidance. If we believe that everything has a soul, then are we not committing violence on plants? Yeast can be seen under a microscope as living bacteria, but we are willing to bake them live.

    In terms of the Veda's If we look at Krishna's teachings in the Bhagawad Gita we I find an answer that suits me. I fell that he is telling is to sacrifice animal tendencies that are base tendencies, i.e. anger and lust. When we look at the life of great saints such as Ramkrishna Paramhamsa or Srila Prabhupad, they each that lust and anger is a lower desire.

    Therefore in this day and age, it is good to internalize the teaching and sacrifice animal tendencies and adopt higher desires and aspirations.

    In terms non-violence (Ahmisa), well this subject is big. What is not killing? in terms of respecting nature, surely it is just to cap the desires so that you harm the least. In terms of Animal Sacrifice has been misinterpreted, i beleive Sathya Sai Baba has written about the misinterpretations. However I have never considered hindu text to be authoritative but advice. Krishna gives advice not instruction. This is a loving bond between you and god as well as a path of discovery.

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