Beef eating and Hindus – More

Previous discussions on the subject have been linked here.

Shri Mike K writes –

Most red meats, in particular beef and pork are Tamasic according to Ayurveda and not Rajasic as your article claims. White meats and fish are Rajasic.

To answer your question, yes beef eating will harm the Hindu cause. Looking at nations with high numbers of DAILY beef and pork eaters you will find an extremely low fertility rate among the population, a staggering amount of heart and cancer related diseases and a high number of drugs and alcohol addicts. Why you may ask? Since beef and pork create Tamasic minds, people develop depression related illnesses for which they try to escape by using drugs and alcohol. This harms the formation of families among young people resulting in population decline. Such countries are found regularly in Europe.

In contrast countries with many vegetarians, people who eat fish and white meats have high fertility and stronger mental health and community values. This is what we want for the Hindu cause, isn’t it?

I replied –

I conducted a quick check on Google and came up with three variables. Interestingly I learnt that Ayurveda also speaks of foods that suit each constitutional type – Dosha.

1. Beef amongst other meats is Rajasic in moderation. Link

2. Beef amongst other meats is Tamasic period. Link

3. Meats and other foods including beef that is not fresh is Tamasic. This is obvious

In so far as population is concerned do not the Chinese consume beef extensively? Even in the case of Hindusthan there is no evidence that I know of, that our beef eating population reproduces to a lesser extent than the others. (This just occured to me now! How could I forget? Muslims have the largest birth rates in Europe and Hindusthan. I think close to 100% of the Muslim population eats beef.)

I would be interested in knowing what you think about this.

14th Oct ’09

Shri Kedar writes – (I have inserted my comments where necessary)

1) Eating cows is “nishedah!”– forbidden in Sanaatana Dharma. If you are looking from a Sanaatana perspective, it REALLY IS forbidden. There is no escape clause or loophole. If you actually like beef, its your personal issue, but just dont say Sanaatana Dharma is OK with it. (Pala S – Is it not true that some things are nishedha to some people with respect to their spiritual states? If a particular spiritual practitioner is serious then he will abide by rules that are laid down; meaning he will not consume beef if it is forbidden and hinders his practice. There seems to be no case to forbid all Hindus)

2) Regarding ancients eating beef, there cannot be a gross over-simplification. When certain kinds of major Yajnas were performed, a sacrificial cow was killed and the cow’s Havis (gall bladder?) used to be offered as Purnaahuti to Indra, Agni, etc. That completely burnt meat was eaten as something that was returned by the Gods as Prasaadam. Each Vedic Deity likes certain kinds of Bulls and Cows of different colours and species. (Pala S – Yes, this is very clear in the Vedas)

Now please understand that these Yajnas were performed by mantra-drashtaas– people who actually saw (drashta) mantras through their inner eye. So you can imagine what sort of people they were–they were the ones who gave us the Vedas. And these Yajnas were performed with Chitta-Shuddhi (purity of thought), total concentration, with minds only upon the Deva of the Yajna, and most importantly only for the welfare of the whole universe– NOT Ishta-Kaamyaartha (for fulfilment of personal desires).

Hence, it is NOT equal to “eating beef”–not because there is not beef there(it IS beef, I agree), but because it’s not “eating” in our daily sense. (Pala S – I don’t feel comfortable with this reasoning. Net net, what is sacrificed is a Cow and what is eaten is its meat. One may well ask why not another animal and spare the Cow if the intent is not to think of its or any other meat etc. I hope your getting my point)

The priests were not looking for that smoky barbeque flavour… they were sacrificing their mother, the GOmAta, so that the whole universe can be benefitted. (Pala S – I should assume that the meat was sufficiently prepared. How does an exception get created because the cause is higher (?). If indeed this is so, then this only means that there are exceptions to nishedha against consuming beef?

At different times, even brahmins “tasted” beef (for the taste of it), and they were wrong. No exceptions. And now, if people eat beef in some part of the country, they are wrong as well. Simple. (Pala S – Why? Why is consuming beef wrong in itself? I have not been able to pin it down with a strong enough answer)

There cannot be any basis to condone this Mahaa-Paataka (great sin).

Palahalli S writes – I think what I’m asking for is a recognition of the fact that Sanatana Dharma allows for various stages of spiritual development. So long as Hindus abide by their Dharma in doing what is necessary to protect their family and society the rest is a quest they are free to pursue; and in the pursuit of which if it is required that they abstain from forbidden things (beef in this case), that would become their discipline.

Shri Kedar sportively writes back –

Yup! Got the message. Shall return with ‘Proof’.

16th Oct ’09

Shri Kedar wrote in a referenced response that I was unable to post on time because of the holiday and for which I apologize –

1) Below are two references that show cow-killing is not permitted. The best thing to do would be to go to someone who knows about Vedas (and knows Samskrtam!!) and confirm what I have typed here:

Ref-I:
RigVeda 1st Mandala, 164th sukta, 27th Rik:

HinkRnvatI vasupatnI vasUnAm vasamicchantI
manasAbhyAgAt |
duhAmaSvibhyAm payO aghnyEyam sA vardhatAm
mahatE soubhagAya ||

This verse is about Go, the cow. The word to look for is “aghnyEyam” which after sandhi-viccheda becomes “aghnyA + aghnyA “>iyam”. In english that is “she is aghnyA” or “she shall not be killed”.

Notes:
1) This alone should be enough because it comes out of asyAvAmIya sukta which contains the famous “ekam sat” and “dvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA” (two birds– one active, one inert– a reference to mind and atma). This can be considered as a generic sukta which has something from all other suktas of the rigveda.

2) Interestingly, the Griffith translation misses out on aghnyA. I am not sure what meaning was assigned to that word by him, but there you go– thats Western Indology for you! No wonder people are not able to find references against cow-killing in the vedas.

3) More importantly, when the first letter of the first line (Hin) and first letter of the second line(du) of this rik are joined, we get the name of ourselves– Hindu!
———————————-

Ref-II
Mandala-VIII, sukta 101, rik 15:

 class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>mAtA rudRNAm duhitA vasUnAm svasA AdityAnAm amRtasya nAbhih |
pra nu vOcham chikitushE janAya mA gAmanAgAditim vadhiShTa ||

This is another verse about the Cow:
The latter part of second line is: mA (dont)  class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>gAm (cow) anAgAm (innocent) aditim (aditi) vadhiShTa (let be killed).
So, that comes to be: Let not the Cow who is innocent, and who is Aditi Herself, be killed.
———————————–

I am interested in Rigveda and I happen to know people connected to it. Hence, Rigveda was my natural choice to search. And these are the ones my guruji came up with, off the top of his head, when I asked him suddenly.

But more references can be easily found in yajurveda, atharvaveda, upanishads, manusmRti, and other dharma-shaastraas. If this is a cause of contention and you do not believe there are any other references elsewhere, we can stop the discussion.

There may be an issue that these vedas are meant for spiritually inclined and not for the err… “spiritually un-inclined (declined?)”. In that case, I am afraid that the entire religious literature of Bhaarat is spiritually inclined, and we can stop the discussion.

2) As to

a) why Cow should not be killed, or

b) how did the Rishis offer and eat Havis if they didnt kill it,
we can discuss these ONLY AFTER you accept cow should not be killed, else we can stop the discussion.

Closing comments:

This really makes me feel like I am Manmohan Singh and you are Zardari–asking proof for things too obvious! Irony is that we people– you, me, and OT are all on the same side. But you think beef is fine, and OT thinks a consensual extra-marital affair is fine!

I just hope that tomorrow no one raises a question that since “there is no verse against killing one’s own mother in the vedas” and Parashurama killed his own mother Renuka Devi, does that mean killing one’s own mother is permitted? If you then talk about special circumstances or it happened only once while rishis ate beef in every yajna, etc, I can then say “I don’t feel comfortable with that reasoning. Net net, who killed was the son and who was killed was the mother, and what happened was in cold blood.”

I just hope that day doesnt come! But then, just like I am hoping today, somebody sometime ago would have already hoped against a day like today when someone would question “why is beef not permitted”. And against the hope, that day has indeed arrived. Who knows, in the days ahead, there may be a day when someone would indeed kill his own mother and still say stuff like “dharma is …protect… family… society”!

VenkaTaramaNaa.. Gonvindaa Goooovinda!

Palahalli S writes –  I will be able to respond later today.
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2 Responses

  1. Yup! Got the message. Shall return with ‘Proof’.

  2. 1) Below are two references that show cow-killing is not permitted. The best thing to do would be to go to someone who knows about vedas (and knows samskrtam!!) and comfirm what I have typed here:

    Ref-I:
    RigVeda 1st Mandala, 164th sukta, 27th Rik:

    HinkRnvatI vasupatnI vasUnAm vasamicchantI
    manasAbhyAgAt |
    duhAmaSvibhyAm payO aghnyEyam sA vardhatAm
    mahatE soubhagAya ||

    This verse is about Go, the cow. The word to look for is “aghnyEyam” which after sandhi-viccheda becomes “aghnyA + iyam”. In english that is “she is aghnyA” or “she shall not be killed”.

    Notes:
    1) This alone should be enough because it comes out of asyAvAmIya sukta which contains the famous “ekam sat” and “dvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA” (two birds– one active, one inert– a reference to mind and atma). This can be considered as a generic sukta which has something from all other suktas of the rigveda.

    2) Interestingly, the Griffith translation misses out on aghnyA. I am not sure what meaning was assigned to that word by him, but there you go– thats Western Indology for you! No wonder people are not able to find references against cow-killing in the vedas.

    3) More importantly, when the first letter of the first line (Hin) and first letter of the seond line(du) of this rik are joined, we get the name of ourselves– Hindu!
    ———————————-

    Ref-II
    Mandala-VIII, sukta 101, rik 15:

    mAtA rudRNAm duhitA vasUnAm svasA AdityAnAm amRtasya nAbhih |
    pra nu vOcham chikitushE janAya mA gAmanAgAditim vadhiShTa ||

    This is another verse about the Cow:
    The latter part of second line is: mA (dont) gAm (cow) anAgAm (innocent) aditim (aditi) vadhiShTa (let be killed).
    So, that comes to be: Let not the Cow who is innocent, and who is Aditi Herself, be killed.
    ———————————–

    I am interested in Rigveda and I happen to know people connected to it. Hence, Rigveda was my natural choice to search. And these are the ones my guruji came up with, off the top of his head, when I asked him suddenly.

    But more references can be easily found in yajurveda, atharvaveda, upanishads, manusmRti, and other dharma-shaastraas. If this is a cause of contention and you do not believe there are any other references elsewhere, we can stop the discussion.

    There may be an issue that these vedas are meant for spiritually inclined and not for the err… “spiritually un-inclined (declined?)”. In that case, I am afraid that the entire religious literature of Bhaarat is spiritually inclined, and we can stop the discussion.

    2) As to
    a) why Cow should not be killed, or
    b) how did the Rishis offer and eat Havis if they didnt kill it,
    we can discuss these ONLY AFTER you accept cow should not be killed, else we can stop the discussion.

    Closing comments:
    This really makes me feel like I am Manmohan Singh and you are Zardari–asking proof for things too obvious! Irony is that we people– you, me, and OT are all on the same side. But you think beef is fine, and OT thinks a consensual extra-marital affair is fine!

    I just hope that tomorrow no one raises a question that since “there is no verse against killing one’s own mother in the vedas” and Parashurama killed his own mother Renuka Devi, does that mean killing one’s own mother is permitted? If you then talk about special circumstances or it happened only once while rishis ate beef in every yajna, etc, I can then say “I don’t feel comfortable with that reasoning. Net net, who killed was the son and who was killed was the mother, and what happened was in cold blood.”

    I just hope that day doesnt come! But then, just like I am hoping today, somebody sometime ago would have already hoped against a day like today when someone would question “why is beef not permitted”. And against the hope, that day has indeed arrived. Who knows, in the days ahead, there may be a day when someone would indeed kill his own mother and still say stuff like “dharma is …protect… family… society”!

    VenkaTaramaNaa.. Gonvindaa Goooovinda!

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