Beef and the Hindus – Shri Kedar’s summation

I’d like to present, unmolested by my annoying asides, Shri Kedar’s passionate summation of his case as we approach the final stages of this debate

He writes –

About sushruta samhita, Bhandarkar says that it recommends beef for certain patients and pregnant women. Let us see if that is the case.

Here are the relevant verses:

sutra sthaanam, adhyaya 46, verse 89:
svaasa-kaasa pratishyaaya vishamajvara-naashanam |
shrama-atyaagni-hitam gavyam pavitram-anilaapaham ||

The translation that is found here  is correct:

“Beef is holy and refrigerant, proves curative in dyspnoea, catarrh, cough, chronic fever and in cases of a morbid craving for food (Atyagni), and destroys the deranged Vayu.

My observations:

1) Sushruta was not just a doctor, he was more importantly, a rishi.

2) This verse merely states the medicinal properties of the flesh of cow.

3) Also, there is no recommendation here. Just plain simple fact, in a long line of medicinal properties of other animals’ flesh. A hindu like me cannot imagine that vedic people who inspired people like Aurobindo were busy treating themselves with cats, dogs, mice, birds, etc. for common ailments.

4) At the beginning of every chapter, Sushruta states “athovaacha bhagavaan dhanvantarih”. Dhanvantari Himself dictated the entire text to him. Now whether it is taken to mean that Lord Dhanvantari himself wants us to eat beef, or that he has simply told the characteristics of the flesh of every single animal to sushruta to be used when necessary depends on the sabhyata (civility) of the reader.

sharira sthaanam, adhyaya 3, verse 25, line-ii:
gavaam maamse tu balinam sarvakleshsaham tathaa ||

This line translates to: “A pregnant woman who craves to eat the flesh of a cow shall have a son who is strong and capable of withstanding all difficulties”.

1) Again, this is an observation, in a list of what sort of craving on the part of a pregnant woman produces what sort of result.

2) This is not a recommendation as stated by bhandarkar.

3) One cannot give any logical reasoning why a pregnant woman would want to eat the flesh of a cow. This topic is extremely subjective and I would just bow down to Dhanvatari and sushruta and accept it as it is.

Conclusion:

My effort in this debate, though begun as an impulsive and emotional response, has later been thoroughly guided by the learned in the process. No amount of thanks would suffice in this regard. My head is at their feet for their help.

I realise that a lot more work needs to be done in this regard to rid the commonly circulated myths about Indic texts supporting beef consumption of the German “Aryan” and “Eurocentrist” malignant tumours. Most of the english translations have been done by people who had no idea about our past. These translations are being eagerly lapped up by India’s internet savvy citizens. The explanations of the learned are being viewed with suspicion and openly denied. Instead, people are preferring peer-reviewed books and articles, though they are reviewed by the same kind of people who translated them. There is a complete disconnect between the kind of people who wrote our texts, and the kind of people who peer-review the books. The assumption is that there are no direct descendants of the vedic seers currently. The learned are being denied their rightful status as the direct heirs of the vedic seers by our own people.

But I have indeed shown that with a little help from these few resplendent gems who still live in the vedic age unaffected by the advent and passing of jina, buddha, christ, and muhammad, we can go a long way in countering these myths with the light of reality. Another important aspect of why I took up this debate even in the light of overwhelming body of evidence stacked up since the past 25 years against me on the internet is that I would like any readers who stumble on this page to know what exactly do our ancient texts say in this regard, and to advise them to learn samskrtam so that they can lend their hand in this struggle to become ourselves again.

A word of grudging thanks:

A Ravana was needed for Rama to take birth on this earth;
A Kamsa was needed for Krishna to be born.
A Palahalli was required for me to know what Asvalayana Gruhya Sutra says.

I end with a shloka from Bhartruhari’s Neeti shatakam:

अज्ञः सुखामाराध्यः सुखतरमाराध्यते विशेषज्ञः |
ज्ञानलवदुर्विदाग्धम् ब्रह्मापि नरम् न रंजयति ||   

“It is easy to convince an ignorant person. It is even easier to convince a learned person. But a person with half knowledge cannot be convinced by even Brahma himself”

srirastu. subhamastu. kalyanamastu.

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