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Vegetarian Discussion
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->also pls clarify - did swamiji eat meat during his sadhana phase, siddha phase, or as Narendra before entering the hertitage of guru, or throughout?
I'm not sure of his status when he ate meat and will accept your word.

As for the teachings of Swami versus habits/actions of Swami, you'll note that from Swamji's teaching that he was pretty practical about those who ate meat or not. And he didn't hold any strong reservations about those who ate meat. In fact, it was quite contrary to the widely held belief.

This is from '<b>Teachings of Swami Vivekananda</b>' published by Advaita Ashrama in Kolkotta (my personal copy - will mail you the same if you need it). It's from chapter 13 titled 'Food' (page 68 onwards): (added later: Book available online
(I can't scan the pages due to the size of book - am typing here from the hard copy)
Swami Vivekananda says:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->So long as man shall live a Rajasika (active) life under circumstances like the present, there is no other way except through meat-eating. It is true that the Emperor Asoka saved the lives of millions of animals by the threat sword, but, is not the slavery of the thousand years more dreadful than that? Taking the life of a few goats against the inability to protect the honour of one’s wife and daughter, and to save the morsels fro one’s children from robbing hands – which of these is more sinful?
Rather let those belonging to the upper ten, who do not earn their livelihood by manual labour, not take meat; but the forcing of vegetarianism upon those who have to earn their bread by labouring day and night, is one of the causes of the loss of our national freedom. (IV. 486-87)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->More than 90% of those whom you now take to be men of Sattva quality are only steeped in the deepest Tamas. Enough if you find 1/16th of them to be realy Sattvika? What we want now is an immense awakening of Rajasika energy, for the whole country is wrapped in the shroud of Tamas. The people of this land must be fed and clothed – must be awakened – must be made fully active. Otherwise they will become inert, as inert as trees and stones. So, I say, eat large quantities of fish and meat, my boy! (V. 402-03.)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To eat meat is surely barbarous and vegetable food is certainly purer – who can deny that? For him surely is a strict vegetarian diet, whose one end is to lead solely a spiritual life. But he who has to steer the boat of his life with strenuous labour through the constant life-and-death stuggles and competition of this world, must of necessity take meat. So long as there will be in human society such a thing as the triumph of the strong over the weak, animal food is required, or some other suitable substitute for it has to bed discovered; otherwise, the weak will naturally be crushed under the feet of the strong.

Please note that my earlier post was in response to some calling another a non-Hindu because he ate meat. Now these are kind of bogus metrics we could do without. It's not a matter of who likes to eat what or what's good for health or what's advocated by which guru. Our society is plagued with enough divisions we don't need one more. Calling a someone a non-Hindu solely based on the persons dietary preferences is akin to some of secular friends who try to establish their credentials based on their beef-eating choice.
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 4 2007, 01:59 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 4 2007, 01:59 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->On another note - Laloo Prasad was on ZeeTV couple days ago as a judge for Sa Re Ga Maa music talent show. Said one night (around 4:00 am) Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and told him to give up <i>'maas-machi</i>' (meat and fish). [right][snapback]72770[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Oh please. His wife thought she could save some more of the household cash which she felt was being wasted on feeding the insatiable Kumbakarnan and so she tried to brainwash him into becoming vegetarian while he was napping. I congratulate her on her success - it has obviously worked, even if the plan was neither original nor particularly ingenious. She probably has enough saved now to buy 2 extra sarees a month. (Or whatever the price of a top-of-the-line saree is these days.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->couldn't Shivji have advised him on something that matters?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->That's if I were to believe him capable of seeing Shiva in this lifetime of his. Lots of people have, but they're good people, nothing like Laloo, which is why they see Shiva and other Gods. Laloo can too one day - some lifetimes from now when he's evolved into being a better individual.

An alternative explanation to the one in the first para is that Laloo just has some health problems and decided that vegetarianism might keep the cholesterol down or reduce the circumference of any expanding waist or something. But in order to inject some style into the explanation for his new lifestyle choice, he thought he'd declare it to be due to a 'vision'; he found it lacking in flashiness to say it was merely for health reasons. Hence the 'Shiva himself came to tell me to turn vegetarian' instead of the unremarkable and lacklustre 'My arteries are clogged with cholesterol and I don't like my new shape; thought vegetarianism might get me get back to a size <?>'.

Nah, I was convinced by reason #1: his wife wanted the extra pocket change.
Everything I say below is my <i>opinion</i> only.

<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Sep 3 2007, 08:06 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Sep 3 2007, 08:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->So, a question to all the Hindu vegetarians here. What is <b>your view of Hindus that eat meat (excluding beef)</b>, but are still staunch hindus, because I've been called non-hindu by these militant veggie fascists since I'm a meat eater.[right][snapback]72753[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->My view: that they're Hindu of course. Where does it say that we need to be vegetarian to be a Hindu? What little our dharma prescribes in the way of duty does not include a mandate on vegetarianism (note this is different with the cow in Hinduism) and unreasonably threatening with expulsion or exclusion otherwise. Instead, vegetarianism is seriously advised for the welfare of our fellow animals, also for progressing in our spiritual evolution (to cultivate a closeness to all creatures so that we may be more like our Gods who feel no less affection for animals than they do for us), and for various other reasons related to spirituality (progress in yoga lifestyle, and the like). And in this way, Hinduism guides us: tells us why it would be for the good of all if we were vegetarian and also good for us.

IMO, vegetarianism (as many another thing) must be an entirely personal, considered choice. I hold this opinion for two reasons:
(1) If we do it because our parents brought us up that way/because it's the done thing in our household, then we do it only out of inertia: just living on with the way things are. Our 'choice' in this case says nothing about our own thoughts on this matter, if at all we thought about it. This reason may be enough to keep 5 year-olds vegetarian, but it will not be enough to make people (Hindus or otherwise) who've been raised vegetarian to remain so when they move to say some foreign country where it may not always have been the done thing.
Hence you see some 'brahmins' previously raised as vegetarian start eating meat when they move to the US or elsewhere. It's because it was never their conscious choice. It never became a personal principle for them.
(2) People who don't make up their own minds to be vegetarian but do so thoughtlessly will not be vegetarian in their next life (unless they happen to be born with parents who are vegetarian again). It is our conscious choices in this life that affect where we start off in the next. Are we actively vegetarian now? Then we'll be actively vegetarian in the next life and don't need to re-ponder that question then.

And - IMO again - I feel there is but one reason and one reason alone to be a vegetarian. It is solely because you consider animals no less than yourself or your fellow human and would not inflict any injury on an animal that you would refrain from doing to a human. In fact, animals - living more by instinct - tend to be innocent of their actions, whereas humans often are not. Hence I might think of retaliating against a human sooner than against an animal. It's like with infants: they're too small to know what they're doing when they bite you, so of course you don't bite them back.

As I said, this is entirely a personal choice, a matter of individual/personal ethics. Every person makes up their own mind. Hence, in my case, as I would not eat a person, I would not eat an animal. Others have different personal values and may value some animals more than others (say horse, dog, cat in the west) and yet again value humans more than any animal. Still others may value all humans + their pets more than other animals.

For this reason, I think that vegetarianism is more than merely a religious - in particular <i>Dharmic</i> religious - matter. It concerns any individual's own choice. But Dharmic religions do consider it important enough to say something on it, as Bodhi had shown with the excerpts from Bhishma's advice.

Having said all that, a Hindu will not eat a cow (by definition).
Everyone draws their lines, and I have drawn mine here. If I have no respect for my religion then I might care less. But the cow represents the infinitely-giving nature of the Mother, of God. It is a symbol of our Gods and our Dharma, a symbol that all our ancestors cherished. If we do not show respect to that symbol - universally recognised by Hindus as such - then we are not showing respect to our Gods, our ancestors, our people's most cherished principles or our way of life.

On another matter, I don't understand how people who consider themselves animal-friendly are untroubled when it comes to eating animals. Stranger still I find to be people with pets who also eat meat. Maybe the phenomenon is just an extension of tribalism? That would be a sad explanation, though.
Creepy to my mind are the people I've come across (non-Indian, non-Hindu) whose favourite animals and pets are horses and yet they eat horse. Don't they find a severe disparity between their favourite hobby of weekly horse-riding and looking forward to horse-on-a-plate? They've obviously thought little on it, or else - if they were to be consistent - they could just as well be cannibals too (if they ever decided to take it that far). Such people actually scare me.
Very well said Husky, would not have been able to express it any better. thankfully we donot have a checklist that decides who is a hindu.

virenji, Swmiji's words take me by surprise. thanks for taking pains to type that much.

<b>hin</b>sAyAm <b>dU</b>yate yasmad hindurityabhidyate...meru tantra, as explained by Sri Aravind, hi: hinsAyAm du: dUyate

{whose heart is filled with pain, at the (sight/percept of) violence, is known as a Hindu.}


Shanti Parva is full of gems.

Once draupadi accompanied Maharaja Yudhishthira to see her grand-father-in-law, on his bed of arrows. As usual, there took place a dialogue between her husband and Bhisma, on the topics of dharma. While Bhisma was speaking, there came a moment when he noticed draupadI suppressing a laugh/smile.

Great sire asked her, O daughter, what made you laugh. Draupadi begged for his pardon and said nothing. He insisted though, saying 'O darling daughter, thou are very wise and noble and knower of dharma. A noble kshatrAnI never loses control of herself. I know there is something, otherwise you would not laugh like that, in company of your elders. I pray please tell me what passed your mind.'

Hearing this, draupadi again begged for his pardon, and spoke with regret. O grandfather please forgive me. As you were speaking of Dharma, I was reminded of that dreadful day in the great court of my father-in-law when I was insulted in presence of yours, of the knower of all dharma and of great might. About the great dharma that you speak now, did you not know then? Please pardon me, I pray, this was the thought that crossed my mind, she begged.

Thoughfully, Bhisma remained silent for a while, then spoke. It is as you say, darling daughter. I was knower of Dharma, but not in my own control. Here is what was the problem with me. The anna I was eating was not pure. It was not noble. It was a carrier of the adharma of Kauravas. I ate their food. Through that impure food my chitta was clouded with their vRttis. So, even as I knew the dharma, I was far from it, because of the food I ate. And now, after having cleaned myself of all that impure food, I am again in the dharma that I always knew.'


In Airlines, the definition of "Hindu Meals" is a plain Indian non veg meal minus beef. Lot of discussion on hinducivilization is going on.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->virenji, Swmiji's words take me by surprise<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
As for Swami Vivekananad, there's no doubt about his command over spiritual, philosophical and intellectual matters but what's surprising his the political insight which was far far ahead of his time. What he wrote over 100 years ago is valid even today. Perhaps he could forsee these divisions within our community based on food intake.

I didn't know about this conversation between Bheema and Draupadi. Most interesting.

Google for term Twinkie defense

What would be really interesting in this discussion to get is some statistics on number of people, hotels (restaurants) who are Hindus (or Hindu operated) and find a breakdown by veg and non-veg.

Check this site: Airline meals, may not be realted to topic, but it's interesting.
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 12 2007, 10:55 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 12 2007, 10:55 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Google for term Twinkie defense[right][snapback]73023[/snapback][/right]

Very interesting, Virenji.

there is a traditional saying in Hindi.

jaisa hove ann, waisa bane man
jaisa hove pani, waisi bane baani

(as one eats, so becomes the mind
as one drinks, so becomes the speech)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I didn't know about this conversation between Bheema and Draupadi. Most interesting.

Google for term Twinkie defense<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Bheeshma/Bhishma not Bhima/Bheema. (Not sure of English language spelling.) But it's the the older person mentioned in 105.
Bheeshma does not make a habit of lying or making excuses - also he is known for introspecting. It's consistent with his character - and whether one takes it as a story or history, Mahabharata certainly has consistent, very 3D personages. So if Bheesma finds after some consideration that whatever food he ate clouded his judgement, I'd take his word on it.

If the 'Twinkie defense' was offered by way of analysis of Bheeshma's explanation to Draupadi, then it is but symptomatic of the pathetic state of psycho-analysis today. It definitely does not apply in Bheeshma's case. It may apply to the trite individuals seen in court today (like those cases mentioned at that wackypedia link for 'Twinkie defense').

As for whether Bheeshma was referring to non-vegetarian food being offered in Duryodhana's home (and even then of Bheeshma ever partaking of it), I can't make it out from those statements pasted in #105. All that's mentioned in my understanding of that translation is "impure" food. I thought he could merely be talking of certain vegetables considered illicit in those days, or over-spiced foods (with regard to Krishna's talking about the three groups of foods - Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic - in the Gita).
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Here is what was the problem with me. <b>The anna I was eating was not pure. It was not noble. It was a carrier of the adharma of Kauravas. I ate their food. Through that impure food my chitta was clouded with their vRttis. So, even as I knew the dharma, I was far from it, because of the food I ate.</b> And now, after having cleaned myself of all that impure food, I am again in the dharma that I always knew.'<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->In fact, he even refers to the rice (anna) given him by the Kauravas as impure.

Also, Bodhi, you pasted some other bits of Bheeshma's death-bed conversation earlier in this thread. Therein he talked of how he found vegetarianism to be of fundamental importance. I doubt he would have given his advice in the manner he had, if he had ever eaten non-vegetarian food with the Kauravas. Else he would have at least mentioned on that occasion that he had sometime earlier eaten meat, seeing as how he had such serious views on the whole matter.

"Impure foods" - I would have thought Bheeshma was talking about junk food, really, seeing as how it is and feels so bad for our systems <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Maybe it's the point of that doco-film "Supersize me".
From what I make out - going by what he said - I don't think Bheeshma ever ate meat at the Kauravas (unless he hunted it himself, which does not conflict with Dharma).
Husky: My typo - it should have read Beeshma. Can Dushasana and Duryodhana's behaviour rationalized by impure food they ate?

Though literal translation of anna = rice, in some communities (especially mine) anna is loosely used for meal.
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 15 2007, 05:13 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 15 2007, 05:13 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Though literal translation of anna = rice, in some communities (especially mine) anna is loosely used for meal.

anna literally means any food, and not only rice. Literal term for rice in Sanskrit would be odanam/tandulam. Since rice is the primary food, in many regions, anna has come to mean rice in those regional languages. Hindi 'anaaj' is a derivative of anna and it means any harvested seed.

<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 15 2007, 05:13 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 15 2007, 05:13 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Can Dushasana and Duryodhana's behaviour rationalized by impure food they ate?[right][snapback]73179[/snapback][/right]

no Virenji, not rationalization. But there is a connection.

It is very well known that Thoughs beget Actions, repeated actions make habits/tendencies, and habits/tendencies over a period of time become natural spontanuous behaviour. So, thoughts in the mind, are the seed. In Yoga Sutra terminology, chitta vRtti.

As per this, chtta-vRtti keep fluctuating from one to the other, in the jAgrat (and swapna) conditions of chetan. And the dominant vRtti defines what we are from inside. Some have said that even from outside, our dominant vRtti defines how we behave (and some have gone so far as to say that even one's physical appearance). It is generally understood that whatever is ones dominant vRtti at the time prAna leave the gross body ('death') - AtmA gets a suitable new gross body fit for that vRtti.

So what influences the Chitta-vRtti-s? Many factors. Bhagwan Patanjali has spent good number of sUtra-s to explain this. Broadly, some factors are internal - called mala and AvaraNa (due to many things like pUrva-sanskAra and prakriti), while some other factors are external.

External factors are known as 'AhAra' - literally 'in-put' - (the term generally has come to be understood as 'food', though it is more than just food). So AhAra part of the influence to chitta-vRtti - inputs - can come from various sources - what we read, what we listen, where we live, where we spend our time, in whose company we live (from outside and inside), and VERY IMPORTANT, the food-intake.

There is a sUkta from chhAndogya upaniSad about this.

AhAra Suddhau sat-buddhiH satvaSuddho dhruvAsmRtiH
smriti labhye sarva granthInAm vipramokShaH
(Chh. Up. 7/26/2)

{ pure AhAra (intake includig food) gives sadbuddhi. That when purifies gives dhruva-smRti (stable, "polar", memory)......ultimately liberation. }


So now, various spriritual leaders throughout the ages and everywhere, have laid emphasis upon right eating. There are many things that go with 'right', but certainly non-vegetarian is not generaly included in that 'right'. Needless to say, meat can, yes, be Apad-bhojan, food of emergence, when the situation so demands, and as shown by Puranas through various examples like that of Vishwamitra. But as the normal general healthy food, that our shastras and saints recommend 'starts' with vegetarian.

(This is why I had earlier said I was surprised to read Swami Vivekananda's words - since that came as a very strong exception to what I had seen so far.)


As for whether Bheeshma was referring to non-vegetarian food being offered in Duryodhana's home (and even then of Bheeshma ever partaking of it), I can't make it out from those statements pasted in #105. All that's mentioned in my understanding of that translation is "impure" food. I thought he could merely be talking of certain vegetables considered illicit in those days, or over-spiced foods<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Husky, you are right - it does not say about veg/non-veg. But the sense of the statement is different in that context. There are other attributes of a 'pure' food. Like it must be 'earned' well. It must be cooked and served with right bhAva. It must not have come from a duSit person's home or cooked or served by such persons. ... so on.

Some stories might help.

We all know about this story of Guru Nanak. While traveling through some village, the Guru stayed at the house of a person called Bhai Lalo, an honest man. Malik Bhago, a rich landlord of the village was giving a feast. He invited all including Guru Nanak to join in the feast. The Guru declined the invitation. This infuriated the rich man, who specifically sent for Nanak, and Nanak finally went to his house. Rich man insisted to know why Guru reused to take food at his house, while he was fine to eat in the house of the poor man Lalo. Guru asked both the men to bring a roti each from their houses. Then taking one roti in each hands, he squeezed those both. From the roti of Lalo oozed out milk, while from the bread of Bhago, blood. Then he explained that the food 'pure' - earned well - by Lalo, and not so by Bhago, and that is why he refused to eat Bhago's food.

In Mahabharata itself, there is very good story. Just before the war is to begin, Krishna goes to Hastinapur as the messenger of peace, on behalf of pandava-s, and is received as the royal guest by kauava-s. Duryodhana and brothers in their ego were trying to show off their wealth etc., and had arranged all kinds of food for Krishna. While Krishna follows all the code of conduct as suitable to an ambessador and as royal guest, but that is except for taking their food. Krishna refused to eat Duryodhan's food, and instead went to the house of Vidur uninvited, and ate the banana-peels from the hands of the devoted vidurANI.


There is another relevant story. Those familiar with Arya Samaj's tradition might be knowing about a great Arya Samaj leader from Delhi/Punjab - Swami Anand. The time was before independence, and Swami's own son was a freedom fighter, a companion of Rajendra Lahiri etc. He was arrested and sentanced for death punishment. He was spending his last days (month or two) in one of the Delhi's jails. Swamiji was allowed to visit his son every day, so he used to teach him Bhagvad Gita and meditation during this time.

Swami wrote in his memoirs, that one day he went to visit his son and son was very worried and sad. He though it was because he was afraid to die. But when he asked him why, son told a different thing. Son told him that for the last two nights he had been having very strange dreams and remained disturbed even in meditation. In the dream he saw that he was killing his beloved mother very ghastely and cruelly.

Swami then inquired about a few things with the jail superintendant and learnt that the staff for cooking had been recently changed. He learnt that the food for the death-row detainees was cooked by a new prisoner that had arrived. Upon inquiring he learnt that this new prisoner was sentanced for life, for having stabbed and killed his own mother.

So he wrote in memoirs that, the thoughts of the cook were carried into the chitta of his son who ate the food. Through his son, he requested the jailer to kindly allow food from home for his son.

In my opinion, the "impurity" Bhisma is reffering to might be of this kind, rather than just veg/non-veg/junk etc.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Beeshma. Can Dushasana and Duryodhana's behaviour rationalized by impure food they ate?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Short answer: I think there was a lot more wrong with the Kauravas than could be put right with a change of diet. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The difference between Bheeshma on one hand and the Kauravas on the other is major. Bheeshma's whole character is generally in accordance with Dharma. He is conscious of his actions practically all of the time - always making sure that they are the right ones.
In the explanation for his past conduct that he gives to Draupadi (#105), he intimates why he verged from Dharma in that instance: his 'chitta' (what is this - the mind or conscience? :don't know) was <i>clouded</i> (reason given: impure food). If his sense of right and wrong was clouded, that explains why Bheeshma could have erred.

In the case of Duhshasana and Duryodhana, they live more by their whims in general.
Bheeshma's failing was in his duty to come to Draupadi's aid in her misery at the hands of the Kauravas.
Whereas with Duhshasana and the other Kauravas, though they knew well that what they were doing when they kept tugging at Draupadi's saree was wrong, they still did it, because they did not care: not about Draupadi's distress at her treatment nor about the repercussions of what they were doing. All they cared about at that point was to humiliate Draupadi and the Pandavas. They had grown haughty with their power and felt they were above the consequences of any their actions.

It would be unfair to compare Bheeshma's lapse - in what is otherwise his general good behaviour - with the Kauravas' frequent bad attitude towards others and their usual tendency to ignore Dharma whenever it didn't suit them. General good conduct must be recognised and taken into account as a good thing in its own right. One's overall behavioural record counts for something too, after all, and should be taken into consideration when lecturing people against their mistakes or expecting them to explain themselves for their misconduct.

According to what I've heard narrated from the Mahabharata, Bheeshma was a Vasu (a celestial, connected with fire I think) who was born as a human. His knowledge of Dharma is very perfect - so perfect that Krishna tells the Pandavas to ask the dying Bheeshma any and all questions on Dharma that they might have before he passes. From what one grandparent told me, Krishna tells the Five that no one remaining in that Yuga is as knowledgeable on the matter of the Vedas and Shastras as Bheeshma, and that the extent of his expertise on these matters is unrivalled and will disappear unless they ask their questions and preserve it for future generations. This is when the Pandavas start asking all the questions they can think of (including many they know the answer to already) while Bheeshma answers them from his bed of arrows.

For Bheeshma - who is not only well-versed in matters of Dharma, but also keenly (and innately) aware of right and wrong - to make such a mistake as to not rush to Draupadi's defense, would really have required more than a twisting of his arm or a threat: no physical obstacles could have ever held him back from what he ought to have done. Rather, it would've had to have been something that affected his being able to <i>act</i> on his sense of Dharma, or even something that temporarily prevented him from <i>recognising</i> right from wrong. And this is what he seems to be referring to when he uses "clouded" and says (#105):
"Through that impure food my chitta was clouded with their vRttis. So, <b>even as I knew the dharma</b>, I was far from it, because of the food I ate."

I think it is a powerful example of how even the most Dharmic of individuals becomes powerless to do what's right when their sense of right and wrong becomes misplaced or clouded over - even if only temporarily. Nothing else could have had such an unfortunate effect on Bheeshma.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->While Krishna follows all the code of conduct as suitable to an ambessador and as royal guest, but that is except for taking their food. Krishna refused to eat Duryodhan's food, and instead went to the house of Vidur uninvited, and ate the banana-peels from the hands of the devoted vidurANI.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Loved it. Thanks for that, Bodhi. More more.
Gods would never reside with adharmics (just as Lakshmi - and all that she presides over - is known not to stay where she is not respected). God eating your food is a sign of his/her affection as well as of their approving of your conduct. Kauravas did not get that stamp for good behaviour. But Vidura lives very much in accordance with Dharma. Besides, as you've written, the presence of a great Bhakta (Vidura's wife) is definite to attract Krishna in her own right.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Though literal translation of anna = rice, in some communities (especially mine) anna is loosely used for meal. (And what Bodhi said)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I see. That does explain why some of my relatives were referring to non-rice as anna too.... That also makes more sense in the contexts of Annapoorna and Annalakshmi. Cool.
My writeup on this subject:
VisionaryManmohan (Original Message) Sent: 6/12/2004 12:54 PM
Jaisa khao ann, vaisa ho jai mann:
Though diet fads in USA don't match upto this time tested Indian adage yet they keep on talking about it all the times.

The other day when Animal lovers were talking of stopping labs doing work on the dead animals;my simple question to them was

Why don't u stop eating animals.

I 'm glad that they haven't got the wind of jhatka meat otherwise they will gherao these much to the chargin of sentiments of others.All that they say is that there should not be animal cruelty.

Bodhi/Husky: As usual, there's much I can learn from your posts.

My guess is that the 'impure food' uttered by Bhisma is more of an metaphor rather than actual food itself. As in, he was <i>indebted to the salt</i> provided by Kauravas which bound him to the policies and actions of the Kaurava clan.

Same with Krishna who didn't eat in Kaurava household since we know that they were capable of poisoning their opponent - remember they did poison Bheema and tried to drown him once. I remember an episode of Shri Krishna's hunger being satisfied by one morsel of rice, so pangs of hunger or affects of food might not have been the real issue.

Again, guessing. Bodhiji can provide more insight here.

Spent past couple days skimming my source (personal copy) 'Mahabharata' by C Ragagopalachari for references or additional insights to this, he didn't have much on this subject.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->DELAWARE: Couple sue over airline food dispute
Promised Hindu meal not provided -- amid threats -- suit says

The News Journal

DOVER — A Hindu couple from Smyrna has sued United Airlines, claiming they were denied food for 12 hours and threatened with arrest after telling a flight attendant they were unable to eat their airplane meal for religious reasons.

The lawsuit, filed in Kent County Superior Court, also claims the head flight attendant threatened to have Amrutbhai Patel investigated by the FBI once the mid-July flight from Shanghai, China, arrived in Chicago. Because Patel's wife, Nilaben Patel, was unable to eat, the suit alleges, she couldn't take her antibiotics.

"The conduct of the flight attendants toward [the Patels] was readily apparent to all members of the flight in the immediate vicinity and was highly embarrassing and distressing to [the Patels] and all members of the group," said the suit, filed by Dover attorney Nicholas H. Rodriguez.

According to the suit, the head attendant referred to the Patels and their group as "these people" and threatened to have anyone who said anything about the situation arrested.

Rodriguez would not discuss the suit without talking with his clients. The Patels, who allege a breach of contract, could not be reached Monday. They are seeking unspecified damages.

Megan McCarthy, a United Airlines Inc. spokeswoman, said she was unaware of the lawsuit and could not comment.

"In general, any situation involving complaints from our customers we take seriously and we will address," she said.

Anita Feld, of Bedford, Mass., was a passenger on the flight and witnessed the incident. She sent a letter to United Airlines protesting the treatment of the group.

"It used to be 'The customer was always right,' " Feld wrote. "It appears now the flight attendants do not have to try to keep their customers content concerning food issues."

In her letter to the airline, which was filed with the lawsuit, Feld said an attendant called "one of the Indian travelers 'obnoxious' and insisted that he stop talking about the incident."

"I felt this was outrageous as this was definitely a food issue not a terrorist issue," she wrote.

It is uncommon for airlines to have Hindu meals, and is something Hindus deal with, said Patibanda Sarma, president of the Hindu Temple of Delaware. Hindus will go without eating or make do with fresh fruit, he said.

But no one should be subjected to the treatment the Patels say they received, Sarma said.

"People cannot be threatened," Sarma said. "It's just a meal."

According to court documents, the Patels boarded United Airlines Flight 836 from Shanghai to Chicago on July 17. The tickets came with an airline pledge to furnish the Patels and other members of their group with Hindu meals.

United Airlines' Hindu meals are designed for vegans and do not include meat, fish, eggs or dairy products. The diet is part of the religion, which the airline acknowledges under its list of religious diets.

According to the lawsuit, when attendants began serving non-Hindu meals to the group, the Patels informed them of the problem.

Attendants then told the Patels that "they could not have any meals or food of any nature whatsoever other than what had been offered throughout the entire flight."

The head attendant, according to the suit, told the other attendants the Patels were not to receive any food or alternates for the remainder of the 12-hour flight, despite other passengers being given bread and fresh fruit -- which are allowed in a Hindu diet.

The suit also alleges <b>the head attendant threatened to have the plane diverted to Tokyo, where Patel would be removed from the aircraft, arrested and have his passport taken. She also threatened Patel with arrest in Chicago and investigation by the FBI.</b>

I am not surprised, UA or US airlines in-flight service are horrible. One can find rudest attendant.
Reg Beeshma' eating impure food of Kauravas and his Dharma:

The way I read (also as shown in Ramanand Sagar's Krishna) is that Bhisma was a follower of his own Dharma (his Oath to serve the Throne of Hastinapur), which came in conflict with the much more larger Dharma of a Kshatriya protecting the interests of the subject (Dharma Sankat). At this juncture, one has to make a judgement on which is bigger. This is where Bheesma failed and himself admits that later in Shanti Parva. The best example of it was given by Krishna when he invoked he Chakra to kill Beeshma to protect Dharma as Arjuna refused to kill Beeshma. This was against his own oath of not weilding a weapon during the war but the larger Dharma of killing adharmis was more important than his own oath.

I think the food clouding the judgement is not about food itself per se but becoming addicted to it especially when it is served by the Adharmis (Guru Nanak example given earlier.

Kisari Mohan Ganguly's translation of Mahabarata nevertheless
Maharşi Pataňjali is the author of the treatise known as Yoga-Sūtra. His exposition of Aşţānga Yoga has eight limbs of Yoga, the very first one being Yama that includes ahimsā as its first element. He defines ahimsā as:

Ahimsā-pratisţhāyām tatsannidhau vairatyāgaħ Yoga [2.35]

i.e., Absence of enmity is ahimsā. Typically, people translate ahimsā as 'non-violence' which is not quite correct. If foreign forces attack us and our soldiers kill them, then are we following himsā or ahimsā? Though it appears to be a violent act, namely, killing a foreign attacker, yet it is within the purview of Pataňjali's definition of ahimsā if the same is done without any enmity. Our soldier kills him as his duty and without any personal enmity; He has no personal motive behind killing the foreign soldier. If I have no personal enmity towards one and all then I do not hurt anybody. If we begin to make progress in this direction then the obvious consequence would be that one cannot kill any living being for food.

Nowadays, Yoga has become popular but not in its true form. The awareness needs to be brought in that the very first limb of Yoga is 'Yama' and its very first element is Ahimsā. Pataňjali treats Yama as 'Sārvabhauma Mahā-Vrata' i.e., the Universal Great Vows. He couldn't have visualized that people will take interest in Yoga without its first limb! Let us ensure that Yoga practices are total in nature, both in word and spirit. This has been the Indian tradition to love and respect every life and to take their good care. Our life style has been to live with them together as a family. Every family had its own cow and she was like a family member. It's a wonderful design of God that a cow feeds on several things that we wouldn't like to eat and gives us milk. Cow urine and dung were useful as manure and fuel. This has been a model of sustainable development where every family was self reliant. A family without a cow is unimaginable in Indian tradition. Indeed the Vedic wedding ceremony includes godāna soon after kanyādāna. The very first gift given to the new couple is a cow by the bride's father, right within the wedding ceremony.

There have been some recent attempts to malign our tradition and culture. Some people say that meat consumption was prevalent in ancient India. Some say that Vedas suggest meat consumption. These are fantastic ideas of those who have no understanding of our language and culture. For example, the word for cow in the Vedas is aghnyā, which means, 'one who cannot be killed'. A cow is referred to as aditi too, one who cannot be cut into pieces – is indivisible. Yajurveda (13.49) says:

Imam sāhasram śatadhāramutsam vyacyamānam sarirasya madhye
Ghŗtam duhānāmaditim janāyāgne mā himsiħ parame vyoman.

i.e., The one who protects and sustains hundreds and thousands, one who is the fountain of milk, one who supplies people with milk, one who is aditi (who ought not to be cut into pieces), do not torture such a cow.

The word for yajňa (ritualistic acts for the benefit of the society) is adhvara and that means, 'an act void of violence'. Some people began to point out that the word for a learned person in the Vedas is goghnaħ and that means one who should be served cow's meat. Let us understand its correct meaning. This word is a compound word – go and ghnaħ. The latter word is made out of the root han that means 'to obtain' in addition 'to kill'. In their opinion, the word goghnaħ means a learned person for whom cow should be killed, i.e., who should be served cow's meat. Obviously, consistency is a very important virtue in interpreting any book. The above meaning clearly goes against the word aghnyā and aditi for cow, meaning one who cannot be killed and who cannot be cut into pieces. So, the other meaning of the root han should be utilized here – to obtain. Therefore, the word goghnaħ would mean a learned person who should be obtained (or, who should be served) a cow and her milk and other milk-made products. This is not the only instance of such a meaning of the root han. There is a word hastaghna for hand gloves where the compound word is made of hasta and ghna, similar to goghnaħ. Here the meaning has to be 'hand' and 'to obtain' so that hastaghna can mean hand gloves – the word ghna here means 'to obtain' and cannot mean 'to kill' here.

Vedas and the entire body of the Vedic literature is very clear on this aspect that we should not eat meat, fish and egg. The following hymn from Atharvaveda (8.6.23) implores the rulers to punish those who kill animals and eggs by even capital punishment – it's an eye for an eye, a life for a life; the life in every form is sacred:

Ya āmam mānsamadanti paureşeyam ca ye kraviħ
Garbhānkhadanti keśavāstānito nāśayāmasi.

i.e., We ought to destroy them who eat cooked or uncooked meat as well as eggs, who have made their bodies the graveyards.

Just the way I love my life, an animal loves it, too. Just the way a human mother loves and protects her baby, a bird loves and protects its egg. We have absolutely no business to harm them in any manner. This probably is the biggest organized crime that billions of animals and birds are killed by humans every day, and it is the root cause of a number of problems we are facing. We have degraded ourselves to a very low point in the scale of human development.

The new beautiful world that will emerge with Vedoday2050 (New Dawn of Vedic Teachings on or before the year 2050) would consist of a new breed of human beings who are clean from the body, mind and soul. And, most importantly, only such people can bring Vedoday. Every Indian who holds the Indian culture with a sense of reverence must do the minimum sacrifice and refrain from consumption of meat, fish and egg for a better quality of life for the self, society and nation. India and every Indian must become a shining example of ahimsā and that would give us strength that nobody would dare to think of himsā with us, and if one does, then we can give a befitting reply and crush himsā.

<b>The Vedas Say:</b>

Yathā mānsam yathā surā yathākşā adhidevane
Yathā pumso vŗşaņyata striyām nihanyate manaħ
Eva te aghnye mano-adhi vatse ni hanyatam. Atharvaveda (6.70.1)

<i>Its meaning: Consumption of meat and liquor, gambling, and adultery hurt you within. One who commits such acts, verily kills himself.</i>
Purport: There are certain things in life that have vicious character. Once we enter into it, we cannot come out of it. Consumption of meat and that of liquor are addictive in nature. On the first occasion, it is repulsive and a wise person goes by that instinct. But a foolish person goes against the God given instinct and pursues them. Then they become more powerful and trap you forever. Gambling and adultery are such acts too. A real strong person is one who can win over these vicious acts. Those who fall for one of these things (meat, liquor, gambling and adultery) are indeed the weakest lot. The Sanskrit word for meat is māmsa. It has an interesting origin; it's made of mām + sa, i.e. 'to me' and 'he/she'. What it means is that today I eat an animal's meat and then there will be a time when 'he/she' will consume 'me'. This is the law of the nature; call it Law of Karma or whatever. What I do today will definitely recoil on me in the future. Today I kill an animal and eat its meat and there will be a time when I will be killed (probably, in the next life) and this animal will eat me whom I have devoured today.

Where Do We Go Wrong?: We think that our Dharma is like other religions, representing certain acts to be performed in a place of worship. The Satya Sanātana Vedic Dharma is not such a narrow thing. It tells us how to lead the human life in a total sense. The Vedas have guidelines for every occasion of life. India's decline for the last five thousand years is primarily due to the attitude that dharma was ignored in more and more spheres of life. This is the time when meat consumption began in the country in a significant manner about three thousand years ago. Then Mahāvīra and Buddha came to remind us the true Indian tradition of ahimsā. Every Indian must sincerely improve his/her personality in a total sense – body, mind and soul included – good health and physique of the body, intelligent and balanced mind, and a sterling character of the soul with love and compassion towards all. We must set an example as individuals who have nothing to do with meat, liquor, gambling and adultery, as Vedas say.

- Dr Harish Chandra
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Feb 18 2008, 07:28 AM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Feb 18 2008, 07:28 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->via email..

Religion is meant to elevate human soul from ordinary humanity to a more respectable divinity, and therefore, a true and benevolent religion can never sanction such acts which may bring down humanity to the low level of bestiality. Religion, culture, and civilization are not the terms antagonistic to one another and therefore every inhuman act ought to be equally repulsive to the notions of civilization and culture also. Living on flesh of fellow creatures is an act no less than cannibal, and the society which advocates it is certainly going towards barbarism. The Aryasamaj stands for cultural and rational religion. It extends its hands of fellow feeling to all creatures, dumb and mute. It believes in the doctrine of Live and Let live.
               The Vedas have been regarded as the bedrock of religion [Dharma], culture and civilization. It pains one when many of our writers like Raja Rajendralal Misra[ Beef in ancient India a chapter in Indo-Aryans vol.I] and  D.N. jha [ The myth of holy cow. verso books 2002 London]  making unsuccessful attempts to advocate the practice of meat-eating- even beef- on the basis of ancient authorities. There is no space here to clarify all the misapprensions, but an attempt would be made here to bring forth a few of the evidences to show that the Vedic religion was originally against any such inhuman practice. Certainly, at a later stage, people associated all sorts of intolerances with these scriptures.

                                           <b>Vedas against  Meat eating</b>.

             The etymological argument:  The Vedic Lexicon, Nighantu, gives amongst other synonyms of Gau[ or cow] the words Aghnya. Ahi, and Aditi. Yaska the commentator on Nighantu, defines these terms as follows.

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->              Aghnya is one that ought not to be killed
              Ahi is one that must not be slaughtered.
              Aditi is one that ought not to be cut into pieces.
                                                           [Nighantu 11.4]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

These three names of cow signify that the animal ought not to be put to tortures. Mahabharatha[ shanti parva.[ Chapter263] also says that cows are known as aghnya, and they ought not to be killed. Anybody who kills a cow or bull is a great sinner. This sentiment is supported by a Vedic dictum Anago hatya y bheemah [Atharvaveda 10.2.29] which means that it is great sin to kill innocent animals. In this context let us hear what Manu in Manusmrithi says,

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Anumantha vishasitha nihantaa krayavikrayee|
                               Samskrtha chopahartha cha khadakaschethi ghatakah||
                                                                                         {Manusmrithi 5.51}<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Meaning. Those who permit the slaying of animals, and those who bring the animals for slaughter, those who slaughter, those who sell the meat, those who purchases the meat, those who prepare the dish out of it, those who serve that food, and those who eat that meat are all Villains.

Yagna never means animal sacrifice in the sense popularly understood. Yagna in the Veda means Sresthamaya karma [yajurveda 1.1] or the highest purifying action. One of the synonyms of Yagna in Nighantu is Adhvara which according to Yaska means as follows.

Adhvara is a synonym for Yagna. Dhvara means an act with himsa or torture. And therefore adhvara means an act involving no tortures. Were animals permitted to be sacrificed then Yagna should have been called as Sadhvara. However this is not the position. Rigveda says on the contrary calls Yagna as Adhvara as clear from the following Mantra.
  Agne yam yagnamadhavaram vishwathah paribhurasi|
   Sa id deveshu gacchati||   [Rigveda 1.1.4]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Meaning; [Agne] O lord of effulgence! [sah it], [yam adhvaram yajnam] over which non-violent Yajna, [vishvatah paribhuh asi] you prescribe from all sides, [devesu gacchati] touches divine proportions or is accepted by noble souls.

In Vedic literature when Yagna is described as Adhvara throughout, with what stretch of imagination then should one conclude that the Vedas permit violence to or slaughter of animals and birds? Partly on account of gross ignorance, and partly on the inability to control their minds and sense-organs and partly due to the influence of Greeks and Romans with whom our ancient people had to come into contact because of trade, commerce, and politics the people started indulging in slaughter of innocent animals and meat eating. Further the mischievous meanings given to Vedic Mantras by men who never cared to know what Niruktha said in the matter was another reason. Otherwise how do you explain the justification of cow/ox and other animals being killed when the killing is clearly prohibited as clear from the following?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ga maa himsiradhitim virajam [yaj13.43]
      [Do not kill the cow which is splendor of life and [which is] inviolable.
Imam Maa himseedvipadam pashum [yaj 13.48]
      [Do not kill the animal with unsplit hooves]
Imam utsam ma himsi [yaj   13.49]
          [Do not kill the Ox]
Imam urnayam ma himsihi [yaju 13.50]
[Do not kill this sheep]
Such are the Vedic injunctions.

The Vedas advocate humane treatment to animals--- At number of places; the Vedas are full of prayers and sanctions aiming at the protection of animals.

1. O God! Protect the cattle of Yajamam (yajamanasya pashunpahi) yaj 1.1
2. Do not ye torture man and other animals [Maa himsi purusham jagat] yaj 6.3
3. Ye men and women, both of you together protect your cattle [pashustreetheyatam ] yaj 6.11

The Vedas are definitely against killing cow horse or other creatures.—the following mantras are very clear in this respect.

1. A man who nourishes himself on the flesh of man , horse or other animals or birds or who having killed untorturable cows , debars them from their milk , O Agni, the King, award him the highest punishment or give him the sentence of death [ Atharveda 8.3.25]
2. The one who protects and sustains hundreds and thousands, one who is the fountain of milk, one who supplies people with milk , one who is aditi[ who ought not to be cut into pieces] do not torture such cow in this world[ yajurveda 12.49]

The passages given above show that the Vedas never sanctioned the torture of animals either in Yagnas or for any other reasons. Further, Charaka one of the founders of Ayurveda traces the origin of ati-sara [Diarrhea] to the animal meat. He says cow –meat is heavy, hot and Unnatural, causes inactivity of metabolism and dulls the intellect [Vide charaka chikitsa section ch. 10]

Thus it is clear, that the cow slaughter was introduced at much later period. It was not prevalent in the times of Manu even.

Aswamedha does not mean horse sacrifice at Yagna.

It is impossible to give an exposition of Aswamedha ceremony in this article. The Yajurveda clearly mentions that a horse ought not to be slaughtered.

Do not slaughter this one hoofed animal that neighs and who goes with a fast speed faster than most of the animals [Y.13.48]

The one-hoofed animal is definitely a horse, as is clear from the following statement of the Sathapatha Brahmana:
By one hoofed is meant a horse. Do not slaughter him [VII, v, ii 33]
In Shathapatha, Aswa is a name of Rastra. Or empire and Yagna done with a view to consolidate an empire is named as Aswamedha. The word medha does not mean slaughter. It is done simply an act done in accordance to the intellect [or medhas] Alternatively it could mean consolidation, as evident from the root meaning of medha i.e. medhru sangame.

Ajamedha is not the goat-sacrifice. It is a Yagna done with grains. The word aja means goat as well as grain. This duality of meaning has given rise to notion that ajamedha means goat sacrifice. The following passage from Mahabharata clarifies this point very definitely.

“The sense of the Veda is to perform Yagna with grains or seeds. Aja is another name for seed. It is not desirable to slaughter goats. Good people do not indulge in slaughter of animals. This krtayuga is the best of all; how can the killing of animals be permissible during the period? [Shantiparva]”

The passages from panchatantra also substantiate these views. “Those who sacrifice animals in Yagna are great fools; they do not the real sense of Veda. The Veda simply says; the Yagna should be performed through the oblations of aja; but the word aja means ‘paddy seven years old’. It does not signify any special animal. [Tantra.3, katha 2]

This is what meant by Aswamedha Yagna and Aja medha Yagna. We hear in Ramayana that Aswamedha Yagna was performed by setting loose a decorated horse carrying a state emblem. Whoever stopped or impounded the horse the king used to enquire and if this meant defiance to authority war was initiated to submit them. Precisely this is what was meant by Aswamedha.

Maharshi Dayananda Saraswathi, a doyen among our religious and social reformers was an outstanding scholar of Vedas as well. Dismissing the meaning that Aswamedha meant horse sacrifice he states in his immortal work Satyartha prakash {Light of Truth} as under.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->  <i>      “They interpolated these and similar other verses into the works of the seers, and also wrote books in the name of many great sages and savants, and thus introduced such sacrifices as Gomedha—a sacrifice in which cows were slaughtered – and Aswamedha—one in which horses were killed. They declared that by slaughtering these animals and offering them as a sacrifice both—the animals sacrificed and the Yajamana—went to Heaven. This evil practice seems to have originated on account of their ignorance of the true meanings of such words as Aswamedha, Gomedha, and Naramedha that occur in the Brahmanas, for had they understood them; they would not have committed such blunders.

      O—what are then the true meanings of such words as Aswamedha, Gomedha, and Naramedha?
      A—their meanings are noted what the Vamamargis think. Nowhere in the scriptures and other authentic books it is written that horses, cows and human beings should be killed and offered as sacrifice in the sacred fire called Homa. It is only in the books of the Vamamargis that such absurd things are written.

Whatever in the authentic books of the sages the sanction of such a sacrifice is found, it should be understood that the verse or the passage has been interpolated by the Vamamargis. Now mark! What the Shathapatha Brahmana says on the subject: “A king governs his people justly and righteously. This is called Aswamedha. “A learned man gives a free gift of knowledge to people. This is called Aswamedha. Again “the burning” of clarified butter and odoriferous and nutritious substances in the fire in order to purify the air is also called Aswamedha”. “To keep the food pure or to keep the senses under control, or to make the food pure or to make a good use of the rays of  Sun or keep the earth free from impurities[clean] is called Gomedha”. “The cremation of the body of a dead person in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas is called Naramedha”.</i><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>The Vedas do not advocate meat eating either.</b>

Meat eaters have always been looked down in Vedic literature. They have been separated from human society and generally known as Rakshasas. The other synonyms for them are
v Kravy da –kravya[ meat obtained from slaughter] + Ada [ the eater]—the meat eater.
v Pisacha -- pisita [meat] +asa [eater]—the meat eater.
v Asutrpa -- Asu [breath of life] + trpa [one who satisfies himself on]—one who takes others life for his meals.

v Garba da and Anda da – the foetus and egg eaters. Mans da – the meat eaters.
All these words are synonyms of demons or devils that have been out-cast from the human society.
We are quoting below a few of the passages to show that the Vedas are emphatically against meat-eating.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->                   <i>[i] O teeth! You eat rice, you eat barley, you eat masa [phaseolus radiatus] and you eat sesame. These cereals are specifically meant for you. Do not kill those who are capable of being fathers and mothers [male and female animals] Atharveda 6.140.2
                   [ii] We ought to destroy them who eat ammansa [cooked as well as uncooked meat, and also the cow meat] and pauruseya kravi [meat involving the destruction of males and females] who eat foetus [including eggs] and them who have thus made their bodies graveyards. [Atharveda. 8.6.23]</i><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Thus it is crystal clear that Vedas do not advocate meat eating and Yagna involving violence. However as already pointed it was due to wrong interpretation of Vedic Mantras coupled with selfishness the beneficial Yagnas like Aswamedha, Gomedha, and Ajamedha came under cloud. The barbaric practices done in the name of Vedas led to movement like Buddhism and Jainism which thought that it was God and Vedas that were responsible for these inhuman practices and therefore started movements which negated the god and Veda.

However these movements got degenerated in course of time and in order to remove the havoc caused by them Acharya Shankar came up denouncing these atheistic religions. Soon” no god” was replaced by “all god” and this also had a deleterious effect on our society.

The 19th century was an important landmark in the history of Bharat. It witnessed emergence of an outstanding Vedic scholar, sterling patriot and crusader of socio-religious reforms in the personality of Swami Dayanand Saraswathi who saw the havoc done by atheistic religions represented by Buddhism and Advaith religion represented by Shanker. He made a critical examination of both these religions in the background of what is stated in Vedas and rescued Hinduism from further degradation. He cut asunder all the myths and irrational practices surrounding Vedas and demonstrated the grace and glory of Vedic Dharma. The Aryasamaj he founded gave a virile and at the same time a practical blue print for the reconstruction of society based on the wholesome Vedic philosophy for the Hindus to follow. He provided right clues or a correct key to understand the Vedas and it is therefore desired that those who intend to pass judgment on Vedic practices would do well to study his books in the interest of Truth.

Bangalore D.V.Vasudevarao

[i] Light of Truth. By Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
[ii] Humanitarian Diet. By Satya prakash.
[iii] Grace and Glory of Vedic Dharma. By Pt|| Sudhakara chaturvedi.
came via e-mail:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->i just saw the visuals on CNN-IBN of the report on how the USDA is recalling beef after receiving video footage on the despicable and horrific and absolutely painful slaughter of crippled and otherwose disabled cows. The visuals turn your blood cold - i am not rattled easily but everytime I see this kind of typical human conduct, i wish to die.

The same news channel showed us the salutary visual of the manner in which we "culled" chicken for fear of bird flu.

NDTV showed us all and i subsequently received from other animal care givers footage of the despicable and horrific manner in which the karnataka state govt under the idiot gowda's son, killed dogs in bangalore, mandya and mysore.

Cows are large animals and when they are slaughtered painfully, despicably painfully, the sight is horrifying because the pain and the suffering of the animal is long and endless.

Chicken that are slaughtered for meat are bred for meat - which means humans cause the birth of something only to kill it. his perverts all of nature's laws on birth and death.

If these birds are not slaughtered for meat, they are 'culled". ever wonder at human's capacity to coin words that make his cruelty invisible? Culled, dressed chicken,  calf leather, kid gloves, being only four of them hiding the slaughter of animals and their infants.

Ahimsa has to mean protecting the voiceles and defenceless and not the bull-sh1t that has come to prevail.

Each and everyone of you, take the time to look into the eyes of a chicken, see how she gathers her chicks under her wing to protect them, look into the eyes of a goat, a lamb and see how the little one huddles close to its mother for comfort, look into the eyes of a cow, buffalo, a crow, a squirrel, and tell me how we can kill any of them. tell me how we can eat any of them.

And those of us who eat eggs go visit a farm where these eggs come from and see how the hens spend their entire lives in a coop one foot in length and breadth, not able to turn, to move around, to fly, to walk.

eveytime we eat something, think of the cruelty, the depravity, the bestiality that has been made invisible.

If the US is the land of the brave and the free, i am a canibal. If this is the land of dharma, as it undoubtedly is, then kalki is on the horizon.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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