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#23962 - 06/23/04 07:01 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism *DELETED* [Re: rudrasharman]
Shaivite Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 2999
Post deleted by Shaivite

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#23963 - 06/23/04 11:37 PM Post deleted by Shaivite [Re: Shaivite]
rudrasharman Offline
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[Post removed at request of user]


Edited by Shaivite (02/02/05 01:28 AM)

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#23964 - 06/24/04 12:39 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: rudrasharman]
marik Offline
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Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 1366
Loc: United States
Rudrasharman,

Quote:

Truth is an ongoing process of discovery




"Nobody knows what is right or what is wrong;
Nobody knows what is good or what is bad;
There is a deity residing within you;
Find it out and obey its commands."

Yes, you are right, truth is an ongoing process of discovery, and not necessarily the same process for each one.

These "legal" arguments that some engage in, while insisting that doctrines, laws, and edicts exist in Hinduism, are a revealer of lack of comprehension of the most basic ideas behind the philosophy, I am coming to learn.

All the final answers are found within. To seek answers outside of oneself is futile and idiotic, according to Zen masters. Truth cannot be taught by word of mouth; true knowledge comes from personal experience.

You and I know that Hinduism is a vast spiritual heritage which allows the free flow of thoughts, and the co-existence of all kinds of thoughts. There are no "ten commandments" or "thou shalt not..."s. Those things were added to religions by the followers, not by the original prophets.

The great Rishis and sages and prophets did not intend their words to change or destroy existing philosophy and schools of thought, but to strengthen them. The divisions came about not because of the prophets but because of the fanatic work (and talk) of the zealot followers. We have a few very zealous followers who post on this message board, arguing the law of a thing that has no law.

One cannot truly understand and follow Hinduism philosophy and say that it is either right or wrong to eat meat. One individual can only look within themself and find their own truth, which is applicable only to them and can not be held up as a law for the whole.

Your cat story is very applicable to these vegetarian/non-vegetarian debates. We need to keep in mind what the Rishis and prophets had in mind, and try not to put our own spin on it.


_________________________
By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure. -- Patanjali

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#23965 - 06/24/04 05:52 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism *DELETED* [Re: marik]
Shaivite Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
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Post deleted by Shaivite


Edited by Shaivite (06/24/04 05:56 AM)

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#23966 - 06/24/04 04:48 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: marik]
Atmakryia Offline
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Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 627
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marik

Quote:

Truth cannot be taught by word of mouth; true knowledge comes from personal experience.




Couldnt agree more

Quote:

All the final answers are found within.



Again Couldnt agree more

_________________________
"Just because you can doesn’t mean you should" Atmakryia

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#23967 - 06/24/04 04:58 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: Shaivite]
Atmakryia Offline
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Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 627
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"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician." -- Mary Feldman.
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"Just because you can doesn’t mean you should" Atmakryia

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#23968 - 06/25/04 04:40 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: rudrasharman]
krishna_susarla Offline
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
Quote:

Quote:

Indeed, the very language "grubby paws" suggests to me that you have more of an agenda to promote



No agenda other than seeing whether I was right in suspecting that you have a vested interest in believing that the texts are pristine, going back to the earliest times. Looks like I was right.




I am not sure what "vested interest" you are referring to. I have no "vested interest" in making other people vegetarian, since the consequences to them do not affect me. Nor do I have a "vested interest" in making sure that the Vedas and Vedic culture are represented in any particular way, since I do not profit from this in the least. My interest is based purely on principle: truth must be upheld. The truth about Manu is that he is pro-vegetarian. This is also consistent with other shaastras.

You are striking at imaginary phantoms.

The position you take is that of a spiritual anarchist. You assert that a well-known Sanskrit text which explicitly spells out duties and behaviors is not to be taken as authoritative, but you have yet to give any reason why this is so. Yet after doing this, you and Shaivite argue that "there are no rules" in Hindu culture... this is a circular argument, since everytime rules are presented, you will decry their authority, and then argue on that basis that there are no rules.

In my experience, it is the vested interest of people like you who decry authorities - people like you who either want to wear the "Hindu" label, yet do not want to hold themselves accountable to traditional Hindu authorities, or else those influenced by colonialist scholarship with a bone to pick with their ancestral heritage.

It's not as if you are the first one I have met who blindly rejects authorities he finds inconvenient for his personal life.

Quote:


Quote:

What is your evidence that the Manu Dharma Shaastra was interpolated by anyone?



Kane discusses the issue, not just with respect to the Manusmriti, in his "History of Dharmashastra".




I'm sorry, but this is not evidence. If Kane has incontrovertible evidence that the Dharmshaastras are interpolated, you can certainly present it here. Of course, if you just blindly accept his view, then I can understand why you would prefer not to trouble yourself with scholarly scrutiny.

Since your specific contention with Manu is on his position on vegetarianism, you might trouble yourself to specifically prove that the vegetarian verses are interpolated.

Quote:

Quote:

But I do care how the Vedas are represented, and I am quite certain they are not the inconsistent hodge-podge that you, Shaivite, et. al. make them out to be.



When did Manusmriti become a veda, that you are all of a sudden concerned about how the Vedas are represented?




Allow me to expand on that... I care how the Vedas, supplementary literatures to the Vedas, and Vedic culture in general are represented. It's usually the case that critics of the Vedas are also critics of Vedic culture, other smritis, etc.

Quote:

Quote:

Please note that referring to animal sacrifices in the Vedas does not make Manu's stance on vegetarianism a new development.



Au contraire. The stance on vegetarianism was very much a post-Vedic development. The shramana critique of old-style Brahminism (the cult of sacrifice) was devastating. For once, Brahmins learned something.




Again, all you are doing is making a lot of claims without any evidence. No one denies that there were animal sacrifices in the Vedas - this does mean that casual meat-eating was considered acceptable. The Shaastras are quite clear on the principle behind such sacrifices:

loke vyavaayaamiShamadyasevaa nityaa hi jantor na hi tatra codanaa |
vyavasthitis teShu vivaahayaj~na suraagrahair aasu nivR^ittir iShTaa || bhaa 11.5.11 ||

Man is naturally inclined towards the enjoyment of sexual pleasure, flesh and wine. No rules enjoin him to indulge in them. A certain check is provided over these tendencies (by the Shaastra) by permitting sexual commerce with one's wedded wife, meat-eating at the end of an animal sacrifice, drinking of wine during a Sautraamanii sacrifice (in the case of those who are addicted to these); the (real) intention (of the Shaastra) is to turn man away from them (bhaagavata puraaNa 11.5.11).


So far, you have not given any clear evidence suggesting that casual meat-eating was either commonplace or permitted in Vedic culture.

Quote:

He winds up with the oft-quoted verse 55 (quoted because one translation, by Lanman, actually reproduced the pun) and verse 56. Did you read them? Manu's final word: Vegetarianism is recommended, not decreed. And meat is not prohibited.




Yes, i read this chapter. Apparently you did not. Let us actually review Manu's statements. I assume that will be ok - once I prove to you what Manu's position is, you can always go back to your unfounded position that Manu's pro-vegetarian statements are all interpolation anyway.

One of Manu's final statements in this section of chapter 5 chapter is:

samutpatti.m cha maa.msasya vadhabandhau cha dehinaam |
prasamiikShya nivarteta sarvamaa.msasya bhakShaNaat || MS 5.49 ||

Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty of) fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh (manu-smR^iti 5.49).


This is a clear, unequivocal commandment that one should abstain from flesh. It does not get more clear than this. But as if to emphasize the point, Manu goes on to say:

anumantaa vishasitaa nihantaa krayavikrayii |
sa.mskartaa chopahartaa cha khaadakashcheti ghaatakaaH || MS 5.51 ||

He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, (must all be considered as) the slayers (of the animal) (manu smR^iti 5.51).

svamaasa.m paramaa.msena yo vardhayitumichchati |
anabharchya pitR^Indevaa.mstato 'nyo naastyapuNyakR^it || MS 5.52 ||

He who otherwise than for the purposes of Shraaddhas offered to the manes and deities, tries to augment the flesh of his body with the flesh of a beast, is the greatest of all sinners. (manu smR^iti 5.52)


From the above, Manu's stance is clear - meat-eating in the context of specific Vedic sacrifices only. For all other contexts, it is a sin.

As if this was not enough, Manu spells out the consequences of one who eats any meat:

maa.m sa bhakShayitaa'mutra yasya maa.msamihaad myaham |
etatmaa.msasya maa.msatva.m pravadanti maniiShiNaH || MS 5.55 ||

'Me he (mam sah)' will devour in the next (world), whose flesh I eat in this (life); the wise declare this (to be) the real meaning of the word 'flesh'(mamsah) (manu smR^iti 5.55).


And let us not forget:

yaavanti pashuromaaNi taavatkR^itvo ha maaraNam |
vR^ithaapashughnaH praapnoti pretya janmani janmani || MS 5.38 ||

As many hairs as the slain beast has, so often indeed will he who killed it without a (lawful) reason suffer a violent death in future births (manu smR^iti 5.38).


Sure, nobody can tell you not to eat meat. But as far as Manu, who is a traditional authority in Vedic culture, is concerned, the eating of meat means that you must take an animal birth as a consequence.

Please note that these clear statements are in spite of other statements by Manu in which he actually praises the sacrifices by saying that the sacrificed animals attain higher births (5.40), and that the performer of the sacrifice also attains a blessed state (5.42).

Manu's stance could not be clearer: meat-eating is sinful. The only situation in which sin is not an issue is in a properly conducted Vedic sacrifice.

We aren't having this discussion because some Hindus in the audience are desperately seeking to perform an elaborate sacrifice in which brahmins will be hired to chant proper mantras just so they can kill and eat an animal once every full moon night. This discussion is being had because some Hindus are still of the misconception that they can cook and eat meat at home or in a restaurant, and shaastras supposedly take no position against it.

As the above references from Manu show, this is simply wrong, pure and simple.

Incidentally, I could not help but note that having failed to convince us with the "Manu was interpolated by grubby little brahmins" argument, you seem now determined to show that Manu's stance on vegetarianism was equivocal. Why all the trouble for a text that, according to you, is obviously interpolated?

Just to clarify, I am not contesting the fact that most Hindus these days are not vegetarian. Nor am I contesting the fact that most Hindus these days do not consider the Vedas or the Dharma-shaastras relevant to them. It is Kali Yuga, after all, and this means that people would rather find various excuses for ignoring traditional authorities.

My stance is only in regards to what the Vedic scriptural position is, and on this point I believe I have more than adequately provided supporting evidence.
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H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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#23969 - 06/25/04 05:07 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: krishna_susarla]
krishna_susarla Offline
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
There seems to be some misconception here that there are no rules in Hinduism.

In that case, let us at least be honest and admit that this "Hinduism," in which no rules exist, is not the same as the religion of Sanaatana-dharma described in the Vedas and their supplementary literatures.

As far as shaastra is concerned, one who does not follow rules does not attain liberation:

yaH shaastravidhim utsR^ijya vartate kaamakaarataH |
na sa siddhim avaapnoti na sukha.m na paraa.m gatim || giitaa 16.23 ||

Having cast aside the injunctions of scripture, he who acts in an arbitrary way according to his own sweet will neither attains perfection nor the supreme goal nor even happiness (bhagavad-giitaa 16.23).

tasmaachchhaastra.m pramaaNa.m te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitau |
j~naatvaa shaastravidhaanokta.m karma kartum ihaarhasi || giitaa 16.24 ||

Therefore, the scripture alone is your guide in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Knowing this, you ought to perform only such action as is ordained by the scriptures (bhagavad-giitaa 16.24).


These statements are clear and need no interpretation. A saadhaka must follow certain rules as described in shaastra, or else he will not attain success. The mere fact that many "religious" people may do something (like eating meat), does not mean that no rules exist to the contrary. One who is serious about spiritual life should not be sentimental and merely accept a position based on popular vote - such a person should see what is actually prescribed in shaastra.

Again, this may seem like an "academic" argument to some, because millions of Hindus have, to one extent or another, already decided how much of scripture they will actually follow vs merely give lip service to. On one extreme are the English-medium educated Indian intelligentsia who are convinced that the works of Shakespeare and Marx are more relevant to their daily lives than the Vedas. Somewhere in the middle are the Hindus who declare allegiance to their religion out of sentiment, but still do not scrutinizingly study the scriptures they claim to venerate. On the other end of the spectrum are the dying minority of people who still hold true to the scriptures at least in theory, and will likely cease to exist in the next 200 years. It's depressing, but this is Kali Yuga, and it's to be expected.

As a side note, the view being advanced by one individual to the effect that Puraanic traditions are "post-Vedic," and thus represent a separate tradition, are nothing more than the unfounded opinions of one who has fallen for the Max Mueller/H.H. Wilson position, hook, line, and sinker. It goes without saying that one should be suspicious of any theory of one's own literary tradition that is advanced by individuals who are determined to discredit it. Everyone knows that the "Puraanas as later literatures" has its origin in "scholars" like these whose agenda was to discredit Sanaatana-dharma and advance the cause of Christianity.

But as far as the Vedas are concerned, the Itihaasas and Puraanas are also Vedas, have the same origin as the other Vedas, and enjoy comparable status as scripture. This latter point is tempered only by the lack of a widespread oral tradition for these texts, which thus makes the Puraanas subject to cross-examination against shruti whenever something questionable is contested. Otherwise, they have the same authority and are traditionally accepted as such by Vedaantic thinkers.

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H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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#23970 - 06/25/04 05:44 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: rudrasharman]
krishna_susarla Offline
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
Quote:

The latter class of texts are acknowledged to be man-made and thus are of conditional (i.e. explicitly sectarian) authority at best.




No.

Point One: The mere fact that a text is not apaurusheya does not mean that it is "man-made."

Vyaasa is universally accepted (at least among Vedaantist thinkers) to be an incarnation of Naaraayana, and not a mere man. Yet by this definition his Vedaanta-suutras are still not apaurusheya. But that does not change the fact that different Vedic scholars accept it as authority. The whole point of Vedaanta, in fact, is to try and best represent Vyaasa's position. Why the bother when his suutras are not apaurusheya? That is my point - because everyone knows that Vyaasa is the greatest authority on the Vedaanta, having compiled the Vedas.

Point Two: Being smriti does not ipso facto mean representing a "sectarian" interest.

Again, this is just more of the standard, Indology hooey. Indologists like to claim that the Vedas are a hodge-podge of inconsistent and ritualistic ideas, and they further claim that any scriptures which attempt to elucidate their meaning are merely representing "sectarian" interests.

I am frankly unimpressed with these Indologists and their assumptions. They will claim, for example, that Vishnu's supremacy as described in the Bhagavad-giitaa, is a "later" development, in contrast to, say, the Rig Veda which supposedly does not take such a position. But when I point out mantras from the Rig Veda which explicitly describe Vishnu's supremacy, they just waffle and change the subject.

In short, "sectarian" is just an empty accusation leveled by biased scholars who can't tolerate anyone questioning their pet theories. Otherwise, they would be discredited in the academic community, would be unable to publish, unable to make money off of misrepresenting our religion, etc.

And we can't have that now can we?

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H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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#23971 - 06/25/04 06:04 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: Shaivite]
krishna_susarla Offline
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
Quote:


I guess I also should not say that murder and rape is wrong and cite the principle of ahimsa. After all, Hinduism has no rules.




That is the logical and unpalatable result of a position which holds that no rules exist in the religion, and that everyone can decide for himself what is right or wrong.

Did you notice how Rudrasharman's response was evasive? The "no-rules" crowd is typical like that - they will propose an ill-conceived principle (i.e. "there are no rules in Hinduism..."), and then go somewhere else when you challenge them to defend that in practice.

If Manu has no right to arbitrate what is right and what is wrong, then what gives Rudrasharman such a right? If he has no right, and no one else does either, then anarchy is the result.

Such a philosophy does not benefit anyone.

Folks will recall that in India more than 10 years ago, certain saffron-clad gentlemen professing to represent the Hindu faith did so by stirring up riots against religious minorities. Since "there are no rules," according to Rudrasharman, we cannot say this was wrong. Yet based on principles of shaastra, one would have no problem saying it was wrong.

So, which is the more enlightened position? Rudrasharman's anarchy, or Manu's cut-and-dry rulebook?

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H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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