VEGETARIANISM

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In the name of Allāh,

the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.

DEDICATED TO

Allāh–the Glorious and the High,

Lord of the worlds

AND TO

Mohammad–who brought the world

to our feet and eternity to our arms.

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VEGETARIANISM

No one seems to know the origin of vegetarianism.

According to Anoop Chandola, “The Dravidians are conjectured to have added such aspects as yoga, puja….vegetarianism 1

   Hinduism allows the killing of animals. Sheldon I. Pollock in The Ramayana of Valmiki, Vol. II, notes that Rama and his brother, Laksmana:

“killed four large animals–a boar, an antelope, a gazelle, and a great black buck. They were famished and took meat hurriedly.”

“Proceeding two miles further, the brothers Rama and Laks-mana killed many animals such as are pure to consume and ate them in a grove by the Yamuna.”2

About Rama eating meat, C. Rajagopalachari says, “Some good men are troubled by this. But meat was not prohibited for Kshatriyas. Indeed, it has always been the rule in India to permit any food legitimately obtained and consecrated as a sacrifice. Raama was a Kshatriya and he lived in the forest in the Kshatriya way, though abstemiously.” (Ramayana, p. 90. Italics added).

(Rama may not have killed and eaten animals, seeing that the Ramayana is “mythology,” as Rajagopalachari says. It does, however, establish that killing and eating of animals is permissible in Hinduism; if it was not, the sage(s) who wrote the Ramayana would not have attributed such acts to Rama).

   Jawaharlal Nehru states: “The eating of beef, previously countenanced, is later absolutely prohibited. In the Mahabharata there are references to beef or veal being offered to honoured guests.”3                                                                   

(This prohibition may have been instituted by Buddha).

   The Gita (3:14) states: “Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice]…” Swami Prabhupada explains that:

“Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Krsna…..Although there are certain restrictive rules and regulations regarding animal sacrifice for particular purposes in the Vedas, people of demonic tendency still took to animal sacrifice without refer-ence to the Vedic principles. Lord Buddha appeared to stop this nonsense and to establish the Vedic principles of non-violence.”–(Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (4:7).  

(Seems that Buddha only put an end to sacrifices that were “without reference to the Vedic principles.” It is unlikely that Buddha would criticize or prohibit an ordi-nance of God).

   Swami Prabhupada, commenting on the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 18:3, states:

“Although animal killing in a sacrifice is recommended in the Vedic literature, the animal is not considered to be kill-ed. The sacrifice is to give a new life to the animal. Some-times the animal is given a new animal life after being killed in the sacrifice, and sometimes the animal is promoted immediately to the human form of life.”

   In which event the Muslims annual sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha might be doing a tremendous good to millions of souls trapped in animal forms by freeing them “immediately to the human form of life.” Perhaps even freeing the Swami’s parents and even himself.

(This sacrificing of animals cannot be restricted to Hinduism. For, as Krishna says in the Gita 4:6-8: “I still appear in every millennium” “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice” “To deliver the pious;” and since the Arabs of 7th Century Arabia were in a “decline in religious practice,” according to his saying Krishna must have ‘appeared’ to the Arabs. As the Qur’an sanctions the slaughter of animals for food, any preaching against the eating of meat would seem to be a preaching against Krishna. It is against reason that Krishna would sanction the eat-ing of animals [and fish] if the killing of animals cause “karmic reaction.” If Krishna came as Mohammad, he revealed the Qur’an to himself; and has given conflicting doctrines–Resurrection and Judgment to Islam versus Karma and Reincarnation to Hinduism).

   That animal “sacrifice is recommended in the Vedic literature,” (even if the animal is given “a new animal life” or “is promoted immediately to the human form of life”), seems to be a contra-diction of the teaching that “killing an animal interrupts its pro-gressive evolution through the species,” as The Higher Taste states. (p. 44).

   In some parts of India “gramadevatas” (village deities) are appeased with “animal sacrifices as a way of warding off and re-moving epidemics, crop failures, and other natural disasters.”4                                                                                         

   Goats are “sacrificed” to the goddess Kali “daily.” And “to avert cattle epidemics a bull is sacrificed to Rudra”5 (who is Shiva in another form).

   Krishna’s saying: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it”–(Gita 9:26), does not mean that only vegetarian offerings are accepted. It is not the worth of the gift that is taken into consideration, but one’s motive, as defined by the words “with love and devotion.” Even simple inexpensive offerings are acceptable, as long as it is of-fered “with love and devotion.”

   Krishna instructs the yogi to “lay kusa grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin”–(Gita 6:11-12). The yogi cannot get “deerskin” if animal is not to be killed. It is an abomination to skin a dead animal; and the yogi would have to find a dead deer (and even a recent dead one).

   The Rgveda says of the Maruts, who are noted as “deified mortals,” that “Deer-skins are on their shoulders.”6 It is strange “deified mortals” would garland themselves in “Deer-skins” if killing animals were forbidden.

   Describing an arrow “made of a piece of a deer’s horn and attached to the shaft with leather strings,” as Griffith explains, the Rgveda states: “Her tooth a deer, dressed in an eagle’s fea-ther, bound with cow-hide, launched forth, She flieth onward.”7 Unless this deer was killed or dead it would be cruel to cut off its “horn.” Surely the cow would have to be killed (or be dead) to get its skin to make leather to “bound” the arrow. To buy leather would be condoning others killing cows.

   Since the Veda, Gita, and Ramayana allow animal sacrifice/ killing, and since Hindus/ksatriyas are “not prohibited” from eat-ing meat, what is the religious basis for vegetarianism in Hindu-ism? Swami Dayananda Saraswati seems to supply the answer, he wrote: “The Aryas should neither themselves kill such useful animals as cows, nor let others do the same (as cows give milk and calves)….“Therefore, it is that the Aryas have always re-garded the cow as the most useful animal.”8

   Clearly, Hinduism’s vegetarianism is economy than theology.

   The ideal situation could not be “vegetarianism” seeing that God had “respect” for Abel’s animal offering and “had not res-pect” for Cain’s “fruit” offering”–(Genesis 4:1-5); and when He gave instructions all over the place, from Genesis to Deutoro-nomy–from Noah to Moses– to utilize the meat of animals. Animals are allowed as food–(Genesis 9:3); as proof of inno-cence of murder, in which (they) “shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley”–(Deut. 21:1-9); and as an offering to God–(Lev. 1:2).

   Condemning the eating of meat, which eating of meat is re-commended by God, is unGodly. In fact when Noah, after the Flood, “offered burnt offerings” “of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl” the Lord smelled a SWEET SAVOUR”(Genesis 8:20-21).

(Those who are against animals being used for the ad-vancement of medicine should not benefit from such cures. Their benefiting from such researches would be hypocritical. To protest against the use of animals in such researches and acknowledging the cures from such tests would be like saying that the meat is not good to eat but the broth is good to drink).

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NOTES

1. Anoop Chandola, The Way To True Worship, p. 8. Italics/emphasis added.

2. Sheldon I. Pollock, The Ramayana of Valmiki, Vol; I, pp. 183, 190,

3. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India, p.108.

4. Ency. Brit. 15th edn; art. gramadevata, Vol. IV, p. 667.

5.  Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, p. 180.

6. Ralph T. H. Griffith, Hymns of the RgVeda, Book I, hymn CLXVI, verse 10, Vol, 1, p. 245.

7. Ibid. Book VI, hymn LXXV, verse 11, Vol, 1, p. 693. Italics/emphasis added.

8. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 321-322.

 

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