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Re SingavEL kunRam

sreekrishna_at_mmd.com
Date: Thu Aug 24 1995 - 17:54:59 PDT

Badri wrote:
SingavEL kunRam
 >>While we don't see this practise anymore by the brahmana
>>priests, at the earlier times they were extremely angry
>>at the Buddhists because the Buddhists criticised the
>>vedic sacrifices. periyavaachchaan piLLai expresses his
>>irritation at the Buddhists (for their opposition to
>>vedic animal sacrifices) in his commentary to
>>thirumaalai.
>>But the vedanta scholars probably never thought highly of
>>the vedic sacrifices!

I think this is a ver valid comment.  Brahmins drove
Buddhism pretty much out of India, but still remained vegetarian. It is hard 
for
us to say whether it was their preference(ie., vegetarian meals) even before
Buddha's time. Nevertheless, the fact that  meat lost importance in Brahmin's
life indicates that they never cared for that  or found it more beneficial to
their health and spiritual life. Also  the Vedic sacrifices ( of Vedas) had
already been reduced in the Jnana Yagna of the Upanishads (Vedanta), for eg.,
Yasvaivam vidusho yagnasyatma .............., where all the beastly things of
Vedic sarifice  has been substituted symbolically with spiritual things like
shraddha. I don't know whether these mantras pre date Buddha. In any event,
Jnana Yagna mantras are  part of the Sri Vaishnava Aradhanam.  

Perhaps, tha anology for  consuming meat but not  truely caring for it  is
evident in our own life in the Americas. Many Hindus, who never tasted meat in
India have started enjoying meat here. As much as they enjoy meat, perhaps 
they won't miss it if  meat  is totally banned.

Also Vedic sacrifices belong to the Vedas. Vedanta philosophy is of the
Upanishads. Most Hindus consider Upanishads and Vedas as the  two faces of a
same coin. However, many Western scholars hold the view that the Vedas and
Upanishads originated from different sources. They claim that the Vedas are
foreign to India and the Upanishads are strictly of indigenous origin. Joseph
campbell  further comments that the Brahmins of the Vedas were the best
interpreters of the myth the world had ever known at that time (now  of course
it would be Joseph Campbell!) and once they came across the Upanishads (forest
Philosophy), they immediately saw the relation between their Vedic view and 
the
Upanishadic views. Since then they started interpreting the Vedas through
Upanishads. They pounded on the Upanishadic thoughts so hard that it  became
amalgamated with the Vedas. Thus, they appear inseparable to us. I don't know
how valid these interpretations are.  However, I must add that  we do find
similarities between  the Vedas and the Pre-Christian European Myths: But of 
the
Upanishads, it is strictly of India. We can also argue that  Vedanta
(Upanishads) which is the maturation or culmination of  happened only in 
India,
and  elsewhere, it  remained at a rudimentary  level.  

K. Sreekrishna