You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1998

Re: use of silk etc.,

From: Parthasarati Dileepan (Dileepan_at_utc.edu)
Date: Tue Jul 28 1998 - 14:13:25 PDT

At 09:28 AM 7/28/1998 +0500, V. Chandrasekaran wrote:

>    Namaskarams. Yes, adiyEn is aware that our gunas depend
> majorly on the food we consume. Vegetables like onion, garlic,
> raddish are supposed to instill wrong desires in our hearts.
> Similarly consuming higher living creatures will create aggressive
> tendencies.

Is it not the words of our poorvacharyas that make us
accept the above?  After all there is no scientific proof.
Then,  it follows that we look to our Acharyas for answers
to this question.  Our Acharays, after studying the sasthras
have elaborated what to eat and what not to eat.  There is
an article on Ahara Niyamam in the Archives sometime
in 1995 or early 1996.



>    But at the same time our sanatana darma stresses heavily on
> ahimsa as do buddhism and jainism. It is one of the prerequisites

I don't wish to argue against Ahimsai.  But we need to look 
at this in perspective.  Please consider the following.

In Srimad BG our Lord Himself urges Arjuna to enter the 
battle and provide extreme _himsai_ to his near and dear 
ones, let alone some unknown animal.  Further, our own 
Sri Ramanuja says that animal sacrifice as in Agnishomiya 
is good for the animal.  Ref: Sri Rmaanuja Githa Bhashya 
Chapter 2, Verse 31.

Then, we have the examples of Guhan and Dharmavyadhar.
Dharmavyadhar says,

"The one who consumes meat after 
offering it to Devas and Pithrus will 
not incur any sin."

"Agni likes meat.  Therefore, the 
brahmins kill goats and offer the 
meat to Agni.  Those "yaaga pasus" 
reach Svargam because they are 
killed after having undergone proper 
samskaram." 

These and other such references may be found in 
Chapter 212 of Vana Parvam, Maha Bharatham.

All of these examples have one thing in common.  The "himsai"
given to others is in the course of performing one's prescribed
duty in the prescribed way.  Thus, there is no blanket injunction
against himsai as in Buddism and Jainism.

Please permit me to present another angle.  Those who offer
meat to the Lord and then consume it as "prasadham" is a lot
better off than those who live as strict vegetarians without
ever touching even eggs, but have no time for perumaaL.  
Thirumangai Azhvaar describes a scene where the lions of 
the hills of Ahobilam cull out the ivory from the elephants they 
kill and offer them to the Lord.  It is but natural for the lions to 
kill.  But, even while living a life of killing they remembered the 
Lord and offered a part of their kill to the Him.  It seems to me 
that some of those lions are in Vaikuntam while many of the 
strict vegetarians are still languishing in this samsaram.


> for a sadhaka to reach the state of self-realisation and hence
> bliss. I think this is mentioned in bhagavatham also. So urging
> vegetarianism for spiritual welfare has both the above as strong
> reasons, I feel. 


Again, pardon me to seem to disagreeif, but as I am sure you know, 
spiritual release does not come because of Vegetarianism.  It comes 
only through the grace of our sweet lord.

In summary, please consider the possibility that it is possible
for prapannas to use silk for the pleasure our Lord Sriman Narayana.


 -- adiyEn raamnuja dhasan