haridas shastri ji and meat eating Nov 29, 2011 20:30:19 GMT -6
Post by vkaul1 on Nov 29, 2011 20:30:19 GMT -6
The moderator of advaita list Vidyasankar Sundaresan has rebutted the far-fetched interpretation offered by Sri Haridas Shastri, where references to bulls were reinterpreted to refer to herbs.
I am copying the excerpt below and I think I agree with Vidyasankar
and I don't understand what Haridas Shastri ji is doing.
> RV: If you think Vedas prescribe meat eating in this age also, you should
> be true to your convictions. However, any point has to be established with
> references. According to Shri Haridas Sastry, who holds 14 traditional
> degrees including ones in Nyaya, Vyakharana etc., the Br. Up. verses and
> Shankara Bhashya both do not refer to young or old bull. His arguments are
> in the public domain as part of "Review of Beef in Ancient India". I have
> not seen any one countering it logically or independantly establishing
> based on knowledge of rituals that the procedures involve killing a bull.
I really did not want to get into a critique of this review here, given that I
am personally not keen to contribute to the wrong side of a contemporary
religio-political debate, but you are forcing my hand.
Firstly, if the learned Sastri with all his degrees is to be taken seriously,
he needs to think of the upanishad references in their entire context, not
just that of potent semen. He also needs to do a better job of explaining
away the terms secana-samartha and puMgava in the bhAshya. Please
learn a little bit of Sanskrit grammar to understand what I mean. Merely
citing the "document in public domain" is not an answer. For example,
puMgava already indicates "male of the bovine species". There would
have been no reason for SankarAcArya to have added a term "go-vaMSa"
as suggested by the learned Sastri. That would have indeed been quite
tautological and unlike us today, SankarAcArya chooses his words very
carefully. In the bhAshya, secana-samartha directly refers to the word
puMgava. The bhAshya vAkya does not mean that consuming puMgava
(a herb) will make the man more secana-samartha, i.e.v more capable
of producing "high-class" potent semen. If the learned Sastri were to be
believed and we take it that the activity of the herb is to increase the
potency of the man's semen, why would the upanishad ask the wife to
also eat the same meal? The Sastri says nothing about these herbs
increasing the viability of the mother-to-be's ova. Finally, he has not
said anything about how such ordinary things as milk, curd, water and
sesame in the preceding parts of the same passage, eatables that are
consumed almost daily, help in producing "high-class" semen that can
result in progeny capable of mastering up to three veda-s. If that were
the case, why, every Indian should be an easy master of three veda-s
as a matter of course.
Why, SankarAcArya could have simply said that ukshA is a reference to
soma and Rshabha is a herb more potent that soma, as suggested by
the learned Sastri. That would have saved us all the unnecessary trouble
and heartache over our ancestors ate meat or not. It is stretching the
limits of credulity to ask us to believe that not only the upanishad but also
the bhAshya are speaking in veiled terms and that we have to go to highly
derivative and secondary meanings of words in both, in order to cook up
a result that sounds favorable.
Moreover, a corollary from the comments of the learned Sastri is that
the smRti statements recommending that go-medha is not to be done in
kaliyuga are meaningless. If he is right, then go-medha would never
have been done ever, even in kRta or tretA or dvApara yugas. Specially
stating that it should not be done in kaliyuga would have been quite
unnecessary. There should be nothing yugadharma-specific about it,
if he would have his way. You know that this is not the case.
Now, can we move on, away from semen and impregnation, to matters
that would be more relevant to the aims of THIS list?
I would suggest that when you spend time learning with Sri Mani Dravid
Sastrigal soon, before touching upon apaurusheyatva, first learn about
the fundamental principles (if not the bewildering details) of mImAMsA
rules on how to interpret Sruti and smRti. This is as logical as I am
prepared can get at this point, because contributing to these sorts of
discussions often feels like shouting at a totally deaf man, in a totally
futile attempt to make him hear.