beef eating in the Veda

Kumar at Kumar at
Tue Feb 11 10:59:00 UTC 1997

I think Michael Witzel at Harvard can say more about the non-vegetarian
food habits of Brahmins in general and Vedic people in particular.  But if
I may digress a bit, as far as I know, there is certainly a non-vegetarian
food habit tradition among Brahmins in many parts of India, mostly north
India, e.g., Kashmiri, Bengali and Maharashtra Brahmins eat one form of
meat or another.  But I don't think beef is eaten by any of them.  But
again this beef thing might be something new and perhaps peculiar to post
Islamic India. All of this should have some past history and as we all
know, traditions keep changing and what might have been a habit among Vedic
people could have undergone significant changes. In the south, Brahmins are
much more orthopractic about their food habits.

>Recently I read Agehananda Bharati's _Great Tradition - Little
>Traditions_, in which he refers to Vedic passages which prove that
>beef was a common foodstuff among the Vedic people. Not being a Veda
>specialist myself, I want to ask: has anyone here on the list seen any
>such clear, unambiguous passages? (Please give references.)

Prof. P. Kumar (Associate Professor)
Head of Department of Science of Religion
Director - Centre for Asian Studies
University of Durban-Westville
Private Bag X 54001
South Africa
Tel: 031-820-2194
Fax: 031-820-2160
Email: kumar at

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