beef eating in the Veda

thompson at thompson at
Wed Feb 12 01:17:30 UTC 1997

>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.)

Perhaps I have misunderstood RZ's request here: are you looking for
references to secondary literature, or to *Vedic passages* where beef
eating is
"unambiguously" referred to?

I assumed that you meant the latter.  There are also numerous passages in
the RV that imply the eating of beef, but they can be interpreted variously
i.e., ambiguously].  For example, we know that Agni was a beef-eater at RV
8.43.11.  Is this "unambiguous evidence" of Vedic beef eating?  Likewise,
the sacrifice of cows and oxen is undisputed in Vedic and it seems clear
that the cooked portions of the sacrificial victim were distributed among
the priests who were present.  Is this "unambiguous evidence" of beef
eating in Vedic?


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