beef eating in the Veda

bpj at bpj at
Tue Feb 11 19:28:40 UTC 1997

At 18:43 11.2.1997 +0000, Max Langley wrote:
>Swami Asitananda of the Vedanta Society of Northern California in San
>Francisco once pointed out to me that one must put such questions in a
>proper perspective. The Sugata, Siddharta Gotama, marked the end of the
>Vedic period. It is clear from the Upanishads that recluses forwent meat.
>It was only in the struggle for religious, and eventually political,
>domination of the Indian subcontinent after the passing of the Buddha by
>his disciples and their successors that many reforms were compelled in
>line with the teaching of the Buddha and sangha. Among the reforms was the
>institution of vegetarianism outside of renunciate circles, Brahmans
>having previously eaten meat, probably beef also in some areas. I suspect
>that the beef-taboo in conjunction with cow veneration is not altogether
>primeval in India.

This cannot be the whole story. The early sangha ate _anything_ that fell
into their begging-bowls -- even the finger of a leper, it is said --, and
at least one tradition has it that the illness that caused the death of the
Tathagata was caused by His eating of contaminated pork.

__                     __  ___   __ ___ __
|_) |_  * | * __       (_ /_|| * (_ /_| (_ *
|   | ) | | | |_)            |     \
B.Philip Jonsson <bpj at>
[I write in Swenglish, if nothing else is said.]
              _        _    .             _ _
|| Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha ||

"Peace is not simply the absence of war.
It is not a passive state of being.
We must wage peace, as vigilantly as we wage war."
(XIV Dalai Lama)

"A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth"

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