beef eating in the Veda

Palaniappa at Palaniappa at
Thu Feb 13 01:56:38 UTC 1997

There is a story in Tamil Buddhist epic Manimekalai regarding one Aaputtiran
(meaning son of a cow) who was born of an extra-marital affair, abandoned by
his brahmin mother and later brought up by a cow for seven days. Later he is
adopted by a brahmin who teaches him all the knowledge required of a brahmin.
However, this Aputtiran later rescues a cow meant for sacrifice by brahmins.
The brahmins however catch him and he tells them that it is unfair to kill
cows which feed people with milk. The brahmins tell him that he was talking
out of ignorance of vedic practices. They deride him saying that he is only
fit to be the son of a cow. To this re responds by citing several rishis who
were sons of animals, such as Alacan, Sringi, Vrinci, and Kesakambalan. Then
when they cite his illegitimate birth and call him an outcaste, he questions
the birth of Vasishta and Agastya who were born of god and ganika.  

The epic has also other interesting stories and discussions on vegetarianism,


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