beef eating in the Veda

bpj at bpj at
Wed Feb 12 19:39:03 UTC 1997

OK it figures that vegetarianism is a logical and moral consequence of
ahimsa, but that is still different from the situation wrt _beef_ in the
Hindu tradition and in the Vedic times: the question here seems to be if
beef was taboo, while the eating of other meats, or at least of meat in
general, was not restricted. In that case it has nothing to do with ahimsa,
and the question of beef vs. other meats has no bearing wrt meat eating vs.
ahimsa/vegetarianism. A distinction must be made between the Buddha's
prohibition of wilful killing, and prohibition of eating certain kinds of
food because they are seen as taboo or impure.



At 00:17 12.2.1997 +0000, Max Langley wrote:
>You are right--that Buddha' disciples ate whatever was placed in their
>begging-bowl. On the other hand, the values implicit in the Buddhadharma
>do lead inexorably to the conclusion that meat-eating must be given up.
>The Bhikhus/Bhikshunis following rules of the primitive pratimoksha
>consumed what might be regarded as a transgressive meal, were it not a
>token of the freedom guaranteed by adherence to the Vinaya. Therefore,
>non-attachment to what one ate and from what source it came represented a
>'higher' viewpoint than that governed by the scrupulosity dictated by
>ethical considerations. I suspect that some of the systematic
>'transgression' practiced by tantric practices finds its point of origin
>in this principle. Also, because the Buddhist ariyas of the early period
>were actively involved in religious and disputational competition with the
>followers of Kapila as well as others of the early schools, they
>maintaining similar viewpoints relating to diet as part of their whole
>viewpoint, the Buddhists could scarcely have not agreed with them in
>principle, reserving disagreement for particulars. It is my belief, at all
>events, that vegetarianism as a commonplace of general Indian orthodoxy,
>brahmanical and non-brahmanical, spreadly widely as a result of the
>competition for authority between these early groups,  but begun as a
>necessary implication of ahimsa.

|_) |_  * | * __       __  ___   __ ___ __
|   | ) | | | |_)      (_ /_|| * (_ /_| (_ *
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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)

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