beef eating

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at
Sat Feb 15 17:55:26 UTC 1997

On Sat, 15 Feb 1997, George Thompson wrote:


> It is an interesting question: are there non-ritual occasions of
> meat-eating in Vedic?  It also depends on what one means by "ritual."  Some
> students of ritual are inclined to think that if it takes place in public
> it is inevitably ritual [or at least ritualized]. Such perhaps is the view
> of the authors of our Vedic texts ....

It seems to me that this question will never get satisfactory answers.
Even today, a great component of Hindu observances is "ritual" of some
sort. For people of my grandparents' generation, life was an extended
ritual. Even in private, or within a close family setting, ritual played
an important part. For example, simple acts like bathing or cooking a meal
came with many ritual observances. For the Vedic people, the entire 
universe was based on yajna, i.e. ritual. Besides, given the fact that the 
Vedas are about the only source which can be characterized as Vedic, 
evidence of meat-eating in non-ritual circumstances is going to be very 
hard to come by. 

S. Vidyasankar

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