The vegetarian style offering to the deity (Re: Rashmun)

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The vegetarian style offering to the deity (Re: Rashmun)

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:28 am

In spite of a few instances in Vedic texts supposedly alluding to the non-vegetarian (animal / meat) type offering (sacrifice) during worship, the preferred and most commonly used offering to God during worship according to Vedas was “vegetarian” or “non-meat” type, including the non-intoxicating plant based Soma juice or Indu (footnote in Ref. 1).



Moreover, almost the entire book or Mandala (# 9) in the Rig Veda has hymns on Soma juice as the libation or holy offering to God.



Similarly, the Bhagavad Gita (Ch. 9 – V. 26) indicates scriptural preference for a holy offering / sacrifice which has no meat and might comprise only water, leaf, flower or fruit. Even the use of ordinary "halwa" (a thick porridge made from suji or wheat flour) as a religious / ritualistic offering on special occasions and during pujas (worships) is okay and it makes the oblation (holy offering) simple, inexpensive and meatless (as suggested by the Gita in above verse).



Incidentally, there is no credibility to the idea that human sacrifice was accepted norm in society before the time of Adi Samkara (sixth century A.D.). The great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, which were written long before Adi Samkara, have little information about this practice. Similarly, there is no support for human sacrifice in the Vedas.



References


(1) Dr. Subhash C. Sharma, “Significance of Hindu and Hindu dharma (Hinduism),” Nov. 3, 2003 http://www.oocities.org/lamberdar/hindu_hinduism.html



Appendix (added: July 28, 2012)
Adi Sankaracharya and the animal sacrifice


There is no reason to think that Adi Sankaracharya (Sankara or Samkara) accepted or encouraged the idea of animal sacrifice or meat as part of holy offering.



In his commentary on the Bhagvad Gita (Sankara-bhashya), especially comments to verse # 6 in Ch. 17 and verse # 25 in Ch. 18, Sankara considers the "jiva" (animal) torture and killing as Tamsic activity and wants no part of it in holy offering. Sankara categorically states (in the Sankara-bhashya) that the holy offering should be in Satvic mode (mode of light).



Considering "jiva" killing (viz. animal sacrifice) according to Sankara (as per Sankara-bhashya) is a Tamsic activity (in the mode of darkness) and unfit for holy offering, there is no reason to believe that Sankara showed any acceptance, support or favor, directly or indirectly, to animal sacrifice (including animal flesh / meat) as a part of holy offering which according to him needed to be in the Satvic mode (without involving torture or killing of animals and flesh / meat).



by: Dr. Subhash C. Sharma (dated:Nov. 30, 2011): http://lamberdar.hubpages.com/hub/vegetarian_oblation

Seva Lamberdar

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