Last word on the Buddhism-advaita issue (Hopefully!)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 17 20:59:22 CDT 1999

Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> wrote:

>What is 'sin' in vedic religion? Am I right in saying that sin is
>understood to be that which is against vedic dharma? In that sense, vedic
>animal sacrifice is certainly not "sinful".

Yes, sin would be that which is against dharma.

>        I also understand that a vedic sacrifice is performed with a
>specific desire in mind, which will be fulfilled if the sacrifice is
>performed correctly. My question is, is it "sinful" to have a desire, the
>satisfaction of which involves an animal sacrifice? Which dharmaSAstrs say

It is relative. If the thought of killing an animal in order to properly
perform a yajna prescribed to satisfy a desire leads to the complete loss of
the original desire, then one is perfectly justified in not undertaking the
yajna, and no sin is incurred. If however, the desire continues, then there
is a problem.

>more about the specific karmic consequences of the vedic sacrifices?

This is basically in the realm of pUrva mImAMsA texts, which are of course
closely allied to the dharmaSAstra texts. For good overviews, I would
suggest P. V. Kane's volumes on the dharmaSAstra literature and Ganganath
Jha's texts on mImAMsA.


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