[Advaita-l] food habits and Karma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Feb 1 23:58:31 CST 2005

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Anand Krishnamurthy wrote:

> Thank you all for your comments. There is nothing
> wrong with finding meat repulsive. It after all is a
> decaying piece of flesh.

But might the resolve of the repulsed waver if they are confronted with a
beautifully arranged, nice smelling piece of flesh?  As a matter of
strategy I like the way Shri Parasukhanandanatha put it.  "Leaving the
small family to join the large family"  An advaitin would find the idea of
eating an animal as strange as taking a bite from his own mother.

> Jaldhar, I also think that
> vegeterianism is probably Jaina in origin rather than
> Buddhist. Jainism was very popular in the south prior
> to Adi Sankara's period.

Yes, I think the high percentage of vegetarians in all sections of
Gujarati society for instance is due to the Jain influence that continues
till today.  But its strange that classical authors don't mention them as
much as Buddhists in this context.  Mind you Bengal was the last
stronghold of Buddhism in India and Jainism was not so well known so
perhaps Vishvanatha conflated the two in his mind.

> Many non-brahmin hindus do not know what to make of
> our vedic heritage. Many americans can only come up
> with the caste system ideology when you mention
> anything about being a hindu. Infact I think Ambedkar
> was right. Being a Hindu can mean totally opposite
> things to different people.

Well Hindu is just a catch-all term.  It means "people who live on the
right bank of the Indus" nothing more.

> The only thing that is
> common to all faiths from India are I guess, Dharma,
> Karma and re-birth. Dharma affects Karma and Karma
> affects Re-birth or Moksha. Now is that from the
> Vedas? Ours is a very evolved faith system. It is very
> human. I still struggle to make sense of Shankara's
> religiousity like his compositions to Devatas on one
> hand and then something like Viveka chudamani on the
> other. How can theological ritualism and rationalism
> be together?

Unfortunately in modern times, science and rationality have gotten
confused together.  Science is the application of rationality to
observable phenomena.  This does not mean any other subject cannot be

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a boy! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/nilagriva/

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