[Advaita-l] Animal sacrifice

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 13:24:44 CST 2006

On 1/7/06, Sanjay Srivastava <sksrivastava68 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sri Deosaran Bisnath wrote:
> >   I accept it is sanctioned by the Vedas.
> >  But why do we need to conduct Animal Sacrifice? Must we?
> No. Only nitya and naimittik karmas are compulsory. Others such as
> animal sacrifice yajna are for gaining some special results such as
> going to heaven or getting a son etc. Only they have to perform these
> sacrifices who are looking for such special goals.
> An advaitin has to get over the need of animal sacrifices just like
> other kAmya karmas. This is a part of developing requisite sAdhana
> chatushTaya. However this avoidance has nothing to do with something
> intrinsically wrong with animal sacrifice since animal sacrifice is at
> par with other kAmya karmas sanctioned by vedas. Rather it is due to
> the intrinsic nature of all kAmya karmas since all kAmya karmas
> strengthen bondage

What you state above has been stated as a puurva-paxa by Sankara and
refuted in his bR^ihad bhaaShya.

He states the entire veda has the subject matter as brahman. The
karma-kANDa largely teaches it indirectly (rites and meditation) and
hence is for mind purification *if done without any desire in mind*.
The upaniShads are about meditation (e.g, about vyAhR^itis) which
indirectly teach brahman, and direct j~naana (neti neti, etc).

Both kANDas have only brahman as content, though in a different way.

Sureshvara, in his vaartika, explicitly mentions the theory that
kaamaya karmas should be given up and refutes it. They should actually
be done without desire. It may seem like a contradiction even with the
name kaamya, but the point is that results accrue *only* if done with
that desire in mind. This is where advaita differs quite a bit from
other schools.

The desire is what is to be given up, not the karma.


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