[Advaita-l] Animal sacrifice

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 16:48:55 CST 2006

Sri Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> 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.

Namaste Ramakrishnan-ji. Following is my understanding and I request
your correction where I am wrong.

Animal sacrifices are meant for getting some specific results. If I do
not have desire for those results, do I have to create such desires?
Seems unlikely. It is neither possible nor necessary to do all kAmya
karmas. Whatever kAmya karmas I already engage in, should be enough
for my chitta-shuddhi if done by IshvarArpaNa buddhi and prasAda
buddhi. What vArtikAkAra seems to imply is that since dropping of all
kAmya karmas by an ajnAnI is anyway impossible, they should be done
for chitta-shuddhi. It does not mean that if someone is averse to some
kAmya karma such as animal sacrifice, he still has to do it. However,
if someone does not want to engage in some kAmya karma such as animal
sacrice, he is not entitled to a holier-than-though attitude either.

I remember visiting vindhyavAsini temple in Mirzapur in my childhood
days. That time animal sacrifice was done in the open in temple
premises. (I think it is now banned by government). Our priest - a
very learned vedic scholar and through and through no-garlic-onion
vegetarian would dip his little finger in the blood and put it at the
tip of his tongue as devI's prasAda. It would seem that people have
right to retain their personal preferences as long as they recognize
that they are just that -- preferences, not any moral statements.


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