[Advaita-l] Advaitic Foods - penance

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 16 13:01:48 CST 2010

Dear Satishji,

I appreciate your nice reply. However may I supplement your note with the following:

Manu says that there is no sin in eating meat, though he indicates that it is better not to eat meat. Lord Buddha advised the monks  that they could  eat meat provided the animal was not killed specifically for the monk and he did not see the killing and nor he heard the death-cry of the animal.

As regards the penance Manu says that Pranayama is the highest of the Tapas and that can remove the sins..

There is another alternative too. That is to take the name of Lord Ram. There is an anecdote related to this but I do not remember the reference. Once a person committed a grave sin and for its propitiation he went to a rishi's ashram. The rishi was not in the ashram at that time and he told his problem to the son of the rishi. The latter advised the former to utter the name of Lord Ram three times. later on when the rishi came to know about it he scolded his son saying uttering Lord Ram's name just once can removes hundreds of sins. However there is the  custom is to utter the holy name of Lord Ram three times or Sri Vishnu three times.

These observations are not meant to discourage one from following the conventional ways you have suggested.


Sunil K.Bhattacharjya

--- On Thu, 12/16/10, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Advaitic Foods - penance
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 2:47 AM

>The dish had prawn oils in it.
>Is there any official ritual i must perform for this sin I have committed?

No need to lose sleep over this. But there are many penances for consuming 
prohibited foods.

The best one is to follow that which one's sva-guru or a family purohita, or the 
AchArya of any maTha(if the family follows that maTha from generations) 
prescribes. Please also see the list below.

>7.Or is it part of their svadharma (by virtue of being born into that 
>varna/jaathi) that they can meat regardless of locale of residence or occupation 
>or >change in circumstance ?

>This is true.

A correction. To eat meat is not their sva-dharma.. but just one of their many 
options which the dharma-shAstra does not have a problem with.

>brAhmaNa-s refraining from eating meat is more because of bauddha and jaina 

This should not be misunderstood to that mean before these mata-s Hindu-s were 
regularly consuming mAmsa or that these mata-s introduced a vegetarian 
lifestyle. With the arrival of these mata-s, preference for vegetarian food 
increased among the elite.

As said before, smArta-s already had the practice of refraining from meat and 
women in the context of vrata/tapas/mantra-purascharana etc.

Below is a list of penances if prohibited foods are consumed:

1.1) drinking vAruNi beer inadvertantly: Has to have to undergo a new upanayanaM 
to be ritually fit.

1.2) drinking vAruNi beer intentionally: There is no penance- the death is the 
only reliever, and one looses that status of a dvija

2) If he touches, receives or gives a beer or a wine, he should drink water 
boiled with kusha grass for 3 days.

3) If he accidently drinks urine he must underg a re-upanayanaM.

4) If inadvertantly eats foul-smelling food he is ritually impure until it is 
entirely excreted.

5)If he eats forbidden meats, mushrooms, or meat from a slaughterhouse he must 
under go the chandrAyana penance.

6)For meat derived from fowls he must undergo the arduous sAntapana penance.

7)If he eats food tained by the lick of a cat, dog, rat, mongoose, crow or 
insects, he should consume a decoction of the brahmasuvarchala plant that will 
save from their disasterous effects. He can become ritually pure if he vomits 
those foods.

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