Archive for the ‘Sushruta’ Category

THE BIG COW CONUNDRUM OF INDIA   Leave a comment

I should have been born a sheep or chicken, I would have got a dignified life, though it's short!

I’m the holy cow! What a fate that has befallen on me? I’m respected and revered in this way! I should have been born as a sheep or a chicken, I would have got a dignified life though it’s quite short!

I am writing this as the one who has been born and brought up in a culture which makes it a point to do cow worship and to treat it as our own mother and even much more. My mother still treats any cow that visits our house to have some food of grains and water, with much awe and reverence, feeds it after performing some rituals of puja like, applying vermillion on its forehead and giving the customary aarthi or burning the incense sticks before it and later on prays to it by making some three rounds of circumambulation! We all follow suit and pray to the holy cow to fulfil all our material and spiritual desires. That’s really a great and wonderful thing our culture has taught us to see the all pervasive divinity in an animal and worship it as we worship the Lord Almighty.

Soon after that, my mother gets into the kitchen to cook a delicious and sumptuous meal for us for lunch. She prepares tasty rice cooked with edible oil and some spices (popularly called pulav in Telangana), delectable chapattis and jowar rotis, and any guess, which curry to eat them with? It’s either lamb or chicken! And we all devour the food lustfully with great propensity and much greater feeling of appetite! The same mother of mine, who performed puja to one animal with utmost zeal and reverence, cooks the carcass of another animal with great care and precision to feed us all well, and the same we, who prayed to an animal in great awe and veneration in the morning, devour the flesh of another animal with utmost craving! This is a ubiquitous sight at majority of the Hindu dwellings in the entire length and breadth of our country. And we never spare a minute or two to ponder over the big dilemma of having to pray one animal and at the same time, killing and eating another animal. We never care about this, and just take things for granted! We never think about the harsh truth that when God is all pervasive and when He’s in every living creature or animal as in every human being, how come some animals are to be treated with much reverence and others to be slaughtered mercilessly, how come one animal is so sacred and another is doomed be devoured!

And now, at it is all your expectation,

I would like to come to the crux of the matter, i.e., cow slaughter and beef eating. I’ve been prompted to write this article (in spite of much aversion to it as all my upbringing never permits me to talk / write about such a thing and I’m doing it all at the risk of incurring the wrath of my so called community elders, the modern and post-modern religious heads and the pious and devout Brahmanas who may curse me for doing this sacrilegious act!) after learning about the gory incident of a frenzied mob brutally lynching a man and mercilessly assaulting his son on just a rumour that they have slaughtered a calf and consumed its beef, that too, when it was in a state (Uttar Pradesh) which is not among the states that has banned the slaughter or sale of beef!

I’ve been doing intense research online for a whole couple of days and have so far read tens of articles with authentic sources in this ugly aftermath about whether there has been any religious sanctity in Hinduism of cow and bull slaughter and consuming their beef. To my utter shock and bewilderment, I came across many facts and facets of the ancient Vedic culture and civilization that made it a point to do animal sacrifice, especially the cow, to please the celestial gods and the ancestral spirits, and it had been made mandatory to all to consume the carcass of the animals thus sacrificed including the pious Brahmanas! The great ancient sages such as, Vishwamitra, Yagnavalkya, JamadagniSayana and the great ancient administrators, doctors and surgeons, astrologers and socio-political philosophers of India such as, Manu, Charaka, Sushruta, Aryabhatta, Chanakya, etc., and other proponents of Vedic culture and civilization were themselves fond of cow / bullock / calf beef and they encouraged the countrymen to consume beef just like any other vegetarian food. But it’s a matter of big puzzle and mysticism that how in later ages the same thing which had been validated and sanctioned by our ancient sages and seers (whom we all still revere), came to be considered as a stigma or a taboo or a big sacrilegious act! I feel it’s a part of a much bigger conspiracy deliberately and purposefully weaved by some mischievous Brahmanas in the later ages who resorted to blatant misinterpretations, and misquoted all our Vedic scriptures and changed the entire socio-cultural consciousness of the mankind and made them to toe their lines fraught with Machiavellian machinations just in order to perpetuate some hidden agenda and protect all their vested interests!

I’m still confounded with the irony that the great emperor and warrior and the protector of the vast subcontinent whose kingdom had stretched to unimaginable length and breadth and the one who had been and still is considered as the yugapurusha and as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu Himself, called Srirama whom we still revere as God incarnation, was himself a beef and also ‘horse beef’ eater and all his gurus who were pious and devout Brahmanas, they themselves consumed beef with great interest and enthusiasm, but the present day (so called) bhakts of Lord Srirama have taken up the mantle to protecting the cow and are hell bent on banning the consumption of beef in the entire country. By the way, in this context, in the fitness of the things, I would like to bring this to the notice of all that it’s been alleged that the great and veteran BJP leader and the towering giant of modern Indian politics, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been a regular eater of beef! I’ve seen with my own eyes, many of those who call themselves devout and pious Brahmanas, relishing chicken tandoori, mutton biryani, kheema curryboti fry and fish soup!! What a farcical, what a hypocritical and what an ironical modern India we are all living in!!

I’m a Hindu to the core and Hinduism is my passion and forte. However, I’m amenable to logic, intellectually driven arguments and constructive criticisms based on scientifically proven and historically authenticated facts. This is what that has been taught to me by my all time Hero and the greatest ideal figure worth emulating by all, Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekandana has been considered to be the supreme authority on Hinduism in modern India and he was the one who revived the most ancient religion and put it on a very high pedestal in the entire world. No one on the earth can dare to deny this universal fact! Many consider him to be the reincarnation of Adi Shankaracharya and I, as many of my conscientious countrymen, can’t dare contest this claim as he proved himself to be worth of considering on those lines! Please read what he had to say about meat eating, cow slaughter and consumption of beef-

1. Meat-eating and Vegetarianism

2. Without Eating Beef, No Brahmin Could Remain A Brahmin

3. About Eating Cow

4. Hypocrisy of Cow Protection among the Non-spiritual

Here are some historical facts about cow slaughter and the consumption of beef in ancient India-

1. Rigveda, Manusmruti Sanction Beef Eating

2. Eating Beef is Not Sinful

3. I’m a Hindu and Beef Eater Too!

About vegetarianism vs non-vegetarianism,

If someone is calling himself / herself a pure vegetarian, you must always bear in mind that you’re not supposed to drink cow’s or buffalo’s milk and the other products such as, ghee, curd, cheese, etc., as they are the byproducts of non-vegetarianism! The milk is basically meant for the calves, not for human consumption! Do you know how much cruelty and how much excruciating pain and suffering the milch animals are subjected to for having a glass of milk or a cupful of curd / yoghurt or a teaspoonful of ghee / cheese to treat your palate and to please your taste-buds and to supply nutrients to your physical body? And you call yourself a pure vegetarian! What a farce!! A true vegetarian is the one who earns his / her food without inflicting any sort of violence or injury to any kind of living being! In that way, you should not consume even vegetation as there is life in them! Should not eat the fruits and the seeds that are fertilized ones and as they are basically meant for reproduction and they very much carry the life force as we all do! What you have to do is, eat all those that don’t have life in them and which are not meant for reproduction! Just think about it, is that humanly possible? Then, why carry grudge on those who eat non-vegetarian food? Can you imagine the amount of physical activity which we are witnessing now, will also be there if and when we insist all to turn into pure vegans and be like sadhus? In that case, there’ll be a big full-stop to all our material progression and expansionism and the basic human civilization! Don’t you agree?

And finally about banning beef in India,

Let’s put aside for sometime the secular aspect of India for argument’s sake (dear secularists, I beg your apology for this, and btw, this is to state in clear cut terms that I myself am a secular Hindu!), then, our country will be left with only orthodox and fundamental Hindus and other such religious fanatics, ok fine, we’ll go on banning the consumption and sale of beef in the entire length and breadth of the country, in that case, what would befall us? Much anarchy, chaos and religious unrest, and mutual suspicion, cynicism and mistrust between Hinduism and some other religions and even between the people who are divided into two groups in the same Hindu religion! But, what about our Vedic culture and civilization which validated and sanctioned slaughtering of cow and eating its flesh? However, if you’re hell bent on banning the consumption of beef, you must first denounce and renounce the ancient Vedic culture and civilization, the Vedas themselves, discard the various Vedangas, PuranasUpanishadsSmrutis and Samhitas which permitted the consumption of beef, you must castigate all those ancient seers, sages, rishis, sadhus and gurus and such all other enlightened souls and the celestial gods who themselves were fond of beef of cow or bull or the calf, and start disassociating, disconnecting and disaffiliating from them! You must also disown Swami Vivekananda!! Can anyone from the Hindu religion dare to do that?? I can say with 100% confidence and conviction, no devout Hindu ever do that, as that entails the annihilation and vanishing of the Hindu religion on the face of the earth!! A truth or a fact is always a truth or a fact and it’s always a full and complete one, never half or a quarter part of it! In the same logic, if you’re dead set on banning beef, you must also ban the consumption of meat, chicken, fish, egg, milk and all such non-vegetarian foods and the byproducts which we get by inflicting injury or violence to the living beings. The life is same in all living beings including the plants, and they all carry the same emotions, fears and the feelings of angst, anxiety, dismay, despair, horror and terror, not just cows and bulls alone!!

When the wife and children are starving and dying of food and there’s no other alternative, and their old discarded cows are languishing the on roads, streets and on the garbage dump yards feeding on posters and plastic tins and bags and polythene covers, what should a sensible man do in the circumstances such as this, and when there has already been religious sanctity to it?

I may not come over of my old habits which die very hard and move on consuming beef but I never criticize and despise all those who consume beef, as I myself eat meat, chicken, fish and egg, just one step lower to them, only one step!!

By the way, I would like to share some of my personal things with you, if you’re interested to know (and if you’re not interested, you may please skip this paragraph), my father who got upadesha from our most reverent Guruji, gave up non-vegetarian food (so as to speak) including egg some 25 years ago even though our Guruji was dead opposed to it! My mother couldn’t follow him (contrary to the custom of the Hindu faith which enjoins the wife to follow in the footsteps of her husband) as it would entail severe blow to our (me and my siblings) nurturing and supplying proteins and the other nutrients to us. Had she followed my father, there would been no option left for us but to follow our parents regarding the food habits and we would have missed the non-vegetarian food at home, prepared by my mother for eternity! Even though my father doesn’t consume meat and egg, he still goes to the market and brings meat, chicken, fish and eggs for us and encourages us and the guests to eat non-vegetarian food. I took to pure vegetarianism (so as to speak) taking inspiration from my father’s strong resolve and ate the food sans meat and egg for a whopping 4 years! As I looked back and see what I could achieve in those four years, you’ll be shocked to know this, nothing but frustration, uneasiness that were born out of the severe tussle between my material ambitions and spiritual cravings! Now, I’m at ease with myself, after coming back to my old food habits of being a non-vegetarian! No waning of my spiritual quest, not even an iota of it!!

I’m a devout Hindu, there should not be any iota of doubt in it, and at the same time, I bow before logic and intellectual persuasion and convincing truths and facts. By the way, how could I contest that which the ancient sages and seers of my motherland who have been the strongest pillars of my religion, the sanatana dharma, stood for? At the same time, I respect my territorial Constitution, the greatest rulebook which sanctions freedom of choice of living, eating and practising any religion or trade and profession, to everyone provided they are not detrimental to the basic unity & sovereignty of the nation and peaceful coexistence of the population.

My most fundamental question is, can we ensure total food security to every citizen of our country by doing away with non-vegetarian food, even if we do it, can we supply sufficient proteins and other nutrients to them so that everyone will he healthy and hale and hearty to carry forward the long built civilization and material progress? Or shall we become sadhus and the enlightened souls by renouncing the entire physical world, eating only saattvic food and living in spiritual pursuits? Believe me my dear brethren, that’ll be the invitation to enormous invasions and total destruction and decay of our motherland and its long built culture and civilization! Every Indian as Swami Vivekananda exhorts us all, must have muscles of iron and nerves of steel so that he / she can protect our motherland from external aggressions and internal disturbances! “A strong mind lives only in a strong body and you’ll be nearer to heaven through football than through the study of the Geeta”, quips Swamiji!!

Please read these two small articles if you’ve got time and patience, and if I’m not too much vexatious and exasperating-

1. Material vs Spiritual  

2. What’s the Purpose of our Life

Let me reiterate once and for all, I’m a staunch and devout Hindu

by Birth

by Nature

and

by Destiny

but

I’m NOT a Hypocrite!!!

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