Saturday, August 27, 2011

Food – Drink – Kitchen -2

In this chapter-II we see mauryan conditions and what artha sahstra says about food style, it gets clear that Early India moves towards Ahimsa almost completely from frequent animal sacrifices in Vedic period.

Summary part I [click for chap I]
In the vedic period Animal sacrifices were very common[C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6], killing of the best bulls/cows would mean the annihilation of the entire race (no bulls -> no farming -> no food). The farming community got frustrated with it and this was one of the primary reasons why people liked Buddhism [ Haraprasad Shastri R S Sharma], in fact for the birth of Buddhism and hence rise of great Mauryan kingdom. No doubt Buddha [Rise of new Religions] stressed on ahimsa that went through pain seeing the ritualistic Aryans.

Light Of Asia

Here Comes the Light of Asia, Buddha, he gives a jolt to the Vedas and sends shocks across the ritualistic sacrificial ceremonies, he then extracts a beautiful theory from Upanishads and contributes to the world via Tipitikas. He gives to the world the concept of Ahimsa.

Yes we have to accept that ahimsa was know to Vedic rishis, but for some unknown reason misinterpretation of Vedas resulted in blind literal adaptation of the vedic description which resulted in sacrificial practices.

Ahimsa Paramodharma

Buddha declared: "Ahimsa Paramodharma" to mean “Non Violence is the supreme religion”. This was well embraced by Ashoka the Great, we all know the story of Kalinga war. With the advent of Buddhism things started changing slowly, especially during Mauryan period Ashoka prohibited animal sacrifices and made laws which ensured through his rock inscriptions and got it installed in different places of his kingdom.

But I should mention there are instances in history which shows that Buddha was also a meat eater who ate pork and beef. It’s obvious before he became a Monk he lived a life as that of any one. History says one of the reasons for Buddha becoming a monk is the inhuman practices of sacrificial ceremonies; he took severe stand against it. He was a wandering Monk so he had to eat what ever was offered. But after some point he ordered that no monk should eat meat. [Read more details in the detailed link mentioned at the last].

Earliest Indication of this prohibition is seen in the Mahayanist remodeling of the Mahaparinibbatasutta in its Sanskrit version the Buddha is stated to have said “ I order disciples from today that they cannot any more part take of meat”

Reasons for the Rise of new Religions like Buddhism and Jainism

-) Upanishads questioned the vedic rituals and practices. Upanishads gave rise to new religions by claiming Jnana marga as the best marga.[1]

-) Many theories and philosophies were formed pertaining to soul and its binding with birth and death.

-) Vivekananda calls birth of Buddhism as a kshatriya revolt against the Aryan-brahmin supremacy and atrocity. Similar argument is documented by Many Historians who quote “primarily people were frustrated with animal sacrifice and yagas were becoming costly”. [p 122, Bharatada itihasa ]

Food consumed In the Eyes of Kautilya’s Artha Shastra

We all know the famous Chanakya, Master mind behind he mauryan empire, his Artha shastra reflects the Mauryan conditions which says like this “Arthashastra accepts meat eating as quite normal and lays down for the management of slaughter houses and the maintenance of purity of meat. It was only with the rise of Mahayana Buddhist sect, vegetarianism spread across the respectable people”.

Medical texts even of late period, go far as to recommend the use of both meat and alcohol in moderation and do not forbid eating of beef
. [P 215, The Wonder that was India].Arthashastra advises the manufacture of liquor in government controlled breweries and gives several brief and cryptic recepies. Medaka [Rice beer], Prasanna [spiced beer], Apple wine [asava], Maireya [Raw sugar beer].

Decline of Buddhism

Buddhism left India with a positive note, let’s read what Fa-hein has to say

When Fa-hein visited India in the early 5th century AD he reported that no respectable person ate meat, the consumption of which was confined to lower castes. Although many historians feel that Fa-hein is exaggerating the but from him we can conclude that reign of Ashoka is a Land Mark in the development of vegetarianism.

Historian Haraprasad Shastri says one of the chief reasons for the downfall of Mauryans is Ashokan inscriptions, which prohibited animal sacrifice and had to face the wrath of Brahmins.

Another historian RS Sharma says because Ashoka prohibited beast like rituals and ceremonies, Brahmins got frustrated as their income reduced.

By 5th century AD, the Buddhism declined because of following reasons

a) Attack from Hoons/ Huns and in 10th century by Turks

b) Mahayana sect of Buddhism incorporated almost all vedic rituals.

c) Buddhist monks started living a luxury life and forgot prime duties.

d) Shankaracharya of 7th century AD gave a new life to vedic religion hence gave a death blow to the already dying buddhism.

Please click on the below hyperlinks, C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 talk about Vedic citations, C7-C15 talk about post vedic citations. We find animal sacrifice and goat slain mentioned in the vachanas of Basavanna a great spiritual and social revolutionary who revolts against the social injustices that existed in his period and hence he abandons the Brahmin caste in which he was born and becomes a universal man.

Rig-Veda C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 FOOD- DRINK Gambling Soma Sacrifice Rig Veda Rescued Yaska Aurobindo on Rig-Veda Pali Text C8 Manushastra C9 Brhaspati C10 Mallinatha C11 minister of a Tanjore ruler C12 C13 similes and metaphor C14 Archaeological evidences C15 Basavanna CRY CRY O GOAT Ahimsa paramodharma Rise of new Religions Ashoka the great 5th Pillar Inscription Haraprasad Shastri R S Sharma Kautilya Artha Shastra rational behind ahimsa \b \b0 Decline of Buddhism Was Vivekananda wrong Ahara Shuddi Ahara Shuddi : Ramanuja Ahara Shuddi : Shankara Satvika ahara a Myth Obesity is the truth Gandhi Sri Ramana Maharshi Mercy Futile Argument References Why I Wrote Exclusive citations by Ambedkar

Next chapter-> Chapter 3 [ click here ]


PS: [ 1]

[ Some ritualistic Hindus contest this and try to establish link between Rig Veda and Upanishads. But any sound person who reads Upanishad shlokas will understand it. Except couple of modern not so famous interpreters like kapalashastri and R L kashyap try to create a link citing 3 mantras in chandogya Upanishad which talk about Fire and Madhu vidya. This has not much significance, as they are highly irrational. Rig-Veda is a outward form of seeking knowledge, where as Upanishads are the inward form of seeking knowledge, so we find “Thou art that” in the Upanishads and not in Rig-Veda, with couple of random citations they cannot prove and wind back the time, composition of Rig veda and Upanishads were in different time, even noble laureate Tagore interpret and say initially man seeked external perfection (dravya yajna) only later he seek’d internal perfection (jnana yajna).]

Detailed Citations about Food and drink in Vedic, period, post vedic period, archaeological evidences etc are mentioned