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Being Vegetarian

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I saw a post on this aspect in my mail box but I am not able to locate it in the site.Hence this thread.
Most of the grihya sutras say what should not be eaten and avoided.So by implication Vedic Brahmins were non vegetarians.
On the sane vein when speaking about pitru sraadha they say venision(deer's flesh) is loved by the Pitrus and satisfies so many generations
We must conclude that orginally brahmins were not strice vegetarians.
Even now in several parts of the country brahmins are non vegetarians but each sect excludes some and approves some.
We cannot generalise based on;y on what we Tamizh speaking Brahmins do
சங்க இலக்கியங்களில் அந்தணப் புலவர்கள் நிணம் ஒழுகும் புலால் உணவை ரசித்து வர்ணித்திருக்கிறார்கள். நேரடி அனுபவம் இல்லாமல் அது வந்திராது என்று தோன்றுகிறது. சமணம் தமிழ் நாட்டில் தழைத்த காலத்தில் தான் இங்கு மாமிச உணவு தகாததாகக் கருதப்படலாயிற்று. இந்த மாற்றத்தின் முன்னணியில் நின்றவர்கள் அந்தணர்கள். மற்றையோரில் சில குழுவினர் மட்டும் மரக்கறி உணவுக்கு மாறினர். மற்றவர்கள் இறை வழிபாட்டுக்கு உரிய விசேஷ நாட்களில் மட்டும் புலாலைத் தவிர்த்தனர்.
ஐந்தாம் நூற்றாண்டில் சமணம் வீழ்ச்சி அடைந்து சைவ சமயம் புத்துயிர் பெற்றது. அப்பொழுது சமணத்தின் சில வழக்கங்களைச் சைவம் மேற்கொண்டது. அதில் ஒன்று தான் இந்தப் புலால் தவிர்ப்பு. சைவத்தின் எழுச்சியோடு தொடர்பு கொண்டிருந்ததால் தான் இது சைவ உணவு எனப்படுகிறது. இந்தியாவின் மற்றப் பகுதிகளில் இது சைவ உணவு எனப் பெயர் பெறவில்லை என்பது கவனிக்கத் தக்கது. வட இந்தியாவில் தென்னாட்டு வைணவத்துடன் இப்பழக்கம் பரவியதால் அங்கு இது வைணவ உணவு எனப்படுகிறது.

good stuff.

also your other post re postings in tamil.

i think we are here in this forum as 'tamil brahmins', mainly because of identity and ancestrage, and not because of the knowledge of tamil.

hope you don't mind that. also, if replies comes to you in english.

keep on posting in tamil, and forgive those that like, that ask for clarification.

a good breath of fresh air.. and fresh explanation..you are sir.

thank you.
I have heard another theory on this. Before the migration down soith bu the Brahmins9Agastya was one of the earliest) there were Siva temples here managed and oficiated by certain people of local origin.They were not of the stock/people who emigrated south.So to show their superiority over the locals the Brahmins adopted Vegtarianism and Aachaara Anustaanams
Re Vikramas posting I have read in my school days a poemin Tamizh the translation of it being that during a yaga red waste water flows (meaning blood) and that etc
In the north particularly in Uttarkhand Veg Hotels are Vaishnav Bhojanalays
In Benares Kasi the followers of Siva are mostly non veg
தமிழ் மண்ணும் நாத்திகமும்

தமிழ் மண்ணுக்கும் நாத்திகத்திற்கும் நெருங்கிய தொடர்பு இருக்கும்போல் இருக்கிறது. அண்மைக் காலத்தில் ஈ.வெ.ரா. செய்தது போல இந்தியாவின் பிற பகுதிகளில் நாத்திகப் பிரசாரம் நடந்ததாகத் தெரியவில்லை. அம்பேத்கார் கூட புத்தரைக் கடவுளாக வழிபட்ட சமயத்தைத் தான் தழுவினார். தன்னை நாத்திகராக அறிவித்துக் கொள்ளவில்லை.

தமிழகத்தின் இருண்ட காலம் எனப்படும் கி.பி. 3 முதல் 6 நூற்றாண்டுக்கு இடைப்பட்ட காலத்தில் சமணர்கள் ஆதிக்கம் ஓங்கி இருந்தது. கடவுள் இல்லை என்று அடித்துச் சொன்னவர்கள் சமணர்கள் தாம்.(பௌத்தர்கள் அதை மழுப்பி விட்டனர்.) சமணம் தான் பிறந்த மாநிலத்தில் அழிந்து விட்டது. ராஜஸ்தானிலும் தமிழ்நாட்டிலும் தான் அது வேர் ஊன்றியது. சமணத்தின் சமய மொழியான சூரசேனி மற்றும் ஸம்ஸ்கிருதம் தவிரப் பிற மொழிகளைப் பார்த்தால், தமிழில் தான் சமணர்கள் மிகுதியான இலக்கியங்களைப் படைத்துள்ளனர்.

ஆரம்ப காலச் சமணர்கள் தான் வடக்கிலிருந்து வந்தவர்கள். மற்றவர்கள் எல்லோரும் இங்கேயே பிறந்து வளர்ந்தவர்கள். சமணர்களில் அந்தணர்களும் இருந்திருக்கக் கூடும். (பௌத்தர்களிலே அந்தணர்கள் இருந்ததற்குச் சான்றுகள் உள்ளன.)
சமணத்தை அதாவது நாத்திகத்தை ஒழிக்க விரும்பிய சோழ அரசர்கள் நர்மதை நதிக்கரையிலிருந்து அந்தணர்களை வரவழைத்தனர். வந்தவர்கள் இங்கு புலால் தவிர்ப்புக்கு இருந்த மரியாதையைப் பார்த்து, நாமும் அதைக் கடைப்பிடித்தால் தான் நமக்கு மரியாதை கிடைக்கும், நம்முடைய சைவப் பிரசாரம் எடுபடும் என்று எண்ணியிருக்கக் கூடும்.

7 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டினரான சம்பந்தர் காலத்தில் சமணர்கள் ரகசியமாக மீன் பிடித்து உண்டது பற்றிய குறிப்புகள் அவருடைய தேவாரத்தில் கிடைக்கின்றன. அந்தணர்கள் பசுவைப் பலியிட்டு வேள்வி செய்த குறிப்பும் உண்டு.
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:yo:I have to join issue with Vikrama.The Hindus came first then the Jains.
Please don't confuse Hinduism with Brahmins.
For info stone i nscriptions in a temple near Tirunelveli refers to Brahmins of having come down from Kashmir
But to revert back to the theory in my earlier post
Siva in his linga rupa was not one of the vedic gods.In vedic times he was rudra.
But chronologically even before the expansion of the Hindus from the aryavrata linga rupa worship was ther not only in south India but also in the eastern parts of India Kamrup now Assom and Cambodia.The Siva worshippers in Kamarup are non vegetarians
On the following aspect I am not very definite.In Tamizhnadu there is a groupof Brahmins called Sivacharys.Their traditions and customs are diferent(This part I am definite)It seems as if they were the original priests in Siva temples in the South of Vindhyas(This is the non definitive portion)
vikrama, pbkhe,

from what little i know, of ancient vedic people, or of sangam brahmins, the only thing i can infer, is that those people did not shun meat eating, like the orthodox tamil brahmins of today.

also, i wonder, if the concept of sudhham and madi, was as rigorous, as it was in the 20th century. i view these, a result of our progressively inward looking culture.

ofcourse, any activity, cloaked under the garb of religion, has a halo hanging over it - whether it be widow disfigurement or kanchi mutt justification of pre requisite of the same for a darshan.

i think, the needs of today, in the world of instant communication and wholesome globalization, are different, from those days, when india was sparsely populated, and the absence of competing religions for one's soul. and more importantly, one's vote.

to survive, one needs a vote, and sizeable numbers to make it count.

one has only to go to cities in the north, to see the concept of 'go maadha' gone wild.

i am not suggesting that these retired cows be immediately despatched to the factories for glue, or be a chewy steak on someone's table.. but when i suggested a retirement farm for these discarded animals, my VHP friend was ready to assault me.

so it goes. india, one of extremes of mussalmans, christians and hindus.

thank you.
Unfortunately, I can't read Tamizh (despite being a Tamizh brahmin!), but I do have a take on vegetarianism. Having lived in the United States, I have found it difficult at times to expect everything I eat outside of my house to meet the standards of vegetarianism I expect. My personal take, therefore, is that I partake of food that I have orderd that is obviously vegetarian and if I am doubtful, I make sure I ask before I eat. This way I won't go away with a bad feeling.

In restaurants in general, I exercise caution when I eat out - I go only to places that appear to be neatly maintained, and that cook exclusively vegetarian food. Cooking at home is of course no problem - one only has to make sure that one buys ingredients with no animal products in them that are considered non-vegetarian.

the usa (and canada) is a vegetarian's delight.

not only can we get the vegetarian ingredients familiar to us in india, but we have a whole new school of culinary delights and delicacies, available, either as ingredients or pre prepared.

it was not always like this. i remember meeting my professor at the supermarket in the early 70s. on seeing my meagre veggie stuff, he mocked if i was a vegetarian.

almost every decent restaurant has sizeable veggie alternatives.

the inclusion of italian, mexican, stir fry, thai and macrobiotic dishes to our menu, adds variety and taste, to the original sambhars and rasams.

ofcourse, a strict vegetarian has to be careful re verification of prepared foods. it was till recently mcdonalds cooked its fries in beef tallow (hence the crisp on the outside, soft inside).

gelatin is still made from animal extracts and widely used in cheese etc

but on the whole, the world has been going vegetarian, albeit slowly, but surely :)

the reasons are many and none of them religious. mostly it is out of concern for the animals, or for health reasons. above all, from a green perspective, as so much grains are wasted feeding the cows.

these could be used for humans instead.

lastly, vegetarianism, on the whole, though not necessarily, is easier on the money purse :)
Thanks for your reply, Kunjuppu. I have to admit that the US is a haven for vegetarians because of the variety one finds there. Having said that they don't exercise the same strictness of diet that we do (in terms of vegetarianism). Naturally, the varieties of breads, the different vegetables that aren't common in Indian cuisine, such as asparagus, add new tastes to our diet, and this is welcome.
Its very difficult to draw a fine line for Pure-Veg.

70% of the antibiotics/Insulin are extracted from Horse/Pig blood serums... An uncooked animal product directly entering our blood!!
:yo:I have to join issue with Vikrama.The Hindus came first then the Jains.
Please don't confuse Hinduism with Brahmins.
No need to join issue. I did not say that the jains were the original inhabitants of Tamilnadu. I know that before Jains came, Tolkappiam has recorded the five gods like Murugan and also the presence of brahmins in Tamil land.

I do concur with Vikrama and I have expressed similar views in my earlier posts. I appreciate the whiff of fresh air in his posts, because they are in Tamil.

Yes, to my knowledge, Jain literature is in abundance in Tamil alone, next to Prakrit or

Though Jains did not accept the concept of God or any necessity for Him, they did no harm to others as other non-believers did in the recent past.
I am just reading a translation of Huein-Tsangs(Yuvan CHwan) pilgrimage to India in the 7th Century ADThere he refers to a sect of Budihis in N>W India of taking meat except for 3 kinds forbidden by Budha!!!
Even very orthodox brahminsin the N>E who perform their Nitya anushtanams yake fish
Fish is a sea grown vegetable for brahmins in Orissa, West Bengal and the North East.
It is a delicacy without which no meal is complete for them, especially on the occasion of important festivals and at the time of entertaining guests.
Fish is a sea grown vegetable for brahmins in Orissa, West Bengal and the North East.
It is a delicacy without which no meal is complete for them, especially on the occasion of important festivals and at the time of entertaining guests.
The grihya sutras some of them prohibit eating fish with a red mouth.This instance is part of a long list of forbidden foods.
To Sri pannvalan, Brahmins of westbengal and Orissawill eat only River fish(GangaMaa ki Pushpu)and not sea fish.S.R.K. Riverfish is clean water living one,

i wish to dispute the 'cleanliness' of river fish. there is something really 'fishy' in your logic, i think.

fish feed on human wastes, whether it be in river or sea. they also live off other living organism, insects, fellow fish(!) and vegetation.

i think, salt water fish do the same thing.

and now a days, there are extensive fish farms.. based on the above logic, will those be necessary cleaner than their wild running cousins?

if at all anything, there is more chance of eating poisoned fresh water fish due to the lax effluent control laws in our country. the speculation here is purely of the academic variety :)

then there are the bottom feeders, which feed off the waste of the other fish... in every river.

having said all this, i do confess, that i do not eat fish. nor have do i like maintaining a pet fish pond in the house.

thank you.

Some of the brahmins do eat non-veg items. Most of the people eat eggs. We all know that egg is non-veg item since it goes to chicken finally. Why is this crush towards non-veg ? Earlier, it was mentioned in vedas as quoted by few of you, vedic brahmins did eat non-veg including sage agasthiya (the story of Ilvallan and Vatapi).
To All: For eating Veg or NonVeg is ones will. Our good old scriptures says that Bali(sacrify) in defferent meanings. So we should not take that Anthanerkal pullal unddarkal.is correct, our religion is allow every one who adopted a moral life with clean habits and who understand the real essence of Spirituality and living accordinly, brahmins are always veg and we should not degrade ourselfs. s.r.k.
To Kunjuppu sir: Don't mistake my reply and say my reply Fish'yin logic.I was working at Calcutta thats why i said the Bengali Brahmins eat only river fish, They once asked about the "Karuvadu" eating habit in Tamilnadu. They never eat seafish.that 's all. thank you s.r.k.
To Sapr333, sir The animal blood, fleshand other related products made from a line of process and purification. Don't mix with this. Milk also from Cow and Buffalo blood only,the real is the milk is to fed to their calfs,but the men adopting a theory and get Milk and useing, so many saints are never used even Milk.Let us say Lactovegetarian.s.r.k
Dear esarkey, The milk we get might be from blood but, it does not contain any trace of blood, not obtained from flesh and does lead to any direct growth. However, Vegans do not take dairy products.
Fish eating is prevailing only among Saraswat Brahmins in Western India(Mangalor)e,Goa, Mumbai belt and among certain classes of brahmins in Orissa & Bengal. This is confined mostly to the coastal belt.

However no such thing is prevalent in the rest of India. May be due to the food shortage in the early days would have forced them to eat fish.

Regarding milk, cow is considered as a sacred animal and not only its milk, its urine, sanam etc are used by our community. I don't think that there is any scientific evidence that milk is made out of blood. Please refer to wiki answers site link below:
WikiAnswers - Is milk blood without the hemoglobin

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவார் இல்லை
உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
I have seen the modern day brahmins have the fascination to take non-veg. Many eats egg like vegitables. And little more liberals eats fish, chicken, and what not.( oorvana, parapan, nadapavai...,). When asking most of them replies, non- veg are delicious and tasty...
We can address this issue not based on Scriptures, tradition, customs, religion.. rather on highlighting killing is sin. Why to do that papa and enjoy the pleasure of taste?
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