25 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Beef-eating And Cow Slaughter

Beef-eating or Cow slaughter is a controversial issue in India as a large number of Indian people consider cow as a sacred and holy animal. In Hinduism (which is the largest religion in the country), cow is considered to be a symbol of earthly life, selfless giving and prosperity.

Neutrality is a pillar of this website. That means this website does not force any opinion or point of view on readers. But (frankly speaking), when I read this Wikihow article on "how to slaughter a cow?", I personally felt very uncomfortable.

Anyway, in this article we are going to make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on beef-eating and cow slaughter.

Swami Vivekananda told—
    Image of a cow
    Hindus from North to South are only agreed
    on one point, viz. on not eating beef.
    —Swami Vivekananda
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons 
    Swami Vivekananda told—
    • At present there are three parties in India included under the term 'Hindu' — the orthodox, the reforming sects of the Mohammedan period, and the reforming sects of the present time. Hindus from North to South are only agreed on one point, viz. on not eating beef.[Source]
    • Buddha dealt a blow at animal sacrifice from which India has never recovered; and Buddha said, 'Kill no cows', and cow-killing is an impossibility with us.[Source]
    • England has the sword, the material world, as our Mohammedan conquerors had before her. Yet Akbar the Great became practically a Hindu; educated Mohammedans, the Sufis, are hardly to be distinguished from the Hindus; they do not eat beef, and in other ways conform to our usages. Their thought has become permeated by ours.[Source]
    • Every man, in every age, in every country is under peculiar circumstances. If the circumstances change, ideas also must change. Beef-eating was once moral. The climate was cold, and the cereals were not much known. Meat was the chief food available. So in that age and clime, beef was in a manner indispensable. But beef-eating is held to be immoral now.[Source]
    • Haven't you heard Shri Ramakrishna's story about "the sin of killing a cow"? . . . A man had laid out a beautiful garden into which a cow strayed one day and did much injury. The man in rage gave some blows to the cow which killed her. Then to avoid the terrible sin he bethought himself of a trick; knowing that Indra was the presiding deity of the hand, he tried to lay the blame on him. Indra perceiving his sophistry appeared on the scene in the guise of a Brahmin and by a number of questions drew from him the answer that each and every item in connection with that garden was the man's own handiwork; whereupon Indra exposed his cunning with the cutting remark, "Well, everything here has been done by you, and Indra alone is responsible for the killing of the cow, eh!"[Source]
    • If a Christian finds a piece of beef before him and does not eat it to save his own life, or will not give it to save the life of another man, he is sure to feel that he has not done his duty. But if a Hindu dares to eat that piece of beef or to give it to another Hindu, he is equally sure to feel that he too has not done his duty; the Hindu's training and education make him feel that way.[Source]
    • If we did not eat beef and mutton, there would be no butchers. Eating meat is only allowable for people who do very hard work, and who are not going to be Bhaktas; but if you are going to be Bhaktas, you should avoid meat.[Source]
    • In the midst of all these differences we note one point of unity among all Hindus, and it is this, that no Hindu eats beef.[Source]
    • It is improper to hold many texts on the same subject to be contradicted by one or two. But why then are the long-continued customs of Madhuparka and the like repealed by one or two such texts as, "The horse sacrifice, the cow sacrifice, Sannyasa, meat-offerings in Shrâddha", etc.? If the Vedas are eternal, then what are the meaning and justification of such specifications as "this rule of Dharma is for the age of Dvâpara," "this for the age of Kali", and so forth?[Source] (Note: Madhuparka was a Vedic ceremony, usually in honour of guest, in which a respectful offering was to be made consisting, among other dainties, of beef.)
    • The Brahmins at one time ate beef and married Sudras. [A] calf was killed to please a guest. Sudras cooked for Brahmins.[Source]
    • There was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could remain a Brahmin; you read in the Vedas how, when a Sannyasin, a king, or a great man came into a house, the best bullock was killed; how in time it was found that as we were an agricultural race, killing the best bulls meant annihilation of the race. Therefore the practice was stopped, and a voice was raised against the killing of cows.[Source]
    • You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it. That is disgusting now. However they may differ from each other in India, in that they are all one — they never eat beef. The ancient sacrifices and the ancient gods, they are all gone; modern India belongs to the spiritual part of the Vedas.[Source]

    Did Swami Vivekananda eat beef?

    Did Swami Vivekananda himself eat beef during his stay in the United States? Read the special article here

    See also

    You may read this article too—

    This page was last updated on: 14 May 2014, 11:11 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
    Number of revisions in this page: 4

    8 comments:

    1. Hari Mitra28 September 2014 at 02:06

      Hopeless. Why did not Vivekananda clearly oppose beef eating?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Anonymous1 November 2014 at 14:56

        Because he was mre interested in humanity,

        Delete
      2. Anonymous3 March 2015 at 15:53

        Why would he oppose beef eating? Just so you know... once a man approached him about saving cows when thousands of people were dying from draught in one of the Muslim majority states in India... he refused to help the man, saying that he should rather direct his resources towards saving the men dying... oh, and given that he was very witty, he said, no wonder we call the cow our mother, the man a true child of the same.

        Delete
    • P.R. Madhusoodanan14 March 2015 at 19:18

      Swami Vivekananda lived in a time when Hindu religion was completely spoiled with worst casteism. So his mission was to preach against it and also to focus on the great part of Hinduism to showcase it as the greatest religion in the world, and of course he was successful in that to a great extend. As regards beef eating, although he trys to touch up on different angles which was predominantly to reduce the ill effect of casteism and to eliminate the notional difference between the Brahmins and Sudras. But finally Swami Vivekananda makes it clearly that the current form of the spiritual part of Veda has been refined through many Rishis. So the crude and uncultured part of it is gone, and the modern India belongs to the spiritual part of Vedas. So my understanding is that Swami Vivekananda never supported beef eating rather he very scientifically tried to make his point from very historical perspective that, being a civilised Hindu, one should not eat beef and should not promote even meat eating.

      ReplyDelete
    • Smritilekha C21 March 2015 at 12:41

      So, Swami ji ate beef; I wonder what those Saffron terrorists will say now!

      ReplyDelete
    • Anonymous23 March 2015 at 19:52

      — but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to a starving man to teach him metaphysics.

      So long as man shall have to live a Rajasika (active) life under circumstances like the present, there is no other way except through meat-eating. It is true that the Emperor Asoka saved the lives of millions of animals, by the threat of the sword; but is not the slavery of a thousand years more dreadful than that? Taking the life of a few goats as against the inability to protect the honour of one’s own wife and daughter, and to save the morsels for one’s children from robbing hands - which of these is more sinful? Rather let those belonging to the upper ten, who do not earn their livelihood by manual labour, not take meat; but the forcing of vegetarianism upon those who have to earn their bread by labouring day and night is one of the causes of the loss of our national freedom. Japan is an example of what good and nourishing food can do.
      (Complete Works, 4.486-7)
      Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Brâhmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do — he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice……..
      Dr. Barrows (president of the Parliament of the World's Religions (1893)) told that Swami Vivekananda ate beef in the United states….. "After the first session of the Parliament of Religions I went with Vivekananda to the restaurant in the basement of the Art Institute, and I said to him, 'What shall I get you to eat?' His reply was "Give me beef !""……
      Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
      Volume 3
      http://selfdefinition.org/yoga/Complete%20Works%20of%20Swami%20Vivekananda/Swami%20Vivekananda%20Complete%20Works%20(Vol%203).pdf
      This you have always to remember that because a
      little social custom is going to be changed you are not going to lose your
      religion, not at all. Remember these customs have already been changed. There
      was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could
      remain a Brahmin; you read in the Vedas how, when a Sannyasin, a king, or a
      great man came into a house, the best bullock was killed; how in time it was
      found that as we were an agricultural race, killing the best bulls meant
      annihilation of the race. Therefore the practice was stopped, and a voice was
      raised against the killing of cows. Sometimes we find existing then what we
      now consider the most horrible customs………………
      But, you see, what once dies never comes back to life, and those
      ceremonials of [Hinduism] never came back to life. You will be astonished if I
      tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who
      does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it. That
      is disgusting now……………….

      ReplyDelete
    • Anonymous4 June 2015 at 20:59

      One word. GOVINDA

      ReplyDelete
    • Anonymous4 October 2015 at 00:30

      Save beef !! Kill a Muslim !!
      Acchee Din !!! Democratic & secular country itseems !!
      Ghantaaa !!

      ReplyDelete

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