Reg. Cow protection etc.
In article <CqswIy.LAr@nntpa.cb.att.com>, email@example.com. (GUEST-Arun
>Punishing of cow-slaughter by death is not "religious intolerance".
>There is not a religion that has as a prescribed religious duty to slaughter
>cows, and forbidding it does not constitute "religious intolerance".
You are right. Even in Islam no where either in Koran or in Hadiths the believ-
ers have been asked to slaughter or eat cows either as a religious practice
or for health reasons. On the contrary the Hadiths says: "Cow's flesh is poison
and cow's milk is medicine." As a side comment, if the Muslim moderates and
the self proclaimed leaders for promoting communal harmony, and the modern
secularists should have used this injunction from Hadiths (rather invoking
Muslim Personal law, shariat etc.) to make the community understand to protect
Cows and its progeny, it would have helped in creating tremendous amount of
communal harmony between the two communities. But nowhere we have seen such
attempt except Mahatma Gandhiji's persistent and constant crusade to protect
cows, and in his effort he used such examples from the religious scriptures as
well as the economic aspect of the issue to convince both Hindus and Muslims to
refrain from cow-slaughter. He was more vehement in his denounciation of Hindus
for their neglect of the Cows' care and not doing much to convince the Muslims
to avoid cow-slaughter instead they only indulge in emotionalism. Gandhiji even
considered his movement for cow-protection at par with the freedom-movement.
(see more below on this).
>I am sure that Dinesh Agrawal or someone else can fill us in with all the
>details of the laws regarding cows over the ages. I will tell you that
>in Mauryan times, the punishment for killing or torturing to death a calf,
>bull or milch cow was 50 panas (Kautilya, The Arthashastra, trans. L.N.
>Rangarajan). I do not know how and when the law changed. It should be
>noted that slaughtering cows was one of the ways Muslim conquerors heaped
>scorn on Hindu beliefs. That may have something to do with the harsh
A lot has been written by many knowledgeable netters on this subject on the net
in the past. And many diverse interpretations and conflicting comments have
been made regarding the sacrifice of 'cow' in Vedas. But nowhere in the Hindu
scriptures the cow or her progeny has been described with irreverence or as ano
ther ordinary commodity. Even those references of cow-sacrifice in the vedas
had been noted to have allegorical meaning and not the literary meaning. And
also if it is granted that cow-sacrifices did take place in vedic period, the
reason behind this has been explained that during those times to propitiate
gods for some favor like rains etc., it was believed to offer the most precious
possession and cow was considered as one of such prized possession. Just like
prophet Abrahim sacrificed his son, and the incident of panz piyare in Sikhism.
And as the Vedic sacrificial rituals gave way to more meditative practices of
self-sacrifices, all kinds of such animal sacrifices were discarded and in some
cases were legally banned as Buddhism became more and more popular, but the
worshipping of cow and her connections with economic properity never
diminished, and continues till today (more so in rural India).
Now how this practice of cow slaughter got associated with Islam, a phenomenon
known only in the Indian subcontinent, and especially with the Indian Islam
as you have rightly pointed out was to heap scorn on Hindus by the Muslim ruler
and invaders. And the same practice still goes on in India as is evident from
"Cow-slaughter in India is a great Islamic practice - (said) Mujaddid Alaf
Saani II. This was his far-sightedness that he described cow-slaughter in India
as a great Islamic practice. It may not be so in other places. But it is defi-
nitely a great Islamic act in India becuase the cow is worshipped in India. If
the Muslims give up cow-slaughter here then the danger is that in times to come
the comming generations will be convinced of the piety of the cow."
This is an excerpt from the speech made by none other than the Chairman of our
Muslim Personal Law Board, Mr Ali Mian, delivered to a congregation of Indian
and Pakistani Muslims in Jeddah on April 3, 1986 (during the Haj pilgrimage).
The address was distributed widely as a pamphlet. His reasoning is as follows:
Because the Hindus worship the cow, slaughtering it is a great Islamic act; if
Muslims do not slaughter cows, future generations of Muslims may also start
looking upon cows with reverence and thus lose their distinctive identity. Is
this the right way to maintain one's identity, just because another reveres
something I must desecrate it, I must slaughter it? And secularists go on
preaching only Hindus all kinds of tolerance and patience inspite of all these
humiliating onslaughtes, not from some fringe or puny figure. Mr Ali Mian is
considered as the one of the most authoritative and influncial person of the
Indian Muslim community. Ever come across any secularist comment on it? Quite
the contrary, Mr Ali Mian is lauded in the secular press as the "universally
respected leader of the Muslim community", as "the moderate leader". And now
consider a hypothetical case either on the net or in the press from some odd
Hindu leader making a statement: "The Muslims regard the pig as unclean.
Because they regard it as unclean, pork should be served at every public
function." All hell would break lose, and the man making the statement will be
buried in a heap of denounciation or may be some Islamic fatwa be issued for
his head. This is the situation we are living in these days.
More facts on cow-slaughter:
1. Cow population in India: In 1951 there were 430 cows per 1000 people, in
1961 this figure was 400, in 1972 this reduced to 328, and the last count in
1982 showed only 271 cows per 1000 heads. This means in the last 30-40 years
the ratio of cow and the general population has reduced by 50%.
2. In 1935, 80% cows and her progeny died of natural causes, and only 20% were
killed for food. However, in 1986 the government figures indicate that this
ratio has been reversed, now only 20% cows and its progeny die of natural
causes and 80% are killed for food.
3. During Mughal period, several Mughal kings had capital punishment or sever-
ing of hands for the crime of cow-killing.
4. Even now in Kashmir, there is a ban on cow-killing and the crime is punish-
able by imprisonment of 10 years plus fine.
5. In 1921 Mahatma Gandhi had urged to Motilal Nehru to continue the non-cooper
ation movement against British government due to its policy of cow-slaughter,
and the resolution in AICC was passed with overwhelming support. Gandhji's
argument was that cow and her progeny are not merely the religious symbols but
they are the backbone of the rural economy without which India cannot survive.
And he also opined that with a complete ban on cow-slaughter in India, there
cannot be Hindu-Muslim unity, and he also stated that this is not possible by
merely making laws, but it must come from heart.
6. In Parliament during a debate on cow-protection, Shri Govind Das (Congress)
had moved a resolution to make cow-protection as a fundamental right, arguing
that as the Article 17 had abolished the untouchability so did this move would
vanish the cow-slaughter.
7. In 1958, in a case of Mr H.M. Qureshi vs the State of Bihar, the Supreme
Court had refused to accept the argument that the cow-killing was a religious
right of a particular community.
8. Last year, the Gujarat government led by Congress party had amended the
existing law on banning of cow-slaughter in the state. The new law prohibits
not only killing of cow and her progeny but also the buffoloes. This law is
even more stringent than the one introduced by the BJP government in Delhi.
The following write-up on this subject by another Arun Gupta in India-D would
also be informative for the readers:
P.S. Please also refer to another article in a separate post by Mr Swapan Das
Gupta, which has some hillaraiously sarcastic commentary on the effect of the
ban on cow-slaughter in Delhi by BJP government.
Also this is my last post on this thread.
Date: Tue, 03 May 1994 12:45:00 -0600
Subject: Time, Place, Circumstance and Bonafide Authority
It is amusing and frustrating to read bipolar debates on cow slaughter,
vegetarianism and other social and religious topics which our mostly opinions
based on ill informed media reports in the U.S. and India. If one needs to know
about something they should go to the right authority. eg. One would not go to a
physicist to get the correct answer say on a point of law and vice versa. Rarely
I see anyone quoting any authoritative source on their opinions.
So on scriptural, religious matters we have to go to the proper authority which
are the scriptures or the spiritual masters (acharyas ) who come in the line of
disciplic succession (not self made Gurus -as much as I cannot become a
recognized qualified doctor unless I have gone thru a recognized Med school).
Another example of proper authority is that regardless of all claims, testing
etc, the final authority on the answer to the question "Who is my father" comes
from the mother. The bonafide authority puts in the perspective of time , place
and circumstances. Our system does have check and balances where both the sages
and scriptures have to agree using these parameters.
So in the case ofCow-Sacrifice (not slaughter) was permitted in the the previous
Yugas(Time) but is specifically prohibited in Kali yuga- one of the reasons is
that indeed the sacrifice will turn into mass slaughtering. GO-Medha Yagyas
were done only in specific places and under only certain specific circumstances
There were certain mantras had to be chanted only by qualified brahmins (not
just by birth). And the sacrificial animal Cow or Horse immediately due to
the purity and potency of the mantras attained a higher form of body (human).
There is one more factor that completes this matrix of time place and
circumstance and that is the modes of material nature i.e are you in the mode
of goodness, passion or ignorance. In fact each pertinent word can have three
meanings and depending on the mode of the writer/reader could have a good,
passionate or an bad or ordinary meaning; eg. the word "Agni",
depending on time, place circumstance and the mode could have three meanings:
1. (mode of ignorance)- Fire - Indians worship fire (so we are primitive)
as interpreted by an ignorant news reporter
2. (mode of passion) - Agnidev (the demi god of fire) The greedy "pundit"
Agnidev demi god for material gains - passion
3. (mode of goodness)- Lord Krishna the creator of fire -The pure devotee
admires the power of the Lord looking at fire
Since I am reaching my limit of 40 lines, in the next part I will write more on
Cow slaughter and vegetarianism and lest I be called a hypocrite, give you my
scriptural sources for the information. -- Arun
So cow sacrifice and animal killing was permitted in the previous Yugas.
Sacrifices were done by qualified brahmins (not just by birth) and animals
were permitted to be killed by Kshatriyas so they could maintain their skills
of fighting to protect the weak (their dharma). Interestingly enough they were
given the choice to eat or not the meat. In Valmiki Ramayana even though Lord
Rama hunted; according to Sri Hanuman, the Lord never ate meat- Reason the
Lord being an ideal man and also because He being in the mode of goodness does
not eat meat. Gita says that there are three types of food:
1. Mode of goodness - fresh fruits and nuts (uncooked)
2. Mode of goodness - cooked foods (still veggies) sweet and sour
so spices which make you passionate
3. Mode of ignorance - Food that are are putrid (meat) and stale (eaten
3 hours after they have been cooked)
And then Krishna says the choice is yours what you want to be. And we do
observe as people advance spiritually they gradually move to foods in goodness.
The intelligent do it right away.
Now in Kaliyuga the times are so horrible; the scriptures say there are no
qualified brahmins; infact in Kaliyuga everyone of us in qualities is a
"Shudra". So five things are prohibited in Kaliyuga:
1.Cow sacrifice;2 horse sacrifice; 3: Acceptance of sannyasa;
4. oblations of flesh to forefathers and 5. marrying brother's wife.
So Sugriva marrying Bali's wife or Vyas deva impregnating his brother's wife
was okay as there was a purpose behind that(not lust). In Kaliyuga can you
imagine the consequences; as it is we have too much incest.
Only the Harinama Yagya (Name sacrifice) is permitted in this age since we do
not have the manpower (thousands of qualified Brahmins who could flawlessly
recite the mantras) or the resources (tons of ghee, gold silver etc to give in
charity) to do these Gomedha and Ashva medha Yagyas.
And the vegetarians please do not gloat either; even plants have life so Krishna
says anything that is first not offered to Him is eaten in sin (so the practice
of saying grace before meals) and then He also tells you what to offer Him and
He says offer me with love leaf, fruits or flowers (not eggs, fish or meat).
Eating of cow(for that matter any living being) is in mode of ignorance
Preserving (not eating) of cow for economics is in mode of passion
Worshipping of cow as a companion of Lord Krishna is in mode of goodness. The
choice is yours. So atleast that what the scriptures say; the references are:
Bhagvad Gita-3:13,4:2,4:13, 4:34,17:7-10, Valmiki Ramayana, Tulsi Ramayana,
Brahm Vaivarta Purana, Brahm Naradiya Purana, Bhagvat Purana. -- Arun