Re;Hinduism and God and vegetarianism
Some time ago a question regarding the status of the belief in God and
vegetarianism was posted in alt.hindu
Q. Does Hinduism require one to have belief in some God?
Intro: The answer to this question is difficult because of the ambiguity in
the notion of what is Hinduism. It becomes doubly difficult because of the
borrowed terminology of "God" from Judeo-Christian_Islamic tradition. Therefore
in the following I will slightly reformulate the question slightely and then
answer it in brief.
(1)I am goin to replace the word God by the the Devine.
(2)I am going to replace the word Hinduism by the Hindu Systems of belief.
Hence the above question when recasted in this form.
Q. Do Hindu Systems of thought have a belief in some form of Devine?
A. The answer now depends on which of the system of belief's is now one talking
about. Therefore I will cover the broad spectrum of beliefs as follows.
(1) Charvakas system: No they do not believe in any form of the devine.
(2) Sankhya: Believs in two types of eternall and causeless existants.
(a)Pursha : Besides being uncreated and eternall these are many in
number (For convenience one can say countably infinite, even though
no statement to that effect is made). Its only other charachter is
one of being "pure Sakhshi" (wittness). It is not cause anything else.
(b)Prakritti: Besides being eternalcauseless existant, everything else
that exists (excluding purshas) from subtle to the Gross is merely
the transformation of the prakritti in to different forms.
In addition there is a limited interaction between Purshas and Prakritti,
in a jeeva. The true nature of the jeeva is Pursha.
It is very hard to subscribe the role of Devine to the Pursha. But in the
final experience of the state of "Kevalya" it is almost like a devin, but
without any power of manifestation.
(3) All others (i.e Advaita, Advaitic Shaivism, dvaita's,Yoga(pantajalli),
Vaiseskha, Purvamimsa, utarmimsa, shaivas, etc.atc..): They all believe in
Devine, in one form or other. No doubt the details vary.
The reason I did not use the word God is because this concept strictly
maintains subject-object distinction at all times. Therefore if I would
take this word as such, none of the Advaita's ( Shankara, Shiva/siva, or
Visisth) or sankhya could be incorporated. In fact In Shankara Advaita
this version of God is a Maya.
Q. Do above systems beleieve in Vegetarianism?
Answ: A catagorical answer would be, NO, not apriori. However having said that
I must add that the majority systems based on the Upnishads would at
present maintain the vegetarianism to be essential. However majority of the
systems based on the Agamas and the Tantaras (i.e different systems of
shaivism) would not be maintain vegetarianism. ( For scriptural ref.
Read TantarLoka by HH Lord Maheshvara Abhinavgupta, Kubjika Tantara,
Kaula Tantara, All scriptures associated with the NathaSidhas etc..
Of course one can give examples from the Rigveda etc also about meat eating.)