Thursday, March 31, 2011

Soma, Alcohol and Vedas

This is a rebuttal on the most frivolous claim that Vedas talk about alcoholism or intoxication by use of some narcotic called Soma. As mentioned in a previous article, the growing popularity of Vedas in recent months seems to be the catalyst for a sudden surge in this allegation.
We received a challenge few days ago to explain our stand on this issue. We would get straight to work, explore the truth and address some of the allegations.
All leading scholars have asserted that Vedas speak of merits of consuming Soma or intoxicants. All Vedic Rishis were addicts of Soma.


The above statement is not at all an allegation. On contrary its a fact. And its a fact that makes us admire Vedas so much. Its a fact that has compelled renowned intellectuals of the world to admire Vedas in awe. Its a fact that drives us to put our best efforts to spread the culture of Soma consumption across the world.
What needs to be understood is that this intoxication of Soma is no ordinary intoxication. It is that intoxication which inspires noble souls to relentlessly pursue the vision of universal well-being and even face harshest of miseries with a peaceful smile.
Multiple meanings of Soma
Soma has multiple meanings. However the core essence is that Soma refers to something that produces happiness, peace, relaxation and enthusiasm. Probably that is why in later era, its usage as synonym of alcohol or intoxicant got popular. After all, a hungry dog sees only meat in every body! Same goes for perverted beings.
Let us now review some alternate meanings of Soma:
- Soma refers to Moon because moonlight provides peace. That is why Mo(o)nday is Somvaar. Now is Moon a wine-shop that it is so called (assuming that Soma means alcohol or narcotic)?
- A peaceful and amicable person is called Saumya. Now if Soma means an intoxicant, then why people across different parts of India name their children Saumya? One is invited to read any dictionary to know what Saumya (सौम्य) means. Refer dictionaries of Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam etc and you would find scores of words derived from Soma that mean friendliness.
- The famous temple of Gujarat (that was plundered by a butcher called Mahmud Ghazni) is called Somnath. If Soma means intoxicant, then perhaps the temple should have allowed it! But as referred earlier, it means a gentle lord or lord of the moon.
- Soma also refers to certain medicines that promote longevity and act as relaxant. For example, Giloya which is very useful in heart diseases and provides a cooling effect on body.
Primary meaning of Soma in Vedas
In Vedas however, in most places, Soma refers to God or Ishwar focusing on those qualities of Ishwar that provides us with peace, bliss, satisfaction and global vision. In few places ESP in Atharvaveda, it has come to mean certain medicines. But nowhere can it be termed to mean a mundane intoxicant.
Thus, Rigveda 1.91.22 states that:
"O Soma, You alone create the medicines that heal us. You alone create the water that quenches our thirst. You alone create all moving objects, sense organs and living beings and also give us this life. You have provided expanse to this universe and you alone enlighten the world to eradicate darkness."
Now only a fool would claim that Soma refers to any intoxicant or alcohol when Soma is said to be creator of universe, stars, life, objects etc. Very clearly Soma refers to the Supreme Lord – the Ishwar or God.
And hence, Soma intoxication implies entrenching oneself completely in devotion to that Supreme Lord. To see Him everywhere and guide oneself solely by His inspiration is Soma intoxication. To follow only the inner voice that communicates with us every moment and rejecting all worldly and sensory pressures is Soma intoxication. To rise completely above the old habits, past tendencies and false ego is  Soma intoxication. To surrender totally to Him is Soma intoxication.
A rough analogy would be with Superconductivity. Once a material is taken below a certain threshold temperature, suddenly resistance becomes zero. Similarly when we have practiced following our inner voice sufficiently, suddenly the world seems to different – so enlightening, so refreshing, so blissful and so blessed by Him everywhere. This stage of heightened association with Ishwar is the stage of Soma intoixcation that Vedas describe in detail.
And yes, it is only when Rishis have reached this stage that they get Vedic inspirations and are able to comprehend meaning of Vedic mantras. It is then that the Rishis 'see' the Vedic mantras through the eyes of intellect. In fact, one is called Rishi only after she or he has reached this enlightening stage of Soma intoxication.
Ayurveda very clearly defines what an intoxicant is:
Sharngadhar 4.21: A substance that destroys intellect is called an intoxicant.
To understand Soma better and see why it cannot refer to any material/mundane chemical even closely related to alcohol, intoxication or narcotics, let us review a few more mantras on Soma.
Rigveda 9.24.7:
Soma is not only pure in itself but also purifies everything else. Some is extremely sweet and promotes noble qualities. It destroys sinful tendencies.
Even a dumb person that understand that Soma refers to something intellectual and spiritual and not something as disgusting as alcohol or narcotics
Rigveda 9.37.36:
O Soma, purify us from everywhere. Enter us with excitement and strengthen our speech. Inculcate a sharp intellect within us.
Thus while alcohol or narcotics is taking to dumb the mind, Rishis yearn for Soma because it sharpens the mind and gears them into noble actions.
Rigveda 9.108.3:
O Soma, You purify everything. You are the best source of enlightenment. You lead us towards immortality.
Should we say more!
Atharvaveda 14.1.3:
Ordinary people consider that as Soma which is used as medicine. But the enlightened ones seek the Soma of intellect which materialistic minds cannot even comprehend!
If we review the Pavamana Parva of Samaveda Purvarchika, we can get a wider glimpse of the Vedic Soma.
It is described as something that brings enthusiasm, tolerance and valor.
1.2: O Soma, purify me.
1.3: O Soma, you are source of vitality and bliss.
1.4: O Soma, your intoxication is worth imbibing.
6.5: O Soma, you give birth to our intellect.
6.8: Use Soma to produce intellect.
9.2: Soma provides us with intelligence.
7.12: Intelligence seeks Soma.
9.6: Soma enhances intellect.
Thus while Soma produces intoxication, this intoxication actually strengthens our intellect and reduces dumbness.
2.5 of Pavamana Parva describes Soma as Chetan or living. Thus Soma is not something inert. It is a living force that enhances intellect. It is the Supreme Lord!
How can thus a sensible person relate it with a mundane narcotic?
This Parva of Samaveda provides some more adjectives of Soma:
3.2: One who sees everything actively (Vicharshani)
5.9: Extremely intelligent (Vipra)
5.9: Best of the scholars (Angirastamah)
9.1: Expert (Vichakshanah)
8.4: Knows self (Swarvidah)
2.10: Sees everything clearly (Kavi)
3.6: Knows his duties perfectly (Kratuvit)
11.1: An intoxication that inspires us to perform duties perfectly (Kratuvittamo Madah)
8.4: One who knows the path clearly (Gatuvittamah)
1.7: Adept (Daksha)
1.8: Source of adeptness (Dakshasadhana)
4.2: Adeptness that provides happiness (Daksham Mayobhuvam)
5.11: Provides strength (Vajasatam)
6.7: Protector of world (Bhuvanasya Gopaa)

If this be not enough, the Parva also states Soma to be:
5.1: One seated on the home of immortality
6.3: One who inspires noble minds towards fundamental truth (Rita)
6.2: Speaks to us (Inner voice)

2.3: Destroys hatred
4.12: Inspires towards friendship and solidarity
4.14: Destroys meanness and violence
10.11: Destroys corrupt mindset
8.4: Devoid of sins
6.6: Provides whatever is worth obtaining
6.1: Greatest donor
7.4: Carrier of life force
4.3: Desired by non-violent minds
This is merely a small sampler from the copious references from Vedas that very clearly establish Soma as the pure blissful Ishwar and its intoxication as complete surrender to the Supreme Lord.
Vedas and intoxication
Almost every other mantra of Vedas yearn for enhancement of intellect/ health and repulsion towards all those tendencies and articles that destroy these. Be it the Gayatri Mantra or the Mrityunjaya, all exemplify this.
To conclude the discussions, let us provide a few references from Vedas that condemn intoxication.
Rigveda 10.5.6:
One becomes sinful if he or she crosses even one of the 7 restraints. Yaskacharya defines these 7 sins in his Nirukta as: Theft, Adultery, Murder of a noble person, Abortion, Dishonesty, Repeating misdeeds and consumption of alcohol.
Rigveda 8.2.12:
Those who consume intoxicants lose their intellect, talk rubbish, get naked and fight with each other.
Rigveda 7.86.6:
An action performed as per the inner voice does not lead to sins. Dumb arrogance against inner voice, however, is source of frustration and miseries in same manner as intoxication and gambling destroy us. Ishwar inspires those with noble elevated thoughts towards progress and propels down those who decide to think lowly. Lowly acts performed even in dreams cause decline.
Atharvaveda 6.70.1:
Weak minds are attracted towards meat, alcohol, sensuality and womanizing. But O non-violent mind, you focus your mind towards the world in same manner as a mother cares for her child.
In summary, intoxication is considered as recipe for weakness, failure and destruction!
Even Vivekananda has asserted that Vedas justified alcoholism. How do explain: "The old gods were found to be incongruous — these boisterous, fighting, drinking, beef-eating gods of the ancients — whose delight was in the smell of burning flesh and libations of strong liquor. Sometimes Indra drank so much that he fell upon the ground and talked unintelligibly. These gods could no longer be tolerated." This is taken from
If this is indeed written by Swami Vivekananda, it only shows that he had not studied Vedas properly and his thoughts on Vedas were influenced by western indologists. It also shows that every human being, howsomuch great may have imperfections. So one should not accept anyone blindly and instead apply her own analytical faculty to discover the truth.
While we respect Swami Vivekananda as a charismatic personality, powerful orator and impressive writer on neo-Vedanta, he is not an authority for us in matters of Vedas. It seems that Swami Vivekananda due to his lack of study of Vedas coupled with bias towards meat made this statement, if at all he stated so.
We have provided with specific references from Vedas that beef and alcohol have no place in Vedic dharma. Instead of quoting personal views of Swami Vivekananda or any person for that matter, one should quote from Vedas to refute the stand that has been taken by us as well as all sages from inception of Vedas till date.
By the way, another interesting point to think about is that if indeed Vedas recommend beef and alcohol, why have been the traditional Vedic Brahmins farthest from these vices for ages? Just food (not beef or alcohol!) for thought.
Vedic scholars like Radhakrishnan and K M Munshi – founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan – have also stated that Vedic rishis used to drink alcohol and eat beef.
We are not sure about Dr Radhakrishnan, but we agree that K M Munshi held such views that he expressed in his novel Lopamudra. We would only say that many works of K M Munshi have been derogatory to our ancient heritage and role models as well as are completely baseless. Several of his novels are full of vulgarity. His series on Krishna was extremely offensive. Same goes for Lopamudra. He was a political person and it is unfortunate that he treaded into an area that he shouldn't have unless he had the right competence. The works of Bharati Vidya Bhawan in this area have been most damaging and misleading. Please refer "Vedon ka Yatarth Swaroop" by Pt Dharmadeva which comprehensively addresses false allegations of Vedic Age, Lopamudra and other derogatory texts. You can obtain it from
But regardless of views of personalities howsomuch famous or influential – Dr Radhakrishnan, KM Munshi, Swami Vivekananda or whosoever – we would seek specific and logical references from Vedas instead of empty quotes.
If Soma means a medicinal plant that no one knows, then all the verses of Vedas that talk of Soma become useless today.
We have already shown earlier that Soma means bliss-providing Ishwar. But even if Soma means a medicine that no one knows today, that does not make Vedas irrelevant. That only imply that humanity should strive to explore such useful medicines. A book like modern Quran that demands blind acceptance without having even the time to understand it (there is only one life as per modern scholars of Quran!) has huge number of verses that are supposed to be Gaib or incomprehensible for humans. Then what is the problem with having a vast number of verses in Vedas that are not understood by dumb minds today? After all Vedas provide you with a long cycle of rebirths to finish your homework! It also does not demand that one should complete the course of Vedas or even believe in Vedas to achieve some Heaven and escape some permanent Hell.
If Vedas do not talk of alcohol or intoxication, why do we have words like Soma, Mada, Madhu in Vedas that relate to intoxication.
This is most stupid argument.
1. Vedas offered the first words that depicted root essence. Based on that later vocabularies were built. For example, Soma means bliss giving. Intelligent people used it to depict friendly people etc. But for people on path of decline, even alcohol is apparently bliss giving. Same for other words.
2. Don't we have similar examples in other languages? Gay means a happy person. But what it means today is known to all of us. Interestingly older dictionaries would not even have homosexual as a meaning for gay. Meat not only means flesh but also substance of a point. In fact almost all words have multiple meanings. Only dumb people would try to distort meaning of a sentence through wrong usage.
In conclusion, the only reasons why one would see alcohol in Vedas are either they have not studied Vedas or have an antipathy towards Vedas.
For rest of us, Vedas only encourage for enhancement of intellect and knowledge. And thus condemn anything that diminishes these.
The Soma Ras of Vedas is the divine devotion of the Supreme that elevates us from all miseries, all frustrations, all doubts, all sins and galvanizes us towards virtuous actions with unimaginable enthusiasm and ultimate bliss.
May we all work together to spread pursuit of this Soma in entire universe and pray for immortality of all.
The call of Soma is for the brave. The call of Soma is for the Yajna (noble selfless actions). The call of Soma is for those warriors who have glorified themselves through constant struggle and relentless efforts. O Soma seekers, destroy the dogs of lust and greed and listen to the most beautiful melody of Soma. (Rigveda 9.101.13)
Works of Pt Chamupati, Prof Rajendra Jijnasu and Prof Dharmadeva Vidyamartanda.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

No Beef in Vedas – 2

No Beef in Vedas
We had published an analysis of the allegation that Vedas have references of beef-eating and animal sacrifice in . We provided ample evidences in this work that:
A. Vedas are completely against animal killing and violence on innocent creatures
B. Vedic Yajna is by definition non-violent and animal sacrifice is against Vedic precepts
C. Contrary to claims of beef consumption in Vedas, there are references that call for protection of cows and destruction of those who kill this most productive and harmless animal.
Thankfully after the publication of this work, the slanderous campaign against Vedas has lost its teeth significantly and no reasonable rebuttal to the content of the work ever surfaced. However, a few minor voices have continued to mislead people on this issue using splinter quotes from translations of Vedic literature by incompetent western indologists and juxtaposing them with their own agenda. In this work, we would attempt to address some of those allegations and make the two part work a reasonable single point reference to counter any such misled campaign in future. For those desiring a more detailed exposition, we have already provided a list of references at the end of Part 1 of the work.
So lets begin:
It is well-known that animal sacrifice was necessary in Yajna. Vedas are full of praise of Yajnas.
Yajna word is derived from root 'Yaj' by adding Nan pratyaya. Yaj root has three meanings : Devapuja (behaving appropriately with the entities around- worshipping Eeshvar, respecting parents, keeping the environment clean etc are few examples), Sangatikaran (Unity) and Daan (Charity). As per Vedas, these form the primary duty of human beings and hence Yajna is so emphasized not only in Vedas but in almost entire Indian literature of ancient era.
What is important however is the fact that Yajna has no reference to animal killing whatsoever. In fact, Nirukta (Vedic vocabulary) clearly states in 2.7 that Yajna is called Adhwara. Dhwara means violence and hence it is totally banned in Yajna.
In other words, forget about animal killing, any kind of violence – through mind, body or voice – is completely banned in Yajna.
Adhwara is used to imply Yajna in a large number of mantras in the Vedas. For example, Rigveda 1.1.4, 1.1.8, 1.14.21, 1.128.4, 1.19.1, Atharvaveda 4.24.3, 18.2.2, 1.4.2, 5.12.2, 19.42.4.  Around 43 mantras in Yajurveda refer to Adhwara.
In fact Yajurveda 36.18 clearly states that "May I look upon everyone – Sarvaani Bhootani (and not only human beings) with friendly eyes."
Thus, Vedas, nowhere justify animal sacrifice and on contrary condemn any form of violence on innocent beings.
Historically, there may have been prevalence of animal sacrifice, but that has nothing to do with content of Vedas. Many Muslim girls and boys have been working as vulgar models and actresses in film industry. In fact in Bollywood, most top actors and actresses have been Muslims. This does not necessarily mean Quran justifies vulgarity. Similarly, adultery and pre-marital sex is widespread in Christian countries. This does not mean Bible demands them to indulge in these vices.
In same vein, while animal sacrifice may have been an historical phenomenon due to decadence of Vedic values, we openly challenge anyone to cite even one single reference from Vedas that talk of animal sacrifice in Yajna.
If that be so, what about Ashwamedha, Naramedha, Ajamedha, Gomedha yajnas? Medha means killing and Vedas even justify Naramedha (human sacrifice).
We have already discussed in Part 1 that the word medha does not necessarily mean slaughter. It denotes an act done in accordance to the intellect. Alternatively it could mean consolidation or nurturing, as evident from the root meaning of medha I.e. Medhru San-Ga-me (refer Dhatupath)
When we already know that Yajnas are supposed to be Adhwara or non-violent, why should we take Medha to mean violence? Don't we call an intelligent person – Medhaavi or name our daughters Medhaa. Do we imply they are violent people or intelligent persons?
Shatpath and clearly states that:
A Yajna dedicated to the glory, wellbeing and prosperity of the Rashtra the nation or empire is known as the Ashwamedh yajna. Thus likes of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaq, Netaji, Shivaji, Tilak etc performed Ashwamedha Yajna.
To keep the food pure or to keep the senses under control, or to make a good use of the rays of Sun or keep the earth free from impurities[clean] is called Gomedha Yajna. The word Gau also means the Earth and the yajna dedicated to keep the Earth the environment clean is called Gomedha Yajna. (refer Nighantu 1.1, and Shatpath 13.15.3).
The cremation of the body of a dead person in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas is called Naramedha Yajna. Dedicated efforts for training and productivity of people is also Naramedha Yajna or Purushmedha Yajna or Nriyajna.
Aja means grains. So Ajamedha Yajna refers to increasing agricultural productivity or in a very narrow sense : using grains in Agnihotra. Refer Shantiparva 337.4-5.
Vishnu Sharma in Panchatantra (Kakoliyam) clearly states that those who perform animal sacrifice in Yajna are fools because they do not understand Vedas properly. If one goes to Heaven by animal sacrifice, what could be the path to go to Hell!
Mahabharat Shantiparva has two shlokas in Shantiparva that those who state that Yajna contain alcohol, fish or meat are frauds, atheists and devoid of knowledge of Shastras. (263.6, 265.9)
What about Yajurveda 24.29 which uses words 'Hastina Aalambhate' that means sacrifice of elephants?
Who told you that Alambha derived from Labha root means sacrifice or killing? Labha means to acquire or gain. While Hastina has a deeper meaning beyond elephant, even if we take it to mean elephant in this mantra, it only says that the king should acquire elephants for nurture of his kingdom. What is so violent about it?
Alambha is used in several places to mean 'acquire' or 'gain'. For example, Manusmriti prohibits indulging in women for Brahmacharis by saying " Varjayet Streenam Alambham".
Thus this conjecture is completely out of place. May be those who concocted Aalambhate to mean killing in Vedic mantras were themselves addicted  to killing animals for food and hence their first instinct of deriving benefits from animals was to imply killing them.
But what about 'Sanjyapan' used in Brahmana and Shraut texts to mean sacrifice?
Refer Atharvaveda which says that we should do Sanjyapan of mind, body and heart. Does it mean we should commit suicide! Sanjyapan simply means unity and nurture. The mantra says that we should strengthen our mind, body and heart and ensure they work in unity. Sanjyapan also means 'to inform'.
You are escaping every time from being trapped. But no more. What do you have to say about Yajurveda 25.34-35 / Rigveda 1.162.11-12 which states that:
"What from thy body which with fire is roasted, when thou art set upon the spit, distilleth,— Let not that lie on earth or grass neglected, but to the longing Gods let all be offered."
"They who, observing that the Horse is ready, call out and say, The smell is good; remove it; And, craving meat, await the distribution,—may their approving help promote our labour."
Very clearly there is explicit description of horse sacrifice.
We believe you have quoted from the trash works of Griffith.
The first has no reference to horse. It simply means that when people are suffering due to high temperatures/ fever, the doctors should care for them and provide them treatment.
In second mantra, all he did was to assume that Vaajinam word means 'horse'. However, 'Vajinam' means a brave/strong/ dynamic/ fast entity. Thus horse is also known as Vaajinam. There can be many interpretations of the mantras, however none lead to horse sacrifice.
In fact, even if we mean that Vaajinam means horse, still the very verse in fact means that those who attempt to kill horses (Vajinam) should be prevented from doing so. We strongly recommend reviewing the translation by Swami Dayanand Saraswati for these mantras.
Also, refer to huge number of mantras provided in Part 1 of the article ( ) that explicitly prohibit animal killing and severe punishment for animal killers – especially killers of horses and cows.
What about reference to Goghna or killing of cows in Vedas? What about Atithigva/ Atithigna or a person who served beef to guests?
In Part 1, we gave ample references of cow being Aghnya or Aditi – not worthy of being killed. We also gave references of strict punishment in Vedas for those who destroy cows.
Gam root means 'to go'. That is why planets are also called 'Go' because they move. Atithigna/ Atithigva means one who goes towards the guest or serves his guests sincerely.
Goghna has several meanings. Even if we take 'Go' to mean cow, Goghna means Go+Han : Approaching cow. (Han root means Movement and Knowledge apart from Violence).
There are many references in Vedas where Han is used for approaching and not killing, For example, Atharvaveda states "Husband should Han-approach the wife."
Thus these allegations are equally baseless.
Vedas talk of not killing young cows. But old barren cows (Vashaa) are supposed to be killed. Similarly, Uksha or bulls should be killed as per Vedas.
This hypothesis was popularized in recent times by yet another pseudo-scholar D N Jha to defend his assertion of beef-eating in Vedas despite obvious contradictions that come up because of verses in Vedas that state the exact opposite. With home-grown defective pieces, who needs enemies from outside!
The fact is that Uksha refers to a medicinal herb, also known as Soma. Even someone like Monier Williams in his Sanskrit-English Dictionary states the same.
Vashaa refers to controlling powers of God and not a barren cow. If Vasha is used to mean a barren cow, then many Vedic verses will make no sense.
For example, Atharvaveda 10.10.4 uses Sahasradhara or Thousand flows in relation with Vasha. How can a barren cow be compared with Sahasradhara used to denote ample food, milk and water.
Atharvaveda 10.190 states that Vashi means controlling power of God and is recited twice daily in Vedic Sandhya.
In other verses, Vashaa is used also as productive land or a good wife with children (Atharvaveda 20.103.15) or a medicinal herb. Monier Williams also uses the word to mean a herb in his dictionary.
We fail to understand which divine inspiration prompted these pseudo-scholars to concoct that Vashaa means a barren cow.
Brihadaranyak Upanishad 6.4.18 clearly states that if a couple desires a noble son, they should eat Meat with rice (Mansodanam) or Bull (Arshabh) or Calf (Uksha).
1. Now that there is nothing to show in Vedas, focus of allegation has shifted to Upanishads. But even if one is able to prove beef eating in Upanishads, that still does not prove that there is beef in Vedas. And the foundation of Hinduism is that Vedas are supreme. Refer Purva Meemansa 1.3.3, Manusmriti 2.13, Manusmriti 12.95, Jabalasmriti, Bhavishya Puran etc which clearly state that if there is discrepancy between Vedas and other Shastras, then Vedas are considered supreme and the rest is rejected.
2. Having said this, we will show that the particular references from Brihadaranyak has been misinterpreted.
3. Let us take Mansodanam first. There are 4 more verses just before this verse that recommend eating particular edibles with rice for having a child with Vedic wisdom of different types. The other edibles are: Ksheerodanam (Milk with rice), Dadhyodanam (Yogurt with rice), Water with rice and Tila (a pulse) with rice for experts in other Vedas. Thus it is ONLY for mastery of Atharvaveda that Mansodanam or meat with rice is recommended. This itself shows that the particular reference is an anomaly.
4. In reality, the right word is Mashodanam and NOT Mansodanam. Masha means a kind of pulse. Hence there is nothing fleshy about it. In fact, for pregnant women, meat is completely prohibited as per Ayurveda. Refer Sushruta Samhita. There is also a verse in Sushrut Samhita that recommends Masha for husband and wife for a good son. Thus it is obvious that Brihadaranyaka has also explained the same concept as elucidated in Sushruta Samhita. There is no reason why the two texts would differ in Masha and Mansa.
5. Even if someone asserts that it is not Masha but Mansa, still Mansa means pulp and not necessarily meat. There are ample usages of Mansa as pulp in ancient texts. Thus Amramansam means pulp of mango. Khajuramansam means pulp of date. Refer Charak Samhita for such examples. Taittriya Samhita 2.32.8 uses Mansa for curd, honey and corn.
6. We have already seen that Uksha means a herb or Soma, even as per Monier Williams Dictionary. The same dictionary also lists Rishabh (from which Arshabh is derived) to mean a kind of medicinal plant (Carpopogan pruriens). Charak Samhita 1.4-13 lists Rishabh as a medicinal plant. Same is mentioned in Sushrut Samhita 38 and Bhavaprakash Purna Khanda.
7. Further both Arshabh (Rishabh) and Uksha mean bull and none means 'calf'. So why were synonyms used to mention the same thing in the shloka from Brihadaranyak. This is like saying, one should eat either curd or yogurt! Thus, obviously the two words mean two different things. And considering that all the other verses mention herbs and pulses, these words also mean the same.
What about Mahabharat Vana Parva 207 that explicitly states that King Rantideva used to have Yajnas where huge number of cows used to be killed?
Again, as mentioned previously, if there is dispute between Vedas and any other text, then Vedas are considered supreme. Further, Mahabharat is a grossly interpolated and adulterated text and hence not considered authority in itself.
The allegation of cow-killing at Rantideva's palace is a fraud allegation refuted decades ago by several scholars.
1. Anushasan Parva 115 lists Rantideva as one of the kings who never consumed meat. How can that be possible if beef was amply available at his palace?
2. We have already proven that Mansa does not necessarily mean meat.
3. The particular shloka alleges that each day 2000 cows were killed. This means more than 720,000 cows were killed each year. Is it logical to take such a shloka seriously?
4. Mahabharat Shantiparva 262.47 asserts that one who kills cows or bulls is a great sinner. The same Mahabharat calls King Rantideva a great saint and pious person. How can there be such a blatant contradiction in same text?
5. In reality, the shlokas have been distorted by misled scholars like Rahul Sankrityayana who are known for their Vedas bashing. Rahul Sankrityayana deliberately quoted only 3 lines of the verse and left 1 line from Dronaparva Chapter 67 first two shlokas. He misinterpreted Dwishatsahasra to mean 2000 when it actually means 200 thousand. This itself shows his competence in Sanskrit.
None of these lines have any reference to beef. And when combined with 4th line that he deliberately missed, it means that Rantideva had 200,000 cooks in his kingdom who used to serve good food (rice, pulses, cooked food, sweets etc) day and night to guests and scholars.
Then the word 'Masha' from the next shloka was changed to 'Mansa' to imply that it talked of beef.
6. On contrary there are ample verses in Mahabharat which talk of non-violence and condemn beef eating. Further they praise charity of cows and their nurture.
7. Fools have interpreted Badhyate to mean killing. However this is not so as per any Sanskrit text on grammar or usage. Badhyate means to control.
Thus, there is no way that one can prove that King Rantideva used to have cows killed.
To conclude, all allegations of beef or meat in Vedas or Vedic texts are merely desperate attempts by perverted minds to project their own vices on the most noble texts of the world.
May the light of wisdom enlighten their minds and may we all together make the world a sensible place.