4

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Historical roots of Yogic Vegetarianism...Class Warfare?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 01, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I have been trying to some research on the historical roots of vegetarianism in yogic science (ayuervedic too). I came across this:

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Culture/Cuisine/vegetar.html

My basic question is to find if there was a class warfare motivation for creating an ethic for vegetarianism and also equating it to a spiritual path.

For instance the article above, notes that the earliest vedic culture, Aryans, were meat eaters...and the Braman priestly class (highest in the class-caste system) started out eating the meat that was associated with the ritual sacrafices. ...so the lower castes brought their meat to appease the gods, and the highest caste ate the meat. This seemed to change over time though.

Anyway, if anyone has some research or references (more than their opinion), I'd appreciate it.

Thanks, Justin

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 12, 2011
at 04:54 AM

sattvic sounds right. I moved away from that because I think it doesn't provide proper nutrition. Like, I'm pretty seriously gluten intolerant, and consequently have been malnourished most of my life, up until about a year ago when I cut out gluten and allowed my intestines to heal, and felt for the first time what it was like to absorb all my nutrients. Well, two months ago I tried a sattvic diet again, and it felt great at first, but after about a week I started noticing that old mal-noursihed feeling come back again, the one I lived with for 30 years. Not a nice feeling.

43c4473fda7e6f6bae82680a6a2333ef

(227)

on March 02, 2011
at 11:37 PM

this is interesting. it seems that from your experience, a vegitarian diet helped facilitate what in yogic terms would be called a "sattvic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sattvic_diet I would like to know what had you move from this diet into paleo. I have a few other thoughts-questions about this stuff and maybe I will start a new thread. ...would love to know about your transition and if you are still a practitioner of Vaishnavism.

43c4473fda7e6f6bae82680a6a2333ef

(227)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:37 PM

@akd & Resurgent...my intention of my question is not about hate...I am a yogi with a few years being a largely vegitarian. I want to stay a yogi and draw on all of the best sciences: anchient and modern, paleo and ayurveda, western and eastern. I also am still agnostic regarding if a largely vegitarian diet may facilitate the tantric/hatha intention of kundhalini awakening. I am a pragmatist looking for solutions & understanding. I also know that different foods do different things. For me, I think it is valuable to know why certain ethics of diet evolved and how those are socially motivated

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:24 PM

I think the question was about historic roots, not equating Hindu and vegetarian. Modern India is very different, with geography determining much of vegetarian tendency. For example, my vegetarian family comes from a highly vegetarian part of India, with no religious difference compared to their meat-eating friends. I can ask my grandpappy to learn more though!

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:09 PM

on that same note, modern Hinduism is not the same as ancient vedic civilization, i.e. where the tantra comes from.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 01, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Discussing why some cultures veered away from a paleo diet is still on-topic.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I second you @akd

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:25 PM

call me a party foul, but im wondering what this question has to do with paleo diet or lifestyle, other than hating on and discrediting vegetarians seems to be popular.

Aa1d5fbb9d8051538161c9a03afd384e

(226)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Very interesting point. Hope to see some answers :-)

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3 Answers

2
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:50 PM

FYI, not all Hindus are vegetarian. The shaktas still eat meat, and they do animal sacrifice as well. Don't equate Shaivite and Vishnaivite religion with all of Hinduism. They're only the two largest branches.

On the other paw, despite the apparent emphasis of male-female balance in tantric yoga, and the worship of goddesses generally, India is still fairly patriarchal. So the shaktas are looked upon with more than a little suspicion, I think, based on what I've read.

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:09 PM

on that same note, modern Hinduism is not the same as ancient vedic civilization, i.e. where the tantra comes from.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:24 PM

I think the question was about historic roots, not equating Hindu and vegetarian. Modern India is very different, with geography determining much of vegetarian tendency. For example, my vegetarian family comes from a highly vegetarian part of India, with no religious difference compared to their meat-eating friends. I can ask my grandpappy to learn more though!

2
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on March 01, 2011
at 02:22 PM

I think this is a totally legitimate question, since it asks the question of why the most ancient, most populous vegetarian culture in the world adopted that particular diet. The combination of a vegetarian diet with the use of dairy products and the prohibition to kill the cows could have been a smart answer to feed an overpopulated country, since you can raise much more food in vegetable rather than meat form for a given land surface. I do not know if in the distant past that had anything to do with class (caste) differences but currently Brahmin people are usually very strict with their lacto-vegetarian diet.

0
F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

on March 02, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Sorry no historical references :) But from my own experience with Vaishnavism and following the lacto-vegetarian diet for religious purposes I can attest that in my case it did induce a very altered state of consciousness, one that I was easily able to interpret as a spiritual experience. I tried the diet several times for spiritual reasons, and then several times without engaging in any religious or spiritual activities, and in all cases my consciousness changed in a similar way, so I'm pretty sure it was the diet that made me feel the way I did, not the religious rituals I was participating in. What I figured was that religious folks noticed that cutting out certain foods resulted in a different state of mind, and ended up interpreting that in a religious way, and incorporating that interpretation into their belief system.

43c4473fda7e6f6bae82680a6a2333ef

(227)

on March 02, 2011
at 11:37 PM

this is interesting. it seems that from your experience, a vegitarian diet helped facilitate what in yogic terms would be called a "sattvic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sattvic_diet I would like to know what had you move from this diet into paleo. I have a few other thoughts-questions about this stuff and maybe I will start a new thread. ...would love to know about your transition and if you are still a practitioner of Vaishnavism.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 12, 2011
at 04:54 AM

sattvic sounds right. I moved away from that because I think it doesn't provide proper nutrition. Like, I'm pretty seriously gluten intolerant, and consequently have been malnourished most of my life, up until about a year ago when I cut out gluten and allowed my intestines to heal, and felt for the first time what it was like to absorb all my nutrients. Well, two months ago I tried a sattvic diet again, and it felt great at first, but after about a week I started noticing that old mal-noursihed feeling come back again, the one I lived with for 30 years. Not a nice feeling.

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