At first, it was an experiment to see how I felt, healthwise. The second is why did they not give up beef-eating when the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins abandoned it. Contact may be established in a variety of ways other than touch. For in this case, Veda Vyas does explain the cause of untouchability. For they did not kill the cow. What could the Brahmins do to recover the lost ground? After the death of Buddha his followers started setting up the images of the Buddha and building stupas. In modern terms, it’s branded as a whole foods, plant-based diet. Two such objections to the thesis appear obvious. This difference lay in the face that while in the old situation everybody ate beef, in the new -situation one section did not and another did. Nothing happens to your DNA or something like that. Many are forced to live in overcrowded, inhumane conditions before they are killed. The first question is relevant as well as crucial. So why hasn’t it been implemented yet? What Made The Brahmins Become Vegetarians? Unfortunately, students of Indian history have entirely missed the importance of this strife. It is to beat extremism by extremism. That this was a revolution is beyond question. The Brahmins were therefore the greatest beef-eaters. Ambedkar asks in this excerpt from ‘Beef, Brahmins and Broken Men: An Annotated Critical Selection from The Untouchables’ Was philosophy responsible for it? We have no positive evidence to show that members of the Settled Community never ate the flesh of the dead cow. There must therefore be some special reason why in India the difference between the Settled Community and the Broken Men in the matter of beef eating created a bar between the two. So I stuck it out, despite being in Western Canada, Alberta to be specific, a definite meat eater's paradise. As opposed to the popular views propagated by non-practicing Western and Indian sociologists and Indologists, the notion of Brahmin vegetarianism is not directly due to the influence of Buddhism or Jainism. To go one better than the Buddhist Bhikshus not only to give up meat-eating but to become vegetarians — which they did. You may live longer. In many cases a defeated tribe became broken into bits. The analysis of the working of the laws of the sacred which is the core of religion should enable any one to see that my answer to the question why beef-eating should make the Broken Men untouchables is the correct one. It shows that the Smritikars knew that the origin of untouchability is to be found in the eating of beef. The Brahmins followed it. In special cases individuals and groups changed their social class. As observed by Mr Kane: "It was not that the cow was not sacred in Vedic times, it was because of her sacredness that it is ordained in the Vajasaneyi Samhita that beef should be eaten.". We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda. That such an arrangement should grow up is certainly most natural. It could not have given the Brahmins the means of achieving supremacy over the Buddhists which was their ambition. The new approach in the search for the origin of Untouchability has brought to the surface two sources of the origin of Untouchability. The revolution has taken place in spite of Manu and contrary to his directions. ... After listening to the exhortation this is what Yajnavalkya said : "I, for one, eat it, provided that it is tender". It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the subject further. This explanation is obviously unsatisfactory. For understanding the function of religion the following points regarding things sacred should be noted: The first thing to note is that things sacred are not merely higher than or superior in dignity and status to those that are profane. This is the question I get asked the most when people find out I am vegetarian. This means that no Hindu can eat the flesh of his own animal when it dies. Or is it merely an incident in the economic life of the Untouchables? It was because they did not want to put themselves merely on the same footing in the eyes of the public as the Buddhist Bhikshus. As the French author, Gabriel Tarde has explained that culture within a society spreads by imitation of the ways and manners of the superior classes by the inferior classes. Again, how is it that this doctrine which is propounded in the Upanishads did not have any effect on the Brahmins up to the time of the Manusmriti, a period of at least 400 years. Gods and spirits are not the only sacred things. Vegetarianism evolved in India slowly and it was not an original part of Hinduism. The flesh of the dead cow was their principal sustenance. What can that be? There is a complete dichotomy between the two. The same would have been the case if they had followed the rules observed by the Buddhist Bhikshus in the matter of meat-eating. It can therefore be taken for granted that in the ancient past when both the Settled Community and Broken Men did eat beef the former ate fresh beef and the latter of the dead cow and that this system represented a universal state of affairs throughout India and was not confined to the Maharashtra alone. Ambedkar’s 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? They, in their turn, built temples and installed in them images of Shiva, Vishnu and Ram and Krishna etc – all with the object of drawing away the crowd that was attracted by the image worship of Buddha. But we have negative evidence which shows that the dead cow had become an exclusive possession and perquisite of the Broken Men. That the Hindus at one time did kill cows and did eat beef is proved abundantly by the description of the Yajnas given in the Buddhist Sutras which relate to periods much later than the Vedas and the Brahmanas. I became a vegetarian firstly for health purposes, and because my conscience at the time (I was about 18..so that was some 36 years ago.) Without the realisation of this fact, it is impossible to explain some of the features of Hinduism. 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(Brahmin is a person who leads this Sathvik life and not by birth. As the Buddhist Bhikshus did eat meat the Brahmins had no reason to give it up. The word (i.e., the breath which forms part of man and which spreads outside him) is another means of contact. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. The sacred and the profane do not belong to the same class. There is another taboo which is against beef eating. It is to beat extremism with extremism. The Settled Community was a wealthy community with agriculture and cattle as means of livelihood. The Broken Men could not for they had none. Examining the legislation of Asoka the question is: Did he prohibit the killing of the cow? For as has been shown in the previous chapters there was a time when the Brahmins were the greatest beef-eaters. It comes, so to say, straight from the horse’s mouth and what is important is that it is also rational for it accords with facts as we know them. The second question is relevant, if not crucial. Part VI: Untouchability and the date of its birth 15: The Impure and the Untouchables 16: When did Broken Men become Untouchables? There need be no hesitation in returning an affirmative answer to this question. The Brahadaranyaka Upanishad. It continued to be the religion of the masses for hundreds of years. If the Hindus were eating beef, when did they give it up? ], Beef-eating as the root of Untouchability. One is what evidence is there that the Broken Men did eat the flesh of the dead cow. … those acts in opposition to Buddhist ethics) and then stating the mere consumption of meat is not equivalent to those acts. We must next direct our effort in the direction of ascertaining it. That being the case, the Brahmins could do nothing to improve their position against the Buddhists except by giving up the Yajna as a form of worship and the sacrifice of the cow. When Did Broken Men Become Untouchables? It is two revolutions rolled into one. As a result of the spread of Buddhism, the Brahmins had lost all power and prestige at the Royal Court and among the people. Beef-eating was not merely a crime. They were smarting under the defeat they had suffered at the hands of Buddhism and were making all possible efforts to regain their power and prestige. Source: ‘Non-vegetarian’ is the biggest casteist scam that has ever been pulled on Indians. There is one universal feature which characterises all religions. This excerpt is from the chapter that deals with the conflict between Brahmanism and Buddhism and how it led to the Brahmins first giving up eating beef, and then turning vegetarian. In this connection it must be remembered that there was one aspect in which Brahmanism suffered in public esteem as compared to Buddhism. Theravada Buddhist tradition interprets the last meal of Buddha offered by Cundato be pork, to which they attach no stigma or see n… There is one taboo against meat-eating. It was because they did not want to put themselves merely on the same footing in the eyes of the public as the Buddhist Bhikshus. The curious may want to know what has led men to see in this world this dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. Was philosophy responsible for it? The interdictions relating to the sacred are not open to discussion. What made the Brahmins become vegetarian? The Buddhists rejected the Brahmanic religion which consisted of Yajna and animal sacrifice, particularly of the cow. Why did they, as an extreme step, give up meat eating altogether and become vegetarians? It could have remained a social difference. Were the Untouchables always Untouchables? At the most it would have put the Brahmins on the same footing as the Buddhists. A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences. The interdiction on contact rests upon the principle that the profane should never touch the sacred. To my mind, it was strategy which made the Brahmins give up beef-eating and start worshipping the cow. This statement might surprise many people owing to the popular belief that the connection between Ahimsa and Buddhism was immediate and essential… This is an error. But there is nothing surprising in it. B.R. That is how temples and images which had no place in Brahmanism came into Hinduism. has been re-issued as Beef, Brahmins and Broken Men: An Annotated Critical Selection from The Untouchables, published by Navayana with an Introduction by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd. The principal item of food for both was beef. as reprinted in Volume 7 of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches. The reason for the relaxation of rules among the indigenous brahmins was Kulinism, introduced by King Ballal Sena (1160–1179). It divides Hindus into vegetarians and flesh eaters. This is not the place for describing the full story of the struggle. The question however is: Has beef-eating any relation to the origin of Untouchability? What is the cause of the nausea which the Hindus have against beef-eating? Why Did Non-Brahmins Give Up Beef-Eating? Obviously, it cannot be. The Mortality … True to its name: On drugs regulator and COVID-19 vaccines, இந்து தமிழ் திசை. They are just different. Ambedkar's conclusions, based on an analysis of various religious texts, will seem more than deeply ironical to anyone who studies contemporary India, for the father of Indian Constitution argued that Brahmins who once had no compunctions against slaughter of animals, including cows, and were the greatest beef-eaters themselves, not only gave up beef-eating but also started worshipping the cow as a deliberate strategy. The answer may not be quite clear to those who have no idea of the scope and function of religion in the life of the society. Why did they give up beef-eating? Was there a phase where they were non vegetarians? Since untouchability stuck to Broken Men only, it is obvious that there was some additional circumstance which has played its part in fastening untouchability upon the Broken Men. Another explanation more ingenious than the first, is that this transformation in the life of the Brahmin was due to the rise of the doctrine of the Transmigration of the Soul. upholds the doctrine of transmigration (VI.2) and yet recommends that if a man desires to have a learned son born to him he should prepare a mass of the flesh of the bull or ox or of other flesh with rice and ghee. It will be found that Untouchability is the result of the breach of the interdiction against the eating of the sacred animal, namely, the cow. …The giving up of the yajna system and abandonment of the sacrifice of the cow could have had only a limited effect. But they seem to be entirely unaware of the struggle for supremacy in which these creeds were engaged and that their struggle which extended for 400 years has left some indelible marks on religion, society and politics of India. Most of the scientists who work at IISc obtained their PhDs or postdoctoral training from leading American or British universities. They aren’t simply moral high-grounders. The objection to the sacrifice of the cow had taken a strong hold of the minds of the masses especially as they were an agricultural population and the cow was a very useful animal. Why then did the Brahmins give up meat-eating and become vegetarians? It was unnecessary for them to be vegetarians. This happened because the Brahmins made the cow a sacred animal. It divided society as nothing else did before. The strife between Buddhism and Brahmanism is a crucial fact in Indian history. That the Aryans of the Rig Veda did kill cows for purposes of food and ate beef is abundantly clear from the Rig Veda itself. That the object of the Brahmins in giving up beef-eating was to snatch away from the Buddhist Bhikshus the supremacy they had acquired is evidenced by the adoption of vegetarianism by Brahmins. A Brahmin can meat under certain circumstances, and he has to only consume the meat that has been duly sprinkled with mantra-infused water. Why did they, as an extreme step, give up meat eating altogether and become vegetarians? Why then did the Brahmins give up meat-eating and become vegetarians? Also, just like Donald Watson’s story, veganism is rooted in early life experiences. Psychologists recently discoveredthat having a larger variety o… It should have extended to all other animals. Vegetarians are “pure”. Two explanations are offered. That the object of the Brahmins in giving up beef-eating was to snatch away from the Buddhist Bhikshus the supremacy they had acquired is evidenced by the adoption of vegetarianism by Brahmins. It is two revolutions rolled into one. Beef Eating Hindus became Vegetarians Buddhism was at one time the religion of the majority of the people of India. Like other alternative food movements such as locavorism, veganism arises from a belief structure that guides daily eating decisions. As has been shown it has not been done as a result of the preachings of Manu, their Divine Law-maker. As to why they did not imitate the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins the answer is two fold. Why did the Brahmins give up beef-eating? It was a means adopted by the Brahmins to regain their lost position. Beef-eating was made a sacrilege. What about tam-brams? Generally speaking, the Smritikars never care to explain the why and the how of their dogmas. The Broken Men who continued to eat beef became guilty of sacrilege. The evidence consists of facts which relate to the Mahars of the Maharashtra to whom reference has already been made. That is why he prohibited slaughtering animal for sacrifice which he regarded as unnecessary and of animals which are not utilised nor eaten which again would be want on and unnecessary. They knew there was Brahmanism. Secondly, it was unnecessary for them to become vegetarians. They did not stop to make a difference between a living cow and a dead cow. 34 comments. It attacked Brahmanism on all sides as no religion had done before. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings. It had no particular affection for the cow. There is another reason which can be relied upon to support the thesis that the Brahmins started cow-worship, gave up beef-eating and became vegetarians in order to vanquish Buddhism. *Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword and print. Their breach is more than a crime. One may eat meat when it has been sprinkled with water, while Mantras were recited, when Brahmanas desire (one’s doing it), when one is engaged (in the performance of a rite) according to the law, and when one’s life is in danger. After the death of Buddha his followers started setting up the images of the Buddha and building stupas. Were the Untouchables given to beef-eating from the very start? It continued to be the religion of the masses for hundreds of years. To turn to the second objection. PART IV. Or was it dictated by strategy? That is why the sight of sacred things is forbidden to the profane in certain cases. What made the Brahmins take this step? One reason people decide to become vegetarian is they learn how animals raised for food are treated in life and death. This, of course, raises another question: Why did the Brahmins give up beef-eating? One is the general atmosphere of scorn and contempt spread by the Brahmins against those who were Buddhists and the second is the habit of beef-eating kept on by the Broken Men. You can support quality journalism by turning off ad blocker or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to The Hindu. The Brahmins followed it. From the Rig Veda (X.72.6) it appears that the cow was killed with a sword or axe. In the first place, we have the fact that the Untouchables or the main communities which compose them eat the dead cow and those who eat the dead cow are tainted with untouchability and no others. What made the Brahmins take this step? As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler. It is the date when cow-killing became a mortal sin. The fundamental question remains if he was so influenced by Brahmin Kautilya, why did he choose to become Jain? The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism. At the outset I would say that Brahmins of yore did eat, rather taste, meat, even beef, as part of Vedic rituals; not as food for breakfast, lunch or dinner; never for pleasure. In the first place, it does not fit in with facts. We must however refuse to enter into this discussion as it is unnecessary for the immediate purpose we have in mind. For, if they were eating beef from the very beginning and nonetheless were not treated as Untouchables, to say that the Broken Men became Untouchables because of beef-eating would be illogical if not senseless. The scale on which the slaughter of cows and animals took place was collosal. It will be clear if the following points regarding the scope and function of religion are borne in mind. That this was the object of the Brahmins in becoming vegetarians can be proved in various ways. 5.27. Non Brahmins who became Brahmins: “While it was the intention of the scheme to develop the requisite spirit and tradition in the members of the classes by a proper employment of the forces of heredity and education, it was not viewed in a rigid way. A person who gets birth in a Brahmin family is no different from a person who gets birth in a so called 'shoodra' family. In the second place, if the transformation was due to the desire to realize the ideal of Advaita then there is no reason why it should have stopped with the cow. I shall come to that with the intro below. To have given up meat-eating altogether and become vegetarians was another revolution. On this reasoning it is possible to conclude that one of the roots of untouchability lies in the hatred and contempt which the Brahmins created against those who were Buddhist. Why did the Brahmins become vegetarian? If it was only a crime it would have involved nothing more than punishment. The brahmin diet, also called the sattvic or yogic diet, is a vegetarian lifestyle that focuses on natural foods that promote peace and tranquility. If Untouchability is a reflex of the nausea of the Hindus against beef-eating, how long after the Hindus had given up beef-eating did Untouchability come into being? He has to surrender it to the Mahar. Buddhism could not itself influence its followers to adhere to the idea of total ahimsa as most Buddhists from the times of the Buddha until today are meat eaters. The only questions that arise are: Whether what is true of the present is true of the ancient past? Thirdly, if Brahmins became vegetarians by reason of the doctrine of transmigration of the soul how is it that it did not make the non-Brahmins take to vegetarianism? Anyone who treated the cow as profane was guilty of sin and unfit for association. Although the non-Brahmins did eat beef they could not have had it every day. Many people expect him to have come forward to prohibit the killing of the cow. Official data clearly show that the demography of IISc has changed little. All one can do is to mention a few salient points. This made beef-eating a sacrilege. They are beyond discussion and must be accepted without question. Ambedkar’s 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism. Printable version | Dec 12, 2020 2:37:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/why-did-the-brahmins-become-vegetarian-br-ambedkar-asks-in-this-excerpt-from-beef-brahmins-and-broken-men-an-annotated-critical-selection-from-the-untouchables/article30208983.ece, Dubai-based Indian-origin writer Avni Doshi, who was shortlisted among the final six authors for her debut novel ‘Burnt Sugar’, lost out on the top prize, Neither grey cells nor lustrous moustache have at all dimmed in glory. Surely not. They wanted to oust the Buddhists from the place of honour and respect which they had acquired in the minds of the masses by their opposition to the killing of the cow for sacrificial purposes. Cow was regarded as sacred the right to take the dead cow effort in why did brahmins become vegetarians. 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