Beef Eating Allowed in The Vedas Mahabharata?

There has been reports of a Man belonging to Muslim community being beaten by a mob for eating Beef.

In this connection I received a mail  as follows.

‘I saw this post in FB.  Though I do agree that lynching someone for suspecting eating of beef is quire unacceptable.  But the quotes in the post, seems to take a distorted view of our scriptures.  Would you pl enlighten on this topic ?’

The mail detailed quotes from the Mahabharata and the Upanishads that people, even rishis wee eating beef ding the Sanatana dhama period.

My view is that it looks that people were eating meat during the Vedic period.

I have provided  quotes which indicate meat-eating and those that prohibit it.

The explanations trying to explain away beef eating seems to me laboured and lack conviction.

Cow Being worshiped. Cow Being worshiped.

Another point often made in this connection is that the animal slain in the Yagnya were given life , they reached Heaven.

Bt the point is they were slain!

On consideration it looks to me that people were eating meat/beef and later it was prohibited.

A society has all sorts of people, some good, some bad and some indifferent.

One should remember that Vedic people were also humans  and were open to Human foibles.

We had Rama and Ravana;Kishna and Kamsa, Sakuni, Yudhishta and Duyodhana and Duchchatana.

Mahabharata and Ramayana are facts , Valmiki and Vyasa ecoded facts.

Had they wanted they could have painted Rama without blemish(killing Vali) , Krishna with out His Machiavellian schemes to win the Mahabharata War.

They portrayed society as it was.

As they people rose spiritually and found higher values they changed their Lifestyle and values.

Just as condemning everything modern is wrong, it is equally incorrect to say that whatever the Vedic people did was right.

And our mission should be to take what is Right in relation to Lifestyle  and advanced scientific concepts.

And savour the treasure called Hinduism…

The path to Realization as explained by the Upanishads.

Cow worshiped , Beef eating prohibited in Vedas.

Aghnyeyam saa vardhataam mahate soubhagaaya

Rigveda 1.164.27
Cow – The aghnya – brings us health and prosperity

Suprapaanam Bhavatvaghnyaayaah
Rigveda 5.83.8
There should be excellent facility for pure water for Aghnya Cow

Yah paurusheyena kravishaa samankte yo ashwena pashunaa yaatudhaanah

Yo aghnyaayaa bharati ksheeramagne teshaam sheershaani harasaapi vrishcha
Rigveda 10.87.16

Those who feed on human, horse or animal flesh and those who destroy milk-giving Aghnya cows should be severely punished.

Vimucchyadhvamaghnyaa devayaanaa aganma
Yajurveda 12.73
The Aghnya cows and bulls bring you prosperity

Bhagavata Purana:

“Those who are ignorant of real dharma and, though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous, kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment. Further, in their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world.” (Bhagavata Purana 11.5.14)

Beef eating in Vedas.

Rigveda (10/85/13) declares, “On the occasion of a girl’s marriage oxen and cows are slaughtered.”
Fact: The mantra states that in winter, the rays of sun get weakened and then get strong again in spring. The word used for sun-rays in ‘Go’ which also means cow and hence the mantra can also be translated by making ‘cow’ and not ‘sun-rays’ as the subject. The word used for ‘weakened’ is ‘Hanyate’ which can also mean killing. But if that be so, why would the mantra go further and state in next line (which is deliberately not translated) that in spring, they start regaining their original form.

How can a cow killed in winter regain its health in spring? This amply proves how ignorant and biased communists malign Vedas.
Claim: Rigveda (6/17/1) states that “Indra used to eat the meat of cow, calf, horse and buffalo.”

Fact: The mantra states that brilliant scholars enlighten the world in the manner that wood enhances the fire of Yajna. I fail to understand from where did Avtar Gill and his friends discover Indra, cow, calf, horse and buffalo in this mantra!”

Narada said, ‘Rantideva, the son of Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey to death. That high-souled king had two hundred thousand cooks to distribute excellent food, raw and cooked, like unto Amrita, unto the Brahmanas, by day and by night, who might come to his house as guests. 1 The king gave away unto the Brahmanas his wealth acquired by righteous means. Having studied the Vedas, he subjugated his foes in fair fight. Of rigid vows and always engaged in due performance of sacrifices, countless animals, desirous of going to heaven, used to come to him of their own accord. 2 So large was the number of animals sacrificed in the Agnihotra of that king that the secretions flowing from his kitchen from the heaps of skins deposited there caused a veritable river which from this circumstance, came to be called theCharmanwati3 He, incessantly gave away nishkas of bright gold unto the Brahmanas, ‘I give thee nishkas.’ ‘I give thee nishkas,’ these were the words incessantly uttered by him. ‘I give thee,’ ‘I give thee’ saying these words he gave away thousands of nishkas. And once again, with soft words to the Brahmanas, he gave away nishkas. Having given away, in course of a single day, one crore of such coins, he thought that he had given away very little. And, therefore, he would give away more. Who else is there that would be able to give what

p. 130

he gave? The king gave away wealth, thinking, If I do not give wealth in the hands of Brahmanas, great and eternal grief, without doubt, will be mine.’ For a hundred years, every fortnight, he gave unto thousands of Brahmanas a golden bull into each, followed by a century of kine and eight hundred pieces of nishkas. All the articles that were needed for his Agnihotra, and all that were needed for his other sacrifices, he gave away unto the Rishis, including Karukas 1 and water-pots and plates and beds and carpets and vehicles, and mansions and houses, and diverse kinds of trees, and various kinds of viands. Whatever utensils and articles Rantideva possessed were of gold. They that are acquainted with the history of ancient times seeing the superhuman affluence of Rantideva, sing this song, viz., ‘We have not seen such accumulated treasures even in the abode of Kuvera; what need be said, therefore, of human beings?’ And people wonderingly said, Without doubt, the kingdom of Rantideva is made of gold. 2 On such nights, when guests were assembled in the abode of Rantideva, one and twenty thousand kine were sacrificed (for feeding them). And yet the royal cook adorned with begemmed ear-rings, had to cry out, saying, ‘Eat as much soup as you like, for, of meat, there is not as much today as in other days. Whatever gold was left belonging to Rantideva, he gave even that remnant away unto the Brahmanas during the progress of one of his sacrifices. In his very sight the gods used to take the libations of clarified butter poured into the fire for them, and the Pitris the food that was offered to them, in Sraddhas. And all superior Brahmanas used to obtain from him (the means of gratifying) all their desires. When he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of the four cardinal virtues and who, superior to thee was, therefore, much superior to thy son, thou shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for the latter who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


129:1 The Bengal reading of the second line of the second verse is vicious. At any rate, the Bombay reading is better.

129:2 Animals slain in sacrifices are believed to go to heaven.


By Ramanis blog

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger,Tedex Speaker


  1. प्रजावतीः सूयवसे रुशन्तीः शुद्धा अपः सुप्रपाणे पिबन्तीः।
    मा व स्तेन ईशत माघशंसः परि वो रुद्रस्य हेतिर्वृणक्तु॥
    (AtharvaVeda 4:21:7)
    Cows! May you have lot of progeny, may you get best quality fodder and drink pure water from beautiful ponds. May you never fall in the net of thieves and violent animals. May Rudra’s weapon protect you from all directions.

    न ता नशन्ति न दभाति तस्करो नासामामित्रो व्यथिरा दधर्षति।
    देवांश्च याभिर्यजते ददाति च ज्योगित्ताभिः सचते गोपतिः सह॥
    (AtharvaVeda 4:21:3)
    May the Cows never face destruction, may the Cows never get stolen (by thieves) and never be harassed by enemies. With the help of Cows their owner is able to worship Devas and to give donations, may he be with them till eternity.

    माता रुद्राणां दुहिता वसूनां स्वसादित्यानाममृतस्य नाभिः।
    प्र नु वोचं चिकितुषे जनाय मा गामनागामदितिं वधिष्ट॥
    (RigVeda – 8:101:15)
    Cow is mother of Rudras, daughter of Vasus, sister of sons of Aditi (Devas) and treasure house of nectar that is clarified butter. I say to every thoughtful person to not to slaughter the innocent Cow which is immune from killing.

    Kindly go through the shlokas it may be useful to you and In the light of he above article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, We find many refernces on this.However, as I have explained in the Post, some were indulging in this, though it is proscribed. along with Prostitution, Gambling and Drinking.Ideal is differnt and what had happened is different.Regds


  2. Being a vegetarian Myself, I agree with the philosophy from a humane standpoint. the dichotomy however comes when you are doing shrardham. There is a thought that the vazhakai is a substitute for meat. Is this correct?


  3. May be off topic: Why cow was preferred to kill after yagna in ancient times?
    -My reading on ancient scriptures says that this specific animal have a special kind of membrane in the brain similar to that of humans which no other animal has. May be that is the reason why we have “Go Sutra”(intellectual linking between human & cow) but no other sutras were specified linking to other animals.
    Performing yagna will welcome devas. And humans (who perform yagna) are not equivalent to devas.And to feel the nature/presence of Devas ,The human thinking (The soul is interested to jump into the outside world -which is interested in eternal things)must be destroyed here. Hence this kind of thinking must be destroyed. But the yagna performer can not kill himself, so he kill the cow and makes the way clear to interact with devas.
    I need to dig into more details on this approach. But if anyone has any idea or came across the above concept earlier of what I said can reply with their inputs.



    Sanskrit is a language of attributes. ‘Go’ means restrained.
    QUOTE : Take for instance the translations making round about people eating beef or killing the cow during the vedic period. The whole basis of this myth is translations of Sanskrit verses like the one which actually means “control your sense organs” which was translated as “kill the cow“, all just because the word used was go/gau can refer not only to cow, but also to sense organs in Sanskrit. So when taken out of context and translated using its most popular object, you end up with misinterpretations like these. Sanskrit translation can never be done by going word by word, the entire context should be used as the basis to understand the meaning.UNQUOTE


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even at the time of Daksha Yagyam which was performed by the father-in-law of Lord Shiva, (in other words the father of Dakshayani, wife of Lord Shiva) it is said in Vedas or Shivapuranam that Dakshan offered Goats to Agni (fire) in the Havan (yagyam) and the goats burnt in the agni (or roasted in fire) were offered to Rishis/ Munis (saints) assembled there to witness the Dakshayagyam, but it was offered only as Prasadam otherwise not as a feast or so. Therefore, beef eating but only as prasadam was in vogue right from the ancient Vedas period, says Hindu Dharma.


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