Posted on: 4 October 2015

Interview with D.N. Jha, historian of ancient India and the author of
‘The Myth of the Holy Cow'
By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
Frontline - 2012

Q: Your book ‘The Myth of the Holy Cow' dispels the impression that Muslims introduced beef-eating in the Indian subcontinent. What were the most important sources you used to come to this conclusion?

A: For over a century, the sanctity of the cow in India has been a matter of more than academic debate. Hindu communalists and their fundamentalist organisations have been propagating that the killing of the cow and eating its flesh were introduced in India by the followers of Islam, and accordingly, they have stereotyped Muslims as beef-eaters. The best way to dispel this myth is to draw data from Indian religious texts to show the prevalence of beef-eating in ancient India. Accordingly, I have used evidence from Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain religious texts to show that our ancestors ate beef much before Islam came to India.

Q: Could you give us some examples of where cows were used for consumption and for sacrifices in ancient India?

A: Animal sacrifice was very common in the Vedic period. In the agnadheya, which was a preparatory rite preceding all public sacrifices, a cow was required to be killed. In the asvamedha, the most important of public sacrifices, more than 600 animals and birds were killed and its finale was marked by the sacrifice of 21 cows. In the gosava, an important component of public sacrifices like the rajasuya and the vajapeya, a cow was offered to Maruts. The killing of animals, including cattle, figures in several other yajnas as well.

In the Vedic texts and the Dharmashastras, there are also references to occasions when cows were killed for consumption, and eating of beef was de rigeur. One later Vedic text unambiguously tells us that “verily the cow is food”, and another refers to the sage Yajnavalkya's stubborn insistence on eating the tender flesh of the cow. The reception of a guest, according to Vedic and post-Vedic normative texts, required the killing of a cow in his honour. Textual evidence also indicates that Brahmins were fed the flesh of the cow in funerary rites. I have indicated only a small portion of evidence, but ancient Indian texts provide copious references to the killing of the cow for sacrifice and sustenance.

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A prominent bas relief carving of a sacred cow in Mamallapuram.

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Excellent granite sculpture of Brahmani Bull - सांड

I like to debate with the author over some of his claims.. and will do. I hope i can remove his misconception about vedic texts.

Digital Rare Book: A Review of Beef in Ancient India By Jaidayal Dalmia Published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur - 1971 A book that refutes all beef eating theories in ancient India. Read Book Online: Download pdf Book:

Thnx i'll study it.

Excellent article by Prof. Dwijendra Narayan Jha, In pre-ancient time consumption of Animal flesh incl beef was normal. Raja Dashrath during 'Akhet' shot Shravan Kumar in error asuming the sound from Animal.

A book that refutes all beef eating theories in ancient India.

The Myth of the Holy Cow By Dwijendra Narayan Jha Published by Verso - 2003 Read Book Online:

This is the reason I am unliking this page which should be academic as opposed to propagating beliefs I hope many also unlike this page

You are welcome to leave if you wish. But to educate oneself (the ceaseless intent of RBSI) - we have posted both DN Jha's book and article and Jaidayal Dalmia's book at the same time. Probably the only site in the world to have done this today, instead of fueling hatred on either side. Regardless of the fact that we are personally against cow slaughter as it hurts the sentiments of hundreds of millions of Hindus. It is actually irrelevant whether the ancient Hindus ate beef or not. The fact is that Hindus have considered cow to be sacred for more than 1500 years, and that by itself is reason enough.

“Neolithic Civilization” Historians and anthropologist have noted several problems with the term civilization. First of all, it tends to be used in an ethnocentric way; in other words, it is used to assign to others an inferior status. For example, the Chinese of the Han dynasty thought all others in the world were uncivil barbarians; likewise, from the Spartans to Nazi Germany, designating others as less than civilized was often a pretense for conquering or destroying them. Secondly, the term marginalizes - - .आखेट - Hunting was prerequisite of every Hindu King............................................................. 'VEDIC' people made important contributions to civilization Nomadic people were responsible for the diffusion of some of the most important technologies in history, but most accepted forms of the term civilization exclude them. Nomadic people grubbed food from the earth with their bare hands, then used simple tools made from stones or animal bones. Thousands of generations tried countless types of plants and roots, as man learned by experience which ones could be eaten. He gathered insects, small reptiles and small animals. Large insects were dried in the sun for future meals. Man is known to have eaten shellfish, frogs, snails, mice, snakes, dogs, horses, roots, lice, insects, From hunting to domestication of animals. Instead of hunting, people learned to keep animals in a pen or pasture. Domestication: to tame something, to take it from the wild to live under the care of humans. Probably started when wounded animals were brought back to camp. It brought a more stable food source. We can see in Seals of Indus valley civilization which is pre Vedic. ------ INDUS Seal depicts Hunting ----

I like what you do RBSI .. i dont judge history as best way to understand history is not to judge it. Keep doing the good work but of course if i find alternate motives i will react.

Ancient Khmer(Cambodia- Champa - Kampuchia) wall carving in Hindu Temple- Angkorvat depicts 'Akhet'- hunting by people

I am a lay man but feel that Animal / cow flesh eating may be practice in only some special occasions like yagnya rituals etc. Vedic culture was that of farmers and they knew well importance of cow and bull in their day to day life. And this practice of beef eating was also stopped gradually.

We all know that early humans went hunting. Even Raja Dasharath went deer hunting....hopefully for food, and not just wasteful killing of animals. There are things (facts) in Vedas that are not revealed to common public (I PRESSUME) since the Brahmanical times when Hnduism, as we know it today, was on the rise. Every time a scholar tries to put the facts forward there is public out cry, and understandably so, however, detrimental to pursuit of knowledge. i am a hindu too and I want to understand my roots...whatever the Vedas have to tell me, with no religious connotations. So I am grateful to these scholars (Indians or foreign) for working so hard to understand that ancient language, which is so dead otherwise, and would be soon lost to us like the Harappan. True scholars accept all the information without bias and when all is said and done analyze it and present interpretations

When the whole media is distorting an issue, when secular means "anti-Hindu" I don't think its the right time to proport "other" viewpoints. The other side is already ( in a rather uneducated way) expressing need to join them?

I concur with you Suniti Verma but time will never be right, worst time brings out best outcomes..

Hunting sacrifice and daily consumption are 3 separate issues and not to be confused . If at all it is correct that there was animal sacrifice during Vedic rites , we at least have the sense not to consider it legitimate in today's day and age . Perspective please

That's what we stupid Hindus do best allow our beliefs to be trampled on and smile like saints. RBIL before declaring a scholar get some shaastrik knowledge as no female animal is ever sacrificed. And who is this Jha basing on conjecture with no other support. The presentation of this book thus far seems even less informed than the media on this topic right now.

When Hinduism was dominated by Kshatriyas, we were meat eaters and ate every edible animal. Now Hinduism is dominated by Brahmins & Vaishyas, so accordingly, vegetarianism is being propagated. That is my limited understanding.

I do not agree at all with the claims made here. I remember similar claim by a famous historian Dr Sri Mali in a program "Janta ki adalat" (anchored by Manoj Raghuvanshi) that in Vedas it is written that cows were eaten. A person produced 4 vedas in front of him and asked show me the page where it is written. Dr Sri Mali could not show the page and became speechless.

If animal sacrifice is not legitimate in today's day & age, that practically wipes out a full branch of Hindu philosophy & culture from the face of the earth. This does not mean that animal sacrifice never existed or is not right. Just that times have changed.

Animal sacrifice in Hinduism is closely related to the idea of rebirth and human birth as the highest birth and necessary for Moksha.

If Charvaka can be acknowledged as a Rishi why not Dr. Jha be acknowledged as a scholar? Why not debate with him instead of calling him names?

Jha's claims go down the drain with his guess that cow's were sacrificed in ashvamedha while all authority say that female animals were not allowed to be sacrificed. Can you find any reference which says otherwise? If u cant please give a name to Jha.

In most of the comments, 'Hindu' seems to be used as upper castes only. Because even now, eating cows, and other cattle is not only accepted but traditionally compulsory for Dalits. Aryasamaj tried to stop it. Ambedkar recorded instances when Aryasamaj-following-Dalits were attacked by upper castes and were forced to eat beef as it is those Dalits' caste Dharma. Also, this 'Hindu' seems to be region specific too. In Kerala, upper caste People also eat beef and tribals in central India as well as North-east!

I will say only one thing....Politics has no place in scholarship...and that "politicians exploit the common man" is no hidden fact. So, irrespective what Shobha De is writing or what secularism really means to some..... I for one want to know exactly what these ancient texts are saying without an iota of "masala" added or distortion to save face for the guardians of hinduism.

That's the problem with Hindus. the extent that historical facts get distorted and then "West" calls us liars. I am a hindu and I am not stupid....i just want to keep an open mind and know the truth....I have nothing to hide.

The animal was a deer.... get ur facts right mister

I did not know deer has a hump on back

Ancient Khmer(Cambodia- Champa - Kampuchia) wall carving in Hindu Temple- Angkorvat depicts 'Akhet'- hunting by people no ref to cow

segregate carnivore from herbivore

Atul Anand can we share this on our page

Prof Jha is a leftist historian and his interpretation makes sweeping claims. How can a creator ask for sacrificing his/her own creation like cows. Any response?

There is no mention of hump in Ramayana... it is very clearly mentioned that Raja Dashrath killed a dear... he killed it as he could not see it.... he could just hear someone drinking water and he assumed it to be a wild animal when Shravan Kumar was filling water in a container

Not in Valmik or other versons viz: Versions of Ramayana are found in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Japan, China, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines and many other countries with varied episodes, events and names.n Thailand Ramayana is called “Rama-Kien” रामा-कीएन In Laos, they call it “Gvay Dvorahbi”काव्या द्वारोभी Phra Lak Phra Lam Ramakavaca of Bali Kakawin Ramayana in old Javanese In Japan Ramayan is called Hobutsushu and Sambo-Ekotoba होबुत्सुशुGona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam రామాయణం in Telugu, Kamban's Ramavataramரமாவதாரம் in Tamil (c. 11th–12th century), Madhava Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayanaসপ্তকান্ড রামায়ণ in Assamese (c. 14th century), Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan কৃত্তিবাস রামায়ণ শ্রী রাম পাঁচালী(also known as Shri Rama panchali) in Bengali (c. 15th century), sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan भावार्थ रामायण (c. 16th century) in Marathi Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana (also known as the Jagamohan Ramayana) (c. 16th century) in Oriya, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas (c. 16th century) in Awadhi (which is an eastern form of Hindi),[12] and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam അധ്യാത്മരാമായണംin Malayalam, in Urdu را ما یں by Chakbast

You can do that but everyone has been singing for centuries before any of these....go brahmanebhyo shubham astu nityam....there's a reason.

That's the problem with already not knowing our shaastras... Books like this propaganda are proclaimed authority and the real Vedic literature is disregarded.

all this facts are hoax...n the author is a psycho

There's a difference between sacrifice and mass slaughter on a daily basis. This page seems to have become a vehicle for anti-hindu propaganda where Hindu voices asking to be heard are shut down. Any Hindu who dares to raise his voice is branded as communal and fundamentalist. An old trick in the trade of organised Hindu haters.

Amit Pandit : "This page seems to have become a vehicle for anti-hindu propaganda where Hindu voices asking to be heard are shut down"???... Pardon me? Have you even gone through the posts on this page?

Amit Pandit : This is probably the only page to have posted a link to download this book: Digital Rare Book: A Review of Beef in Ancient India By Jaidayal Dalmia Published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur - 1971 A book that refutes all beef eating theories in ancient India. Read Book Online: Download pdf Book:

Many times so called secular historians used referances as per their convinient, when they are benefial for them they use it, when somthing is goint aganist with there opinian they refuse referances from history of ancient Indiaby telling it has no meaning because this is "Puran Katha".

Amit Pandit I am a Hindu. What makes you think that yours is the only version of Hinduism? What is the criteria for labeling someone a Hindu or non-Hindu? What is the criteria for anti-Hindu? What is a Hindu? Do you have any answer for my questions?

Suniti Verma There is no one school of interpretation in the Shastras too !!!!!!!

Rohit Verma You seem to belong to the Arya Samaj school of thought or some Vaishnava one whose sole purpose in life is to deny animal sacrifice and meat eating in Hinduism. This is one of the basic areas of conflict between the Shaktas & the Vaishnavas.

So Shakti worshippers who sacrifice Ox & Buffalo are not Hindus?

So Shakti worshipers were beef eaters?..Dont confuse ritual sacrifice (which was not the daily norm) with beef eating!!!...

So do you support barbaric killlings of animals for "God"?

So do you think barbaric practices (if true at all) should be reinstated? In that case we should not allow anybody other than dharma followers In Bharat varsha like In Vedic times...ok?...

This selective cherry picking is an old leftist habit. Its time these guys are shown a mirror. Do you believe in compassion for other co-habitating living beings or do you want to side with Karl Marx.

There is some confusion re Raja Dasarath 's killing as mentioned in above answers. A sage ' s son was collecting water in a earthen pot. The sound of water entering the pot ws mistaken by Dasarath as sound of elephant 's drinking water. He shot a arrow which killed the boy.

Rare Book Society of India I read the book in the link you provided and I am glad I have many points on which I can discuss with author. just letting you know one main, the author's book is mostly based on the previous European theorists and books and their translated work. This will make my point stronger and will help me in clearing the misconceptions created through the book. :) I have been clearing misconceptions of many people for months. I will write an article about this and will share with you, and will ask you to share it as it will help in clearing the most basic misconceptions.. :) i.e. in the translation part. FOR EXAMPLE the translation of "Yajna" most people do is "Sacrifice", while is reality - "word yagna is derived from the Sanskrit verb yaj, which has a three-fold meaning: worship of deities (devapujana), unity (sangatikarana) and charity (dana). The philosophy of yagna teaches a way of living in the society in harmony and a lifestyle which promotes and protects higher human values in the society, which is indeed the basis of an ideal human culture " ** I also see many people are fighting for who is hindu and who is anti-hindu.. I think, it all depends on your dharma ... my dharma is to seek knowledge.. killing of a cow for food is very much allowed in my view(not saying allowed in vedic books) just like killing of a human. "If I have a purpose to life though which I can play my part in making this nature a better place to live by every living soul THEN i'll try to survive through any means even by killing a cow or a human." I believe, If humans have options between a plant based diet and meat based diet, they must chose wisely according to the geographical conditions and the necessity.

You don't seem to know very much if that how you categories me. Do u even know wt we are talking here. When did I deny animal sacrifice all I stated the fact that female animal were never part of it. Mr Jha is misguiding and pseudo intellectuals love to argue wdout having proper knowledge on subject matter. Mr" I know everything". Do one thing instead of jumping with ur ego of half baked google knowledge go through proper channel of Vedic vidya you will do good to you. Next time please search "panchkavya" on google.

So eating Bulls ok?

In my opinion eating flesh is not ok.its violence and leads to sufferings. Which comes in our system through consuming flesh.

Suniti Verma.... but brahmanism came much later than the vedic period....and that qoute is a later period quote.

Naman Goyal...I am open to knowledge and am in the process of reading what Jha is saying. Do please write that article explaining the true translations of vedic sanskrit words. RBSI..thank you for providing the link to the book.

Rita then explain Purusha Sooktam of rig Veda that explains which part of the supreme purusha's body wash caste came from? Or have you not heard of that. Research before propating your guesses as truth.


This is not about whether we believe in compassion. Its more about understanding what exactly was the Vedic culture.

When an animal is cut or hunted for food, the intention of the butcher or the hunter is to complete the act as quickly as possible so as to preserve the freshness of the meat harvested. Violence is in the intention not as much in the action. About violence coming into the system after consuming flesh, I know more violent vegetarians than non-vegetarians.

To say that eating flesh is violence, leads to suffering & comes into our system seems very childish talk to me. If this is the case then all vegetarians should be very kind, compassionate & soft people but this is not the case.

Please carry on ur mature talks

So what if I am Kupatra? Will I go to hell? No problem. They won't be able to tolerate me for long there. In any case when I have to be born again, why should I worry about being Kupatra or Supatra?

disagree...The 1st line of the answer itself is a hoax.How can cow sacrifice be so very common in certain sacrifices mentioned above in vedic period ? Its a mockery.There were strict penalties and death commutations for anything tht involved cow killing,sacrifice or not !!! THE TERM cow is a source of food meant cow as the progenitor of for living beings and supplementing her milk(food) alongwit curd,yogurt,butter,buttermilk etc which were so much as a part and parcel of daily food habits of people.The article is misleading.Again the author says ASHWAMEDHA as a public sacrificial ritual.How come?That was practised by kings to ascertain their dominance and supremacy.Hardly public was invited for such sacrifices.It involved a greater degree of royalty,kings their well wishers and the rulers who acknowledged their suzerainty.Show me one proof in veda,ramayan and mahabharat wherein cow sacrifice in ashwamedha is mentioned.

By the way, since I am Brahma ji's creation, shouldn't Brahma ji take the blame for me being a Kupatra? Why should I suffer for something beyond my control?

I follow my own intellect & do not believe in anything that I do not personally experience. I ask a lot of questions too. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of unquestioned devotion as is demanded of people wanting to study Vedic knowledge. Hence I irritate people like you for whom the word of someone else matters than your own brain.

So, after skimming thru the few pages offered for reading and especially looking at the literature cited, its clear that 1. D.N.Jha has only summarized (reviewed) the works of the previous authors/researchers which happens to include many Indians.... including Sayana. 2. Its also clear that animal sacrifice was a part of the vedic rituals.....cow was very important to them and therefore offered to Gods/guests as their prized possession. 3. that in the later vedic period killing animals in general was boycotted. Which sounds very natural to me as human beings evolved from wanderers to agrarian. Certainly we can not overlook the fact that jainism and budhism were against the killing of animals in ritual. However, when it comes to eating the flesh of animals and particularly "bovine"....there are verses in Rgveda that clearly state Indra liked eating bulls and his mouth watered at the thought of the flesh being cooked for him.

Its about what is implied. Of course it is linked to beef. Otherwise why is it talked about. Is Vedic culture in vogue today? Tjete is no debate about on animal sacrifices because it has stopped. Nobody does yagnas or yagas today like Jha talks about. So why bother? Today's society is more PAURANIK not Vedic.

Reading Dalmia's views....and it feels like everybody wants to push their own meanings onto the words. As many opinions as people..!! BTW...why do we assume there is an inner meaning to what the vedic people said/wrote?

Rita Raina Ma'am Its good you have gone through the pages of the Book of D N Jha .. but have you confirmed it from the RigVeda itself?? Did he mentioned the volume, shlok and sutra number of that part?? He himself stated that many times word cow in rig veda have been used as similes and metaphors(Page 38, line 21). So how can one validate the cow actually mentioned is not a metaphor ?? As I have stated earlier the book of D N Jha is based on european translations and is not the first one. This was first done by "Ralph T. H. Griffith" in early 1900 and it forms the base for other authors post-independence. Have you ever wordered as per the author how come at one verse Rig Veda is saying eating flesh on occasions of Yagna is favoured and in other verse Rig Veda(Book X Shlok 87 Sutra 16) "One who partakes of human flesh, the flesh of a horse or of another animal and deprives others from milk by slaughtering cows ; if such a fiend does not desist then even cut off their heads by your powers Oh king." and "In the Atharva Veda VIII.6.23 we find: Those who eat cooked or uncooked flesh, who eat eggs and embryos are following an evil addiction that must be put to an end" and "In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 11, chapter 5, verse 14 we find: Those who are ignorant of the absolute truth and believe they are virtuous although wicked and arrogant who kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment are devoured by those very same animals in their next birth." "In the Mahabharata, Anusasana-parva, 115.43 -116.45 we find: That wretch among men who pretending to follow the path of righteousness prescribed in the Vedas, would kill living creatures from greed of flesh would certainly go to hellish regions." "In the Manu-samhita, chapter 4, verse 162 we find: A guru, a teacher, a father, a mother, a brahmana, a cow and a yogi all should never be killed."

MISINTERPRETATION VIS-A-VIS TRUE MEANING In the present write-up, only the part pertaining to the references quoted by Mr. Jha from the Rg Veda in his book are being reproduced to reveal as to how the Vedic hymns have been grossly misinterpreted. It is revealing that the deductions of Mr. Jha are based on the commentary of the Vedas by Sayanacharya which was rendered into English by H.H.Wilson. It is equally satisfying to emphasize here that answer to these misleading interpretations only came from the Bhashya or Commentary of the Vedas by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and its English translation by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Shri Satyakam Vidyalankar. On the strength of this noble commentary it was possible to repudiate the thesis of Mr. Jha and it also leads us to infer that there is dire need for the Aryasamaj to project the Vedas’ commentary by Sw. Dayanand Saraswati all over the world because he was the pioneer to bring out the true spirit of the Vedas. In the realm of the Vedic interpretation, we owe debt to Swami Dayanand Saraswati His commentaries were based on the Nighantu and Yaska’s Nirukta and he thought deep and delved deep to arrive at the rightful adhyatmik and yogic spirit of the mantras. The opinion of a great saint-philosopher Sri Aurobindo Ghosh will be most pertinent to quote in this regard. “In the matter of Vedic interpretation I am convinced that whatever may be the final complete interpretation, Dayananda will be honoured as the first discoverer of the right clues. Amidst the chaos and obscurity of old ignorance and age long misunderstanding his was the eye of direct vision that pierced to the truth and fastened on that which was essential. He had found the keys of the doors that time had closed and rent asunder the seals of the imprisoned fountains”. AT THIS STAGE IT IS DESIRABLE THAT WE APPROACH THIS IMPORTANT ASPECT TO ENDORSE AND ACCEPT THE RIGHTFUL INTERPRETAIONS INSTEAD OF CLINGING TO DEFECTIVE LITERAL TRANSLATIONS OF THE VEDAS WHICH ARE REVELATIONS BY THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO BLESSED US WITH THIS DIVINE KNOWLEDGE TO GUIDE OUR PATH SINCE THE VEDIC REVELATION WAS SYNCHRONOUS WITH MAN’S FIRST APPEARANCE ON EARTH. How can our creator prescribe offerings of his own creatures? After independence, this aspect should have received due attention but it is sad that this remained untapped and even the Sanskrit language came under cloud when a Rajya Sabha nominated Christian member Frank Anthony introduced a bill to drop this sacred language from the eighth schedule of languages enshrined in the Indian constitution in 1977. There is no doubt that some Western scholars did an appreciable job to introduce the Vedas to the outside world which inspired the scholars to learn Sanskrit to benefit from the treasure of wisdom of Vedic Rishis but unfortunately, it followed a wrong path without application of their inner mind or intellect as was done by the devoted disciple of Swami Virajanand who was actually blind of eyes but he imparted such vision and deep knowledge to Dayanand that he clung to the soul and spirit of the Vedas and it is our bounden duty to follow this path to understand the sacred words of God which can never be wrong and are ever infallible. In the context of the commentary/translation of the Vedas by Max Muller, it will be relevant to point out the opinion of Mr. Boulanger, the editor of Russian edition of The Sacred Books of the East Series as follows: “What struck me in Max Mullar’s translation was a lot of absurdities, obscene passages and a lot of what is not lucid… As far as I can grab the teaching of the Vedas, it is so sublime that I would look upon it as a crime on my part, if the Russian public becomes acquainted with it through the medium of a confused and distorted translation, thus not deriving for its soul that benefit which this teaching should give to the people”. In his book ‘Vedic Hymns’, Max Muller himself says “My translation of the Vedas is conjectural”.

COMPARISON OF INTERPRETATION Now to commence,comparative interpretations of the citations quoted from the Rgveda by Mr. Jha are being dealt with beginning from the very first Mandala of Rigveda as follows: The glaring difference in substance and the spirit of the cited Suktas 162 and 163 of the first Mandala of Rigveda is illustrated to establish that misinterpretation is at the root of this problem. Each Sukta has its risi and devata; risi depicts ‘drashta’ whereas devata depicts the subject matter which facilitates the understanding of the mantras under respective Sukta. Sukta 162 Name of risi Name of devata Deerghatama Mitradayo Lingokta (As per Sw.Dayanand) Deerghatama Ashva-stuti (As per translation of HH Wilson) Sukta 163 Name of risi Name of devata Deerghatama Ashvo-agnirdevata (As per Sw.Dayanand) Deerghatama Ribhuganh (As per translation of HH Wilson) The above implies that both the Suktas are in glorification of the horse but our Western enthusiasts and Mr.Jha along with his Indian ideals have even ignored the very basic lead and gone for crucification of the spirit of mantras which is left to your esteemed judgement. Sukta 162 has 22 mantras while Sukta 163 has 13 mantras. Mr. Jha states that in the ashvamedha(horse sacrifice),the most important of the Vedic public sacrifices, first referred to in the Rgveda in the afore-stated Suktas (p.31 of his book). Sukta 162 in fact deals with the science of applying horse power (automation) of the fire pervading in the form of energy. No mantra supports sacrifice of horses. Of course the first mantra has been translated by Max Muller in a wrong manner as follows: “May Mitra,Varuna,Aryaman,Ayush,Indra,the Lord of Ribhus and the Maruta not rebuke us because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice virtues of the swift horse sprung from the god”.(from History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature). Similarly H.H.Wilson in his translation based on the commentary of Sayanacarya states as follows:

“Let neither Mitra nor Varuna,Aryaman,Ayu,Indra,Ribhukshin,nor the Maruts,censure us;when was proclaim in the sacrifice the virtues of the swift horse sprung from the gods”. Transliterated version of this mantra is given below: Ma no mitro varuno arymayurindro ribhuksha marutah parikhyan Yadvajino devajatasya sapteh pravakshyamo vidathe veeryani Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in his Hindi commentary has rendered the translation as follows: We the performers of yajna in all seasons (vidathe) in the battle field (yat) whose (vajinah) stormy (devajatasya) learned men and borne out of the divine virtues (sapte) of the horse (veeryani) unique performances (pravakshyamah) we shall describe (nah) the daring performances of our horses (mitrah) friend (varunah) sublime (aryama) the deliverer of justice (ayuh) the knower (indrah) the all-elivated or aishvaryavan (ribhuksha) intelligent and (marutah) priests (ma, pari,khyan) should never disregard these properties. To easily grasp the spirit of mantra the following translation will be helpful. We shall describe here the energy generating virtues of the powerful horses(planets),added with brilliant properties of the vigorous force of heat. The learned never dispute these properties. There is vast difference in the above quoted translations. Obviously the wrong seeds were sown by Sayan and Mahidhar who were the imodels adopted by the western scholars, namely Max Muller, Griffith , Wilson etc. Sw.Dayanand Saraswati in his book “An Introduction to the Vedas” has adversely criticised the commentaries of Sayan and Mahidhar in context of some of their interpretations of the Vedic hymns. They could be held responsible for the horrible and horried interpretations which suggest as if the Vedas were the texts to lay down the modes of sacrifices. Is it not a tragedy for the Dharamacharyas/Sanskrit scholars of this country that they also could not pursue the path shown by Dayanand and got bogged down only in the rituals of worship in the temples and no attention was paid to the sources of knowledge which were the guiding principles of Aryans, our worthy ancestors and sons of the mother India (Aryavarta) as the Vedas proclaimed man as ‘amritasya putras’ and we need to follow this path if we want to be proud of our heritage and hold our head high or otherwise we are going to be labelled with the legacy of butchers and animal killers who desired to please different gods by various sacrifices performed in the yajnas. Eighth mantra of this Sukta is translated as follows: The fleet of horses is controlled by holding of bridles and saddles placed thereon. To make them strong, the grass and cereals are fed to them. Like wise, the learned people control and regulate their power of senses and taking nourishing diet. Wilson’s translation is as follows: May the halter and the heel-ropes of the fleet courser, and the head-ropes, the girths, and any other (part of the harness); and the grass that has been put into his mouth; may all these be with you,(horse),amongst the gods. (THIS IS NOTHING BUT LITERAL AND MECHANICAL TRANSLATON BEREFT OF THE SUBSTANCE & SPIRIT OF THE MANTRA) Ninth mantra was again wrongly interpreted by Max Muller, Wilson and Griffith to translate the word ’kravishah’ as the flesh. It is an adjective of ‘ashvasya’ and derived from kramu-padavikshepe. Hence it means ‘ the pacing horse’ and not of the flesh. ‘shamituh’ has been translated by Prof. Max Muller and Wilson as of the immolator. Griffith has translated it as ‘of a slayer’. But etymologically ‘sam-alochane’ means ‘to look at’ (with love and peace) and should mean ‘ a person who looks at the living beings with love and peace and not slayer’. Twelfth mantra emphasizes on the qualities of the warrior and its translation is as follows: They who crave for the meat of a horse and declare the horse fit to be killed should be exterminated. Those who keep the fast horse well trained and disciplined deserve to be praised by us for the strength of their character and perseverance. (IT CLEARLY DEMOLISHES THE THESIS OF JHA AND PROVES THAT HE HAS MERELY QUOTED CITATIONS AND HARDLY CARED TO LOOK AT THE ACTUAL TEXT BUT INSPIRED BY THE FOLLOWING TRANSLATION OF WILSON): “Let their exertions be for our good who watch the cooking of the horse; who say, it is fragrant; therefore give us some: who solicit the flesh of the horse as alms”. (WHAT AN IMMENSE DAMAGE TO THE SPIRIT OF THE MANTRA). Mantras 13 to 19 deal with the theme of horse or automation power while 20 to 22 are devoted to the benefits of Yogic exercises and an ideal life.

Sukta 163 This Sukta deals with various attributes of learned person, agni(fire), science & technology. There are references to the horse to illustrate its unique qualities of its immense energy likened to agni (fire), intelligence, bravery and inbuilt attributes which are at par with those of the men of wisdom. Perusal of some mantras will bring home this point. First mantra includes or rather ends with ‘arvan’ and this word denotes as per Yv 29.12 vigyanvan athva ashvaiv vegavan vidvan=O learned person active like the horse. Second mantra includes the term ‘surat ashvam’ which means the fast moving agni i.e the fire which enables a speedy locomotion. Third mantra includes the term ‘adityah arvan’ and here it means the sun which is all pervading. ‘arvan’ means sarvatrapraptah=pervading all. This term was wrongly translated by Prof. Wilson, Griffith and others, while both admit in the notes that Yama means Agni, Aditya-Sun and Trita-Vayu. How can horse be identified with Agni (fire) sun and the air etc. none has cared to justify. To take ‘arva’ for agni, there is the clear authority of the Taittiriya Brahmana.(I.36,4). Fourth mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ where it is used to mean the learned and wise people. Eighth mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ through which the mighty and active person has been likened to the horse who bears such characteristics. Ninth mantra includes the word ‘arvantam’ which means vegavantam agnim ashvam=the rapid horse in the form of Agni (fire, electricity etc.) Tenth mantra includes the word ‘ashva’ where it means the bright swift horses in the form of fire, air, water etc. Eleventh mantra includes the word ‘arvan’ and the following translation of this mantra will endorse our stand that the unique qualities of the horse are emphasized in Sukta-163: “O brave person! You are active like a horse, your body is like a swift vehicle, your mind is like the wind in motion. Your sublime actions are initiated from the proper use of fire and electricity. These are spread in all directions like the hoary creatures in the forests”. One can see that this mantra is in praise of highly skilled technicians. Wilson’s translation reads as follows: “Your body, horse, is made for motion , your mind is rapid (in intention ) as the wind: the hairs (of your mane) are tossed in manifold directions; and spread beautiful in the forests”.(ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MECHANICAL TRANSLATION)

Twelfth mantra includes the term ’vajyarva’ which means agni swift(vegavan) like a horse and here in this mantra use of agni is highlighted. Thirteenth and the last mantra of this Sukta contains the word ‘arvan’ where it means agnyadashvan= horses in the form of fire, electricity etc. ASVAMEDHA has been translated as horse sacrifice as referred to above by Jha and the conclusions drawn accordingly and this has been the root cause of varied wrong interpretations and in order to illustrate its scope and meaning the following is stated: At the sight of words ‘asvamedha, gomedha, purushmedha, ajmedha’ there ia general tendency to interpret it to denote as hinsa/sacrifice/killing. ‘medha’ word’s verb or dhatu is ‘medhri’. ‘medhrisangame hinsayam cha’ i.e. to enhance pure intellect , to inculcate love and integration among the people and also hinsa i.e killing (this dhatu conveys these three meanings).But it does not always mean killing or sacrifice and in Sanskrit no literal translation will do where a particular word carries varied meanings and it has to be applied judiciously and thoughtfully keeping in view the context of the text. The words ‘purushmedha’ and ‘nriyajna’ are synonyms. In manusmriti the word ‘nriyajna’ has been defined as’nriyajnoatithipoojanam’ (manusmriti · 3.70) it means the pooja or honour of the guests. If we take the meaning of the root ‘medhri’ as sangamanarth it will come to be interpreted as to organize the people for virtuous deeds or to enhance the love and equanimity among them i.e. it would be ‘nriyajna’ or ‘purushmedh’. It may be pertinent to mention here that ‘nrimedha’ is a rishi of some vedic hymns of Samveda. It can never mean the one who kills or sacrifices the human beings. Consequently, the terms followed by medha always do not signify killing/sacrifice and therefore the interpretations made by the Western scholars are utterly wrong and unacceptable. In Shatpath Brahmana (13.1.6) it is stated “Rashtram va asvamedhah” i.e. Asvamedha means to manage or run the affairs of the rashtra (country) in a befitting manner. Now to deal with the insinuation of the animal or cattle sacrifice in the Vedic texts the following is stated: On p.32 of the book (ref.53), citing the RgVeda IV.18.13, it is stated that the entrails of a dog were cooked in a situation of extreme destitution. T.V.(transliterated version) reads: avartya suna antrani pece na deveshu vivide marditaram apasyam jayam amahiyamanam adha me syeno madhv a jabhara .H. Wilson’s translation of Bashya by Sayanacarya reads as follows: “In the extreme destitution I have cooked the entails of a dog: I have not found a comforter among the gods: I have beheld my wife disrespected: then the falcon, (Indra), has brought to me sweet water”. In the english version of the Bhashya by Sw. Dayanand, it is stated that this hymn deals with the duties of a ruler and it is translated as follows: “O king! I see you as one who provides protection from the mean person, who elopes with my disrespected wife like a falcon. Such a wicked person cannot achieve genuine knowledge from the enlightened persons. You must severe your connections from such a man”. The purport of this verse is aptly summed up as “O king! You should destroy men and women of debaucherous nature after giving them severe punishment”. In the Hindi Bhashya by Sw.Dayanand, it is elaborated as follows: O king! One who takes over my disrespected wife like a hawk who digests the non-usable body of a dog comprising of non-usable ‘nadis’ entrails should be punished…(The wicked man has been likened to a hawk or falcon who pounces on the dog’s body and digests the same). The word ‘pece’ here means one who digests and not the one who cooks as per Wilson’s version. In the RgVeda Samhita with English translation by Swami Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar, this hymn reads as follows: “Finally the self, so lamented, in extreme destitution: What a shame to me that I have committed a hineous crime as if cooking the entails of a dog (having forgotten my Lord). I could find no comfort among Nature’s material forces. Before my own eyes I have seen my wife, the beloved, disrespected. Then the enlightenment, in the form of falcon from heaven, comes down and brings the sweet water”. [Manu, refers to a legend; Vamadeva, when oppressed with hunger, took for his meals the flesh of dogs, but who was not thus rendered impure; this he did for the preservation of his life. (Manu X.106)] The above verse in no way supports consumption of dog’s meat.

Reference has been made to the RgVeda mantra V.29.7 (p.29, ref.18) to state that Agni roasted 300 buffaloes. T.V. : sakha sakhye apacat tuyam agnir asya kratva mahisha tri satani tri sakam indro manushah saransi sutam pibad vritrahatyaya somam Wilson has translated this as follows: “To aid (the understanding of) his friend, Agni, the friend (of Indra) has quickly consumed three hundred buffaloes; and Indra, for destruction of Vrtra, has at once quaffed vessels of Soma offered by Manu”. Sw.Dayanand’s rendering is as follows: “The Agni (in the form of the fire/energy and sun) soon illuminates three worlds in the middle of the universe and drinks the water of the tanks (by drying it up), and for the slaying the clouds ripens Soma and other things that lead to prosperity in the long run (by increasing physical and mental strength). In the same manner, a friend by the power of his intellect or actions, protects three hundred big animals (cattle wealth) for the welfare of his friend”. Purport of this hymn is that the sun manifests the gross objects that are above, below and in the middle. In the same manner, a king should manifest all good, bad and indifferent dealings and deal with all in a judicious manner. Sw.Satya Praksh and Satyakam have rendered it as follows: “As a friend to another friend, the cosmic fire ripens the sap of three hundred fields and forests of people, and the Sun works for the destruction of widespread darkness over the three regions, celestial, interspatial and terrestrial”. The comparison of the meaning will reveal that Wilson’s translation stresses the roasting of buffaloes by Agni-the sun-god whereas it meant the evaporating effect of the sun which causes rains resulting in the prosperity. Sw.Dayanand has interpreted the phrase ‘mahisa tri satani’ to mean that it protects three hundred buffaloes or big animals. The Rgveda hymn VI.16.47 has been cited by Jha to emphasize that ‘oblations of food to the accompaniment of heart-felt hymns become like bulls , oxen and cows in sacrifice’(p.41,ref.135) on the strength of Mr.Kane. T.V.: a te agna rica havir hrida tashtam bharamasi te te bhavantukshana rishabhaso vasa uta It will be pertinent to quote its translated version by Wilson as follows: “We offer to you, Agni, the oblation sanctified by the heart, and (identified) with the sacred verse may these vigorous bulls or the cows be (as such an oblation) to you”. Sw.Sataya Prakash and Satyakam have rendered it as follows: “We offer to you, O Lord, the homage issuing forth from our hearts, and transmitted in the words of the Vedic verses. May the virile bulls, bullocks and cows be dear to you as your own”. Repeatedly, the error of literal translation causes damage to the spirit of the hymn since the context of the hymns 46 & 47 is as to whom the mankind should adore. But the hymn ‘te te bhavantu uksna rsabhaso vasa uta’ has been interpreted to mean: ‘may these vigorous bulls or cows be for you’. Mr. Jha has drawn erroneous conclusion that bulls, oxen and cows are part of the food which is far from truth.

In the hymn of the RgVeda VI.17.11, Jha has inferred that Indra ate flesh of one hundred buffaloes (p.29,ref.17) T.V.: vardhan yam visve marutah sajoshah pacac chatam mahishan indra tubhyam pusha vishnus trini saransi dhavan vritrahanam madiram ansum asmai Its translation by Wilson reads as under: “For you, Indra, whom all the Maruts, alike pleased, exalt, may Pusan and Visnu dress for you a hundred buffaloes, and to him may the three streams flow with the inebriating, foe-destroying Soma”. The English rendering of this hymn by Sw. Satya Prakash and Satyakam is as follows: “O innerself, all the vital faculties of human body, with one accord, exalt you. Hundreds of great gifts are provided to you by all pervading and all sustaining vital breaths. May the three joy-giving streams of nectar flow to him for exhilaration and cure”. Dr. Krishan Lal, former Sanskrit Professor of University of Delhi has translated the word ‘mahisha’ as cloud and states that the phrase ‘pachhtam mahisha indra tubhyam’ in this hymn actually means magnification of hundreds of (many) clouds by the surya-the sungod. [Tankara Samachar dated July, 2002 at p.13]. The RgVeda hymn VIII.12.8(p.29,ref.19) has been cited to mean killing of a thousand buffaloes. T.V.: yadi pravriddha satpate sahasram mahishan aghah ad it ta indriyam mahi pra vavridhe The hymn has been translated by Wilson as follows: “Great Indra, protector of the good, when you have slain thousands of mighty (foes), then your vast and special energy has been augmented”. In Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam’s translation, it is rendered as follows: “O powerful Lord of resplendence, the protector of truth, when you put an end to hundreds of evils, your resplendence grows beyond limits”. The hymn’s translation by Wilson describes Indra as protector of the good and relates augmentation of energy by slaying thousands of mighty (foes) but Mr. Jha has restricted his vocabulary to mean it buffaloes. [This is only a literal translation or deliberate effort without caring for the context and spirit of the hymn]

The RgVeda hymn VIII.19.5 has been cited by Jha (p.41, ref.134) to state ”a devout offering of praise or of a fuel stick or of cooked food was as good as a more, solemn sacrifice”. T.V.: yah samidha ya ahuti yo vedena dadasa marto agnaye yo namasa svadhvarah Wilsons’ translation of this hymn is “The man who has presented (worship) to Agni with fuel, with burnt offerings, with the Veda, with sacrificial food, and is diligent in pious rites”. Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam’s interpretation reads as “The mortal, who presents offering to the fire divine, with the fuel, with the oblations, with the chanting of Vedic lores, and with reverence”. Difference in rendering of the hymns reveals that the slant of Wilson’s translation is towards the ritual of sacrifice and so he could not capture the spirit of the divine hymn. Mr.Jha cites RgVeda’s hymn VIII.43.11 to state that Indra’s food is the ox and the barren cow (p.29, ref.22) T.V.: ukshannaya vasannaya somaprishthaya vedhase Stomair vidhemagnaye This hymn is translated by Wilson to read “Let us adore with hymns Agni, the granter (of desires), the eater of the ox, the eater of the morrow on whose back the libation is poured” Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam interpreted this hymn as “Let us adore with hymns the fire-divine, who is fed on agricultural products, dairy products, and who bears the herbal plants on the back”.

Jha quotes Rgveda X.16.4 (p.30,ref.26) to argue that for disposal of the dead a recourse is taken ‘to the burning of a goat which is the share of Agni, and to use of the flesh of the cow to protect the body against the flame’ T.V.: ajo bhagas tapasa tam tapasva tam te socis tapatu tam te areih yas te sivas tanvo jatavedas tabhir vahainam sukritam u lokam Mr. Wilson’s translation of this verse reads as follows: “The unborn portion; burn that, Agni, with your heat; let your flame, your spleandour, consume it; with those glorious members which have given him, Jatavedas, bear him to the world (of the virtuous)”. The actual content of the hymn as per Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam’s interpretation is as follows: “O fire divine, let your radiant flame and your glowing splendour make the imperishable soul pure and bright, and with the auspicious body, which you provide to him, may you convey him to the region of the virtuous”. Verse of RgVeda X.16.7 is also cited by Mr.Jha supported by Keith to substantiate his theory regarding coverage of the dead body. T.V.: agner varma pari gobhir vyayasva sam prornushva pivasa medasa ca net tva dhrishnur harasa jarhrishano dadhrig vidhakshyan paryaukhayate This has been translated by Wilson to read as follows: “Enclose the mail of Agni with the (hide of the) cow; cover it with the fat and marrow: then will not (Agni), bold, exulting in his fierce heat, proud ,embrace you round about to consume you (to ashes)”. This verse is rendered to mean as follows by Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam: “When the body is being entirely consumed (on the funeral pyre) with the flames brightened by butter, another body with new fat and new marrow is being provided (to the departed soul in a fresh womb). May not this bold fire, exulted in his fierce heat, and full of pride, embrace and consume your new body to ashes (which is being given to you elsewhere)”.

Jha quotes Rgveda X.16.4 (p.30,ref.26) to argue that for disposal of the dead a recourse is taken ‘to the burning of a goat which is the share of Agni, and to use of the flesh of the cow to protect the body against the flame’ T.V.: ajo bhagas tapasa tam tapasva tam te socis tapatu tam te areih yas te sivas tanvo jatavedas tabhir vahainam sukritam u lokam Mr. Wilson’s translation of this verse reads as follows: “The unborn portion; burn that, Agni, with your heat; let your flame, your spleandour, consume it; with those glorious members which have given him, Jatavedas, bear him to the world (of the virtuous)”. The actual content of the hymn as per Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam’s interpretation is as follows: “O fire divine, let your radiant flame and your glowing splendour make the imperishable soul pure and bright, and with the auspicious body, which you provide to him, may you convey him to the region of the virtuous”. Verse of RgVeda X.16.7 is also cited by Mr.Jha supported by Keith to substantiate his theory regarding coverage of the dead body. T.V.: agner varma pari gobhir vyayasva sam prornushva pivasa medasa ca net tva dhrishnur harasa jarhrishano dadhrig vidhakshyan paryaukhayate This has been translated by Wilson to read as follows: “Enclose the mail of Agni with the (hide of the) cow; cover it with the fat and marrow: then will not (Agni), bold, exulting in his fierce heat, proud ,embrace you round about to consume you (to ashes)”. This verse is rendered to mean as follows by Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam: “When the body is being entirely consumed (on the funeral pyre) with the flames brightened by butter, another body with new fat and new marrow is being provided (to the departed soul in a fresh womb). May not this bold fire, exulted in his fierce heat, and full of pride, embrace and consume your new body to ashes (which is being given to you elsewhere)”.

RgVeda hymn X.27.2 has been cited(p.29,ref.16) regarding killing of a bull. T.V.: yadid aham yudhaye samnayany adevayun tanva susujanan ama te tumram vrishabham pacani tivram sutam pancadasam ni shincam It has been translated by Wilson to read “If I encounter in combat the undevout, resplendent in their bodies, then will I cook a vigorous bull for them, and will sprinkle (upon the fire) the exhilarating effused juice the fifteenfold (Soma)”. Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam render its interpretation to read “If I lead my friends to battle against the dark clouds of nescience, unfaithful but strong in physical strength, then having dispelled the darkness, I shall impel the furious and vigorous sun, and thereafter, sprinkle on the earth exhilarating peace of the full moonlight”. [ the term ‘vrishabham’ is translated by Wilson as bull but according to Mr.S.N.Shastri it is the strength which helps to shower grace on the praja i.e. people and the term ‘pacani’ does not mean that ‘I cook’ but instead it is ‘I lead it to fruition or expansion or exaltation’] According to Mr.Jha, Indra is said to have eaten the flesh of bulls (p.29,ref.15) as per RgVeda hymn X.28.3 T.V.: adrina te mandina indra tuyan sunvanti soman pibasi tvam esham pacanti te vrishabhan atsi tesham prikshena yan maghavan huyamanah” Mr.Wilson’s translation of this hymn states as follows: “(Vasukra speaks) Your worshippers express with the stone fast flowing exhilarating Soma-juices for you, you drink them; they roast bulls for you, you eat them, when you are invoked, Maghavan, to the sacrificial food”. Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam render its interpretation as follows: “(Day speaks) O sovereign Lord, the worshippers express their devotion through exhilarating prayers and dedicated actions (just as herb juice pressed through stones); you accept them and drink; they cook the strengthening and joy-showering foods for you and when invoked, you accept their invocation”. Here again, the terms ‘vrishabh’ and ‘pacanti’ have done the damage as in the preceding hymn X.27.2

Mr.Jha has cited RgVeda X.68.3 (p.33, ref.64) to state that the killing of the kine to honour guests seems to have been prevalent from earlier times. T.V.: sadhvarya atithinir ishira sparhah suvarna anavadyarupah brihaspatih parvatebhyo viturya nir ga upe yavam iva sthivibhyah [the term ‘atithinir’ has been interpreted as ‘cows fit for guests’ Mr.Wilson’s translation reads as follows: “Brhaspati brings unto (the gods), after extricating them from the mountains, the cows that are the yielders of pure (milk), ever in motion, the objects of search and desire, well coloured and of unexceptionable form, (as men bring) barley from the granaries”. Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam have translated this hymn as follows: “The supreme sun first makes a search of cows (i.e. rays or the lost wisdom), and finds them hidden in the caves of mountains (i.e. behind the clouds); he recovers and extricates these (cows or rays) which furnish pure milk (or rays furnishing light), ever in motion, worthy of search, worth coveting, of splendid colours, and of exceptional forms. They are set free (from hiding) as barley from the granaries”. Atithinih means – ever in motion or constantly moving [atithini: satatam gachhanti- Sayan] According to Shri Satyanand Shastri, Prof. Griffith has translated this hymn as follows: “Brhaspati having won them from the mountains, strewed down, like barley out of the winnowing baskets; the vigorous, wandering cows who aid the pious, desired of all, of blameless form, well coloured”. Mr.Jha has again erred immensely to prove his stand.

RgVeda hymn X.85.13 has been cited by Jha (p.33, ref. 66) to point out that it refers to the slaughter of a cow on the occasion of marriage. T.V.: suryaya vahatuh pragat savita yam avasrijat aghasu hanyante gavo rjunyoh pary nhyatc It has been translated by Mr. Wilson as follows: “Surya’s bridal procession which Savita dispatched has advanced; the oxen are whipped along in the Magha (constellations); she is borne (to her husband’s house) in the Arjuni (constellations)”. Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam’s rendering is “The bridal procession of the Sun’s daughter, which the divine mother creator dispatches, moves along; the oxen of the chariot are whipped along in the MAGHA constellations; she is taken to her husband’s house in the ARJUNI (Phalguna) constellations”. RgVeda hymn X.86.14 has been singled out by Mr.Jha(p.21,ref.14) to underline the practice of eating beef. T.V.: ukshno hi me pancadasa sakam pacanti vinsatim utaham admi piva id ubha kukshi prinanti me visvasmad indra uttarah This hymn has been translated by Mr. Wilson as follows: “(Indra speaks) The worshippers dress for me fifteen (and) twenty bulls: I eat them and (become) fat, they fill both sides of my belley; Indra is above all (the world)”. Sw. Satya Prakash and Satyakam interpret this verse as follows: “(The Self speaks) The worshippers ripen for me fifteen and twenty matured showerers of blessings and thereafter I fill the spaces with essence on both sides of my form. The Self is supreme over all. [Fifteen= 10 Pranas (vital breaths) and 5 bhootas+Twenty= 5 tanmatras (colour,taste,sound,smell and touch)+ 5 elements+ 5 organs of sense+ 5 motor-organs]”.

RgVeda hymn X.91.14 has been cited by Mr.Jha to illustrate that Indra’s food is the ox and the barren cow etc. (p.30, refs.22-25). T.V.: yasminn asvasa rishabhasa ukshano vasa mesha avasrishtasa ahutah kilalape somaprishthaya vedhase hrida matim janaye carum agnaye This has been translated by Mr.Wilson as follows: “I offer graceful praise with all my heart to Agni , the drinker of water, whose back is sprinkled with Soma, the ordainer (of the rite), to whom vigorous horses and bulls and barren cows and sheep are consigned as burnt offerings”. Translation by Sw.Satya Prakash and Satyakam reads as follows: “I offer my words of appreciation with sincerity at my heart to the fire- divine, the absorber of water, to whom the oblations of herbal juices (mixed with curds) are offered and to whom every living being like vigorous horses, bulls, milching cows and barren ones, sheep and goat (and even men) are consigned after their death ( i.e. to the Kravya-agni, the cremating fire)”. It will be pertinent to add here that in his Hindi booklet entitled “Kya pracheen arya log mansahari the?”, Shri Satyanand Shastri has dealt in detail some of the Vedic references cited by Mr.Jha and they are further capable of falsifying the interpretations deduced by the author of this derogatory book. To facilitate their consultation and close understanding, the following information is furnished: RgVeda X.16.7 pp.17-20 RgVeda X.27.2 pp.20-21 RgVeda X.28.3 pp.21-23 RgVeda X.68.3 pp.29-30 RgVeda X.85.13pp.11-15 RgVeda X.86.14pp.26 The thesis of Mr.Jha through his book under scrutiny has also denigrated the Vedic deities namely, Agni,Indra, Pusan,Maruta, Mitra,Soma,Varuna,Visnu etc. by mentioning that they were fond of eating flesh of animals specially of the bulls, buffaloes , cows etc. Pages 29-30 of the book mention that Agni liked buffaloes, Indra had special liking for bulls, Pusan ate mush, Maruts, Mitra and Varuna liked cows etc. All these terms denote the various names of the God and indirectly Mr.Jha has tried to prove Him to be meat-eater .i.e the Creator Himself eating its own creation , a great PARADOX in itself. Mr.Jha could not comit a greater sin than this, he being descendent of the Brahamanic lineage has abused his scholarship and ran to London to get his book published to earn recognition from his patrons who wish to denigrate the Hindus and their Heritage.

Some references from the Vedas and Mahabharata which condemn the killing of cows: AtharvaVeda I.16.4 Kill the killer of the cow with the bullet of lead. Atharva Veda III.30.1 You should impart love to each other as the non-killable cow does for its calf RgVeda VII.56.17 Punish the killer of the cow and the man. RgVeda VIII.101.15 Cow is pure, do not kill it. RgVeda X.10.87.16 Those who kill the ‘Aghanya’ the cow which is not to be killed according Vedic edicts, their heads should be chopped off. [Translation of this verse in full in Sw. Satya Praksh ‘s version reads:”O fire divine, you may tear off the heads of the evil-spirited cannibal who lives on the flesh of men and who satisfies himself with the flesh of horses and cattle and who steals for himself the milk of milch-cow”.] YajurVeda XIII.49 Do not kill the cow. YajurVeda XXX.18 Award death sentence to the killer of the cow. Mahabharata- Shantiparva 262.47 Cow is called ‘aghanya’ and thus non-killable. Some examples of glorification of the cow in the Vedas: AtharvVeda XI.1.34 states “dhenuh sadnam rayeenham” i.e. ‘cow is the fountainhead of all the bounties’. The entire Sukta 28 of VIth Mandala of the RgVeda sings glory of the cow. (seven hymns alongwith their full text and Hindi translation could be seen in the book entitled “Gyan Ganga Sagar-Vol.II” at pp.100-103). RgVeda VI.28.3 states ‘enemy may not use any astra i.e. weapon on cows’ RgVeda VI.28.4 states ‘no body should take them to butcherhouse to kill them’ RgVeda VI.28.5 states ‘milk of cow is used in the first offering (ahuti) to Soma’ YajurVeda XXIII.48 states “Gostu matra n vidyate” i.e. Cow cannot be compared with anything.

Scriptures of Sikhism: In Dashamgranth, Gurugovind Singhji prays to God as follows: Yahi deh agya tark ko khapaun Goghat ka dukh jagat se mitaun Aas poornh karo tum hamari Mite kasht gauan chhoote khed bhari [He desired to remove the cow slaughter from the world and save them from any torture] Aadigranthsahab states as follows: Doodh katore garhve paani Kapila gaai namey duh aani [ It is in praise of the cow’s milk]

नमन गोयल: Brilliant research!! Thank you so much!

ONE HAS TO COUNTER THE TRANSLATIONS DONE BY MAX MULAR AND GRIFFITH. ITS SAD THAT MANY INDIANS FOLLOW THE DISTORTED VERSIONS AND PROMOTE THIS. IN EARLIER ERA COWS USED TO BE PRESENT IN EVERY HOUSE HOLD. As a pet and family member. This was the cause of strong health of Indian people.The Britishers realise this and hence they attacked vedas and cows . Period.

Good job

नमन गोयल 1. I agreed with you that Jha has only reviewed others work. There is no original research of his own..but, we were able to read only a few pages of his review. 2. I have read Griffith's, Mueller's, and Sayana's Wilson-translation version too. 3. As for metaphors and similies.....those are assumptions by researchers (foreign and Indian both) thousands of years after the vedic people were gone. Who knows what the vedic people were actually trying to say? Like to really understand their minds without any interpretations. 4. We all admit that there is controversy...sometimes they say "eat" and other times say its a sin....but we also know many additions were made in the later periods as thinking changed. 5. Is not Atharva Veda from a later period than Rg? And Bhagvatam, Mahabharat, and Manu Samhita from a even later period? Scholars also suspect that Gita was added to Mahabharat much later, evidence comes from the style of language used. When you have a belief system rooted in religion...the perspective changes. i am not going to argue against Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Acharya Aurobindo....they certainly had knowledge of Sanskrit and were better equipped to understand the Sanskrit of the Vedas, but, Acharya Aurobindo does say, as you quoted above, that Swami Dyanand Saraswati's "...was the eye of direct vision that pierced to the truth and fastened on that which was essential." The question, now, is how do you define essential and essential to whom? And what of that which was not essential? Should we ignore that? Therefore, my mind was to focus only on simple translation of the Rg to the best of our capacity, with no interpretations added.....interpretations are based on perspectives and all of us have different perspectives on this issue. Finally Naman, have you read Tilak's "Orion" and "Artic Home of the Aryans"? Tilak was a 'Son of India' too, a swatantrata senani.......very well read, pundit and scholar of many languages and Sanskrit literature too. He researched the Rg Veda too. How come Indians never discuss his books/opinions on the this subject? How about Swami Vivekanand? We all respect and adore about his opinion on the Vedas? How come we never discuss the opinions of these 'Sons of India"?

And yes, one more ask how can the creator prescribe offerings of his own creatures? Very true. The answer is: He did did. I also want to ask...why would the creator compose hymns and prayers to Indra, a god / devta we hindus now show to be low in moral? Why would Brahma, the creator, pray for protection to a "god" that he Himself created? Eg. "May Mitra,Varuna,Aryaman,Ayush,Indra,the Lord of Ribhus and the Maruta not rebuke us (who is the us? surely not the creator Himself) because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice virtues of the swift horse sprung from the god".

"We the performers of yajna in all seasons (vidathe) in the battle field (yat) whose (vajinah) stormy (devajatasya) learned men and borne out of the divine virtues (sapte) of the horse (veeryani) unique performances (pravakshyamah) we shall describe (nah) the daring performances of our horses (mitrah) friend (varunah) sublime (aryama) the deliverer of justice (ayuh) the knower (indrah) the all-elivated or aishvaryavan (ribhuksha) intelligent and (marutah) priests (ma, pari,khyan) should never disregard these properties." ....Who is the "We"?

"There is vast difference in the above quoted translations. Obviously the wrong seeds were sown by Sayan and Mahidhar who were the imodels adopted by the western scholars, namely Max Muller, Griffith , Wilson etc." But natural, there was nobody else to follow/adopt.

Finally, thanks for presenting the whole was long, but an eye opener, in the sense that all the quotes confirm that its the opinion of one side. How about the opinion of the other side? Are you open to hear that?

If you are talking to me....then I am no sure what part of my post you are referring to. What about Purusha Suktam and caste? I never mentioned anything about caste.

Rita Raina You very well pointed out Books written by Tilak and views of Swami Vivekanand. I didn't know about books written by late Tilak and Swami Vivekanad, most of the religious leaders try to avoid discussing his work. I hope our generation will discuss it more and understand our books more correctly. On the translation part, yes there are many confusions, and its hard to understand what the authors of Vedas are trying to tell people. Most of the sanskrit words have two or three interpretations. Take the example of word "Koti" which mostly people take as "crore or 10 million" but is also means "type"... so when veda talk about 33 koti.. people gets confused that is it 330 million or 33 types of Gods and Goddesses.... Many intellectuals have laid arguments on both sides.. A popular but unfounded belief has been spread that Hindus have 33 crore gods. It is a misunderstanding of the Vedic concept of the State, and hence a misinterpretation of the word koti. 33 divinities are mentioned in the Yajur-veda, Atharva-veda, Satapatha-brahmana, and in several other Vedic and later texts. The number thirty-three occurs with reference to divinities in the Parsi scriptures of Avesta as well.The expression trayastrimsa deva is found in the list of classes of gods in Sanskrit Buddhist texts like the Divyavadana and Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra. The word koti in 'trayastrimsati koti' does not mean the number '33 crore' or '330 million'. Here koti means 'supreme', pre-eminent, excellent, that is, the 33 'supreme' divinities. The word koti has the same meaning as uchha koti. It was a problem even in AD 725 when Subhakarasimha and his Chinese colleague I-hsing translated the Mahavairocana-sutra into Chinese. They rendered the compound sapta-koti-buddha as shichi (sapta) kotei (koti) butsu (buddha) in which they did not translate the word koti that transliterated its pronunciation as kotei. The Buddhas were not 'seven crore', but only 'Seven Supreme Buddhas': six predecessors and the historic Buddha. Tibetan masters who translated Sanskrit texts into Tibetan, rendered koti by rnam which means 'class, kind, category'. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, chapter 3, Yājñavalkya has said that in reality there are only 33 gods and goddesses. Of these 8 are Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, and Indra and Prajapati. 33 koti gods = 8 Vasus + 11 Rudras + 12 Adityas + 2 Heaven and Earth ( 8+ 11 + 12 + 2 = 33). (The following is a small part of conversation between Śākalya and Sage Yājñavalkya. There were eight people who put questions to Sage Yājñavalkya at King Janaka's court. Śākalya was the eight. Śākalya dies, in the very audience, due to an incident that took place on account of too much meaningless querying. Why? You will have to go through the whole incident ;) Believe us, its amazing! It has been documented in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad - Chapter 3.) Śākalya : "How many gods are there?" Yājñavalkya : "Three hundred and three." Then he says, "Three thousand and three." Śākalya : "Is this the answer that you give me to my question, how many gods are there? Three thousand and three; three hundred and three! Have you no other answer to this question?" Yājñavalkya : There are thirty-three gods. Śākalya : "All right!" (not satisfied with answer) ...Tell me again properly; how many gods are there?" Yājñavalkya : "Six are there." Śākalya : "How many gods are there. Tell me again. Think properly." Yājñavalkya : "Only three gods are there." Śākalya : "How many gods are there? Tell again. Yājñavalkya : "Two gods are there." Śākalya : "Tell again; how many gods are there?" Yājñavalkya : "One and a half gods" (Then he was very much upset) Śākalya : "What is this you say, one and a half gods. Tell again properly; how many gods are there?" Yājñavalkya : "One god is there," Śākalya : "All these numbers that you have mentioned – three thousand and three, three hundred and three – what are these gods? Give the names of these gods, the deities." Yājñavalkya : "All these three thousand and all that I mentioned – they are not really gods. They are only manifestations of the thirty-three. The thirty-three are the principal manifestations, and others are only their glories, radiances, manifestations, magnificences or forces, energies, powers." Śākalya : "But what are these thirty-three?" Yājñavalkya : "The thirty-three gods are eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Ādityas, then Indra and Prajāpati – these make thirty-three gods." Śākalya : "What are these Vasus which are eight in number?" Yājñavalkya : "Fire is one deity; earth is one deity; air is another; the atmosphere is one deity; the sun is one deity; the heaven is one deity; moon is one deity; the stars are one deity. These constitute eight groups" Śākalya : "Why do you call them Vasus?" Yājñavalkya : "Everything is deposited as it were in these constituent principles. Therefore, they are called Vasus." Śākalya : "Who are the Rudras?" Yājñavalkya : "The ten senses and the mind make eleven. These are the Rudras." Śākalya : "What are the twelve Ādityas, the suns?" Yājñavalkya : "They are twelve forces of the sun, takes away the vitality of people." Śākalya : "Who is Indra? Who is Prajāpati?" Yājñavalkya : "The rain cloud can be called Indra. Sacrifice can be called Prajāpati." Śākalya : "What do you mean by rain cloud?" Yājñavalkya : "By rain cloud I do not actually mean the cloud, but the lightning which is the embodiment of energy."

Yes I open to hear as many opinions as there is possible.. It will help in exploring more in understanding the books.

I think Achintya ji the one who is seeking knowledge ask a different set of question and one whos sole purpose is to irritate asks different set of questions. Be careful what you are asking. You might get an answer . :D JK ..

It is very important to see the hell (sufferings). Only then you value heaven. Suffering makes you humble and leads you to wisdom. Sanskrit is not just a language . Its divine. To understand the right meaning you don't have to link wd the books, you have to link wd the cosmic energy. The " grace" is most important. Killing an animal is violence and eating them is wasting of our prana urja and making our body a grave. Will intention of a butcher b ever right? Are we slaves of our taste buds? Doesn't an animal who know he is going to get kill will suffer from pain, Anxiety, fear etc? Won't that same vikaras will enter our system by consuming flesh? In the end, to each his own