Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ayurveda and Meat

When patients come to the ayurvedic doctor, as part of their diet pattern they are asked if they have meat. They apologetically say, 'yes, we have meat'. They are surprised to learn that meat eating is not at all against ayurveda. And that actually a diet devoid of all animal products - milk, meat, ghee, butter - as per ayurveda is not a healthy diet at all.
Shafi Patel Also depends on type of meat. Goatmeat and veal are allowed.
Aparna Krishnan No, all meats. And the precise properties of each meat is described, as also the properties of each grain and pulse and each milk.
Narayana Sarma Even Poisons have their own uses... So as narcotics and alcohols.
Aparna Krishnan What do you mean  ?
Narayana Sarma Poisons are सर - that property can be made use of by learned vaidyas. Narcotics induce tranquility of mind- they can be used by vaidyas judiciously. The trick is in using them so- 'judiciously'. Meats, narcotics, alcohols and other Tamasik substances are played down for very different reasons- reasons probably more esoteric than the loosly used word 'health'
Aparna Krishnan Yes, and so they act fast. But meat and alcohols are not played down at all in the texts. Arishtams and asavams (alcohols) are a valid and central part of medicines. Meats similarly are detailed in various contexts. There is no moral judgement implied at all on these. Despite the fact that in the Sutra sthanam various moral instructions are detailed, including 'feed the dependents and animals before eating', and also 'no insect even should be hurt'.
Aparna Krishnan The Yoga shashtras may have position on meat - I do not know.
Narayana Sarma Ashtanga hridayam is text on medicine, something to do with the more mundane 'health', and 'body'. Ayurveda is only a part of the vedas- (a lesser one at that!) because it deals with this limited component- 'physical body' more, even as it talks a little about subtler things like भूत्, प्रेत, पिशाच् , and कर्म . Teachers like Sankara, Ramanuja, Patanjali or Buddha for that matter dealt with more subtler aspects of life, things like मनस् बुद्धि अहंकार् चित्त which are not physical, and spoke about how the physical food we consume affects the subtle world.
Aparna Krishnan Narayana, I am only talking of ayurveda here ! Neither of morals, nor even of the vedas !

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