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SB 11.5.13

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


yad ghrāṇa-bhakṣo vihitaḥ surāyās
tathā paśor ālabhanaṁ na hiṁsā
evaṁ vyavāyaḥ prajayā na ratyā
imaṁ viśuddhaṁ na viduḥ sva-dharmam


yat — because; ghrāṇa — by smell; bhakṣaḥ — the taking; vihitaḥ — is enjoined; surāyāḥ — of wine; tathā — similarly; paśoḥ — of a sacrificial animal; ālabhanam — prescribed killing; na — not; hiṁsā — wanton violence; evam — in the same way; vyavāyaḥ — sex; prajayā — for the purpose of begetting children; na — not; ratyai — for the sake of sense enjoyment; imam — this (as pointed out in the previous verse); viśuddham — most pure; na viduḥ — they do not understand; sva-dharmam — their own proper duty.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


According to the Vedic injunctions, when wine is offered in sacrificial ceremonies it is later to be consumed by smelling, and not by drinking. Similarly, the sacrificial offering of animals is permitted, but there is no provision for wide-scale animal slaughter. Religious sex life is also permitted, but only in marriage for begetting children, and not for sensuous exploitation of the body. Unfortunately, however, the less intelligent materialists cannot understand that their duties in life should be performed purely on the spiritual platform.


Madhvācārya has given the following statement in regard to animal sacrifice:

yajñeṣv ālabhanaṁ proktaṁ
devatoddeśataḥ paśoḥ
himsā nāma tad-anyatra
tasmāt tāṁ nācared budhaḥ
yato yajñe mṛtā ūrdhvaṁ
yānti deve ca paitṛke
ato lābhād ālabhanaṁ
svargasya na tu māraṇam

According to this statement, the Vedas sometimes prescribe animal sacrifice in ritual performances for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord or a particular demigod. If, however, one whimsically slaughters animals without rigidly following the Vedic prescriptions, such killing is actual violence and should not be accepted by any intelligent person. If the animal sacrifice is perfectly performed, the sacrificed animal immediately goes to the heavenly planets of the demigods and the forefathers. Therefore such a sacrifice is not for killing animals but for demonstrating the potency of Vedic mantras, by the power of which the sacrificed creature is immediately promoted to a higher situation.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu, however, has forbidden such animal sacrifice in this age because there are no qualified brāhmaṇas to chant the mantras, and the so-called sacrificial arena becomes an ordinary butcher shop. And in an earlier era, when unscrupulous persons tried to establish that animal killing and meat-eating are acceptable by misinterpreting the Vedic sacrifices, Lord Buddha personally appeared and rejected their heinous proposition. This is described by Jayadeva Gosvāmī:

nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ
sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam
keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra
jaya jagad-īśa hare

Unfortunately, the conditioned souls are afflicted by four imperfections, one of which is the cheating propensity, and thus they tend to exploit the concessions that the Lord mercifully gives to them in religious scriptures for their gradual purification. Rather than follow the Vedic injunctions for simultaneously satisfying their senses and gradually elevating themselves, the conditioned souls reject the actual purpose of such apparently materialistic ceremonies and simply become more and more degraded in the ignorance of the bodily concept of life. Thus they fall down altogether from the varṇāśrama system and, taking birth in violent non-Vedic societies, foolishly presume the small fragments of universal religious principles prevalent there to be the exclusive religion of the soul. As a result, they fall into fanaticism, embracing merely sectarian, dogmatic views of religion. Such unfortunate persons are completely out of touch with their own eternal function in life and consider things to be vastly different than they are in reality.

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