I read some Yoga books, and saw Swami Sivananda saying to not kill animals, but himself can be found in a photo making asana over a tiger's skin carpet, even pictures of Lord Shiva show him over a tiger carpet. So, if a Hindu can't kill animals, how do they get those tigers carpets?

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    Tiger represents lust. His sitting on the tiger’s skin indicates that He has conquered lust. This is just symbolism. This is said by Swami Sivananda. Even if Lord Rudra aka Shankara sits on tiger skin, it could be skin of dead tiger. Why will Lord of Animals (Pashupatinath) kill tigers just to sit on tiger carpet. It represents he conquered lust. It is evident from the episode of burning of KamaDeva (cupid). – The Destroyer Feb 15 '16 at 12:30
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    1. Yogis sit on skins of animals that have died of natural causes. 2. Kshatriyas were allowed to hunt in ancient India,. Hunting is illegal in current times. – user1195 Feb 15 '16 at 15:33
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    I agree with what moonstar2001 has said.Sanatan Dharmis even recommend eating only those fruits that have naturally fallen from trees. – Rickross Feb 15 '16 at 17:46
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    That directly contradicts the Ahimsa and Aparigraha principles of the Yamas in Astanga Yoga. – Naveen Apr 1 '16 at 16:21

From info found here,the following quote is taken from Sukeshi's questions(to the Sages) found in the Vamana Puranam:

The sages say- “Dharma consists of ten properties such as non-violence, truth, charity, not stealing the property of others, forgiveness, self-restraint, cleanliness etc. Hence it is known as Dashaang Dharma.

Hence anyone following the path of Dharma follows Ahimsa first & foremost.And a Yogi(Saint) will have more reasons to follow it.

Hence,it is evident that the Yogis get tiger skins only from those tigers that died of natural causes.

  • I'm not sure how this answers OP's question. What is the connection between your quote on Dharma, non-violence and not killing tigers? So a king hunting tigers in the olden times to practice archery on moving targets (animals) committing Adharma? Also, if a yogi is meditating in the wild and a tiger attacks him, should he save himself, retaliate and kill it or just give up his life because the tiger is doing its dharma killing for food and satisfy its hunger (charity)? – sv. Apr 26 '16 at 18:39
  • I think the OP understood better than what u did,I just quoted from scriptures which says a yogi among other things must follow the 10 fold Dharma principles and the foremost among which is Ahimsa.So ,a yogi killing an animal to make his seat is just out of question.Again the question was specifically about a yogi and not king who kills animals for pastime and pleasure. – Rickross Apr 30 '16 at 5:47
  • Actually, he asks, "if a Hindu can't kill amimals..." – sv. Apr 30 '16 at 12:35
  • @sv. Tigers won't attack most of the sages who are well versed in meditation. They either tame them or send them away in no time. Read Autobiography of a Yogi or Living with Himalayan Masters by sage Rama. – The Destroyer Jul 10 '16 at 9:06

how do they get tiger carpets?

From what I remember, the way for sadhaks to get tiger skin for their Sadhana is mentioned in Guru charitra(based on the life of Narasimha Saraswati). One of the main conditions mentioned is that one should not kill a tiger to get the tiger skin. In addition to this condition, there are many other conditions like the direction in which a Sadhak has to proceed in search of the tiger skin etc..

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    You can expand your answer by explaining and citing sources. – Paṇḍyā Dec 16 '16 at 13:59

People's attitudes change with time. One can see this change in Hindu scriptures also. The earliest scriptures, Vedas and Upanishads, talk of meat eating even eating bulls.

Bhishma says, ‘By never eating animals not killed for sacrifice, he will become a strict vegetarian.’

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCXXI

So according to Bhishma you can be a strict vegetarian if you restrict your non-veg food to sanctified meat - something that would certainly surprise modern Hindu vegetarians.

Mahabharata says that the Pandavas were voracious meat eaters.

"Once on a time, as Yudhisthira lay down at night in the Dwaita woods, some deer, with accents choked in tears, presented themselves before him in his dreams. To them standing with joined hands, their bodies trembling all over, that foremost of monarchs said, 'Tell me what ye wish to say. Who are ye? And what do ye desire?" Thus accosted by Kunti's son - the illustrious Pandava, these deer, the remnant of those that had been slaughtered, replied unto him, saying, 'We are, O Bharata, those deer that are still alive after them that had been slaughtered. We shall be exterminated totally. Therefore, do thou change thy residence. O mighty king, all thy brothers are heroes, conversant with weapons; they have thinned the ranks of the rangers of the forest. We few - the remnants,-O mighty minded one, remain like seed. By thy favour, O king of kings, let us increase.' Seeing these deer, which remained like seed after the rest has been destroyed trembling and afflicted with fear, Yudhisthira the just was greatly affected with grief. And the king, intent on the welfare of all creatures, said unto them, ' So be it. I shall act as ye have said.' Awaking after such a vision, that excellent king, moved by pity towards the deer, thus spake unto his brothers assembled there, 'Those deer that are alive after them that have been slaughtered, accosted me at night, after I had wakened, saying, 'We remain like the cues of our lines. Blest be thou! Do thou have compassion on us. And they have spoken truly. We ought to feel pity for the dwellers of the forest. We have been feeding on them for a year together and eight months. Let us, therefore, again (repair) to the romantic Kamakhyas, the best of forests abounding in wild animals, situated at the head of the desert, near Lake Trinavindu. And there let us pleasantly pass the rest of our time.'

Mahabharata Vana Parva Section CCLVI

Chandogya Upanishad 2.19.2 says that some spiritual aspirant takes a vow to not eat fish and meat for a year or to permanently stop eating non-veg food. So vegetarianism is only an option.

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.18 says,

' He who wishes," May a son be born to me, who will be required scholar, attend assemblies, speak words that one likes to hear, be versed in all the Vedas, and attain full longevity", should have rice cooked with meat - that of a young and mature bull - and with his wife eat it mixed with ghee. Then they will be able to produce such a son.'

That would imply that ancient Hindus used to eat meat.

Scriptures also condemn animal sacrifice.

Bhishma said, "Beholding the mangled body of a bull, and hearing the exceedingly painful groans of the kine in a cow-slaying sacrifice, and observing the cruel Brahmanas that gathered there for assisting at the ceremonies, that king uttered these words, ‘Prosperity to all the kine in the world.’ When the slaughter had commenced, these words expressive of a blessing (to these helpless animals) were pronounced. And the monarch further said, ‘Only those that are transgressors of defined limits, that are destitute of intelligence, that are atheists and sceptics, and that desire the acquisition of celebrity through sacrifices and religious rites speak highly of slaughter of animals in sacrifices.’"

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLXV

'Cast thy eyes, O Jajali, on those bullocks yoked to the plough. Kine are called in the Srutis the Unslayable. That man perpetrates a great sin who slays a bull or a cow. In days of yore, many Rishis with restrained sense addressed Nahusha, saying, " Thou hast, O King, slain a cow which is declared in the scriptures to be like unto one's mother. Thou hast also slain a bull, which is declared to be like unto the Creator himself. Thou hast perpetrated an evil act, O Nahusha, and we have been exceedingly pained by it.

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLXII

Why there was this attitudinal change is not understood. Scholars have speculated that the Hindu attitudinal change is due to the influence of Buddhism and Jainism.

  • Animal sacrifices in Vedas are not considered compulsory- they are based on ones choices. The quote from upanishad is from brahmanam actually, brahmanic rituals are considered based on ones choices, the same upanishad has a quote on beating women, did all ancient Indians beat women in rituals? Vegeterianism is primary teaching-animal killing is based on ones choices. – Anubhav Jha Apr 14 '18 at 12:10

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