Some observations:

  • In a particular society in India, the repentance for consuming beef is that the "sinner" must put on the rope around his/her neck (i.e. the rope wound around a cow's neck) and go for begging by "mooing".

  • Another tribal Hindu society requires providing feast to the society (or the village) and also offering prayers to the society's deities or ancestors.

Either way, these are what I have observed are "repentance rules" of the respective societies, and it's exclusively for cows, not buffaloes. For reasons I am not mentioning the names of the societies or cultures mentioned above.

How according to scriptures should one repent for killing a cow or consuming beef?

  • 'How according to scriptures should one repent for killing a cow or consuming beef?' - you mean for people who believe killing cow is a sin? Some Vedic sacrifices involved killing cows. Oct 9, 2020 at 13:54
  • @sv. Re: Some Vedic sacrifices involved killing cows Yes, I have read the question that you provided me earlier in the other question on buffaloes. Seems like the sanctity of cows developed over time. Re: you mean for people who believe killing cow is a sin? Yes. In my society too (not disclosing it for privacy), cow is sacred. And my observations are rather old (about 10-11 years, I think). Haven't seen someone doing it since a long time. Oct 9, 2020 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


Manu 5.51. He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, (must all be considered as) the slayers (of the animal).

There are many "killers" of an animal when someone eats it's meat. The person who slaughters the animal and the person who eats it are both equally considered as the sinner. Therefore, we can also see what is the method for atoning the sin of killing a cow.

Manu says:

11.108. He who has committed a minor offence by slaying a cow (or bull) shall drink during (the first) month (a decoction of) barley-grains; having shaved all his hair, and covering himself with the hide (of the slain cow), he must live in a cow-house.

11.109. During the two (following) months he shall eat a small (quantity of food) without any factitious salt at every fourth meal-time, and shall bathe in the urine of cows, keeping his organs under control.

11.110. During the day he shall follow the cows and, standing upright, inhale the dust (raised by their hoofs); at night, after serving and worshipping them, he shall remain in the (posture, called) virasana.

Parashara Smriti's Chapter 11 has a more specific atonement measure for eating beef.

  1. If a Brahman has partaken of any impure food, or has swallowed virile seed, or beef, or a Chandala's food, he should perform a Krichchhra-chandrayana.

However, it should be noted that austerities like Chandrayana etc. are quite cumbersome to perform.

  • 1
    The atonement measures are too harsh. It's not fear but respect for this prescribed atonements that make many righteous people avoid beef consumption. (my opinion) Oct 9, 2020 at 5:25
  • 1
    Yes quite difficult to perform. Many of these injunctions look outdated to us too because our lifestyle has been altered quite significantly. @SeverusSnape
    – Rickross
    Oct 9, 2020 at 5:30

This is not about beef, but meat and several other kinds of food.

  1. He who unwittingly partakes of (any of) these six, shall perform a Samtapana (Krikkhra) or the lunar penance (Kandrayana) of ascetics; in case (he who has eaten) any other (kind of forbidden food) he shall fast for one day (and a night ).
  2. Once a year a Brahmana must perform a Krikkhra penance, in order to atone for unintentionally eating (forbidden food) but for intentionally (eating forbidden food he must perform the penances prescribed) specially.

The six kinds of food mentioned in Verse 20 are mushrooms, village-pigs, garlic, village-cocks, onions, and leeks.

Interestingly, Manu considers pork and chicken to be impure, yet makes no mention of beef.

(Manusmriti, parvam 5)

  • 2
    "yet makes no mention of beef." - Does he mention cat meat, or snake or frog, or human meat ?
    – ram
    Oct 9, 2020 at 5:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .