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What do Buddhists eat?

To: alt.zen,alt.zen,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.consciousness,sci.philosophy.meta,talk.religion.buddhism,comp.ai.philosophy,alt.meditation
From: Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam 
Subject: Re: What do Buddhists eat?
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 14:32:43 -0500

Stephen Evans (tbm@earth.usa.net) wrote:

: Most Buddhists are not vegetarian.

Anybody can call themselves Buddhists. But a real Buddhist is 
one who puts his body, mind and soul into the practice of the
Eightfold Path and works hard to give up desires and get
established in Ahimsa (non-violence in thought, word and
deed). Or at least he should admit to himself of his
weaknesses and try to get help from a Buddhist master.
Instead, what do we find ? People trying to find all kinds of
excuses to escape the discipline required in the path. The
first step to enlightenment is to admit to ones' own self of
ones weaknesses. If your ego does not let you do this, be
assured that the path to enlightenment will be seriously
impeded.

There are many people in this world who preach religion but
there are very few people who really practice their religion.
Many preach Buddhism, but no one gives up desires and Himsa
(as opposed to Ahimsa). Many preach Christianity, but no one
practices love and forgiveness. Many preach Islam, but no one
recognizes the brotherhood of man. Many preach Hinduism, but
no one realizes the Divinity in all. Preaching has become the
livelihood of men, while practice has become their object of
scorn. Hence the world is wicked, not for want of truth, nor
on account of religions; but, alas, it is wicked for the lack
of true followers of these ideals and religions.


Akita-jin \"Lee Love\ (LeeLove@millcomm.com) wrote:

: Hi Seetoh,

:       Don't forget sentient being called Brocolli.  It doesn't have
: any little feet to run with nor a little mouth to scream.  (;^)  Not
: very sportsman like to hunt brocolli!



So don't think it is okay for a Buddhist to eat meat. If you
can't control your palate say you can't control your palate,
don't give weak excuses like plants feel pain to. Plants feel
as much pain as we do when we cut our hair or finger nails
(this is the unanimous voice of the Hindu saints).  There is
a simple experiment which you can do to find out the reaction
of your conscience which will tell you how much pain a
vegetable endures and how much pain an animal endures. Go to
a slaughter house and a vegetable farm. Bring along your kids
if you feel that your conscience is clouded by impurities.
And sincerely ask yourself (or look at your kids' face if he
or she dared to look) how you felt when the brains of a cow
was blown by a shotgun and when a brinjal was plucked or a
carrot uprooted.

I reproduce here a little episode here from the life of
Buddha which will confirm his stand on the issue of harming
animals. You will also learn that it is more important to
relief the suffering of humanity (in Buddha's term, humanity
also includes animals) than to sit in meditation. Get
yourself established in the ethical teachings of the Buddha
first, if you want any real success in your meditation.
Control of your palate will greatly help in the control of
your mind.


In his wanderings, Gautama one day saw a herd of goats and
sheep winding their way through a narrow valley. Now and then
the herdsman cried and ran forward and backward to keep the
members of the fold from going astray. Among the vast flock
Gautama saw a little lamb, toiling behind, wounded in one
part of the body and made lame by a blow of the herdsman.
Gautama's heart was touched and he took it up in his arms and
carried it saying, "It is better to relieve the suffering of
an innocent being than to sit on the rocks of Olympus or in
solitary caves and watch unconcerned the sorrows and
sufferings of humanity". Then, turning to the herdsman he
said, "Whither are you going, my friend, with this huge flock
so great a hurry ?". "To the king's palace" said the
herdsman, "We are sent to fetch goats and sheep for sacrifice
which our master - the king - will start tonight in
propitiation of the gods". Hearing this, Gautama followed the
herdsman, carrying the lamb in his arms. When they entered
the city, word was circulated that a holy hermit had brought
the sacrifices ordered by the king. As Gautama passed through
the streets, people came out to see the gracious and saintly
figure of the youth clad in the yellow robes of a Sadhu
(monk) and all were struck with wonder and awe at his noble
mien and his sweet expression. The king was also informed of
the coming of the holy man to the sacrifice. When the
ceremonies commenced in the presence of the king, there was
brought a goat ready to be killed and offered to the gods.
There it stood with its legs tied up and the high priest
ready with a big bloodthirsty knife in his hand to cut the
dumb animal's throat. In that cruel and tragic moment, when
the life of the poor creature hung by a thread, Gautama

stepped forward and cried, "Stop the cruel deed, O king!".
And as he said this, he leaned forward and unfastened the
bonds of the victim. "Every creature" he said, "loves to
live, even as every human being loves to preserve his or her
life". The priest then threw the knife away like a repentant
sinner and the king issued a royal decree throughout the land
the next day, to the effect that no further sacrifice should
be made in future and that all people should show mercy to
birds and beasts alike.


All glories to the compassionate Buddha, the conqueror of
desires and the embodiment of Ahimsa.


Pannir

http://www.rsl.ukans.edu/~pkanagar/divine

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