ELEFANT FLESH AND HORSE FLESH
Once upon a time a kingdom suffered from famine. The king’s elephants and horse died and people ate their meat. They offered those meat to the monks as an alms-giving and monks ate it. Some people condemned the monks for taking the meat of elephant and horse. They said elephants and horses were the property of the king. If the king knew that monks ate the meat, he would be displeased with monks. The Buddha say: “O monks, elephant flesh and horse flesh should not be eaten. Any monk who eats it must be guilty of dukkata (offence of wrong-action)”
While the condition of famine arose some people ate dog flesh and offered monks in alms-giving. Some peoplecondemned monks for talking that meat. They said that dog flesh was disgusting. The Buddha says:” O monks, dog flesh should not be eaten. Any monk who eats it must be guilty of Dukkata”.
On one occasion of famine some people ate snake flesh and offered monks. Some poeple condemned monks as before. The Buddha says:” O monks, snake flesh should not be eaten. Any monk who eats it must be guilty of Dukkata”.
LION FLESH , etc.
During the time of famine some people ate the flesh of lion, tiger, leopard , bear and offered it to the monks.
After taling the meat, the monk went to forest to practise meditation. On account of the smell of the meat they ate., lion, tiger, etc, chased the monks. That event was reported to the Buddha and the Buddha says:” O monks, lion flesh, etc; should not be eaten. Any monk who eats it must be guilty of Dukkata”.
Although the Buddha granted His followers all kinds of meat except the ten sorts of meat, he imposed three restrictions regarding meat. If any monk either saw or heared or even suspected that an animal had been killed specially for him, then the monk should not be accepted. The Buddha together with his followers did not abstain from meat. So, He was condemned by the other religious thinkers very often.
Once upon a time a chief commander fo Vajji, Siha by name was converted to Buddhism. He invited the Buddha and His disciples and offered alms-giving. He prepared rice and curry including meat which was bought from market. Janist monks heared that Siha offered the Buddha rice with meat. They condemned both the Buddha and Siha. They falsely accused: Siha, the Chief Commander, has killed a large animal to offer meat to Samana Gotama and knowing truly that event Samana Gotama has taken the meat. (Siha-Sihasenapi Sutta of Anguttara Nikaya).
According to Jainism eating meat is also guilty. They say one who eats meat inherits a half in demerit of the person who commits the killing of an animal. The killer kills animal because the eater eats meat. Siha was lay devotee of Mahavira before converting to Buddhism.
On one occasion a physician, Jivaka by name, approched the Buddha and reported the news he had heared.
Lord, it was said that animals were killed to offer meat to Samana Gotama. Samana Gotama accepted it knowing that the animal was killed specially for him ! Then Jivaka added:”Lord let me know whether they said are truly or not.”
The Buddha denied the satement and explained “O Jivaka, I declare that any meat should not be eaten by monks owing to three reasons:
Seen personally, heard and suspected thet the preparation of meat is for him:” “O Jivaka, whoever attempts to slaughter an animal to offer meat for me and my disciples, he accumulated much evil through five reasons:
(1) Having the purpose of offering alms-giving, one orders to bring an animal to be slaughtered/killed ?
(2) The animal suffers pain and grief while it is pulled by force; on account of that second reason much evil occurs within him.
(3) The order to slaughter that animal; on account of that third reason much evil occurs within him.
(4) The animal suffers pain and grief while killed; on account of that fourth reason much evil occurs within him.
(5) He makes trouble for me and my disciples by offering an unsuitable food to us; on account of that fifth reason much evil occurs within him.(Jivaka Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya)
The Buddha allowed meat –eating if it is free from three reasons, because to eat meat is not an unwholesome deed, as is the killing of living beings. However, some alien religious thinkers (annatitthiya) believed that one who eats meat comes into inheritance of demerit. The Buddha rejected their statement.
On one occasion Ven. Devadata, who opposed the Buddha, requested:”Lord, let monks not eat fish and meat throughtout their lives; if one commits to eating it, he must be guilty.” The Buddha totally denied this request (Culavagga Pali of Vinaya Pitaka).
Regarding taking meat Amagandha Sutta is very important. This Sutta is mentioned in Sutta Nipata of Khuddaka Nikaya. It was preached firstly by the Lord Buddha named Kassapa and retold by our Lord Buddha.
Once upon a time, a hermit who practised vegetarianism approched the Buddha. He inquired whether the Buddha ate Amagandha or not. The Buddha asked him: “What is the Amagandha ?” “ The Amagandha is meat”, he replied.
“Amagandha” literally means “odour of flesh”. It has the connotation of putridity and repugnant sense of uncleaned. Therefore this hermit used the term “Amagandha” for the word “meat”.
Then the Buddha explained that the meat was not true Amagandha but all mental defilements and all unwholesome deeds were really Amagandha.
The Buddha says:
(1) Taking life, beating, cutting, binding, stealing, lying, fraud deceiving, pretending knowledge, adultery – this is Amagandha and not eating flesh.
(2) When men are unrestrained in sensual pleasures, are greedy in tastes, are associated with impure actions, are of nihilistic view, crooked, obscurantists – this is Amagandha and not eating flesh.
(3) When men are rough and harsh, backbiting, treacherous, without compassion, haughty, ungenerous and not give anything to anyone: that is Amagandha and not eating flesh.
(4) Anger, pride, obstinacy, antagonism, hypocrisy, envy, ostentation, pride of opinion, intercourse with unrighteous – this is Amagandha and not eating flesh.
(5) When men are of bad morals, refuse to pay debts, slanderers, deceitful in their dealings, pretenders, when the vilest of men commit fould deeds – this is Amagandha and not eating flesh.
According to Buddhism, purification of all mental defilements is very important to attain Nibbana. One must attempt to purify one’s mind. The purification of mind can be achieved only through cultivation of good within him. To achieve purification you must establish Sila, Samadhi and Panna within you. Only through morality, concentration and wisdom you are able to achieve the purification of your mind. You can neither be defiled nor purified through eating meat or vegetables.
The Buddha did not exhosrt His followers to become vegetarians or non-vegetarians, but he admonished them to have moderation in food (bhojana mattannuta). Whatever good you eat, vegetables or meat, you must control thirst for taste (rasatanha).
The thirst for taste can be eradicated through developing the perception on repulsiveness dealing with nutriment (ahara patikulasanna) or through consideration of the necessity of food (paccavekkhana). A monk should not take food not for the purpose of joyful playing, not for taking pride in strenght, not for the growth of the parts of body to have charm, not for beautifying but for support and maintanance of the body, for keeping it unharmed , for enabling the practice of moral life (Apannaka Sutta of Anguttara Nikaya).
In putta-mamsupama Sutta of Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha compared kabalikara hara to one own son’s flesh. Here all ordinary material food, vegetable or meat, is known as kabalikara.
The Buddha says,”Suppose , a married couple who has only one baby boy went to a distant place, crossing the road of kantara. On the way their provision unfortunately ran out. They could not continue their journey without food. They were about to starve to death when a wicked idea occupied their mind. They killed the beloved son, ate the flesh, and crossed over the journey with great sorrow for having killed the beloved son.
The Buddha explained the meaning through question and answer.” O monks, what is your opinion ? Do they eat flesh of the own son for the purpose of playing (davaya) or for taking pride in strenght (madaya) or for the growth of the body (mandanaya) or for beautifying (vibhusanaya) ?” “No Lord. They will not eat it for the purpose of these.” Monks replied. “Do they eat only for the purpose of crossing over the journey ?” “Yes, O Lord”.
According to Puttamamsupama Sutta, you must contemplate on your food as just they contemplate their own son’s flesh. By this way you are able to eraticate the thirst for the taste (rasatanha) of nutriment.
Let us consider the nutriment from the point of the view of the Four Noble Truth. According to Buddhism, nutriment is a material thing and it pertains to the Aggregate of Matter (Rupakkhandha). The Aggregate of Matter is a sort of suffering. Therefore the nutriment is subject to suffering (Dukkha). It is one that should be discerned correctly (parinneyya). It is not a phenomenon that is to be eradicated (na pahatabba). The thirst for taste of nutriment (rasatanha) is the cause of suffering (dukkhasamudaya). It should be eradicated (pahatabba).
The cessation of the thirst for taste of nutriment is the cessation of suffering (Dukkhanirodha). It should be attained (Sacchikatabba). The contemplating nutriment correctly for the perception of repulsiveness in nutriment is the way leading to the cessation of suffering (Dukkha nirodha gamini patipada). It is one that should be developed (Bhavetabba).
According to Buddhism the cessation of suffering is of the most important. It can be attained only through the eradication of the Thirst (tanha). Therefore you must attempt to uproot the Thirst for taste of Nutriment to attain the cessation of suffering. It is Nibbana which is the goal of the Noble Practice. You may be a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, according to your wish. The only attempt you must make is to remove the Thirst for Taste of Nutriment, what you take every day.http://www.bswa.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2173&forum=7&post_id=21183