Food of Bodhisattvas     12 posts


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Food of Bodhisattvas

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In his ' Thought-Free Meditation ' Vimalamitra says :

At all times, yogis should avoid eating meat and fish. They should eat in proper measure and partake of food that is in harmony with the teachings.

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The commentary on the ' Kalachakra-tantra ' says :

One should not buy meat, nor should one offer animals in sacrifice to the gods and ancestral spirits. For the Buddha never allowed 'marked meat' to be eaten. And by 'marked meat' he meant the flesh of animals that have been killed and purchased for food, as well as animals marked for sacrifice.

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Likewise the root tantra of ' Kalachakra ' says:

" Wicked people, hard to train,
Kill harmless beasts
As sacrifice to gods and for their ancestors,
To gain protection, profit, and fulfill their aims.
To buy the meat, to wish to eat it, is indeed an evil act. "

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Gyalse Thogme also says:

" When beings die a natural death
Who have, from time without beginning, been our close-loved
kin,
We weep. This shows indeed how wrong it is
To eat the flesh of beasts that have been killed for meat. "

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In his ' Stages of Meditation ' Kamalashila says:

When Yogis meditate, they should always refrain from eating meat, fish, and so forth. For such foods are at variance with their meditation. They should be moderate in their eating habits.

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In ' The Compendium of Views ' the teacher renowned as Jamyang Mi'i Wangpo says:

Teachers and householders, religious people and ascetics who eat meat and drink alcohol will become pretas* when they die... Parents should not give their children meat and fish to eat nor alcohol to drink. Children should be fed on milk and butter, for example, but not meat.

* - Preta is the Sanskrit name for a type of supernatural being described in some Indian religions as undergoing suffering greater than that of humans, particularly an extreme level of hunger and thirst. Preta is often translated into English as "hungry ghost" from the Chinese adaptation.

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' The Compendium of the Mahayana ' by the Acharya Krishnapa says:

One should always abstain from meat, fish, alcohol, garlic, radish; and one should likewise refrain from dyeing cloth, pressing sesame seeds, farming and so forth.

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' The Lotus Net ' the root tantra of Lord Avalokita, says :

Stale offerings, garlic, soiled or discarded food, meat and food from the hands of butchers, and water containing insects - all these should be rejected.

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In the tantra of ' Akshobya ' it is written that :

Curd, milk, butter, sweet substances, sweet fried pancakes, bread, and rice should be consumed in moderation. All evil-smelling foods should be rejected, such as meat, alcohol, garlic, and so forth.

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According to a text belonging to the Kriya tantra, the ' Amogha Pasha ' :

" Alcohol, meat, garlic, wild garlic, leek - alone or mixed with other food - should be especially shunned. "

Another text belonging to the same tantra states :

" Those who wish to keep the precepts must abstain completely from alcohol, meat, onion, leeks, and the remnants of the offerings to the gods. "

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It is written in the tantra ' Embodiment of Awareness ' :

"When beings feed on flesh and gore,
Dreadful and foul-reeking food,
Evil wraiths that live on smells,
Sniffing out the stench of blood,
Will steal away vital strength
And rob them of their radiance and their health.
Why do these people thus indulge themselves?"

If Indeed one craves the five great substances, for example, blood, considering them as truly existent, one will be reborn as a dangerous spirit that lives on the stench of blood and takes the terrifying form of one of the seven mothers. Anyone who drifts into such a dependency will wander in the land of Lanka in the form of a dreadful, flesh-devouring demoness. - Shabkar

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It is written in the tantra ' Embodiment of Wisdom ' as follows:

Meat and blood are very negative foods and give off a strong smell. Spirits that feed on odors will come and steal away the vital energy and physical essences of those who consume meat, causing them to lose their healthy radiance...
If one craves the five great substances, such as meat and blood, looking on them as truly existent things, one will eventually become a spirit that lives upon the smell of blood.

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