"The Buddha Was Not a Vegetarian"
Wrong Dharma Data
BuddhaNet is considered an authoritative resource which can not
just be ignored. Shabkar.Org wants
to enable its visitors to draw their own conclusions. Hence the
reason to link to Buddhanet which says "the Buddha himself
was not a vegetarian". But you are right, reagrding this subject
BuddhaNet does not convey Buddhist teachings in a correct way.
The site denies that Buddha Sakyamuni was a vegetarian and to a
certain extend this is true. Keepin
a vegetarian or vegan diet is part of Buddhist practice for many,
but not central in Buddhist teachings. According
to Buddhist scriptures Buddha
did not teach that first one needs to become a vegetarian before
one can enter the Buddhist path. In
the early Pali Sutras it is written that Buddha did not want his
begging monks to become picky. "A monk is content with any
sort of alms-food", Buddha taught. (AN ii,27,IV,III,28).
In this sense the Buddha was not a principal vegetarian, indeed.
according to Mahayana Buddhism the Buddha at a later stage advocated
vegetarianism in a very direct way (see the Maharinirvana
Sutra and the Lankavatara
Sutra in pdf). Also,
find strong stands against eating meat in other sutras
All this is in line with the core Buddhist teachings on compassion,
karma, non-killing, etc. In other words, just saying "Buddha
himself was not a vegetarian" gives the wrong message, indeed.
I agree it is a pity when people make this statement, since in my
view it creates misunderstanding, but that does not mean one has
to ignore them.
* For long some considered that the last meal of the Buddha contained
meat, but most modern translators agree that this is based on an
erroneous translation ('pork' instead of 'mushrooms', or "pigs
delight') of the Pali texts in the past..
See also VeggieBuddhists.Com.
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