want to explain the character for 'meat' in Chinese:
has the element 'mouth'
but the bottom line is left out, meaning that the mouth is open!
Why is the mouth open? To eat people! So, in the character for 'meat,'
there are two people.
is a character 'person'
inside and another 'person' outside. This shows that meat is inseparable
from people. However, people should not be inseparably attached
to meat. This represents a person who is eating the meat and a person
who is being eaten. One person's head is sticking out of the mouth,
and the other person is inside the mouth. But since the mouth is
not closed, that person may fall out. When he falls out. he may
become a person again. When he becomes a person again, he will go
and eat the person who was eating meat. They mutually devour each
other. So, there are two people in the character for 'meat', and
the one inside is covering the one outside. The person inside and
the person outside are bound up in this relationship.
Living beings eat the flesh of living beings. If you reflect on
it carefully, it's just people eating people. Since it's people
eating people, might that person be my friend? I don't know. Could
it be my relative? Don't know. Could it be my father, mother, or
ancestor? Don't know. This "not knowing" presents a lot
of problems, so it would be best if everyone didn't eat meat.
The Horror of Taking Lives and Eating Meat [download
in PDF 190 KB]
also Master Hsuan Hua comments on the Surangama Sutra [download
in PDF 942 KB]