Vegetarianism In Buddhism Scriptures Teachers References Search
Feedback: "Why does Shabkar.Org publish links to articles which do not reflect the view that vegetarianism is part of the Buddhist ideal? Take the links to BuddhaNet's "Dharma Data", for instance. The content of some of their articles on vegetarianism is disputed."

"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. However, 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,
one can find strong stands against eating meat in other sutras and tantras.
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.

Kind regards,

André Kalden

* 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.
For more response on feedback, please see Feedback After the Launch of Shabkar.Org

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