[Buddha-l] Insight into Anti-Muslim Violence in Sri Lanka

Christopher Fynn chris.fynn at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 03:00:36 MDT 2013

On 22/08/2013, Dan Lusthaus <vasubandhu at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> I've mentioned before in this context the peculiar instruction regarding
>> eating whatever shows up in your begging bowl.  The finger of a leper was
>> mentioned, seemingly clarifying both overcoming disgust and vegetarianism
>> in
>> the clergy.  How does this square with vegetarian eating for a clergy
>> dependent for food on the begging round?
>> Bob Woolery
> The begging bowl rule applies only in Theravadin countries. Most Theravadins
> are not vegetarian. Stated another way (since some aspersions were cast on
> brahman food sensibilities), there are many more Hindu vegetarians in South
> Asia than there are Buddhist vegetarians. One of the delights of traveling
> within India is that there are always vegetarian options. If one flies
> domestically within India, when the food comes around, instead of asking if
> you want the chicken or tuna -- as domestic US flights do (though they sell
> food, don't include it anymore in the price of the flight) -- you are asked
> vegetarian or non-vegetarian. You don't have to special order vegetarian
> meals ahead of time. Not so in Thailand, etc. Thank you, brahmans! The cows
> thank you as well.
> Mahayana, presuming monastic institutions with their own kitchens, can
> filter "donations" through those kitchens. Also, an informed class of
> donators, understanding they earn "merit" when giving acceptable edibles,
> etc. to clergy, and only negative karma for "nasty" gifts, follow vegetarian
> guidelines when giving or preparing for monastic dining in Korea, China and
> Taiwan. In Japan, until very recently, vegetarian fare was VERY hard to come
> by -- aside from some over-priced fancy tofu restaurants often affiliated
> with temples. I was pleasantly surprised in Nara last April when suddenly
> there were restaurants that offered vegetarian choices -- an influence from
> a constant stream of westerners requesting vegetarian food and the sense
> that business was being lost by not catering to that, and not because of any
> Buddhist influence (coming out of Horyu-ji, a major temple just outside
> Nara, the street is lined on both sides with restaurants and only one had a
> single vegetarian offering on its menu; the rest had nothing).
> In other words, the sense of what is appropriate to give (and eat) is
> cultural.
> Dan

Ven. Abhinyana:

"Some Buddhists maintain that the Buddha never said we should be
vegetarians, and that monks (who the bulk of the Buddhist rules apply
to), may eat whatever is offered to them, as long as they do not see,
hear, or suspect that the animals, fish or fowl were killed especially
for them; if they so see, hear or suspect, they are forbidden to eat
the flesh. But this standpoint is totally indefensible, as anyone who
looks at things a little objectively can see. And to say, as some
people do, that by eating meat, they are helping the animals with
their spiritual growth, is too ridiculous and transparent to be
seriously considered for a moment.

Firstly, the Buddha never called anyone to believe or follow Him;
instead, He urged people to see for themselves and find out what is
true. Even so, many Buddhists become prisoners of books, repeating
things like parrots or tape-recorders, without investigating, thereby
missing the great value of the Buddha’s Way, which is a Way of


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