Vegetarianism is not a condition for liberation or enlightenment, which is the purpose of Buddhist practice. And so it seems that Buddhist vegetarians are doing something unnecessary. Because if different Buddhist disciplines are able to practice without the necessity of being vegetarian, what do we have to do to become vegetarian? Although generally speaking, the number of vegetarians is on the rise for a variety of reasons, but only in terms of the majority of Buddhists’ awareness of vegetarianism, the number of vegetarians not much.
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On the contrary, such skepticisms and arguments against the vegetarian diet seem to be more and more apparent, even appearing at some of the monks in the Theravada tradition. In fact, the number of vegetarian Buddhists is still very modest, if not very low, compared to the overwhelming majority of vegetarians only on certain days of the month, or even not vegetarian This does not seem to be appropriate with the teachings of compassion as well as the teachings of cause and effect that all Buddhists believe and follow.
First of all, Buddhists have two reasons for being vegetarian. The first is compassion. If you do not have compassion, or at least do not agree with the compassion of others, you have not had a good sympathy for Buddhism, let alone become a Buddhist. Therefore, all Buddhists are in the process of cultivating compassion or at least supporting, agreeing with the compassionate practice of others. If you have doubts about your own compassion, you can self-verify through a few simple questions. Watching the news every day on television, each time a disaster occurs somewhere in the world that hundreds of people die, thousands of people lost their homes, living miserably and in need, you will feel how? Can you be cold-hearted? Will, there be a throbbing heart in your heart, it makes you or your tears, or the urge to do something to share with others? Or do you sometimes go out on the street and accidentally witness a tragic accident, you can indifferently walk without hesitation? Or will you stop by and help if needed? Even if you cannot help, there is no compassion in your heart. Emotions emanating from suffering are completely natural in almost every human being, not just Buddhists. However, Buddhists who follow the Buddha’s teachings should always cultivate compassion and turn those emotions into thoughts, words, and actions according to two specific goals: rescuing suffering and bringing joy to others. Suffering and joy is the meaning of compassion.
The compassion of Buddhism towards the object is that all sentient beings are all perceptive, not just human beings. The progressive civilization of humanity today has come to be similar to this view as most civilized nations have a strict policy of protecting animals. Although humanity has not really stopped eating meat, the killing of animals today has been viewed as a crime. The second reason that Buddhists turn to vegetarianism is the belief in cause and effect. In a nutshell, if you are not vegetarian, that means you have not really believed the cause and effect. Why? Law of cause and effect makes it clear that when you sow, you will reap the fruit. No matter where you go to wherever you are or how long you are going to spend, the end is sure to be the result of your own actions. In fact, if you just have to suffer a painful stroke to change a meal, surely none of us will pick that up! But according to the law of cause and effect, with every meal of the flesh and blood, we will certainly have to return it with a life of suffering, because it will be terminated by killing, by the pain of tortured to death. It’s a great price for just one meal, let alone hundreds of thousands of meals throughout our lives! So, if you do not think about the price too much, do not think about the consequences of sure to receive in the future because of your meals, does that say that you are not really sure about the kernel? fruit? Are you always deluded that you are an exception, and the scary consequences will not come to you? Are you suggesting that the killing will bring about the killings, but is that just for everyone else, but not for your case? Vegetarianism has different meanings for different religions or beliefs. In this sense, being a vegetarian means eating pure, pure food, rather than merely eating fish.
However, first and foremost, of course, vegetarianism must include not eating meat or, broadly speaking, any food produced by slaughter. Some foods are not. by “killing”, but by “harm” that has. The livestock sector now breeds dairy cows, raising chickens for eggs … but does not kill these animals right away, but is clearly damaging to life, not allowing these animals to live a natural life. , and therefore the food is not so pure, pure. Some plant foods are also mentioned in the classics as being impure, impure, because of their special properties, particularly pungent foods that are classified in the taste category. Including onions, chives, garlic, zucchini, and kao. Based on similar criteria, other foods such as booze, onion … can also be classified in this group. The reason vegetarians do not eat these dishes is not just because of their pungent taste, but because they have a strong sexual stimulant effect, which is considered to be impure. However, you can still use these items as medication when needed, in which case they are not considered as food. Does Buddhism oblige Buddhists to eat vegetarian food? The answer is no. In fact, it was the Buddha and his disciples, who were originally vegetarians, who were not vegetarians. When Buddhism was just formed after the Buddha’s enlightenment and the beginning of the teachings, the Buddha and the Sangha lived on food obtained from begging in the villages and neighborhoods they passed. Most of the residents there did not know about vegetarianism, and they could donate to the monks’ bowl any food they had, including fish meat. In that situation, the monks cannot choose vegetarian food and refuse the impure food. It depends on how they want it. Never force yourself into a vegetarian diet if your mind is not really ready. But from today, start to think seriously about the meaning of vegetarianism as I have described above, and then you will be able to make judgments about these meanings. That is perfectly possible in any situation, and I am sure that it will plant seeds into your mind for a better future. Be sure to practice what you feel is right, but do not let yourself be dragged into arguments.
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