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Mahaparinirvana Sutra & Abstaining From Eating Meat and Fish, Even Died by Natural Causes (cont'd) - 3/5


The Buddha said, “Son of my lineage, my teaching is not like that of the naked ascetics. I, the Tathagata, established rules of discipline in relation to specific individuals. Consequently, with a certain purpose in mind, I did give permission to eat meat regarded as suitable for consumption after it has been subjected to threefold examination. In other contexts, I have proscribed ten kinds of meat. And yet again, with someone else in mind, I have declared that it is improper to consume meat of any kind, even of animals that have died of natural causes. But I have affirmed, O Kashyapa, that henceforth, all those who are close to me should abstain from meat.

For whether they are walking, sitting, standing, lying, or even sleeping, meat eaters are a source of terror to animals who can smell them?just as everyone is frightened at the smell of a lion. My son! People who dislike the smell of garlic turn away from those who eat it. What need is there to mention the disadvantages of such food? It is the same with meat eaters. When animals smell meat, they are terrified; they are afraid of being killed. Any animal, in field or stream or flying in the sky, flees, believing that the person in question is their very enemy.

This is why I do not allow the Bodhisattvas to eat meat. It is true that they may put on a show of eating meat as a means of bringing beings to liberation. But even though they appear to be meat eaters, they are not. Son of my lineage! Bodhisattvas refrain even from eating pure food; how much more do they abstain from meat!"

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