29 September, 2020

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Buddhism, Vegetarianism And Ahimsa

By Gananath Obeyesekere –

Prof. Gananath Obeyesekera

In an article in the Sunday Island of June 2 entitled “Political Watch” there is reference to Buddhist fanatics on the streets. I have no sympathy whatsoever towards fanatic monks as well as religious fanatics of whatever brand. Nor do I want to justify the suicidal response of the monk Bohowatte Indraratana who in committing self-immolation performed an act that fundamentally violates the Buddhist doctrine of non-hurt or ahimsa. Nevertheless it is important to recognize the sources of the monk’s actions even as we disagree with his gruesome strategy.

We know that female self-immolation or sati was occasionally practiced in parts of Hindu India and that the woman who commits sati at her husband’s funeral is supposed to achieve some kind of deification or salvific status. This model as far as we know has not been adopted by any monk in the long history of Buddhism until we come into modern times when monk immolation, whether in Vietnam or in contemporary Tibet, constituted a political protest against US or Chinese imperialism and political repression.

While any kind of self-violence is against the letter and spirit of Buddhist doctrine I have some sympathy with the Tibetan monks pushed to the wall and impelled to commit a form of sati. Yet I doubt that any self-respecting Tibetan would designate such actions as nirvanic or that of a Bodhisattva. We also know that in Sri Lanka at least suicide by ordinary lay-folk can take terribly violent forms and Bowatte Indrarathana’s act seems to me an extreme example of this suicidal propensity.

Nonetheless we all know that there is an underlying deadly agenda in this monk’s act of suicide. It is like that of the other fanatics mentioned by your “Political Watch,” an anti-Muslim thrust owing to the perception that Muslims are the real beef eaters. The trouble with Bhikkhu Indraratana is that he lived in a period when middle and upper class Buddhists have become fully addicted to meat eating but Political Watch seems to equate beef consumption with other forms of non-vegetarian foods. I want to emphasize that irrespective of the actions of fanatical monks, beef has been a tabooed food throughout the long history of Buddhism. Therefore the contemporary addiction to horribly unhealthy foods such as Macdonald’s should not blind us to the historical and ethical problems underlying the taboo on eating beef, a taboo that is widespread even today among ordinary Sinhala people in our villages. It is the larger implication of this taboo and the issue of vegetarianism in the Buddha’s time and that I now want to examine here, not the issue of monkish lunacies.

Let me start out with your correspondent’s complaint that the Buddha did not agree with Devadatta who it is said proclaimed an extreme ethic asceticism that included vegetarianism. Devadatta apparently followed another contemporary model, namely Jainism where extreme asceticism and body mortification was conjoined with a strict vegetarian dietary, sometimes even extending to certain vegetables that were considered to be “alive.” As we know the Buddha criticized this Jaina model but some of Devadatta’s rules, such as wearing discarded rags had gone into mainline Buddhism groups known as pansukulikas (rag wearers) and a remnant of that practice still persists in our Buddhist ritual of the pansukula dana, where the monk is given a cloth that is, in theory at least, wrapped in the corpse.

However, it requires a bizarre stretch of imagination to say that the Buddha encouraged meat eating and was a “non-vegetarian.” As with Jainism the Buddhists also believed in the doctrine of ahimsa or non-hurt such that killing any animal was considered ethically wrong and productive of bad karma. But if the animal had died a natural or accidental death then it seems it would be okay to eat its flesh, implying clearly that it is the ethics of ahimsa, not the ethics of vegetarianism that is at issue here.

Unfortunately this early stance of the Buddha produced a loophole in the history of Buddhist thought creating a space for those who kill animals — professional hunters, Väddas, low castes, and later Muslims — who then supply the tabooed food to pious Buddhists. Nevertheless, meat eating in the Kandyan areas was a rarity. As Knox points out even after 150 years of foreign influence in this region ordinary folk were quite satisfied with rice and some salt combined with many, many types of herbs and other forest products. I can vouch for the fact that ordinary people in the Uva-Vellassa area that I am familiar with ate large quantities of leaves and greens with their meals and of course whatever small amounts of fish, dried fish and meats (generally game) that were available. Beef and pork were considered impure substances to be shunned.

The issue of non-hurt and vegetarianism brings us to a key feature of both Buddhist rebirth and karmic ethics that has been near totally ignored in recent times. One must remember that rebirth theories were found in other societies also and in such societies you have the associated idea that human beings could be born as animals (even insects as with the Inuit [Eskimo]). This means that humans and animals share a common humanity such that human beings could be born as animals and animals as humans. A powerful expression of this idea that all living beings, including animals and humans, belong to a common “species sentience” is found in Pythagorean rebirth ethics, beautifully expressed in the rebirth theories of the Greek philosopher Empedocles, probably a contemporary of the Buddha, who spoke against the meat eating practices of mainline Greeks, including their much valued consumption of beef.

Empedocles’ assumption is that because humans and animals share a common species sentience, that is, they belong to one interconnected order, eating an animal is in reality eating a member of one’s own species and tantamount to endo-cannibalism. Thus in his conception the animal sacrificed by mainline Greeks could be one’s kin in a previous existence. Empedocles condemns this common Greek practice thus: “The father will lift up his dear son in a changed form, and, blind fool, as he prays he will slay him. … In the same way the son seizes father, and children their mother, and having bereaved them of life devour the flesh of those they love.”

Into this popular idea of rebirth as species sentience the Buddha adds another crucial ethical dimension, that of karma, which all of us are familiar with and in that context killing animals becomes a heinous “sin” (papa karma). This means that meat eating in pre-modern times had to be associated with animals that died by accident or by professional hunters. This whole system of rules and norms are upset in our modern bourgeois economy where animals are killed (especially pigs and chicken) in huge quantities and with impunity. And as far as cattle are concerned Muslims in following their own rules eat the flesh of the “cow” and sell it to modern day Buddhists who have no compunction in eating it. It is no accident that the Buddhist self-immolating monk is also hitting not only at those who eat beef but also at the Muslims who sell it. Why they do not castigate bourgeois Buddhists who eat “cow beef” or why they exempt Macdonald’s remain a puzzle to me! Maybe it is because hamburgers, being beef patties, do not resemble beef.

We have yet to answer your correspondent’s query, why “only cattle and not pigs, goats or chickens”? The answer is not too far to seek because right through the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka (and elsewhere too) eating beef was not only prohibited but, except for the lowest of the low, viewed as a crime. Of course we are familiar with similar injunctions in Hindu India and in Nepal until recent times where killing a cow was a capital crime. But why Sri Lanka? We have to recognize that Buddhists not only have faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha but on the level of practical religion they also believe in the Hindu based guardian gods such as Vishnu, Saman, Kataragama and Pattini. All our sandesa poetry, mostly composed by Buddhist monks, celebrates the worship of these deities and implores their assistance and benevolence in the practical affairs of state.

No Buddhist would dare eat meat at the Kataragama premises; and beef could not even be countenanced anywhere near the sacred precincts. More significant is that in much of Sri Lankan history, at least from the time of Parakrambahu II (1236-1270) kings supported Vishnu worship with lavish endowments, especially at the great shrine for this deity in Devinuvara (Devundara), made memorable by Ibn Battuta’s fabulous description of this place. It will be unthinkable for any Buddhist to eat beef given the enormous charisma of these originally Hindu based deities. Thus I know of no Buddhist king ever countenancing the eating of beef.

In the reign of Vimaladharmasuriya I a Dutch sailor in the Spilbergen Embassy of 1602 makes the obvious response that Buddhists “are not allowed to eat bull’s or cow’s or buffalo meat nor can they drink any wine.” There is not the slightest doubt that the taboo on beef was fully known, implemented and observed right through history among Buddhists, until the time of the British conquest. As for pork a different set of values seem to operate: pork was unthinkable owing to the public perception among Buddhists that the pig was a filthy creature although no such qualms appeared in the case of wild boar, apparently perceived as a “clean” animal. Pigs were rarely raised in the Kandyan kingdom and it is a pity that Muslims who despise pork do not receive well deserved praise for this particular culinary avoidance.

Knox mentions that goats and chicken were well known to Kandyans and probably sold to Christians and foreigners who were aplenty in the Kandyan court and countryside. All this implies that our current culinary preferences entailed a consumption revolution unprecedented in Buddhist history or for that matter in any pre-colonial history. As far as “wine” and illegal brews are concerned, our new preferences boggle the mind because, in the near absence of female and Muslim consumption of these substances, Sinhala and Tamil males in my guesstimate are the largest per capita consumers of alcohol in the world. And here also our Muslim brothers deserve some praise and in this case at least we should surely emulate them, unless they also eventually succumb to the new preferences.

One of the striking features of Sri Lankan Buddhism is that kings did consume meat but in interesting circumstances. In India Kshatriya kings and Mogul rulers in general enjoyed hunting, not just for meat’s sake but also for sport’s sake. But Sri Lankan kings did not. They mostly shunned domestic animals but often ate the flesh of selected wild animals (dada mas), the ideal food being venison. But rarely did they hunt animals, at least not publicly. Animals were supplied by professional hunters to the royal palace. What is happening here is that kings, who were fully aware of public prejudices, simply did not want to be associated with the killing of animals.

The most remarkable exception is Parakramabahu I (1153-1186). The Culavamsa clearly tells us that “the Ruler was wont to follow the chase” quite unlike most Buddhist kings. “Now the King with the chief Mahesi [Lilavati], with ministers and retainers went hunting” and because there was much game, “the whole forest [was] surrounded by hunters with spears in their hands and nets and caused them to make a noise here and there,” a typical scene of Indian kings at the hunt.

I know of no example in Buddhist history in Sri Lanka where meat eating was actively enjoined by kings whether they ate it or not as part of their cuisine. On the contrary one must assume that some pious kings either protected animals or desisted from consuming meat products. There was at least one king who insisted by royal fiat that animals should not be killed. Amandagamani (79-89 CE), the Pujavaliya tells us, proclaimed by drum the prohibition on killing animals and helped all living creatures to live meritorious lives. The almost identical sentence is repeated both in the Rajavaliya and in the Vanni Rajavaliya with a slight qualification in the latter which specifically spells out the meaning of “living creatures” as fish and land animals (diyehi godehi mas). This seems to be collaborated in the Mahavamsa chapter 35: “On the whole island the ruler of men commanded not to kill [animals].”

It is easy to demonstrate the large scale eating of cattle, including buffalos, to colonial times where invading armies had to be fed on meat and given arrack also in large quantities. Dutch and British accounts document this pattern of mass animal killing and arrack consumption in great detail, including the forcible capture of cattle. Nevertheless once we move into the low country eating of beef and pork and the consumption of alcohol had become legitimate practices among the Sinhala Catholics. The legitimization and acceptance of these practices among the generality of educated or bourgeois Sinhala Buddhists was primarily due to British rule. Anagarika Dharmapala had already noted this propensity in his writings, especially in the Sinhala Dharmapala Lipi (“Dharmapala Letters”) by the first decade of the 20th century where he squarely foists the blame on the British and degenerate Sinhalas (“beef eating slaves”) for the loss of Sri Lankan nationhood (apa jatiya näti veema) and then urges the Sinhala Buddhist youth not to eat beef and pork and consume alcohol (harak mas, Uru mas kama athära matpän paanaya athära).

While on the one hand he castigates the Muslims for their meat eating habits, he also admires them (as well as the Hindus) for their abstemiousness: “Look at the Muslims, do they consume alcohol? Look at the Tamils do they eat pork and beef?” Unhappily our sad modernity has proved that as far as meat and beef and alcohol are concerned, Dharmapala has lost the battle. And there is little chance that he can ever win the war.

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    Prof:

    You had some sympathy for Tibetan monks and you say they had been “pushed to the walls”.

    Why did you discriminate the Sri Lankan monk who did the same thing. Why did you discriminate and try to score on that ? Why that monk can not have any sympathy from you ?

    Secondly, you misinterpret Buddha Dhmma when you say “some of Devadatta’s rules, such as wearing discarded rags had gone into mainline Buddhism groups”.

    I think wearing rags collected from the cemetery was a habit among Buddhist monks. But, Buddha allowed monks to accept robes to be accepted given by the lay people and did not want to stop that custom.

    In the west, people are giving giving up Beef because of MAD COW disease. Similarly, pork and chicken have it’s own share. For example, Chicken can come with Avian Flu virus. On the other hand, people consumes more fish for it’s nutritional quality. Beef can result many physiological – disease conditions and that includes obesity.

    So, the best thing is, Sri Lanka also should report at one time or the a few MAD COW disease cases.

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      Nice piece prof.! But a romanticized idea of Sinhala Buddhism and Sinhala kings not hunting..? Am sure the Duttugemunu enjoyed a good steak before finishing Elara off!
      Buddha Sakkyamuni died eating rotten pork and/ or mushrooms as the story is told.. It is the spirit of ahimsa and humility – accepting food that is offered to one even if it is revolting – that matters..
      That is, RIGHT UNDERSTANDING..
      Most Buddhist monks past and present love meat, fish and prawns and want them served by rich dayakkayas for lunch danas today as in the past!
      Also, of course the world over eating patterns have changed with domestication of various grains and animal farming and industrial and green revolutions, new food technology etc.. not just in Lanka!

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      JimSofty, You are like a butcher yourself. The writer was writing from a Buddhist ahimsa baseline whereas you are lecturing about mad cow disease cases like a real “mad cow”!

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      It’s NO POINT talking of beef after wiping out the VADDHA from his land.

      Kings and warriors ate meat, the poor/low caste did not, it was part of the art of war.Devanampiyatissa enjoyed the hunt.

      Blood sacrifice was the norm in the ancient Hinduism, yet practiced in Eastern India and Nepal; Buffalo is the animal of choice, Prince Vijaya too, a Ksateriya Hindu.
      Nearly all our kings had Indian brides, warriors, culture, etc.
      King Asoka too was well known for the kill, including family, before using Buddism to change/liberate (possible in Buddism?). No one else has helped the spread of Buddism than than Asoka.

      It is well documented that our kings (and others) profited from the elephant trade, enjoyed the elephant kraals, Kandyian kings enjoyed the wild vs tame elephant fights, cock fights, etc.

      Alcohol was also enjoyed in smaller quantities throughout history

      What does Buddism say about excessive farming, deforestation, loss of habitat and selective crops? Crops grown in mud are also associated with methane; global warming.
      Here the killing is not for food but to grab their land.
      The classic and true Lankan story.

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        Buddhism is not idolizing Buddha and venerating objects resembling Buddha expecting to attain Nirvana. Till this false myth is realized, these followers claiming to be Buddhists will never have Peace of Mind and will be a Curse to Society.

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    Prof Ganeth Obeysekera,

    What is the Core Problem?

    Worldwide Cattle Slaughter. India(64 million) and China (41 million) Leads, Hindu and Buddhist countries.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=cattle

    You Say:

    “Nonetheless we all know that there is an underlying deadly agenda in this monk’s act of suicide. It is like that of the other fanatics mentioned by your “Political Watch,” an anti-Muslim thrust owing to the perception that Muslims are the real beef eaters’

    This is the core underlying problem, and core cause.
    The Monk’s suicide for cattle is just a symptom. Look at the actions of BBS. That points to Sinhala Buddhist Racism.

    So, the 64,000 pound Gorilla is the Sinhala Buddhist Racism, expounded courtesy of Racist Monk Mahanama Myths in the 5th Century and exploited. Just like what the German Nazis did, despite Christianity. So, by throwing Buddhism, you are losing sight of the underlying agenda, and you not see the forest for the trees.

    To pay too much attention to details of Buddhism and not understand the general Sinhala Buddhist Racist situation not see the wood for the trees. People were so involved with cattle and beef, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

    The past anti-Tamil riots had nothing to do with cattle. It had everything to do with Sinhala Buddhist Racism.

    All the information you provided, and reading between the line and other facts, can be compiled to the core cause. Sinhala Buddhist Racism expounded by a select few Sinhala Extremists.

    After all Lanka was Animist, Jain and Hindu with Animist, Jain and Hindu beliefs before Buddhism. Furthermore, is an offshoot of Hinduism, and the Enlightened Buddha’s parents were Hindu.

    Bali Indonesia is 94% Hindu and peaceful.

    Was Ravana Hindu as well, if the Ramayanaya Saga is real?

    References: Your Write Up Summarized Below.

    ‘Pigs were rarely raised in the Kandyan kingdom and it is a pity that Muslims who despise pork do not receive well deserved praise for this particular culinary avoidance.”

    “It is easy to demonstrate the large scale eating of cattle, including buffalos, to colonial times where invading armies had to be fed on meat and given arrack also in large quantities. Dutch and British accounts document this pattern of mass animal killing and arrack consumption in great detail, including the forcible capture of cattle. Nevertheless once we move into the low country eating of beef and pork and the consumption of alcohol had become legitimate practices among the Sinhala Catholics.”

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    Prof. Check your DNA to see if you become a human from any animal. Then find out what animal is that.? I do not know what type of brain is this to believe in these superficial things like this. As long as Buddhists do believe in Saitan who do all types of whispering they could write these things. Tell me how many millions people become animals and how many animals become people,? To beilieve in this is madness.

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      Plain Truth, You are not a buddhist and you don’t understand what he is talking about.

      It is like we don’t believe in Satan.

      For us Satan and the Almighty are all in you.

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      Plain truth or plain ignorance,

      We can see the DNA structure of Prof through what he has written-a very balanced and humane article addressing man’s inner feelings that associate with his spirituality, that raise him above the beast. But look what you have written! You seem to have degraded to animal from human in this very life of yours. You are the type of people suffering from breeding problems and do not know how to touch human qualities and sentiments but forever going down collecting banal unrefined uncivilized beastly thoughts and traits. You are a very good example of how man has retarded to basic banal uncivilized beast.

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    some people when they think they are learned they write and show they are now… G O is one such…

    Thank you for illuminating us on who u r …

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    Dear Professor Obsesekara,

    I will read your article several times to get the message.

    However, I kindly request you to listen to the recent interview given by Reverend Dalai Lama to the “ABC 7.30 Report” in Sydney, Australia. In which, Dalai Lama seems to be supporting or sympathetic about self-immolation of Buddhist monks in Tibet.

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    Dear Professor.

    Why should we go in length on this matter.

    The very first Preaching of Lord Buddha,Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta rejects Self-mortification and Self Indulgence!

    On one occasion the Exalted One was residing at the Deer Park in Isipatana, near Benares. There upon the Exalted One addressed the group of five Bhikkhus as follows:

    “There are these two extremes (anta), O Bhikkhus, which should be avoided by one who has nenounced (pabbajitena) —-

    i) Indulgence in sensual pleasures — this is base, vulgar, worldly. ignoble and profitless; and,

    ii) Addiction to Self-mortification – this is painful, ignoble and profitless.

    Abandoning both these extremes the Tathagata has comprehended the Middle Path (Majjhimaa Padipadaa) which promotes sight (cakkhu) and knowledge, and which tends to peace(vupasamaaya), higher wisdom , enlightenment (sambodhaaya), and Nibbaana.

    What, O Bhikkhus, is that Middle Path the Tathaagata has comprehended which promotes sight and knowledge, and which tends to peace, higher wisdom, enlightenment, and Nibbaana?

    The very Noble Eightfold Path – namely, Right Understanding, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, — This, O Bhikkhus is the Middle Path which the Tathaagata has comprehended.”

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      right now the problem is christians christianized the country and now muslims want to islamize country and muslims buddhists to accept that in the name of buddhist qualities.

      Everybody says behave like buddhists then it is easy for us to convert you.

      that is why they don’t like BBS.

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          Many Times, Christians have set up buddhist monks.

          Even in Sri Lanka, they have tried some time to use women to lure buddhist monks. then they talk photos and publish it.

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            Who set up the BBS Gnanasara ? Don’t blame others for the misgivings of these pin gonas !

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            YOU DONT HAVE TO LURE BUDDHIST MONKS. WHAT DO THEYDO ON POYA DAYS TO THE YOUNG ONES AND EVEN SOME OF THE OLDER ONES THAT VISIT THE TEMPLE SEEKING SOLACE. CERTAINLY THEY DO GET SATISFACTION.
            THE VIHRADIPATHIS ARE ALL CELIBATE IN THEORY

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              Ayman:
              You raise an interesting fact.
              For many years, until today, there is an expression in Sinhala that refers to “Pansal Sellama.”
              Perhaps one of the BBS or Sinhala Ravaya supporters would like to explain what that cryptic expression means!!

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        JimSofty,

        Plain Truth does not know what truth is. He needs to be sent o school to learn about Buddhism and other religions, along with with those Monks from BBS. He probably believes the Sun still goes around the Earth.

        1. It is very true that Christians, according to their Theology, want to “save” humankind from eternal damnation and hell fire, and therefore will try to convert non-Christians by any means possible.

        2. Easiest to Convert are the Animists, because their religious beliefs do not have an established theology and hierarchy.

        3. Next they go after those who do not have Gods. So, Buddhism is the next target.

        4. Then they go after Hindus with multiple Gods.

        5. They have been trying to convert the Jews for a long time, and in Spain they converted by force. They are called Conversos.

        6. They also tried to convert Muslims. They were the hardest, because they offered little, and went backwards. They turned one of the Muslim Prophets, Jesus, into a God, that is blasphemy for Muslims.

        The Muslims are milder. They had a system, where they recognized the non-Muslim, may end up at the wrong place, but there have been many debates as to where the good non-Muslim will end up. Still debating.

        The current Muslim Situation has been turned on its head by the Wahhabis. Their primary target was and is other Muslims who do not practice Wahhabi Rules, yes Rules.

        They want people to follow their rules and end up in heaven.

        They all fall into the Category of Myth believers.

        The Wahhabis are worse, because they do not even follow the rules set out the Prophet Mohamed. Wahhabism had its roots in Ibn Taymiah, around 1200 CE, later picked up by Abdul Wahab, and encouraged and supported by the British, as part of the Great Game, to destabilize the Ottoman Empire, has taken root. Wahhabism has become a monster, a virus among the Muslims, and that the Muslims need to expunge. Wahhabis are after, Sufis, Shia and other sects, and it is the Islamic version of the Inquisition, 21st Century Style.

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          YOU IDIOT PL. DO NOT TALK OF WAHABISM WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT IS. IT IS A MYTH CREATED BY THE THOSE WHO OPPOSE MUSLIMS WHO PRACTICE
          IN ITS PRISTINE PURITY.

          PL.DEFINE WAHABISM IF YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!

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    Dear Jimsofty: How many times I told you that your religion is part of Hinduism. Buddhism and Hinduism are two sides of same coins: All sort of superficial things you have. You believe in incarnation and you believe in hundreds of gods and your gods got children; Your gods fight each others. what is this believe: let your Prof. if he incarnated from what? Why you lower human beings to animals

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      NOOR:

      Talk something that you know.

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      Buddhism and Hinduism are TWINS. So what is your problem? Shia, Sunny, Ahmadiya and otehr Islamic sects now bombing each other and going to heaven to enjoy 72 virgins.

      Are you telling here to rape six years old girls like the dirty desert criminal Mohamed?

      Hindus and Buddhists believe re-incarnations and not ask to kill “Kaffirs” and rape the Kaffir women and rob the properties of kaffirs.

      Hindus/buddhists believe “GOD is every where”. So, hindus pray a cat or dog or a light post. Hindus dont pray at the direction of Mecca where nasty rapist/womanizer/robber Mohamed lived.

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        You must be a low caste Hindu – the psyche behind the comment is understandable.

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          Read my post again and check with a doctor about your brain!

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        YOU DOT HAVE TO GO TO HEAVEN SINCE YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH YOUR
        LINGAMS.THIS IS YOUR HEAVEN.SUCK THE LINGAM OR POKE INTO THE
        COWS ARSE.AND THE USE THE DUNG FOR BLESSINGS

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    Daily,buddhist monks in Tibet are self-immolating themselves,due to the repression of the chinese government in Tibet.
    Why is this totally ignored by our devout buddhists?
    Why no protests?
    Can Mr.Gnanath Obeysekera explain?

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    ” I want to emphasize that irrespective of the actions of fanatical monks, beef has been a tabooed food throughout the long history of Buddhism.”
    Beef eating has been taboo not only as a bad food but to discourage cattle slaughter. Cattle were a major economic asset in the agrarian societies. Cattle served in farming practices and also as a giver of milk and ghee which were main sources of nutrition in these societies.
    One of the main obstacle of developing cottage based dairy industry is the prevalence cattle thievery for sale to butchers.
    In this context slaughter of cattle should be looked at in a different light if we want to be self sufficient in dairy products.

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    Dear Amarasiri,

    “as per Islamic belief”

    There is no any debate or doubts over any issues in Islam.good non-Muslims status is crystal clear in Islam.main concern in Islam is belief rather than rituals.good deeds of non-Muslims are void,while calling other creatures as God.(since all rewards and punishments are from almighty God).all non-Muslims should seek the refuge from (torment/hellfire as wel as for rewards)their claimed God on the day of resurrection/Judgment.

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    I am disappointed by prof obeysekara stooping to such crassness. I have high regards for you sir

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      Oopla

      “I am disappointed by prof obeysekara stooping to such crassness. I have high regards for you sir”

      Why is this hoopla about his crassness?

      What do you see as his crassness? Please explain.

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    The monk Indraratna like the overwhelming majority of the Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka was bored to death and his action was a demonstration of this. Bensen

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    Dear Ameraseri. Ideally there are similarity between Jedeo- Christian faith and Islam
    a) all divine message came down from one source from Adam to Prophet Muhamed: the message that came down to prophet muhamed is the culmination of all divine messages:
    B) Muslim must believe in all revealed books: all messengers of God: that of mosses, Noah, Abrahim and Jesus:
    Otherwise any Muslim would not be a true Muslims
    C) Jewsih went away from true divine guidances
    D) Christians made Jesus as A God: three into one and one into three:
    Still all have some same faith : that of Hell and Paradise
    Muslims have pure divine message with them without any distortion or addition: each divine word is protected in the hearts and minds of millions of people who memorised words of God: no religion has that miracle other than Islam: how many lies and folks talks are in other scriptures.

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    Hindu “Sati” became a habbit after the Muslim invasion of India. Muslim invaders targetted women as part of their loot. Hindu women prefered to die insted of raped by Muslim criminals.

    Prof. seems to be fool and have no idea of the Indian history or Hinduism or Buddhism!

    Sri Lankan buddhism is much corrupted with politics. It does not meant that some monks are dishonest. The Sinhala buddhism always become a political partner of Islam and Christianity and hate Hinduism while Hinduism has 99% of the Buddhist principles.

    Christians and Muslims have nothing to talk on Hindus or Buddhists because Muslims/Christians tell their god will shower with US dollars when other people converted.

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      M.Sivananthan

      “Christians and Muslims have nothing to talk on Hindus or Buddhists “

      Hindus worship cow. Do they also marry them?

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        How much you got to change your name?

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      SO HINDU SATI IS TO AVOID BEING RAPED BY A MUSLIM.
      BULL SHIT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT:

      Sati in India
      In India, the Laws of Manu, compiled around 200 CE declared that a Hindu widow was to remain sati, a Sanskrit word that was interpreted to mean chaste or pure, and was not to remarry, while a Hindu widower was permitted to marry again. Gradually, the word sati was used to designate the ritual of self-immolation or self-sacrifice by a Hindu widow on her husband’s pyre. Through her self-sacrifice, a widow remained pure and demonstrated her everlasting devotion to her husband. Thus sati (a word that Europeans frequently transliterated as suttee) came to mean both the practice of self-immolation and the Hindu widow who died by this ritual. Such a widow was thought to become a goddess and to bring auspiciousness or good fortune to her birth and marital families. Her cremation site was also marked by a commemorative stone or temple and became a pilgrimage site for devotees seeking divine favors. Although it was never widespread, sati as self-immolation became and remains a potent source for stereotypes of Indian society as ridden with exotic and superstitious religious injunctions, and for images of Hindu women as oppressed.

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    Mr Sivaratman:
    Not this prof. You need read Indian history and Hinduism: Hinduism classed people into low and high cast: some are born from feet, some are from stomach. Some are from head, some are from other parts, what type disgrace is this, most racist religion is your religion? All human rights groups do not take this descrimnation into account? Millions of Stories are there about this cast system. Some people do not share food, some people do not invite people into their houses. Some are not siting in the same table because of your cast system: Jaffna Hindus are different from Baticaloa Hindus, Baiticaloa Hindus are different from upcountry Hindus. I can tell how much this hurt feeling of people

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      People are different and not the same. 2500 years of Buddhism never able to demolish the caste structure among Sinhalese. How is that? Buddhist monks have their sects based on their CASTES in Sri Lanka.

      WHITE man do the same with color and other origins of people. No black man can become a POPE!

      Dont cry HINDUISM only have these system of differences of people.

      My view is “we are not living under the old system and all the people have the equal rights in civil life”.

      Language difference is an un-destroyable decease in Sri lanka. How is that?

      Eating food or allowing a person in his house is their personal issue.

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    http://www.irf.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=255&Itemid=199
    Question:

    Killing an animal is a ruthless act. Why then do Muslims consume non-vegetarian food?

    Answer:

    ‘Vegetarianism’ is now a movement the world over. Many even associate it with animal rights. Indeed, a large number of people consider the consumption of meat and other non-vegetarian products to be a violation of animal rights.

    Islam enjoins mercy and compassion for all living creatures. At the same time Islam humaintains that Allah has created the earth and its wondrous flora and fauna for the benefit of humankind. It is upto humankind to use every resource in this world judiciously, as a Ne’mah (Divine blessing) and Amaanah (trust) from Allah.

    Let us look at various other aspects of this argument.

    1. A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian

    A Muslim can be a very good Muslim despite being a pure vegetarian. It is not compulsory for a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food.

    2. Qur’an permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food

    The Qur’an, however permits a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food. The following Qur’anic verses are proof of this fact:

    “O ye who believe! Fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals with the exceptions named.”

    [Al Qur’an 5:1]

    “And cattle He has created for you (men): from them ye derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) ye eat.”

    [Al Qur’an 16:5]

    “And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: from within their bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides), numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat.”

    [Al Qur’an 23:21]

    3. Meat is nutritious and rich in complete protein

    Non-vegetarian food is a good source of excellent protein. It contains biologically complete protein i.e. all the 8 essential amino acid that are not synthesized by the body and should be supplied in the diet. Meat also contains iron, vitamin B1 and niacin.

    4. Humans have Omnivorous set of teeth

    If you observe the teeth of herbivorous animals like the cow, goat and sheep, you will find something strikingly similar in all of them. All these animals have a set of flat teeth i.e. suited for herbivorous diet. If you observe the set of teeth of the carnivorous animals like the lion, tiger or leopard, they all have a set of pointed teeth i.e. suited for a carnivorous diet. If you analyze the set of teeth of humans, you find that they have flat teeth as well as pointed teeth. Thus they have teeth suited for both herbivorous as One may ask, if Almighty God wanted humans to have only vegetables, why did He provide us also with pointed teeth? It is logical that He expected us to need and to have both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food.

    5. Human beings can digest both vege-tarian and non-vegetarian food

    The digestive system of herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. The digestive system of carnivorous animals can digest only meat. But the digestive system of humans can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. If Almighty God wanted us to have only vegetables then why did He give us a digestive system that can digest both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food?

    6. Hindu scriptures give permission to have non-vegetarian food

    a. There are many Hindus who are strictly vegetarian. They think it is against their religion to consume non-vegetarian food. But the true fact is that the Hindu scriptures permit a person to have meat. The scriptures mention Hindu sages and saints consuming non-vegetarian food.

    b. It is mentioned in Manusmruti, the law book of Hindus, in Chapter 5 Verse 30:

    “The eater who eats the flesh of those to be eaten does nothing bad, even if he does it day

    after day, for God himself created some to be eaten and some to be eater.”

    c. Again next verse of Manusmruti, that is, chapter 5 verse 31 says

    “Eating meat is right for the sacrifice, this is traditionally known as a rule of the gods.”

    d. Further in Manusmruti Chapter 5 Verses 39 – 40 say:

    “God himself created sacrificial animals for sacrifice, …., therefore killing in a sacrifice is not killing.”

    e. Mahabharata Anushashan Parva Chapter 88 narrates the discussion between Dharmaraj Yudhishthira and Pitamah Bhishma about what food one should offer to Pitris (ancestors) during the Shraddha (ceremony of dead) to keep them satisfied. Paragraph reads as follows:

    “Yudhishthira said, “O thou of great puissance, tell me what that object is which, if dedicated to the Pitris (dead ancestors), become inexhaustible! What Havi, again, (if offered) lasts for all time? What, indeed, is that which (if presented) becomes eternal?”

    “Bhishma said, “Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, what those Havis are which persons conversant with the rituals of the Shraddha (the ceremony of dead) regard as suitable in view of Shraddha and what the fruits are that attach to each. With sesame seeds and rice and barely and Masha and water and roots and fruits, if given at Shraddhas, the Pitris, O king, remain gratified for the period of a month… With fishes offered at Shraddhas, the Pitris remain gratified for a period of two months. With the mutton they remain gratified for three months and with the flesh of hare for four months, with the flesh of the goat, flesh of O King, they remain gratified for five months, with the bacon (meat of pig) for six months, and with the flesh of birds for seven. With venison obtained from those deer that are called Prishata, they remain gratified for eight months, and with that obtained from the Ruru for nine months, and with the meat of Gavaya for ten months. With the meat of the bufffalo their gratification lasts for eleven months. With beef presented at the Shraddha, their gratification, it is said , lasts for a full year. Payasa mixed with ghee is as much acceptable to the Pitris as beef. With the meat of Vadhrinasa (a large bull) the gratification of pitris lasts for twelve years. The flesh of rhinoceros, offered to the Pitris on anniversaries of the lunar days on which they died, becomes inexhaustible. The potherb called Kalasaka, the petals of Kanchana flower, and meat of the goat also, thus offered, prove inexhaustible.”

    So but natural if you want to keep your ancestors satisfied forever, you should serve them the meat of red goat.

    7. Hinduism was influenced by other religions

    Though Hindu Scriptures permit its followers to have non-vegetarian food, many Hindus adopted the vegetarian system because they were influenced by other religions like Jainism.

    8. Even plants have life

    Certain religions have adopted pure vegetarianism as a dietary law because they are totally against the killing of living creatures. If a person can survive without killing any living creature, I would be the first person to adopt such a way of life. In the past people thought plants were lifeless. Today it is a universal fact that even plants have life. Thus their logic of not killing living creatures is not fulfilled even by being a pure vegetarian.

    9. Even plants can feel pain

    They further argue that plants cannot feel pain, therefore killing a plant is a lesser crime as compared to killing an animal. Today science tells us that even plants can feel pain. But the cry of the plant cannot be heard by the human being. This is due to the inability of the human ear to hear sounds that are not in the audible range i.e. 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. Anything below and above this range cannot be heard by a human being. A dog can hear upto 40,000 Hertz. Thus there are silent dog whistles that have a frequency of more than 20,000 Hertz and less than 40,000 Hertz. These whistles are only heard by dogs and not by human beings. The dog recognizes the masters’ whistle and comes to the master. There was research done by a farmer in USA who invented an instrument which converted the cry of the plant so that it could be heard by human beings. He was able to realize immediately when the plant itself cried for water. Latest researches show that the plants can even feel happy and sad. It can also cry.

    10. Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime

    Once a vegetarian argued his case by saying that plants only have two or three senses while the animals have five senses. Therefore killing a plant is a lesser crime than killing an animal. Suppose your brother is born deaf and dumb and has two senses less as compared to other human beings. He becomes mature and someone murders him. Would you ask the judge to give the murderer a lesser punishment because your brother had two senses less? Infact you would say that he has killed a masoom, an innocent person, and the judge should give the murderer a greater punishment.

    The Glorious Qur’an says:

    “O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good”

    [Al Qur’an 2:168]

    11. Over population of cattle

    If every human being was a vegetarian, it would lead to overpopulation of cattle in the world, since their reproduction and multiplication is very swift. Allah (swt) in His divine wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His creation appropriately. No wonder He has permitted us to have the meat of the cattle.

    12. Cost of meat is reasonable since all aren’t non-vegetarians

    I do not mind if some people are pure vegetarians. However they should not condemn non-vegetarians as ruthless. In fact if all Indians become non-vegetarians then the present non-vegetarians would be losers since the prices of meat would rise.

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    I do not wish to argue about various opinions put forward by our readers.
    I would like to mention here that Buddha always spoke about “Ahimsa”.

    Animals and humans are borne into this world. Humans like to live as long as he can. Likewise Animals too like to live as long as they can. If the so called advanced Humans try to hurt an animal the animal will run away from the person who tries to hurt. This is the truth nothing but the truth.

    Please leave these animals to enjoy their lives without killing them and eating their flesh.

    Hari Dakuma

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    well done Amarasiri, this Crazy guy Pro. does not even know what the hell he was talking about……we need people like you to enlighten others. THEY DON’T CONCERN ABOUT CHICKEN,EGG, FISH …..only beef matters most

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    The monks “sucide” according to buddism can be intepreted this way. Under the concept of paramitha (the process where a buddha aspirant perfects himself to become a buddha) the last level of sacrifice is giving ones life to save another intentionally. An example is where the current Buddha(Gautama)sacrificed himself as meat to satidfy the hunger of some persons who would have died of hunger. The ven. thera’s sacrifice should be looked at in this manner as if becuase of his actuion if the slauter of cows stops then he has given life to those animals.

    So for those ignorant people who do not know the concepts of the Asian value system don’t mutter through your chrtian or muslim value system including the asian brown shahibs (Kalu suddha who mostly are by birth only buddhist)

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      KALU KOLLAS DONT USE ENGLISH AND INTERNET
      ONLY KALU SUDDHAS DO !!

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    sanjeeva,

    Bloody idiot! We implore you to perfect this paramitha now itself for we will be relieved of this burden of replying the buffalos of your ilk.

    Did you see Buddha doing this sacrifice in one of his earlier lives and if not how authentic is your monkey claim? This suicided monk is a know thug with criminal behavior and records and an arrest warrant had been issued on him for absconding courts for crimes he had committed. How on earth are you saying such a criminal bastard like him gives his life over a cattle saving cause? How many cattle has he saved after the fiasco? SL Army, Navy, Police and Air Force are the major beef eating entities in the country and have they now stopped eating beef now? How do you prove that when you get killed by a beast for meat it earns you paramitha merits, help attain Buddhahood and gives you new knowledge and enlightenment? If getting torched alive confers you so much paramitha merits why don’t you burn your whole family, your friends and neighbors so that you can instantly attain Nirvana and Buddhahood in half an hours time? Along the lines of your mongol theory why didn’t Buddha advise the countless monks in those days to commit suicide so that all the killings in the whole world may stop and also there will be millions of prospective future Buddhas in the world? If getting roasted alive the whole body grants Buddhahood then surely roasting a limb, an ear, the cunt etc. must entail lesser positions such as Rahath, Sovan, Sakurudagami and Anagami! Therefore why don’t you make a hot-dog out of your senile penis and give it to a dog to attain some spiritual gain? And lastly, why don’t you agitate in a world wide scale that the shelling on the no fire zone and hospitals and killing thousands of innocent people is a purely religious and meritorial act undertaken by your government to migrate the whole country from mundaneness to spirituality?

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    Sanjeeva (haraka)!,

    “..An example is where the current Buddha(Gautama)sacrificed himself as meat to satidfy the hunger of some persons who would have died of hunger…”

    Who ate the meat of the gotten-roasted monk? !!!!!!

    Don’t sing baila fool!

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    As far as I have understood most of the professors/PhD holders have studied to blind fold and make confusion rather than saying the fact in broad light in simple language.

    In opposite to that Lord Buddha explained the truth he attained in a simple easy language understandable by everyone. Particularly what we can see in Tipitaka was that he begins with questions in order to attract the attention of the listener. It is fact that many knows the right in various matter but does not know how to express it in a way that everyone will understand it. But Lord Buddha superseded everyone and explained the truth he attained in such a manner that anyone would understand it easily.That’s what gained him the title Buddha.(He himself called as Tathagatha).

    In brief: Ahimsa in Paly and Islam in Arabic are same and there is no difference in between. Ahimsa is well known that no causing harm. Islam in Arabic also safeguarding a step further of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is just avoiding causing harm. But Islam is protecting from any harm.
    That the modern Muslim community practice Islam in a different way won’t change the meaning of Islam. Those who want to verify what I say contact me or refer a dictionary for the following.

    Base word of Islam “Salima”. Verb structure in Arabic language and its meaning i.e salima, aslama, isthalama…

    systems.academy@gmail.com.

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