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Thread: Veggies

  1. #1
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    Veggies

    Most hindus believe in a vegetarian diet. I know the practice and the reasons behind it at a very personal level.

    However, I wonder if this practice was actually influenced by buddhists. The bottom line reasoning of not eating meat is that the food is not satvic since someone lost their life in the process and for our enjoyment. This reasoning basically falls on the principle of ahimsa. And since our understanding of ahimsa today is very much influenced by the buddhist thought I wonder if the practice of vegetarianism is also influenced. That is to say, that perhaps during buddhist era, we took this habit of eating satvik food to the nth degree and said absolute no to eating meat.

    I am not advocating eating meat here but our sastras are not clear on this so maybe buddhists influenced it during shankara's time or before it.

    Thoughts?
    satay

  2. #2

    Re: Veggies

    But there is no requirement of being a vegetarian in buddhism, by a rather funny logic.

    As far as I know dietary rigidity exist in Sanatana Dharma only. The classification of
    food as swattic etc is also our own's, not sure how much it is related to ahimsha

    But there were/are always many hindus who were/are non-veg.

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    Re: Veggies

    Jainism is very strict in advocating ahimsa and vegetarian diet for all its followers. Many believe the vegetarian ideal in Hinduism and Buddhism was influenced by Jainism. I believe that Jains have the highest percentage of vegetarians, while Hindus have the highest numbers.

    A recent survey done in India showed that vegetarianism was highest in the north and west of India, and lowest in the south and east.

    Regards,
    A.



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    Re: Veggies

    Influence of Jainism makes sense. In fact, one of Gandhi's parents was Jain (I forget it was mother or father). That may be the reason of his advocating non-violence to the extreme where he believed that one should not even fight back when someone attacked you, your mother or anyone else.

    The underlying point here is that the meaning of ahimsa as we know it today in hinduism has been influenced by either jainism or buddhism or both.

    The hindu sages we see them sitting on a lion's skin meditating. I wonder who hunted the animal, and who processed the skin for the sage to sit on. E.g. who removed it from the body of the animal, who cleaned it and so forth. Was it the sage who it did it himself?

    I guess the point I am trying to make here is that we as young hindus need to find the original meaning of non-violence and ahimsa. Though we have the utmost respect for buddhists and jainis we are not practicing those religions.
    satay

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    Re: Veggies

    Namaste Satay,

    Quote Originally Posted by ďSatayĒ
    In fact, one of Gandhi's parents was Jain (I forget it was mother or father). That may be the reason of his advocating non-violence to the extreme where he believed that one should not even fight back when someone attacked you, your mother or anyone else.
    HmmmÖ I didnít know that one of his parents was Jain, but I did know that he was strongly influenced by Jainism. I think the Hindu idea of ahimsa does not go to that extreme.

    The hindu sages we see them sitting on a lion's skin meditating. I wonder who hunted the animal, and who processed the skin for the sage to sit on. E.g. who removed it from the body of the animal, who cleaned it and so forth. Was it the sage who it did it himself?

    This question was once asked of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. He answered that the skins that sages sit on are taken from dead animals. They are not hunted. In any case, I think some professional has to do it from them Ö I donít think any sage peels and dries the skin off of dead animals himself .

    I guess the point I am trying to make here is that we as young hindus need to find the original meaning of non-violence and ahimsa. Though we have the utmost respect for buddhists and jainis we are not practicing those religions.

    The Mahabharata has extensive discussions where Bhishma tells Yudhishtira about the virtues of ahimsa and vegetarianism. Perhaps we can find that and post it here?


    OM Shanti,
    A.



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    Re: Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnideva
    The Mahabharata has extensive discussions where Bhishma tells Yudhishtira about the virtues of ahimsa and vegetarianism. Perhaps we can find that and post it here?
    I found this link that has quotes from scriptures plus the five reasons why Hindus would avoid meat eating:
    http://www.flex.com/~jai/articles/hinmeat.html

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    Re: Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnideva View Post
    Namaste Satay,


    HmmmÖ I didnít know that one of his parents was Jain, but I did know that he was strongly influenced by Jainism. I think the Hindu idea of ahimsa does not go to that extreme.
    I stand corrected. I was working from my memory which always fails me.
    I looked at the source again ("Eastern Philosophy" by kevin burns page 71) and it only says "Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, into a political family with deep religious convictions, both Hindu and Jain." The next sentence reads, "His father was prime minister of Porbandar."

    My brain must have connected the two sentences in memory and what I getting back was 'his father must have been jain!!' strange...I should eat some ginko maybe.


    [FONT=Verdana]
    This question was once asked of Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. He answered that the skins that sages sit on are taken from dead animals. They are not hunted. In any case, I think some professional has to do it from them Ö I donít think any sage peels and dries the skin off of dead animals himself .
    Yes, I agree re sages not peeling the skin off dead animals, however, the point I was trying to make was that even sitting on a dead animal's skin gives the impression of himsa. doesn't it? Why would they sit on a dead animal's skin if the main message of hinduism is 'ahimsa' unless the meaning of ahimsa as we understand today is completely different than the sages understood it.

    Not sure...
    satay

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    Re: Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    Yes, I agree re sages not peeling the skin off dead animals, however, the point I was trying to make was that even sitting on a dead animal's skin gives the impression of himsa. doesn't it? Why would they sit on a dead animal's skin if the main message of hinduism is 'ahimsa' unless the meaning of ahimsa as we understand today is completely different than the sages understood it.
    Not sure...
    Iím told that sages began using animal hides when meditating in the forest because animal skins keep away creepy-crawlies. But, I see your point. I donít know if there was a thread on ahimsa here before, but may be we can start a new thread? I mean one about our personal ideas of ahimsa, and how it applies to life today.

    Regards,
    A.



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    Re: Veggies

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    ---...I should eat some ginko maybe.
    What is ginko? May we all have some? Is it something like Soma?

    By the way, many think that Lion hide represents skinning the ego dead. Devi riding a lion also represents the same.

    Om Namah Shivayya

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    Re: Veggies

    Namaste Atanuji,
    Quote Originally Posted by Atanu Banerjee View Post
    What is ginko? May we all have some? Is it something like Soma?
    Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement. It comes from traditional chinese medicine, and now famous in the west. It is supposed to enhance memory.

    By the way, many think that Lion hide represents skinning the ego dead. Devi riding a lion also represents the same.
    Very interesting. Thanks for that. Sitting on the lion or tiger means taming or subduing the ego ... makes sense. If I remember correctly, Ayyappa also tames and rides tigers, and is even able to milk a tigress to cure the local queen.

    OM Shanti,
    A.



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