The Tathagata Food Lineage

 

What is the One? The One is: All Sentient Beings are Supported by Food” – Kuddhaka-Patha

“Hunger is the worst disease” – Dhammapada

 

The Tathagata Food Lineage is vast, immeasurable, immense, embracing in its infinitude all life righteously sustained by food, at levels that only Buddha in His enlightened wisdom knows.

Just as, in the world, everybody knows that food exists in different levels, i.e. sunlight is food, air is food, water is food, etc., as food is also the solid edible stuff that sustains life of the physical body, accordingly.

But, at this point, it is necessary to say that Buddha did not allow unprofitable talk about food:

 “Now at that time the Bhikkhus of the Band of Six had a habit of rising up in the night before it was dawn. Then, donning wooden slippers, they used to parade up and down in the open air, chattering in shrill loud tones, hawking and spitting, and talking all manner of idle babble, such as: talk about kings and robbers and ministers of state; talk about armies and of fear, tales of fights; talk about food, drink, clothes, beds, lodgings, flower-garlands, scents, kinsfolk, and carriages; about villages, suburbs, towns, provinces, women, and soldiers; gossip of the streets and wells, and tales of ghosts; all sorts of talk; about the world and the Ocean; of things existent and non-existent. …”(*)   (Digha Nikaya, iii.6-7)

 Buddha Sayings on Food

The Buddha sayings on substantial food are the highest source of enlightened wisdom on the subject, and therefore, faithful to them, it is our sincere belief that the present commentary is in accordance to the principles established by the Buddha in the above mentioned sayings, as also with those issued by Him in the Vinaya Sammukamsa:

Vinaya Sammukamsa

“Now, at that time, uncertainty arose in the Bhikkhus with regard to this and that item: ‘Now what is allowed by the Blessed One, Gautama Buddha? What is not allowed?’ They told this matter to the Blessed One, who said:

‘Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying: this is not allowable, if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

Whatever I have not objected to, saying, this is not allowable, if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

And whatever I have not permitted, saying, this is allowable, if it fits in whith what is not allowable, if it goes against what it allowable, this is not allowable for you.

And whatever I have not permitted, saying, this is allowable, if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.” (**)

Buddha was not vegetarian

And therefore, vegetarianism is not in accordance to the Vinaya Sammukamsa, due to the fact that vegetarianism does not fit with what is allowable by the Buddha. At the same time, vegetarianism goes against what is allowable by the Buddha. Consequently, vegetarianism is not allowable for me.

According to logic, if one takes refuge in the Buddha, the Buddha Dharma-Vinaya, the Buddha Sangha, the least that he, the monk, or she, the nun, can do, is to try and do what the Buddha did, as a training to be observed. Therefore, as far as the food issue is concerned, if it is fitted in accordance to the Buddha noble [Ariyas] eight-folded path, these truths appear:

 Right view is the Buddha view – Buddha view is the Right view

As the right view is the Buddha view, then, the Buddha view on Food is the Right View, too, and as the Buddha view on Food is non-vegetarian, consequently, vegetarian view is perverted view, and the fact is that, in the Buddha Sangha, vegetarian was Bhikkhu Devadatta, schism-maker, who dissipated his time attempting to convert the whole Sangha to his vegetarian schismatic view. Bhikkhu Devadatta failed miserably, as any other Bhikkhu who follows his foot-steps, shall miserably fail too:

Perverted View

“Whatsoever individual, Bhikkhus, follows perverted views, perverted aim, perverted speech or acts or living, perverted effort, attention, and contemplation; whose knowledge and emancipation are perverted, for him, every action of deed, word, or thought, performed and achieved according to such perverted views; every willed act, every aspiration, every resolve, all his activities, these things one and all conduce to what is distastesful, unpleasing, repulsive, unprofitable, and painful. And why so? Because of his evil view.” (Anguttara Nikaya, v.212).

(To be continued)

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(*) – Some sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon, translated from the Pali by F.L.Woodward, Oxford University Press, Madras, 1925.

(**) – Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Thanissaro, accesstoinsight.org

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