Translations

Why Not Be Lifelong Veg(etari)ans? 为何不吃长素?

Written by Purelanders

汝欲弘扬净土,报父母恩,何只吃三年素。

You, [if] wishing [to] propagate [the] Pure Land [teachings, and to] repay [your] Father’s [and] Mother’s kindness, how [can you] only eat [for] three years [as a] veg[etari]an?

Note [1]: As all sentient beings have been our parents before in our many past lives, to repay all their kindness, how can we ever eat the flesh of any one of them, what more many, or only abstain from eating some of their flesh, for only a short while?

不知近多年来之杀劫,皆由杀生食肉而起。

[You do] not know [that] of [the] recent years’ many disasters [with people being] killed, [they] all [are karmically] due [to] killing [of sentient] beings [and] eating [of] meat then arisen.

Note [2]: The deaths of many humans in disasters are often karmically linked to their causing and/or conditioning (i.e. supporting) of the killing of many other sentient beings, including animals for eating their flesh.

汝欲为一切人说净土法门,自己尚不断肉食,则人亦当效法吃肉矣。

You, [if] wishing [to], for all people speak [of the] Pure Land Dharma Door, [with] yourself still not [yet] severed [from] meat-eating, thus [will] people also follow [your] ‘example’ [to] eat meat.

Note [3]: While it is not compulsory for all Pure Land practitioners to be veg[etari]ans, unless aiming for higher grades of birth, there should ideally be reducing of meat-eating in good time, while all Pure Land teachers should ideally be the best examples they can, by being lifelong veg[etari]ans.

净土宗十三祖印光大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(复严德彬居士书一)
(First Reply Letter To Layperson Yán Débīn)

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

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Purelanders

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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