Sutras

The Mahāyāna Entry Of Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra’s 8th Chapter On Severing Of Eating Meat《大乘入楞伽经断食肉品第八》

《大乘入楞伽经断食肉品第八》   

[The] Mahāyāna Entry [Of] Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra’s Eighth Chapter [On] Severing [Of] Eating Meat

大周于阗国三藏法师实叉难陀奉 勅译  

Great Zhōu [Dynasty’s] Yútián City’s Tripiṭaka Dharma Master Śiksānanda [with] received imperial decree translated

尔时大慧菩萨摩诃萨复白【释迦牟尼】佛言:

At that time, Great Wisdom [i.e. Mahāmati] Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva again [to Śākyamuni] Buddha said,

「世尊,愿为我说食不食肉功德过失。   

‘World-Honoured [One], may [you] for me speak [of] eating [and] not eating meat’s meritorious virtues [and] faults.

我及诸菩萨摩诃萨,知其义已为未来现在报习所熏食肉众生而演说之。

I and all Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, knowing their meanings already, for future [and] present [sentient beings, will] report [and] practise them, [for] influencing meat-eating sentient beings, [with] expounding of [it].

[Note 1: Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas are Bodhisattvas able to combine great compassion and great wisdom to give rise to all kinds of expedient means to guide sentient beings to Buddhahood.]   

令舍肉味求于法味,于一切众生起大慈心,更相亲爱如一子想。

Enabling [the] renouncing [of] meat’s taste [to] seek of [the] Dharma’s taste, for all sentient beings giving rise [to] great loving-kindness’ mind, further [with] one another close [and] loving, [with each] like [an] only child thought [of].         

住菩萨地得阿耨多罗三藐三菩提,或二乘地暂时止息,究竟当成无上正觉。 

Abiding [on] Bodhisattva’s ground [to] attain Anuttara Samyak Saṃbodhi, perhaps [with the] Two Vehicles’ grounds temporarily stopping [and] resting, [which] ultimately will become unsurpassable right awakening.

[Note 2: Anuttara Samyak Saṃbodhi is Unsurpassable Right (And) Equal Right Awakening of Buddhahood. The Two Vehicles are the paths to self-liberation as Śrāvakas (i.e. Arhats) and Pratyekabuddhas.]

世尊,路迦耶等诸外道辈,起有无见执著断常。

World-Honoured [One], Lokāyata [and] all other external paths’ contemporaries, give rise [to] existence’s [and] nothingness’ views, [with]    attachment [to] nihilistic [and] eternalist [views].

[Note 3: Externalist paths are those that stray away from the path to the internal or inner, the mind, for awakening. The view of existence clings to phenomena as eternal. The view of nothingness clings to phenomena as nihilistic. These are two extreme and dualistic misconceptions. The true nature of phenomena abides on the Middle Path between them.]    

尚有遮禁不听食肉,何况如来应正等觉,大悲含育世所依怙,而许自他俱食肉耶?

Still, [there] is [the] precluded, prohibited, [and that] not heard [of killed for one, for] eating meat. What more, [the] Thus Come [One] should [be with] Right [And] Equal Awakening, [with] great compassion encompassing [and] educating, that [the] world relies [upon. How] then [can he] allow both self [and] others [to] eat meat?              

善哉世尊,具大慈悲哀愍世间,等观众生犹如一子。

[The] excellent World-Honoured [One], complete [with] great loving-kindness, compassion [and] empathy [for all] in the world, equally contemplate [each] sentient being [to be] similar to [an] only child.

[Note 4: As the Buddha taught in the Mettā (i.e. Loving-Kindness) Sutta《慈心经》, ‘Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.’ (Translated by Piyadassi Thera)]

愿为解说食肉过恶不食功德,令我及与诸菩萨等,闻已奉行广为他说。」

May [you] for explaining meat-eating’s faults [and] evils [and] not eating [meat’s] meritorious virtues, enable me and all Bodhisattvas [and] others, [having] heard [them] already, practise widely, [and] for others speak [of them].’ 

尔时大慧菩萨重说颂言:

At that time, Great Wisdom Bodhisattva repeated [that] said [with] verses saying:

「 菩萨摩诃萨,
志求无上觉, 
酒肉及与葱,
为食为不食?

[i] ‘Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas,
[with] aspiration seeking unsurpassable awakening,
[of] alcohol, meat and chives,
[are they] for eating [or] not for eating?  

愚夫贪嗜肉,
臭秽无名称, 
与彼恶兽同,
云何而可食?

[ii] Fools [with] greedy fondness [of] meat,
[that is] smelly [and] defiled without name,
with those evil beasts [the] same,
how can [it] then be eaten?  

食者有何过,
不食有何德?
惟愿最胜尊,
为我具开演。」  

[iii] Those [who] eat have what faults,
[and those who do] not eat have what virtues?
Only wishing [the] most supremely honoured [one],
for me [to] completely expound [thus].’ 

尔时佛告大慧菩萨摩诃萨言:

At that time, [the] Buddha told Great Wisdom Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva said,  

「 大慧,谛听谛听善思念之。吾当为汝分别解说。

‘Great Wisdom, listen attentively, listen attentively, [and] reflect well mindfully of [this]. I will for you differentiate [and] explain.

大慧,一切诸肉有无量缘。菩萨于中当生悲愍不应啖食。我今为汝说其少分。  

Great Wisdom, all meat [has] immeasurable conditions. Of Bodhisattvas within, [they] should give rise [to] compassion [and] empathy, [and] should not eat [it]. I now for you, [will] speak [of] their lesser parts. 

大慧,一切众生从无始来,在生死中轮迴不息,靡不曾作父母兄弟男女眷属乃至朋友亲爱侍使。易生而受鸟兽等身,云何于中取之而食? 

Great Wisdom, all sentient beings from beginninglessness, in [the cycle of] birth [and] death within [have been] reborn without rest, [with] none not previously been [our] Fathers, Mothers, brothers, [sisters], male [and] female relatives, and even friends, close loved [ones and] attendants. Changing [when] reborn, then receiving birds’, beasts’ [and] others’ bodies, how can [they] within [be] obtained of, then eaten?

大慧,菩萨摩诃萨,观诸众生同于己身。念肉皆从有命中来,云何而食?  

Great Wisdom, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, [should] contemplate all sentient beings [to be the] same as oneself’s body. Mindful [of] meat [to] all come from [that] with life within, how can [there] then [be] eating [of it]?

大慧,诸罗刹等闻我此说尚应断肉,况乐法人。

Great Wisdom, all rākṣasas [and] others [who] hear me saying [this] still should sever [from] meat[-eating], moreover people [with] joy [in the] Dharma. 

[Note 5: Rākṣasas are violent ghosts who eat human flesh.]  

大慧,菩萨摩诃萨,在在生处观诸众生皆是亲属,乃至慈念如一子想,是故不应食一切肉。

Great Wisdom, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, at where [there is] rebirth, [should] contemplate all sentient beings [to] all be relatives, and even [with] loving-kindness mindful, [with each] like [an] only child thought, therefore should not eat all meat.  

大慧,衢路市肆诸卖肉人,或将犬马人牛等肉,为求利故而贩鬻之。如是杂秽云何可食?    

Great Wisdom, [at] intersecting roads’ city markets, all people [who] sell meat, perhaps take dogs’, horses’, humans’, cows’ [and] others’ meat, for seeking profit thus, then [with] selling of [them. Of] such mixed defilements, how can [they be] eaten?

大慧,一切诸肉皆是精血污秽所成,求清净人云何取食?

Great Wisdom, [as] all meat is all [by] sperm [and] blood’s filth that [is] formed, [of] people [who] seek purity, how [can they] obtain [to] eat [it]?     

大慧,食肉之人众生见之悉皆惊怖,修慈心者云何食肉?

Great Wisdom, [as] of people [who] eat meat, [when] sentient beings see of [them, they] all [have] alarm [and] fear, [of] those [who] cultivate loving-kindness’ mind, how [can they] eat meat?     

大慧,譬如猎师及旃陀罗,捕鱼网鸟诸恶人等,狗见惊吠,兽见奔走。空飞水住一切众生,若有见之咸作是念,『此人气息犹如罗刹。今来至此必当杀我 』。为护命故悉皆走避。食肉之人亦复如是,是故菩萨为修慈行不应食肉。  

Great Wisdom, for example, [like] hunters and Caṇḍālas, [who] catch fish, net birds, all evil persons [and] others, dogs seeing [them, are] alarmed [and] bark, [and] beasts seeing [them] run [away. In the] sky flying [and in the] water abiding, [of] all sentient beings, if [there] are [those with] seeing of [them], perhaps have this thought, ‘These people’s breath [is] similar to rākṣasas’. Now coming to here, [they] definitely will kill me.’ For protecting [their] lives thus, all avoid [them. As] of people eating meat, [they are] likewise thus, therefore Bodhisattvas, for cultivating loving-kindness’ practice, should not eat meat. 

[Note 6: Caṇḍālas are of the untouchable caste, tasked with disposing of corpses.]

大慧,夫食肉者,身体臭秽恶名流布,贤圣善人不用亲狎,是故菩萨不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, [as] those [who] eat meat, [have] bodies smelly [and] defiled, [with their] evil names spreading, [whom] noble [ones and] good people abandon, [not] becoming close [and] familiar [with them], therefore Bodhisattvas should not eat meat.  

大慧,夫血肉者,众仙所弃群圣不食,是故菩萨不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, [as] those blood [and] meat, [are] that [which] many gods [i.e. rishis] abandon, [which] multitudes [of] noble [ones do] not eat, therefore Bodhisattvas should not eat meat.   

大慧,菩萨为护众生信心,令于佛法不生讥谤。以慈愍故不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, Bodhisattvas for protecting sentient beings’ faithful minds, [to] enable [them], of [the] Buddha’s Dharma, [to] not give rise [to] ridicule [and] slander, with loving-kindness [and] empathy thus, should not eat meat.   

大慧,若我弟子食啖于肉,令诸世人悉怀讥谤,而作是言,『云何沙门修净行人,弃舍天仙所食之味?犹如恶兽食肉满腹遊行世间,令诸众生悉怀惊怖,坏清净行失沙门道,是故当知佛法之中无调伏行。』菩萨慈愍为护众生,令不生于如是之心,不应食肉。    

Great Wisdom, if my disciples eat of meat, [this] enables all [the] world’s people [to] all embrace ridicule [and] slander, and make this statement, ‘How can śramaṇas who cultivate pure practice, abandon that [which] heavenly beings’ eat of [and] taste?’ Similar to evil beasts [who] eat meat, [with] full bellies wandering in [the] world, [who] enable all sentient beings [to] all embrace alarm [and] fear, destroying pure practice, [and] losing [the] śramaṇa’s path, therefore should [it be] known [that] of [the] Buddha’s Dharma within, [it is] without taming practice.’ Bodhisattvas [with] loving-kindness [and] empathy for protecting sentient beings, [to] enable [them to] not give rise to such minds, should not eat meat.

大慧,如烧人肉其气臭秽,与烧余肉等无差别,云何于中有食不食,是故一切乐清净者不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, [as] like roasting human flesh, that air’s smelly defilements, with roasting [of] other meats [is] without difference, how can [one] be within, with [the question of to] eat [or] not eat [them]? Therefore, all those [with] joy [in] purity should not eat meat.        

大慧,诸善男女,冢间树下阿兰若处寂静修行,或住慈心,或持咒术,或求解脱,或趣大乘,以食肉故一切障碍不得成就,是故菩萨欲利自他不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, [as] all good men [and] women, between burial mounds, under trees [and at] araṇya’s [i.e. forest retreat] places tranquilly cultivating practice, perhaps abiding [in] loving-kindness’ mind, perhaps upholding mantra methods, perhaps seeking liberation, [or] perhaps approaching [the] Great Vehicle, with meat-eating thus, [have] all obstacles [arising], not attaining accomplishment, therefore Bodhisattvas [who] desire [to] benefit self [and] others should not eat meat.   

大慧,夫食肉者,见其形色则已生于贪滋味心。菩萨慈念一切众生犹如己身,云何见之而作食想?是故菩萨不应食肉。  

Great Wisdom, those [who] eat meat, seeing their shapes [and] forms, thus already give rise to greed [for their] taste’s mind. [As] Bodhisattvas, [with] loving-kindness mindful [of] all sentient beings, [to be] similar to oneself’s body, how can [they] see of [them] and have food’s thought? Therefore, Bodhisattvas should not eat meat.   

大慧,夫食肉者诸天远离,口气常臭。睡梦不安觉已忧悚。夜叉恶鬼夺其精气,心多惊怖。食不知足,增长疾病易生疮癣。恒被诸虫之所唼食,不能于食深生厌离。 

Great Wisdom, [of] those [who] eat meat, all heavenly [beings] far depart, [as their] breath [is] constantly smelly. [With] sleep [and] dreams not peaceful, [when] awake already [with] sorrow [and] fear. [With] yakṣas [and] evil ghosts seizing their essential vitality, [their] minds [are with] much alarm [and] fear. [With] eating not knowing contentment, growing [in] sickness, easily giving rise [to] sores [and] ringworms. Constantly by all worms [or insects], of those biting [and] eating, [yet still] not able [to], of eating, profoundly give rise [to] revulsed renunciation.

大慧,我常说言,凡所食啖作子肉想。余食尚然,云何而听弟子食肉?

Great Wisdom, I often say, [of] all that eaten, have [one’s only] child’s flesh thought. [Of] other foods still [doing] thus, how can [there] then [be] allowing [of] disciples [to] eat meat?      

大慧,肉非美好肉不清净,生诸罪恶败诸功德。诸仙圣人之所弃舍,云何而许弟子食耶?若言许食此人谤我。  

Great Wisdom, meat [is] not beautiful [and] good, [and] meat [is] impure, giving rise [to] much transgressions [and] evil, [that] destroy all meritorious virtues. [Of] that [which] all gods [and] noble persons abandon, how can [it] then [be] allowed [for] disciples [to] eat? If saying [I] allow [meat-]eating, these persons slander me.

大慧,净美食者,应知则是粳米粟米大小麦豆苏油石蜜。如是等类此是过去,诸佛所许。我所称说,我种性中诸善男女,心怀净信久植善根,于身命财不生贪著,慈愍一切犹如己身。如是之人之所应食,非诸恶习虎狼性者,心所爱重。

Great Wisdom, those [with] pure [and] beautiful eating, should know thus, [that it] is [with] non-glutinous rice, corn, big [and] small wheat, beans, red basil oil [and] rock candy. [Of] such [and] other types [of food], these are [what] past, [and] all Buddhas those allowed. That [which] I [had] declared, [of] my lineage within’s all good men [and] women, [have] minds embracing pure faith’s long planted good roots, of [their] bodies, lives [and] wealth [do] not give rise [to] greedy attachment, [with] loving-kindness [and] empathy [for] all [beings, to be] similar to oneself’s body. Of such people, [with] that [which] should [be] eaten, [are] not those [with] all evil habits [of] tigers’ [and] wolves’ natures, [with] minds that [have] attachments heavy.

大慧,过去有王名师子生,耽著肉味食种种肉。如是不已遂至食人,臣民不堪悉皆离叛,亡失国位受大苦恼。  

Great Wisdom, [in the] past was [a] king named Lion Born [i.e. Siṁhasaudāsa], [who] indulged [in] attachment [to] all kinds [of] meat. Thus, [of those] not already following, [to] reach eating [of] humans, [the] subjects [who could] not bear [it], all left [and] betrayed [him, as he] lost [his] country [and] position, [and] received great suffering [and] afflictions.

大慧,释提桓因处天王位,以于过去食肉余习,变身为鹰而逐于鸽。我时作王名曰尸毘,愍念其鸽自割身肉以代其命。  

Great Wisdom, Śakra Devānām Indra abiding [in a] heavenly king’s position, with past meat-eating’s remaining habit, transformed as [an] eagle and [gave] chase of [a] pigeon. I then was [a] king named Śivi, [whom with] empathy mindful [of] that pigeon, personally cut [my] body’s flesh for replacing its life.

大慧,帝释余习尚恼众生,况余无惭常食肉者。当知食肉自恼恼他,是故菩萨不应食肉。

Great Wisdom, Emperor Śakra [with] remaining habit still [gave] afflictions [to] sentient beings, moreover those eating meat, [who] remain without repentance. [As it] should [be] known [that] eating meat [causes] self-afflictions [and] afflictions [for] others, therefore Bodhisattvas should not eat meat.

大慧,昔有一王乘马遊猎,马惊奔逸入于山险,既无归路又绝人居。有牝师子与同遊处遂行丑行生诸子息,其最长者名曰班足。后得作王领七亿家,食肉余习非肉不食。初食禽兽后乃至人。所生男女悉是罗刹,转此身已,复生师子豺狼虎豹雕鹫等中。欲求人身终不可得,况出生死涅槃之道。    

Great Wisdom, [in the] past, [there] was a king [who] rode [a] horse [to] wander [and] hunt, [whose] horse [was] alarmed, [and] ran fast [to] flee, entering into dangerous mountains, [that were] both without [a] returning road and absolutely [without] people dwelling. [There] was [a] female lion with [him], where together wandering, followed [him, as they] practised disgusting conduct, [giving] birth [to] many children, [with] that most elder [one] named ‘Spotted Feet’. Later attaining [to] become [a] king [who] led seven koṭis [of] families, [with] meat-eating’s remaining habit, [with what is] not meat not eaten. First eating birds [and] beasts, later and even humans. Those born males [and] females are rākṣasas, [whom having] reborn [from] these bodies already, [were] again born [as] lions, jackals, wolves, tigers, leopards, eagles, vultures [and] others within. Desiring [to] seek [the] human body, [in the] end, [it] cannot [be] attained, much less [to] exit [the cycle of] birth [and] death, [with the] path of Nirvāṇa.

大慧,夫食肉者,有如是等无量过失。断而不食获大功德,凡愚不知如是损益。是故我今为汝开演,凡是肉者悉不应食。

Great Wisdom, those who eat meat, have such [and] other immeasurable faults. [As] severing and not eating [meat] obtains great meritorious virtues, ordinary ignorant [ones who do] not know thus have loss [of] benefits. Therefore, I now for you expound, that all that [is] meat, all should not [be] eaten. 

大慧,凡杀生者多为人食。人若不食亦无杀事,是故食肉与杀同罪。奇哉世间贪著肉味于人身肉尚取食之,况于鸟兽有不食者。以贪味故广设方便,罝罗网罟处处安施。水陆飞行皆被杀害。设自不食为贪价直而作是事。   

Great Wisdom, all those [who] kill lives mostly [are] for people [to] eat. [As] people if not eating [meat], likewise [will there be] without [the] matter [of] killing, therefore eating meat and killing [are the] same transgression. Strangely, in [the] world [are those with] greedy attachment [to] meat’s taste, [whom] of human meat, still obtain [and] eat of, moreover of birds [and] beasts, with those not eaten. With greed [for] taste thus widely setting up expediences, [with] rabbit nets, fishing nets [and] bird nets everywhere fixed [and] applied. [Those in the] water, [on] land, flying [and] walking all [are] by [them] killed. [Even] if personally not eating, for greed [of their] value, directly doing these matters.

大慧,世复有人心无慈愍专行惨暴犹如罗刹。若见众生其身充盛, 便生肉想言此可食。

Great Wisdom, [the] world moreover [has] people [with] minds without loving-kindness [and] empathy, [who] focus [on] practising cruel violence, similar to rākṣasas. If seeing sentient beings, their bodies full [and] abundant, [they] then give rise [to] meat’s thought, saying these can [be] eaten.  

大慧,世无有肉非是自杀亦非他杀。心不疑杀而可食者。以是义故我许声闻食如是肉。   

Great Wisdom, [the] world [is] without having meat, [that is] not personally killed, [and] also not [by] others killed. [With the mind] not suspecting [of] killing [for one], then can that [be] eaten. With this meaning thus, I allowed Voice-Hearers [to] eat such meat. 

[Note 7: See Note 15 below on how laypeople’s purchased meat does not fit such criteria.]

大慧,未来之世有愚痴人,于我法中而为出家,妄说毘尼坏乱正法,诽谤于我言听食肉亦自曾食。

Great Wisdom, [in] future lives, [there] are ignorant people, of my Dharma [teachings] within, then as [those who] leave [the] household [life, who] falsely speak [of the] Vinaya [i.e. monastic precepts] [to] destroy [the] right Dharma, [and] slander of me, saying [I] allowed eating [of] meat, also [with me] personally previously eating [it].

[Note 8: There is no record in any sūtra or the Vinaya, of the Buddha having eaten meat, while in this sūtra, the Buddha clearly says he had never done so.]

大慧,我若听许声闻食肉,我则非是住慈心者,修观行者,行头陀者,趣大乘者。云何而劝诸善男子及善女人,于诸众生生一子想断一切肉。

Great Wisdom, I if allow Voice-Hearers [to] eat meat, I thus am not those aiding [in] loving-kindness’ mind, those cultivating contemplation practice, those practising asceticism, those approaching [the] Great Vehicle. Why then exhort all good men and good women, of all sentient beings, [to] give rise [to an] only child’s thought, [to] sever all meat[-eating]?

大慧,我于诸处说遮十种许三种者,是渐禁断令其修学。今此经中自死他杀,凡是肉者一切悉断。

Great Wisdom, I in many places spoke [of] precluding [the] ten kinds [and] allowed [the] three kinds, [which] were [to] gradually prohibit [and] sever [meat-eating, to] enable it [to be] cultivated [and] learnt. Now, [in] this sūtra within, [of those] self-dying [and by] others killed, all those [that is] meat, [are] all [to be] severed. 

[Note 9: The Buddha revealed that he gave increasingly more rules on meat-eating as an expedient means to eventually rule it out totally. This had to be done as most would not be able to accept not eating of any meat at all, if teaching so right in the beginning.

Note 10: The Ten Kinds of meat are the flesh of (1) humans, (2) elephants, (3) horses, (4) dogs, (5) snakes, (6) lions, (7) tigers, (8) leopards, (9) bears and (10) hyenas. They are said to be prohibited as these animals can be violently provoked by the smell of the flesh of their own species, and as some of them tend to belong to royalty, which spells trouble if eaten.

Note 11: The Three Kinds of meat are from those not seen, heard and suspected to be killed for one, with all criteria to be met.]  

大慧,我不曾许弟子食肉,亦不现许亦不当许。

Great Wisdom, I [had] not previously allowed [my] disciples [to] eat meat, likewise [do] not now allow, [and] likewise will not allow [it].

[Note 12: In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra《楞严经》, the Buddha revealed that the meat alms-seeking monastics gathered in his lifetime were all manifested by his supernormal powers, and that after his Parinirvāṇa, there should not be any more meat-eating. This means they did not eat actual meat; having eaten only ‘mock’ meat.]

大慧,凡是肉食于出家人悉是不净。

Great Wisdom, all [who are with] meat-eating, of [those who have] left [the] household [life], are all impure.   

大慧,若有痴人,谤言如来听许食肉亦自食者,当知是人恶业所缠,必当永堕不饶益处。

Great Wisdom, if [there] are ignorant people, who slander, saying [the] Thus Come [One, as having] allowed eating [of] meat, also personally eating [it, it] should [be] known that these people [are by] evil karma entangled, [and] definitely will [for a] long time fall [into] where [there are] no benefits.

大慧,我之所有诸圣弟子尚不食于凡夫段食,况食血肉不净之食。

Great Wisdom, of all [my] noble disciples, [they] still [do] not eat of ordinary beings’ pieces [of] food, much less eat [of] blood [and] meat, [as that] impure of foods. 

大慧,声闻缘觉及诸菩萨尚惟法食,岂况如来?

Great Wisdom, [As] Voice-Hearers, Conditioned Awakeners and all Bodhisattvas [are] still only [with the] Dharma [as] food, how can it be [that the] Thus Come [One does not]?

大慧,如来法身非杂食身。

Great Wisdom, [the] Thus Come [Ones’] Dharma Body [is] not mixed foods’ body.    

大慧,我已断除一切烦恼。我已浣涤一切习气。我已善择诸心智慧。大悲平等普观众生犹如一子,云何而许声闻弟子食于子肉,何况自食?云何而许声闻弟子食于子肉,何况自食?」

Great Wisdom, I [have] already severed [and] eradicated all afflictions. I [have] already washed [off] all [evil] habits. I [have] already virtuously selected all [of] mind’s wisdom. [With] great compassion equally [and] universally contemplating [each] sentient being [to be] similar to [my] only child, how can [I] then allow Voice-Hearer disciples [to] eat of [my] child’s flesh, much less [to] personally eat [it? Of] those [who] make this statement, [it] is without possibility [to be true].’ 

尔时世尊重说颂言:

At that time, [the] World-Honoured [One] repeated [that] said [with] verses saying:

「悉曾为亲属,
众秽所成长。 
恐怖诸含生,
是故不应食。

[1] ‘All previously [were] as [our] relatives,
[from] many defilements those grown.
[With] fear [are] all [who] have life,
therefore should [meat] not [be] eaten. 

一切肉与葱,
韮蒜及诸酒, 
如是不净物,
修行者远离。

[2] All meat and chives,
leeks, garlic, [onion, hing] and all alcohol,
such impure foods,
those cultivators [of] practice far depart. 

[Note 13: In the Śūraṅgama Sūtra《楞严经》, the Buddha also taught to avoid non-meat animal products, as they arise from animal exploitation and even killing. Beyond vegetarianism, this effectively advocates veganism.] 

亦常离麻油,
及诸穿孔床, 
以彼诸细虫,
于中大惊怖。 

[3] Likewise constantly depart [from] sesame oil [that involve killing in production],
and all perforated beds [with holes, such as weaved ones],
with that [having] many small insects,
in [the] middle [who might have] great alarm [and] fear.

饮食生放逸,
放逸生邪觉, 
从觉生于贪,
是故不应食。 

[4] [With] drinking [and] eating unrestrained,
[with] non-restraint giving rise [to] evil awakening,
from [this] awakening giving rise to greed,
therefore should [meat] not [be] eaten. 

邪觉生贪故,
心为贪所醉, 
心醉长爱欲,
生死不解脱。 

[5] [With] evil awakening giving rise [to] greed thus,
[the] mind by greed that intoxicated,
[with the] mind intoxicated growing [in] attachment [and] desires,
[from the cycle of] birth [and] death not liberated.

为利杀众生,
以财取诸肉, 
二俱是恶业,
死堕叫唤狱。 

[6] For profit killing sentient beings,
with wealth obtaining much meat,
both together are [with] evil karma,
[after] death falling [into the] Crying Out Hell [i.e. Raurava Naraka].  

[Note 14: The above verse might seem difficult to accept, but it can be analysed line by line respectively to see how it is perfectly reasonable.

(1) The first line is on directly providing the supply of meat, by killing.

(2.1) The second line is on directly providing the demand of meat, by buying. The word ‘诸’ can also be translated as ‘many’, ‘all’ or ‘various’, to be further addressed below.

(3.1) The third line is on both together creating negative karma as they are two halves of a cycle. To directly provide supply of the killed, and to directly provide demand of the killed are surely both equally culpable, as there will be no supply without demand, just as there will be no demand without supply. When demand increases, supply increases. When demand decreases, supply decreases. When demand ends, supply ends.

(4) The fourth line is on the evil karmic effect of personally causing or conditioning sentient beings to cry out in hellish fear and pain when being killed for one, which is surely to personally experience the similar after death. As most people do use their wealth to obtain meat in their lives by buying, and are aware of themselves being part of the cycle of supply and demand, does this mean most will fall into hell?

(2.2) The answer pivots upon the phrase ‘much meat’ in the second line. Surely, one cannot fall into hell just for buying one small piece of meat, as such a consequence would be too drastic to be karmically fair. Thus, the key question is – ‘How much is too “much”, to be enough to incur a hellish effect?’ Since this is uncertain, it is best to reduce or abstain from buying meat, be it for personal or others’ eating, as both sustain or increase demand for killing.

(3.2) It might be believed by some that killing creates more negative karma than buying the killed. However, just as the Buddha taught that butchering is a Wrong Livelihood not to be engaged in, it is surely also wrong to support others in this livelihood, by paying them to do the dirty job of killing, which cannot be totally blameless. Every purchase of meat is after all a vote for continual or more killing.  

Just as killing involves all Three Poisons, as greed for profit, hatred in killing, and delusion about the karmic cause and effect of killing, buying (and eating) likewise involves the same poisons, as greed for meat’s taste, hatred of kinder and healthier foods, and delusion about the karmic cause and effect of buying (and eating).]

不想不教求,
此三种名净,
世无如是肉,
食者我诃责。 

[7] Not thinking [of], not asking [for or] seeking [it],
[of] these three kinds named ‘pure’,
[this] world [is] without such meat,
[of] those [who] eat I sternly reproach.  

[Note 15: Previously, the Buddha also taught alms-seeking monastics that meat (1) not seen, (2) heard and (3) suspected to be killed for them can be eaten. These criteria forms the Threefold Pure Meat (三净肉). This does not apply to meat bought by laypeople, as although they do not see or hear the animals killed for them, being part of the cycle of supply (for killing) and demand (for meat) with continual purchase and consumption, they are the usual suspects of who they are killed for, thus failing the third criteria.]

更互相食啖,
死堕恶兽中, 
臭秽而癫狂,
是故不应食。 

[8] Further, [of] one another eating,
[after] death falling [into the realm of] evil beasts within,
stinking, defiled and deranged,
therefore should [meat] not [be] eaten.    

猎师旃茶罗, 
屠儿罗刹娑, 
此等种中生,
斯皆食肉报。 

[9] [Among] hunters, Caṇḍālas, 
butchers [and] rākṣasas,
[of] these [and] other kinds within born,
that [is of] all [who] eat meat, [their] retribution.

食已无惭愧,
生生常癫狂, 
诸佛及菩萨,
声闻所嫌恶。 

[10] Eaten already [and] without repentance,
life [after] life often deranged,
[by] all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
Voice-Hearers [i.e. Śrāvakas] those loathed. 

象脇与大云,
涅槃央掘摩, 
及此楞伽经,
我皆制断肉。 

[11] [In the sūtras] Elephant Flank [i.e. Hastikakshya] and Great Cloud [i.e. Mahāmegha],
Nirvāna [and] Aṅglimālika,   
and this Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra,
I all regulated [to] sever meat[-eating].

先说见闻疑,
已断一切肉, 
以其恶习故,
愚者妄分别。

[12] [With] previously said [on not] seeing, hearing [and] suspecting [meat killed for one],
[as to] already sever [from] all meat,
with that evil habit thus,
those foolish falsely differentiate.

如贪障解脱,
肉等亦复然。
若有食之者,
不能入圣道。 

[13] Like [how] greed obstructs liberation,
meat [and] others likewise again [are] thus.
If [there] are those [who] eat of [them],
[they are] not able [to] enter [the] noble path.

未来世众生,
于肉愚痴说, 
言此净无罪,
佛听我等食。 

[14] Future lives’ sentient beings,
of meat [will] foolishly speak,
saying this [is] pure [and] without transgressions,
[that the] Buddha allowed me [and] others [to] eat [it]. 

净食尚如药,
犹如子肉想, 
是故修行者,
知量而行乞。 

[15] [As] pure eating [should] still [be] like [taking] medicine,
just as [with one’s] child’s flesh’s thought,
therefore, those cultivators [of] practice,
knowing [this] reasoning, [should] then practise alms-seeking. 

食肉背解脱,
及违圣表相。 
令众生生怖,
是故不应食。 

[16] Eating meat [turns the] back [to] liberation,
and goes against noble expressed form.
Enabling sentient beings [to] give rise [to] fear,
therefore should [meat] not [be] eaten. 

安住慈心者,
我说常厌离, 
师子及虎狼,
应共同遊止。 

[17] Those peacefully abiding [in] loving-kindness’ mind,
I say [to] constantly [have] revulsed renunciation,
[of] lions and tigers, wolves, 
[and] should together [with] wandering [in rebirth] stop.

若于酒肉等,
一切皆不食,
必生贤圣中,
丰财具智慧。」

[18] If of alcohol, meat [and] others,
all not eating,
definitely [attains] birth within [the] virtuous [and] noble,
[with] abundant wealth possessing wisdom.’

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

相关经典:
Related Sūtras:

《楞伽经》  
http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/BDLM/sutra/chi_pdf/sutra9/T16n0672.pdf  
   
《楞严经》: 上求佛道者应当如何饮食?  
Śūraṅgama Sūtra: How Should All Aspiring For Buddhahood Eat And Drink? (Introduction to Maha-Veganism, short for Mahāyāna Veganism, as taught by the Buddha)
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/10/how-should-all-aspiring-for-buddhahood-eat-and-drink 

Śūraṅgama Sūtra: How The Buddha Eventually Advocated Veganism
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/06/how-the-buddha-eventually-advocated-veganism

Various Sūtras: How The Buddha Gradually Urged The Kindest Diet
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2017/02/how-the-buddha-gradually-urged-the-kindest-diet

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