On Not Eating Meat
From the Siksha-Samuccaya
Compiled by Shantideva
Translated from the Sanskrit by Cecil Bendall and W.H.D. Rouse
Just so must he support himself by the physic that is always useful: but even then not with fish or flesh, because it is forbidden in the Lankāvatara Sutra. For thus it is said: "No flesh must be eaten; so I say to the pitiful Bodhisattva . . . . Because of kinship, because of its wrong, because it is produced by semen and uterine blood, the devotee should avoid flesh as improper for living creatures. The devotee should always avoid flesh, onions, intoxicants of different kinds, garlic of all sorts. He should avoid oil for anointing; he should not sleep on beds with hollow posts or holes or where there is danger for living creatures. . . . For gain a living creature is killed, for meat money is given: both these sinners are burnt in the Raurava Hell and other hells. . . . And so on to this: "He that eats flesh in transgression of the words of a sage, the man of evil mind, for the destruction of the two worlds, after being dedicated under the gospel of Sākya, those sinners go to the most awful hell; the flesh-eaters are burnt in terrible hells like Raurava. Flesh free from the three objections, not prepared, unasked, unsolicited, there is none: therefore one should not eat flesh. A devotee should not eat flesh, which is blamed by me and by the Buddhas: members of a family that eats carrion flesh, devour each other." . . . And so on to this: Ill-smelling and abominable, mad, he is born in a Candāla, or Pukkasa family, amongst low-caste again and again. He is born to one sprung of a female imp, in a flesh-eating family, he is born to a she-bear or a cat, the vile wretch. In the Hastikakshya, the Nirvana, the Angulimąlika, and the Lankavatara Sutra, I have reprovedthe eating of flesh. By Buddhas and by Bodhisattvas and by religious persons it has been reprehended; if one eats it, he is always born shameless and mad. But by avoiding those who eat flesh men are born among brahmins or in a family of devotees, and one is intelligent and wealthy. In suspicion touching things seen and heard one should avoid allmeat; philosophers understand nothing if members of a family that eats carrion flesh. As passion would be an obstacle to deliverance, so would be such things as flesh, or intoxicants. In future time, the eaters of flesh, speakers of delusion, will say that flesh is proper, blameless, praised by the Buddhas. But the pious should take his morsel in moderation, against the grain, like a useful physic, as though .it were the flesh of his own son. I who abide in kindliness have always reprehended this food; [such an one] should keep company with lions and tigers and other beasts. Therefore one should not eat flesh, which disturbs men's natures because it hinders deliverance and righteousness: this is the work of the noble.