අපිත් එක්ක එකතු වෙන්න!

Vegetarianism and Buddhism

This article was written to Buddhist Spectrum of the Daily News on 07 January 2009 by Shamika Soysa.

‘Vegetarianism’ is quite a debatable topic these days. Primarily, two categories of views could be identified with respect to this subject:
1. People who say it’s a noble practice.
2. People who say Vegetarianism is an act in vain.
In Buddhism there are several well known facts related to Vegetarianism which provide a basis for many debates:
1. Whether meat eating breaches the first precept or not.
2. The Buddha allowed meat eating for monks that is quite pure in three circumstances: if it is not seen, heard, suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk.
3. The Buddha rejected Ven. Devadatta’s proposal to forbid meat-eating for monks.
4. The Buddha has not directly recommended ‘Vegetarianism’.
The objective of this article is to analyse above aspects in brief.

Nobility of Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is simply refraining from eating animal food especially meat. People need food and water for their survival. Since the beginning both humans and animals required food as a basic need.
Method of supplying themselves food has been evolving over the generations and both vegetables and animal fleshes had been the two main methods. Even now in some parts of the world, people are compelled to kill animals for food for their survival. Their main intention is to fulfill their hunger.
But today, in many parts of the world there are plenty of options available for food than killing animals. In layman’s economic theory, if people started abstaining from eating meat, then the demand for meat will decrease. Consequently the number of animals getting killed will decrease and at the end of the day Vegetarians contribute to save lives of many animals.
Theoretically, if the whole population stops eating meat then none of the animals will get killed at least for food in that community. Therefore, it is out of question and un-debatable that the vegetarianism is noble and not an act in vain.

The first precept

Buddhist text clearly identifies five main conditions to be satisfied in order to breach the first precept: (1) target is a living being, (2) the knowledge of target is living, (3) volitional thought of killing, (4) effort to kill, (5) death is caused as a result of killer’s action.
In one’s meal if meat or fish is available, it is just another food item among the others. Simple analysis would show that none of the above factors are satisfied when eating meat. Therefore, it should be clear beyond doubt that eating meat does not breach the first precept.
On the contrary if one took a decision to stop having meals with fish and meat then he or she may distantly supports to save a life of at least one animal.
On the other hand if the same person becomes greedy and wanted to have more and more meat then he or she indirectly contributes to kill at least one more animals. But this person does not breach the first precept at any of these circumstances.

The Law of Kamma

However, the indirect contribution to increase the demand for meat should have some affect and it could be explained using the law of Kamma. Any Volitional act causes Kamma.
Rooted by Immoral causes (Akusala Hethu) of Lobha (Attachment), Dwesha (Hatred or Aversion), Moha (Delusion or Ignorance) Akusala Kamma are caused and rooted by Moral causes (Kusala Hethu) of Alobha (Non-attachment), Adwesha (Goodwill), Amoha (Knowledge) Kusala Kamma are caused.
For each and every wholesome and unwholesome activity there will be corresponding Kamma collected. The nature of Kamma collected when eating meat depends on the thought process of oneself at that moment. If that person eats meat with greediness, then the root of Lobha is there and Akusala Kamma is caused. Depends on the degree of greediness the severity of Akusala Kamma would differ.
However, if that person eats any other vegetable food with same greediness, nature of Kamma collected would be the same. When eating meat, if that person thinks about the animal and the way animal is getting killed, the pain of animal and etc. then depending on Lobha, Dwesha and Moha arise there will be Akusala Kamma collected. But still it does not breach the first precept.
Assume that having eaten beef that person ordered his or her servant to kill the cow in the garden and bring him more meat for his dinner then the first precept may be breached as it may satisfy the earlier-mentioned factors.
It is as such how one’s action and thought process becomes evil or meritorious in different circumstances. If one engages in all other evil acts and only refrain from eating meat would not make him a noble person in the society nor does he or she gets good resultants.

The Buddha’s position on vegetarianism

It is due to above facts the Buddha did not directly recommend Vegetarianism for Monks and the Buddhists. But he always discouraged eating meat and included a precept to refrain from killing as well. Samma Ajiva (Right Livelihood) in Arya Ashtangika Margaya (Noble Eight Fold Path) is described as abstaining from selling poisons, intoxicants, weapons, slaves, and animals for slaughter.
Karaniya Meththa Suththa is about spreading loving-kindness to all the living beings.
In broader explanation the first precept is not just abstaining from killing but also leaving aside all harming equipments and being fearful and ashamed of killing.
Another important point is that when monks are having their meals they meditate considering food just as a factor for their survival and not for the taste or the shape or color of the body. They are disciplined not to consider the nature of food and their make and origin. Monks are to accept alms offered by anyone.
Even if meat is present in that meal it is an irrelevant factor unless it falls under earlier-mentioned three circumstances.
In conclusion, it is clear that eating meat does not breach the first precept but does involve collecting bad Kammas depending on one’s thought process when having meals (not just meat). But a pure Vegetarian who is protecting all Five Precepts, always refrain from evil acts and engage in meritorious deeds contributes to save a life of at least one living being and is a noble person while being an asset for the society.

Everything is not due to "Kamma"

This article was written to Buddhist Spectrum of the Daily News on 03 July 2008 by Shamika  Soysa.
One of the main teachings of Lord Buddha is the Law of Kamma. However, this is one of the teachings which have been taken incorrectly by many Buddhists. We used to hear many saying "Karume" to explain many of the negative incidents happen to them. This is against the teachings of Lord Buddha and Kamma does not provide explanations or excuses for all the incidents occur in ones life.

What is Kamma?

Acts by a human involves a thought process. At every instance there occurs a chitta (consciousness). These chittas occur in two ways;

1. Sahetukas (with roots)

2. Ahetukas (without roots)

There are six roots all together and they are two fold
1. Akusala Hetu
1) Lobha (attachement)
2) Dwesha (hatred)
3) Moha (delusion or ignorance)
2. Kusala Hetu
1) Alobha (non-attachment or generosity)
2) Adwesha (non-anger, goodwill or loving-kindness)
3) Amoha (knowledge)

නැති බැරි කම

සුපුරුදු පරිදි බස් රථයට ගොඩ වුයේ රැකියා ස්ථානය කරා පිටත් වීමටය.
බස් රථයේ ආසනයකින් වාඩි වූ මා කොන්දොස්තර මහතාට බස් ගාස්තුව දී ජනේලයෙන් පිටතට නෙත් යොමු කළෙමි.
 අවට බලමින්යන අතර වාරයේ රියදුරු මහතා බස් රථය හෝල්ට් එකක් ළග නතර කළේය.
වෙනදාටත් එම හෝල්ට් එක ළග නතර කලොත් බස් එක විනාඩි 5ක් විතර නතර කරගෙන සිටි.
අදත් එසේමය.

එක්වරම මගේ ඇස ගැටුනේ මහලු සීයා කෙනෙක් දෙසටය.
ඒ ඔහු අසල කඩයකින් බඩු ගෙන එළියට එමින් සිටින අතර වාරයේදීය.
ඉතිරි  සල්ලි ටික ගණන් කරමින් ඔහු ඉදිරියට ආවේය.
ඒත් එක්කම ඔහුගේ අතේ තිබු ෂොපින් බැග් එක ලිස්සා වැටුණි.
මට අනේ පව් කියා එක පාරටම කියවුණි.
ඇත්තටම හරිම දුකයි බලාගෙන ඉන්න,
අර සීයා ඉතුරු කාසි ටික අතමිට මොලවාගෙන බැග් එකෙන් වැටුණු බඩු ටික එකතු කරන්නට පටන් ගත්තේය.
අනේ ඒ සීයා බැග් එකේ තිබුණු හාල්,පරිප්පු සහ කඩල ටික එකින් එක බිම වාඩි වී  එකතු  කරන්නන්ට පටන් ගත්තේය.
ඇත්තටම ඒ බැග් එකේ මහා ලොකු බඩු ප්‍රමාණයක් නොතිබුනත් ඒ සීයාට නම් ඒ බඩු ටික හරිම වටිනවා වෙන්න ඇති. මොකද ඒ සීයා අර වැටුණු හාල්, පරිප්පු ඇටෙන් ඇටේ  එකතු  කරන්නට වූ නිසාවෙනි.
ඒ අසලින් කොතරම් මිනිස්සු ගියත් ඒ කිසි කෙනෙක් අර සීයට උදව් දීමට පෙලබුනේ නැත.
ඒත් එක්කම බස් එක යෑමට පටන් ගන්නා විට මට සිතුනේ අනේ මම වත් බස් එකෙන් බැස අර සීයාට උදව් වුනේ නැහැ නේද කියාය.
මට කීයක් හරි ඒ සීයාට දෙන්න තිබුණා නේද කියා සිතුනේ ටික දුරක් ගිය විටදීය.
ඉතින් මේ විදියට අපිට අසරණ මිනිස්සුන්ට පිහිට වෙන්න අවස්ථා කොපමණ තිබුනත් සමහර
වෙලාවට අපේ එදිනෙදා වැඩ කටයුතු නිසා ඒ සියල්ල මග හැරෙන්නට පුළුවන්.
ඔය වගේ අසරණ කෙනෙක්ට පිහිට වෙන්න පුළුවන් නම් බොරුවට ලෝකෙට පේන්න දාන මාන දෙන්න ඕනෙත් නැහැනේ නේද??
කෙසේ නමුත් අර වෙලාවේ මට පිහිට වෙන්න නොහැකි වුනු එක ගැන නම් ලොකු කණගාටුවක් දැනෙනවා.

දවසේ පැනය

සියල්ල පරදවා මුල් තැනට පත් වන්නේ
මුදල් ද
මුදල් පරදවා මනුස්සකමට ජය ගත හැකි


සිනහවෙන් හෝ 
කතාවෙන් බැහැ
මනින්නට මිනිසා...



Shamika SOYSA- Daily News

‘MIND is a phenomenon which is highly explored in the doctrine of Buddhism. Mano phubban gama dhamma which means ‘mind is the forerunner’ is a well heard verse from ‘Dhamma Padaya’. The ultimate objective in Buddhism is attained by purifying and improving mind. However, understanding ‘mind’ is a quite complicated act for any person. This is a barrier for someone who is interested in learning Buddhism in depth. One of the teachings in Buddhism which provides a comprehensive analysis on mind is ‘Abhidhamma’.

The series ‘Abhidhamma in a Nutshell’ was started to full that void. ‘Abhidhamma’ is one of the most intricate branches of doctrine in Buddhism and the objective of this series was an effort to present it in an ‘Easy to Understand’ manner. Comparative to the entire teaching of Buddha, what has been described through 30 episodes is very little. But it wouldn’t be insufficient for one who is interested to lay themselves a foundation to learn more advanced nature of the Doctrine and deal with some intricate questions raised on Buddhism.

පාසැල් මෑණියනි

දහතුන් වසරක් පුරාවට
මා මනස අලුත් කොට
ආදරෙන් අප බලා
සෙනෙහසින් රැක බලා
හදා වඩා ගත් ඔබට
පුදන්නම් තුති
ආදරේ පිරි හදින්


උහුළ ගන්න බැරි සෙනෙහසක
ආදරණීය සුවදක් වෙලා
ඔබ මා අසලින් ඇදෙනකොට
කදුළු වැස්සක් අරන්
නික්ම යන වේලාව
මේ තරම් ලං වේය කියා
සිතන්නේ කොහොමද මම
කියන්න මට......