Taoist View on Vegetarianism

Discussion in 'Tao' started by alphone, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. alphone

    alphone New Member

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    Ultra Supreme Emptiness Emperor the Heavenly Lord's Scripture of Forty-nine Chapters ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0018 ) says:

    The Heavenly Lord said:

    The precept of being vegetarian is the fundamental of Tao, and is a bridge of truth, which crosses the ocean of births and deaths, between the ferry and the other shore of liberation.

    If you wish to learn Tao, you should be a vegetarian and keep the precepts, and your every single thought should be righteous and Real, then the evils and delusions will vanish of themselves.

    Most living beings had abandoned the pure realm and are indulging in meat-eating, this defiles both their bodies and minds. They are like the hungry ghosts who eat dead bodies but cannot extinguish the fire that are burning their hungry intestines so that they can never eat their fill; they are also like the flies and worms who scramble for putrid and stinky things and stay still on them as if those are sandalwood.

    In a meat eater's body, the three palaces are turbid, and the six viscera are defiled, the dark souls (PUG) of the dead bodies (that he ate) are exciting and thriving, and are always willing to guide him to the place of death.

    Therefore, you should cut off the root of desires, enter into the pure and tranquil state, do not put any living being into suffering, do not commit anything evil, do not produce any delusions, and do not arouse any evil from your heart.

    You should regard the precepts as the laws of the world, when you want to violate any of them, you should be aware of the punishment with fear. You should uphold the teachings of the precepts sincerely and respectfully, keep the precepts solemnly as if they are in front of you, and as if you are facing something that you fear. You should keep your heart righteous and solemn, eliminate all thoughts, and listen attentively to the non-dual, then you will be able to experience the Correct Truth, and become my disciple.


    Ultra Subtleness Immortal Lord's Tabulation of Merits and Sins ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0185 ) says:

    (Regarding normal eating frequency and quantity) An insipid vegetarian meal produces one merit; an averagely tasted vegetarian meal produces half a merit; a very delicious vegetarian meal produces no merit.


    Ultra Subtleness Immortal Lord's Tabulation of Merits and Sins ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0185 ) says:

    Regarding meat-eating: Eating meat by intentional killing produces six sins. Eating meat by buying produces three sins. Intentional eating of forbidden meats produces six sins, while accidental eating of these meats produces three sins. Eating meat at an abstinent day produces ten sins. Chanting in an altar right after eating meat produces ten sins.


    Emptiness Emperor the Heavenly Lord's Ten Precept Tractate for the Junior Cultivators ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0179 ) says:

    The third precept: Do not kill any animal for food, instead, we should be benevolent and beneficial to all, including insects and worms.


    Emptiness Emperor the Heavenly Lord's Ten Precept Tractate for the Junior Cultivators ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0179 ) says:

    The seventh precept: Do not drink alcohol or eat meat, and do not violate the other precepts. One should regulate and harmonize his energies and temperament, and cultivate dedicatedly for the Pure Emptiness.


    Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scripture of Precepts ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0809 ) says:

    All living beings, including all kinds of animals, and those as small as insects, worms, and so forth, are containers of the uncreated energy, thus one should not kill any of them.


    Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scripture of Precepts ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0809 ) says:

    They will kill other living beings for food or commodities.

    Such people will suffer in their present lifetimes because of their bad deeds, and later they will fall into the destinies of afflictions for long.


    The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0691 ) says:

    There exists a master executioner that kills
    If we substitute for the master executioner to kill
    It is like substituting for the great carpenter to cut
    Those who substitute for the great carpenter to cut
    It is rare that they do not hurt their own hands


    Ultra Utmost Real Person Spoken Twenty-four Gates Precept Scripture ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0182 ) says:

    The first precept: Do not kill any animal, or slaughter any animal for food. Do not kill by yourself, or ask anyone to kill, or rejoice at killing, or eat any animals. A violator of this precept will be cooked in a cauldron in hell.


    Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scriptural Laws ( Orthodox Taoist Canon 0811 ) says:

    The twenty-fourth precept: Do not drink alcohol or eat meat.
     
  2. alphone

    alphone New Member

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  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    wow, had no clue, orthotaoism....
     
  4. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Damn my good cooking!

    Otherwise alphie, I'm in complete agreement.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think that was my main surprise, what appeared to be a requirement to suffer bad food as part of some sort of ritual...

    Plenty of tastee vegan food out there...
     
  6. alphone

    alphone New Member

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    Dear friend, your good cooking, as long as they are simple, may not meet the standard of "very delicious vegetarian meal". I guess the "very delicious vegetarian meal" in the scripture refers to some expensive, high-classed, complicated, luxury, and exquisite vegetarian meals. e.g. an imperial vegetarian meal. If my guess is correct, your good cooking just meet the standard of "averagely tasted vegetarian meal".
     
  7. alphone

    alphone New Member

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    Besides, as far as I know, there are several reasons that the scripture says so:

    1. Generally, according to the principle of action and retribution, all mundane enjoyments consume our merits. Just like using money to buy something, if you want it, you have to pay for it.

    2. Tastes, like other distractions, can excite our sense organs, and attract us away from our real nature. Esoterically speaking, the desire for taste is one of the leakings that prevent us from becoming holy. Therefore The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue says:

    The five colors make one blind in the eyes
    The five sounds make one deaf in the ears
    The five flavors make one tasteless in the mouth
    Racing and hunting make one wild in the heart
    Goods that are difficult to acquire make one cause damage

    3. Another reason that many people became vegetarian is that they wish to protect the earth by reducing their environmental consumptions. However, a vegetarian meal can also be very costly to the environment (as many anti-vegetarians said). So Taoism, as an environment-friendly religion, disapproves extravagant vegetarian meals.
     
  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Let's see what Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching:

    60
    Governing a great state is like cooking small fish.

    Let the kingdom be governed according to the Tao, and the manes of
    the departed will not manifest their spiritual energy. It is not that
    those manes have not that spiritual energy, but it will not be
    employed to hurt men. It is not that it could not hurt men, but
    neither does the ruling sage hurt them.

    When these two do not injuriously affect each other, their good
    influences converge in the virtue (of the Tao).​

    Do you think government is out of step with the Tao? :p
     
  9. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Here is the Taoist method of "cooking small fish"


    1. Take a heavy, shallow pot with a lid, and add water to it
    2. Add the small whole fish, making sure that each fish has enough room to "swim," about the amount of space they need when swimming in a school of fish, with ample water surrounding each fish without overcrowding.
    3. Remove the fish from the pot
    4. Add some soy sauce and some sliced ginger to the water
    5. Put the pot on the heat to heat up the water not quite to boiling
    6. REMOVE POT FROM HEAT SOURCE!
    7. Add the small fish, along with some greens such as spinach, again making sure fish have ample room to swim, and put the lid on the pot.
    8. KEEP POT AWAY FROM HEAT SOURCE!
    9. Allow fish to steep in hot water with lid on the pot until fish are cooked. (10-20 minutes, depending on size of fish)
    10. Place the cooked greens on serving platter, arrange small whole fish on top, sprinkle with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, drizzle with toasted sesame oil, and serve.
    A homonym for the word meaning "small whole fish" also means "prosperity."
    Therefore, when governing, provide ample space and resources for individuals to prosper, use the lightest hand possible, and things will work out for themselves, and everyone eats. :)
     
  10. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    That sounds like a beautiful way to cook whole small fish. Very nice technique.
     
  11. alphone

    alphone New Member

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    Oh……seems that this is a wide-spread misunderstanding……please allow me to clarify it:

    The term "fish" in The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue( Dhoe Dhug Ging / Tao Te Ching ) is a metaphor. See this:

    [​IMG]

    This Tie Gic Picture is a combination of two fishes: the Yaam fish and the Yoeng fish. That chapter of The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue actually describes a scene of internal refinement.

    Likewise, many other terms in The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue, such as nation, people, war, etc., are also metaphors. If anyone wishes to know the real meanings of these metaphors, he should first keep the precepts (for example, the precept of being vegetarian), reduce his defilements, etc.

    Now let's read this passage of The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue:

    There exists a master executioner that kills
    If we substitute for the master executioner to kill
    It is like substituting for the great carpenter to cut
    Those who substitute for the great carpenter to cut
    It is rare that they do not hurt their own hands

    From this passage we can know that The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue denies killing. So can you cook a fish without killing it?

    The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue is a whole, it does not contradict itself. Likewise, all Taoist Scriptures reveal the same truth, and they do not contradict each other. However, many scholars don't understand this, because they don't have enough virtuous merits.
     
  12. alphone

    alphone New Member

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    Furthermore, in the Chinese text of The Scripture of Dhoe and Virtue( Dhoe Dhug Ging / Tao Te Ching ), the whole sentence is 治大國若烹小鮮, the Chinese character translated into "fish" is 鮮, which means "something fresh", " something vivid ", etc. The Chinese character for "fish" is 魚, not 鮮.

    Some scholars said that one of the meanings of 鮮 is "fish", but since 鮮 has so many meanings, why choose only the meaning of "fish"?

    Besides, in another place of the scripture, the character 魚 does appear:

    魚不可脫於淵,國之利器不可以示人。

    Translation:

    Fish cannot leave the depths
    The sharp instruments of the state
    Cannot be shown to the people

    This proves that the scripture does not use 鮮 in the place of 魚.
     
  13. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    You must remember, alphone, that there are people who live in areas of the world where vegetation, much less vegetarian food, is scarce. For these people, vegetarian foods would come under the category of "goods that are difficult to acquire, that might make one cause damage." :)
     
  14. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    There can be few Taoist Inuit it seems.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Historically speaking, meat has rarely been eaten on a common basis by the normal peasant classes - certainly not farmed meats.
     
  16. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    We cannot digest grass. It needs processed first. Then it is delicious.
     

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  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    the Taoist precepts regarding vegetarian food consumption vary somewhat between schools of practice... the alchemical schools generally recommend staying away from the consumption of starches, especially rice! you can imagine how this sorta thing went over in SE Asia :)

    in any event, garlic, leeks and a few other pungent herbs are also recommended against due to the imbalancing effect they have upon our constitution.

    that said, the Scriptures state that a Taoist Immortal is able to live off "wind and dew".. which is essentially air and saliva ;)

    take *THAT* you vegans!

    ;)

    metta,

    ~v
     

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