Buddhism: embracing vegetarianism

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Tue Oct 24 22:05:28 UTC 2000

nanda chandran wrote:

>Maybe the lack of brahmins in Lanka?

There have been some Simhal Buddhist brahmins. There still are some,
although their number must be very small.

>practical level - in India. A NyAya author from Bengal infacts rebukes
>South Indian brahmins for being too Buddhistic in embracing vegetarianism.

This is interesting. Buddhists survived in Bengal for a long period
(in fact Bengali buddhism still exists). In Theravad tradition,
neither the laity not the monks are required to be vegetarian.
In Mahayana, the monks are generally required to be vegetarian,
but not ordinary people. When did this NyAya author live?

Devadatta, the cousin and rival of Buddha Shakyamuni, had proposed
vegetarianism for the Buddhist monks, which was not accepted.

>Ashoka is remembered in India for having passed an order in favor of
>vegetarianism in his whole realm. But neither the lay Sinhalese nor the
>Buddhist monks themselves are vegetarian.

Ashoka forbade killing of animals on certain days, and killing of some
animals (5th pillor edict). In the 1st rock edict, he expresses the
intention of evntually not having any animals killed in his kitchen.


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list