Ancient Indian Buddhism and Ahijsa
Head and Chairman Department of Buddhist Studies University
In historic India, the concept of ahijsa was used for the first
time by the authors of the Upanisads in connection with the cruelty of Vedic yajbas.
 It is from this that the concept of vegetarianism developed. In the fifth
century BC it was strongly advocated by the Buddha, who included it amongst his
main teachings, provided it a theoretical basis and regarded it as of incomparable
merit. It may be pointed out that one of the fundamental contributions of Buddhism
in the sphere of ahimsa was that image of the wheel (cakra) as a symbol of sacred
warfare (most famously the chariot wheel) was changed into a symbol of sacred
peacemaking (the "dhamma wheel" or dharmacakra).  Buddhist insights
regarding ahijsa turn out to be applicable to areas as diverse as environmental
ethics, daily living, relations with and ethical considerations regarding other
animals, and surely our need to understand the plight of marginalized humans.
Violent activities in the context of early Indian Buddhism may broadly be put
in the following four categories:
1.Hijsa that took place through organized
fighting such as wars, battles etc. and in an unorganized fighting such as murders,
suicides, abortions, and euthanasia etc.
2. Hijsa that took place in the form
of sacrifices in which animal life and sometimes human life was destroyed.
3. Hijsa that took place at the hands of hunters, trappers, butchers, fishermen
etc. for human food and other needs, especially for medicinal purposes. Thus,
human consumption of meat and fish entailed an important form of violence.
4. Hijsa that took place through farming and other related activities like digging,
irrigating, ploughing, reaping, trampling on grasses and crops, cutting of trees
and destruction of ekindriyajiva (one-facultied life) which inhabits plants, trees,
We live in a world of mutual injury where life can only be sustained
by marginalizing others. In a situation such as this, violence in one form or
the other is unavoidable. In order to live, one must eat, and for that most amongst
us acquire our food through the capture of various kinds of animal and aquatic
life. Some take to vegetarianism to escape such a killing. However, some believe
that plants also possess life, and from their point of view even this cannot be
called a correct way of life. Moreover, when one is attacked by others, there
arises the question of indulging in violence in self-defence. Then, there is the
question of various kinds of insects like flies and mosquitoes being regularly
eliminated in large numbers in order to minimize the risk of the harmful germs
carried by them. Various kinds of drugs also kill germs in the body so that humans
can recover from different ailments. As a matter of fact, germ theory which forms
the very basis of modern medicine involves elimination of life in different forms.
Scientists conduct experiments on animals in order to find cures for diseases
that afflict humans. Therefore, if the principle of ahimsa is upheld literally,
it would be difficult, to say the least, to obtain suitable food to maintain one's
own life and probably one shall have to starve oneself to death, i.e., commit
suicide. Strictly speaking, suicide is also inconsistent with the principle of
ahijsa. In other words, the practice of perfect and absolute ahijsa in this particular
sense is impossible.
However, Buddhism saw the inner feeling of the spirit
of ahijsa and its outer manifestation in the form of non-violent action, as two
different things. Thus, the Buddha based his philosophy of ahijsa on this simple
fact that even though the action of ahijsa maybe difficult to perfect, yet the
perfection of the spirit of ahijsa is not impossible to cultivate in the heart.
In other words, the actual practice of ahijsa can only be undertaken on the basis
of a true cognition of life, the contradictions of which are difficult to resolve.
Recognizing this fact, the Buddha did not set up unduly strict rules for ahijsa
as action. This form of moderate and rational doctrine of ahijsa is perhaps the
most important contribution of Buddhism to human civilization. In the Pali texts,
this principle is stated mainly in three terms, viz., panatipata veramani, panatipata
pativirati and ahijsa. Of these three terms, ahijsa or avihijsa, meaning 'non-violence,'
is the most widely used in the Buddhist texts. The other two expressions indicate
the same meaning of 'abstaining or restraining oneself from causing injury to
living beings' (panatipata/ panavadha/ panaghata) and are used mainly in relation
to Vinaya rules regarding sila that forbid the killing of living creatures as
against destroying life (panav atimapeti). Here, a special meaning in the form
of precautionary endeavour and the application of will is contained in the words
veramani (abstaining) and pativirati (restraining). The endeavour of will is imperative
for abstaining from evil proclivities such as destruction of life in any form.
When the vow is made, 'I will observe the principle not to kill living beings,'
sila is the self-actualizing attitude that emerges when one undertakes to carry
on this endeavour. A child does not commit hijsa, and yet there is no sila. The
reason for this is that the child is not conscious of the fact that it is not
doing evil. In the same manner, it cannot be said that one abides by sila just
because one does not kill living creatures. Ahijsa, thus, implies deliberate avoidance
of injury to living beings. In other words, a Buddhist is expected not only to
shun killing but also avoid inciting others to kill.
Ahijsa to living beings,
which is the first precept in Buddhism, is based upon the principle of mutual
attraction and rightness common to all nature. To willfully take life means to
disrupt and destroy the inherent wholeness and to blunt feelings of reverence
and compassion that form the basis of humaneness. This precept is really a call
to life and creation even as it is a condemnation of death and destruction. Deliberately
to shoot, knife, strangle, drown, crush, poison, burn, or otherwise inflict pain
on a human being or animal- these are not the only ways to defile this precept.
To cause another to kill, torture, or harm any living being likewise offends against
the first precept. Though violence (hijsa) can take place in words, thoughts and
deeds, ancient Indian Buddhism was mainly concerned with violence in deeds. Sacrifices
in various forms, especially the ones in which animals were deprived of life,
were seen by the Buddha as not only a ridiculous absurdity, but also as an unpardonable
cruelty. He did not recognize the efficacy of sacrifices on the one hand, and
highly regarded the life of living beings, on the other. According to him, "all
living beings are not to be harmed." "At the sort of sacrifice...
(where)... creatures are put an end to... is neither of great fruitfulness nor
of great profit nor of great renown nor of widespread effect. It is just as if
a farmer were to enter a wood taking with him plough and seed, and were there,
in an untilled tract, in unfavourable soil, among uprooted stumps, to plant seeds
that were broken, rotten, spoilt by wind and heat, out of season, not in good
condition, and the god were not to give good rain in due season." We are
told in the Samabbaphala Sutta that "the bhikkhu, putting away the killing
of living beings holds aloof from the destruction of life. The cudgel and the
sword he has laid aside, and ashamed of roughness, and full of mercy, he dwells
compassionate and kind to all creatures that have life." 
of the practice of ahijsa is compassion (daya), mercy (hitanukampa) and a feeling
of shame (lajja) of the cruelty of killing and injuring life. In this way, ahijsa
has been amalgamated by Buddhism with compassion and a consciousness of shame.
Where there is compassion in the heart, it is expressed in an outward act as ahijsa.
Ahijsa is considered a noble act because it is not only the object of the act,
but it also results in happiness to the one who practices it. On the other hand,
those who harbour hatred, not only injure others but also bring unhappiness to
themselves. The killing of living beings is a shameful act and is wrong because
it opposes the spirit of compassion. Moreover, when ahijsa is practiced one comes
to know the true feeling of love and attains happiness.
The attainment of
this kind of happiness is said to be spiritually of a highly exalted state. In
this way, taking delight in ahijsa, and cultivating a mind of compassion (metta-citta-bhavana),
are one and the same. Thus, to develop a compassionate heart is to desire happiness
and well-being of all living beings. In Buddhism, ahijsa is taught from the standpoint
that all people love their own lives and do not wish to be hurt or killed by others.
This feeling of self-preservation and self-love is transferred in thought to other
people and in this way the love for and protection of life come to be promoted.
For instance, the Dhammapada echoes this very thought by pointing out that as
all fear death, comparing others with oneself one should neither kill nor cause
to kill. 
The application of ahijsa makes one aware of the true feeling
of love and leads to the attainment of happiness, and, further this happiness
is also said to be spiritually a highly exalted state. To develop a compassionate
heart is to desire that all living beings shall reach a state of happiness, tranquillity
and well-being, and then to awaken in oneself the feeling of compassion towards
innumerable and infinite kinds of life, and thus, encompass all life by the thought
of compassion. This is called the mind of boundless compassion (metta-appamabba).
Again, the fact that ahijsa has as its basis the compassionate mind it also merges
with the principle of the emancipation of mind by the power of compassion (metta-cetovimutti).
This principle means that the mind achieves serenity by developing a compassionate
heart and thus attains emancipation. In Buddhism, ahijsa is not just confined
to the ethical rule that one should love all living beings. It goes far beyond
that and recognizes in a religious sense that by practising it the lofty heights
of Buddhahood can be realized. Therefore, in Buddhism the practice of ahijsa is
taught in many ways. For example, right action (sammakammanta) in the Noble Eightfold
Path can be explained and interpreted as ahijsa. Again, in the highly regarded
dasakusalakammapatha (Path of Ten Kinds of Good Actions), the first step is that
of not killing living beings. Similarly, when the Buddha taught the correct
daily conduct of a lay follower to Sivgalika, the first principle expounded was
that of non-killing of beings. 
The lay follower (upasaka, upasika) is
exhorted to follow the pabcasila (Five Precepts) of which the first one is that
of non-injury to living beings (panatipata veramani sikkhapadaj). As a result,
the lay follower undertakes to abstain from injury to living beings not only as
a matter of intent but also by actualizing it in action. Even despite having the
intent, when one cannot practice it in real life on certain occasions, the precept
is broken. This sort of breach of the precept means that while the intent of ahijsa
is there, the selfish desires opposed to this intent are very strong. In such
circumstances, there is inevitably a regret for the breach of the precept and
thus, confession (patidesana) is made. However, this confession must come from
the heart. The importance of the doctrine of ahijsa in Buddhism can be measured
from the fact that the precept of ahijsa is included in the Ahttavgika-uposatha
(Eight Precepts) which are practised by the Buddhists on the four days of uposatha
(fast) of the month. It is also included as the first of the ten precepts for
the samanera and samaneri.. The non-killing of life is given in great detail in
the Patimokkha, in the Vinaya of the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis. As per the third
precept of the Parajika in the Patimokka a monk or a nun is expelled from the
Sajgha for committing a murder, which is the severest punishment for the members
of the Sajgha. Buddhism condemns strongly the one "who should deliberately
and purposely (iticittamano cittasajkappo) in various ways praise the beauty of
death or should incite (anyone) to death. 
The methods of causing death
mentioned in the Vinaya are many and varied, including the use of weapons, devices
ranging from pits and traps to more subtle psychological strategies like frightening
someone to death by dressing up as a ghost, and, of course, death resulting from
unsuccessful medical treatments. In terms of intention, the examples show that
guilt is firmly tied to state of mind (mens rea) of the accused at the time the
offence was committed. Guilt or innocence depends upon the outcome tallying with
the intention with which one undertook the project in question. The concept of
agency is important where other parties are involved as intermediaries, as when
one monk instructs another to carry out a lethal plan. Generally speaking in the
Vinaya, an action which requires intention for it to be an offence is no offence
at all if there is no bad intention. Moreover, as Andrew Huxley has shown, the
Kurudhamma Jatakaemphasizes the idea that, at least in a lay context, unintended
harm to others should not be counted against one, and it is not wise to agonize
over such matters. Buddhism places abortion on the same level as killing a
human being. Suicide is also forbidden in Buddhism. 
There is a ban on
injuring plant lifeand, thus, according to the Buddha, the perfect person
abstains from injury both to seed life and plant life (bijagama bhutagama). He
called upon all "for having compassion on creatures." The Buddha
felt that the human sentiment of mankind is not to be limited merely to themselves
but to be extended to all sentient beings, who should share as much kindness as
mankind itself does. The Buddha taught "never to destroy the life of any
living creature, however tiny it might be." It is even forbidden to throw
the remains of food on green grass or into water because the creatures living
in both water and grass can be harmed. According to him "making onslaught
on creatures, being cruel, bloody-handed, intent on injury and killing, and without
mercy on living creatures... is conducive to shortness of life span" and
saw it as repulsive (amagavdha). Not even "for the sake of sustaining
life would we intentionally deprive any being of life," said the Buddha.
Water must be strained before drinking because it contains living thingsand
only that fruit should be eaten which "has not yet any seed in it... (or)...
has no more seed in it." 
All those following bloody and cruel occupations
(kururakammanta) such as a butcher, fowler, hunter, fisherman, bandit, executioner,
and jailer are seen by Buddhism with a distinct disfavour. Similarly, professions
involving cutting, flogging, binding, highway-robbery, and plundering are considered
as violent and heinous. A cattle-butcher suffers for "many hundred thousands
of years in purgatory."  One neither sees or hears of a butcher slaughtering
and selling cattle-rams, pigs... or beasts of the forest and living in the abundance
of great wealth. Some of the kammic results, which a man brings upon himself
by committing injury to a life are "suffering in an unpleasant state for
a long period, and rebirth in some lower form of being. If born again as man,
he may be infirm, ugly, unpopular, cowardly, divested of compassion, subject to
disease, dejected and mournful, separated from the company of loved ones, and
unable to attain to ripe age." The circumstances under which a being
is killed as well as the physical and mental development of the being decide the
gravity of the moral guilt involved in killing.
However, in unavoidable circumstance
"indirect killing" was allowed by early Buddhism, e.g. the early Buddhism
allowed "the use of skins, such as sheep-skins, goat-skins and deer-skins
as coverlets in all the border countries."  Raw flesh and blood may be
used in case of non-human disease. In one of the Jatakas, it has been pointed
out that "in certain cases a Bodhisatta may destroy life" especially
where there is a fault in his horoscope. 
The attitude of ancient Indian
Buddhism towards "warfare, agriculture and meat-eating was more mixed than
was its attitude to blood sacrifices. It made no whole-hearted condemnation of
these three practices although they all entail the taking of life." Though
the monks were forbidden to have more than a minimum to do with the armies, soldiers
were not admitted into monkhood,  and no monk was allowed to dig soil, yet
the Buddhist attitude appears a bit contradictory. At least indirectly, Buddhism
appears to glorify war and there are quite a few examples in the Vinaya and Sutta
Pitaka where fighting men and martial qualities are praised and emulated. There
are several similes which are purely militaristic in nature, their point usually
being to encourage monks to be steadfast as in battle and to wage spiritual battles
like the armed ones. 
In Matakabhatta Jataka, the Bodhisatta thinking
about killers, expresses a desire: "If only these beings (satta) perceived
the outcome of sinning, maybe they would stay away from killing." He
also uttered the following stanza on this occasion:
If people were only
aware that penalty would be birth unto sorrow, living beings would stop taking
life. Sorrow is indeed killer's lot. 
The Buddhist concept of ahijsa
has two facets: 1. negative which covers injury inspired by compassion, self-restrain,
and the desire to alleviate pain and 2. positive which covers non-injury inspired
by the same motive and desire and intention. In other words, positive objective
considerations justify injury as an expression of nonviolence. Thus dual concept
on nonviolence is realistic. The negative aspect is based on the recognition of
the fact that the universe as such is suffused with death and destruction. No
one can survive and live in the world without committing one or the other kind
of violence. The positive aspect of nonviolence partakes of the nature of a moral
ideal without which no social, human, or cosmic order can survive. Violence cannot
be eschewed completely and is inescapable in certain critical situations. In other
words, in certain situations application of negative aspect of nonviolence is
unavoidable. One can see certain examples of the application of the negative concept
of nonviolence, namely injury with a view to alleviate pain, or violent defence
of the honour of women. Buddhism also makes a distinction between man and animals
plus plants, seeds etc. Though destruction of or injury to both involves sin,
there is a difference of degree. The sin accrued by killing a man is more than
the cutting of a plant. Further, sin accrued as a result of killing a person with
a developed mind is more than in the case of a man whose mind is less developed.
The Buddhist concept of ahijsa has been directly associated with the so-called
agricultural revolution. This agricultural revolution is only an illusion.
The idea of economic utility of animals being partly responsible for the unpopularity
of sacrifices, was propounded by Horner way back in the 1940s. She had proposed
that "the growing realization that large scale sacrifice was both spiritually
and economically unsound will have played a decisive part in stamping it out."
Though there may have been some truth in Horner's argument, but this relationship
between economic utility and sacrificial futility should not be stretched too
far. It seems that the basic and logical cause behind the propagation of ahijsa
by the Buddha was compassion, sympathy, equanimity, forbearance and goodwill,
which are generally admired and taken as of great fruit and profit by ancient
Indian Buddhism. The Buddha asked every one to "cultivate a boundless
(friendly) mind towards all beings," and not only the agricultural ones.
Had the Buddha been really concerned about the sudden need of agricultural animals,
he certainly would have included the names of these animals in the list of those
whose meat had been declared avoidable by the Buddha. We must bear in mind that
none of these animals had any fruitful bearing on agriculture and the loss of
their lives would have made no difference whatsoever to agriculture. The reason
as to why the Buddha criticized animal sacrifices, was that they were cruel, illogical
and futile. Moreover, cow (especially a milch-cow) which most importantly contributed
towards agriculture, had been protected much earlier. In the Sutta-Nipata, "brahmanas
of old" are told as having regarded cows as their parents, brothers and kin,
as their best friends and as the source of all healthful things, and hence in
gratitude they never killed cows. Also the evidence provided by early Indian
Buddhist literature for the suppression of great animal sacrifices suggests that
outside the brahmanical circles, this practice was not particularly cherished
by the ordinary people.  Moreover, finding an association between two existing
realities, may itself be full of dangers. For example, if we go by the logic that
"society today needs a lowering of the birth rate, celibacy would contribute
to the lowering of the birth rate (therefore) the practice of celibacy in the
monastic orders of the country reflects the economic needs of the time."
 But we know this is not so.
If the statements of the Pali texts, which
presume to be a record of the Buddhavacana, are accepted at face value, it can
be argued that the Buddha allowed the eating of animal flesh. But are these portions
a later interpolation in the Pali literature? The view of flesh eating is sharply
criticized and contradicted by the Mahayana Sutras, also purporting to be the
spoken words of the Buddha, which categorically assert that flesh eating is contrary
to the spirit and intent of the first precept since it makes one an accessory
to the slaying of animals and therefore contravenes the compassionate concern
for all life that lies at the core of Buddhism. Is there reliable evidence that
the Buddha sanctioned flesh eating? Unfortunately no serious attempt has been
made by scholars to resolve the glaring discrepancy between the contentions of
the two branches of Buddhism on meat eating. Along with this also arises the question
as to whether the Buddha died of eating a piece of pork, as claimed by some scholars,
or from a poisonous mushroom, as asserted by others. If we go by the Pali Tipitaka
as it is, the Buddha did not put a ban on the eating of flesh. A monk is allowed
to accept "what has been put in his alms bowl." 
Buddhism allowed monks to eat meat with the following exceptions:
cases meat may not be eaten by a monk if he has (a) seen, (b) heard or (c) suspected
that the meat has been especially acquired for him by killing an animal i.e. the
animal has been killed on purpose for the monk. This rule is called the Rule
of Tikotiparisuddha (Pure in Three Ways).
2.Use of raw meat was not allowed.
But in case of sickness even "raw flesh and blood could be used."
3.The meat of the following ten beings is forbidden to be eaten by the
monks due to a variety of reasons involved in their eating:  man, elephant,
horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena.
The Rule of Tikotiparisuddha,
though restrained the monks from being instrumental in killing animals for meat
and to a small extent the"rules prohibiting the eating of meat of socially
disapproved beings made up for the limitations," yet the ancient Indian
Buddhist attitude towards meat-eating and ahijsa appears to be somewhat contradictory.
The Rule of Tikotiparisuddha may have absolved the monks of any sin, but the slaughterer
was very severely criticized by them. Thus, these days one often comes across
a large number of Theravadin monks savouring meat. They justify eating meat on
the grounds that not only that there are references in the Pali literature to
the Buddha allowing the eating of meat, but they invariably point out that the
Buddha, in fact, had died as a result of eating pork (which was putrid, and poisoned
the Buddha) at the home of one of his followers called Cunda. They further point
out that they gratefully accept whatever is put before them, without preference
or aversion. Various statements and actions of the Buddha are used to justify
the eating of meat, implying that if the Buddha himself ate flesh food when it
was offered to him, surely they have permission to do likewise. The relevant portion
of the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta reads as follows:
Then Cunda addressed
the Lord and Said, "May the Lord, together with the bhikkhus, do me the honour
of taking his meal, at my house tomorrow?" And the Lord gave his consent
by his silence... Now at the end of the night, Cunda, the smith, prepared at his
house sweet rice and cakes, and sukara-maddava. "
has been variously translated by scholars. Franke has translated it as "soft
(tender) boar's flesh." Arthur Waley gives four interpretations of sukara-maddava:
a pig's soft food (food eaten by a pig), pig's delight (a favourite food of a
pig), the soft parts of a pig, or pig-pounded (food trampled by pigs). There
are many compound words in Pali of which sukara (pig) forms a part, e.g., the
compound word sukara-sali is used in Pali literature for a kind of wild rice.
K.E. Neumann as quoted by Waley "has shown that in Narahari's Rajanighantu,
among the names of medical plants, there occurs a whole series of compound words
having 'pig' as their first element thus sukara-kanda, 'pig-bulb,' sukara-padika,
'pig's foot,' sukaresta, 'sought-out by pigs.' On the analogy of the last, Neumann
takes sukara-maddava to mean 'pig's delight,' and assumes that it is the name
of some kind of truffles...... Plant names tend to be local and dialectical. It
is quite likely that if such an expression as sukara-maddava meant"truffles"
in Magadha, it might, in more western and southern centres where Pali Buddhism
came into existence, have been entirely unknown and consequently misunderstood.T.W.
Rhys Davids, in fact, translated it as "quantity of truffles." The
word in Pali used for pork is sukaramajsaEdward Thomas correctly points out
that "The word... is not the obvious sukaramamsa, 'pig flesh,' which we would
expect if this were meant." C.A.F. Rhys Davids points out that, "A
food-compound of pig-flesh (sukaramajsa) does occur once in the scriptures, in
a sutta of a curiously unworthy kind, where a householder, in inviting Gotama
to dine, goes through quite a menu in a restrained detail! Maddava is nowhere
else associated with meat, and [T.W.] Rhys Davids' opinion appears to be logical
that we have here a dish... of a root, such as truffles, much sought by swine,
and which may have been called 'pig's joy.' Such a root we actually have- this
the critics did not know- in our "pignut,"... the little nut-shaped
bulbous roots of which, called also 'earthnuts,' are liked by both pigs and children.
Cunda had invited the Buddha to his house. He could not have offered
pork to the Buddha as it would have meant violation of the Tikotiparisuddha, even
if one were to accept that the Buddha made this rule. Regarding the meal requirements
of the Buddha, the would-be-donors of meals to the Buddha often consulted Ananda.
For example, this is amply clarified by a conversation between Ananda and a Brahmana
as mentioned in the Vinaya Pitaka:
"If I were to prepare, my dear
Ananda, rice-milk and honey-lumps (for the monks), would the reverend Gotama accept
it from me?"
"Well, my good Brahmana, I will ask the Blessed One."
And the venerable Ananda told this thing to the Blessed One.
let him prepare (those dishes)."
"Well, my good Brahmana, you may
prepare (those dishes)." 
To say that the Buddha sanctioned
meat-eating after having taken care of certain conditions is quite difficult to
accept. He who condemned animal sacrifices in the strongest possible language
and severely censored the bloody trades of slaughtering, hunting, and trapping,
is difficult to imagine savouring the flesh of the same animals. Each human being
who eats flesh, whether an animal is killed expressly for him or not, is supporting
the trade of slaughtering and contributing to the violent deaths of harmless animals.
Anyone familiar with the numerous accounts of the Buddha's extraordinary compassion
and reverence for living beings, for instance, his insistence that his monks carry
filters to strain the water they drink lest they inadvertently cause the death
of any micro-organisms in the water, could not have imagined that the Buddha allowed
their flesh to be eaten. Monks by virtue of their training, their strength of
character, and their life purpose are different and stronger than the laity and
better able to resist the pleasures of the senses to which ordinary people succumb.
It appears that monks and scribes interpolated the portions relating to meat-eating
into the Theravadin scriptures. For over 300 years the scriptures were transmitted
orally and as of now they do contain early and later portions.
In the Puttamajsa
Suttathe Buddha taught his disciples that material food (kabalavkara ahara)
should be taken not for pleasures (davaya), not for indulgence (madaya), not for
personal charm (mandanaya), not for comeliness (vibhusnaya), but for the sheer
necessity of living. While it is admitted that food is the main prerequisite for
existence, it is also acknowledged as a principal source of temptation, as an
object through which the sense of taste develops into craving. Hence, on numerous
occasions temperance with regard to food is advocated, although never to the extent
of self-mortification (attakilamatha). The ideal monk is described as controlled
in deed and word, restrained in food for the stomach (kayagutto, vacigutto, ahare
dare yato) with light stomach, moderate in food, easily satisfied, and undisturbed
(unudaro, mitaharo, appicch'assa alolupo). On the other hand, a person who
is immoderate as to food is described as one who thoughtlessly and unwisely takes
food for the sake of amusement, pride, decoration, ornamentation, insatiability,
immoderation and thoughtlessness as to food. 
A religion that bases it
philosophy on metta, karuna, upekha, and mudita directed towards the welfare of
all creatures (sabbapana-bhuta-hitanukampin) whose founder rising daily surveyed
the world to look for beings to be worthy of his mercy and help, could not
have sanctioned meat-eating. A good Buddhist who is expected to be intent upon
compassion (karunadhimutta) cannot be expected to live by eating meat acquired
in whatever manner. Thus, to put the flesh of an animal into one's belly makes
one an accessory to the act of its slaughter, simply because if cows, sheep, fowl,
and fish, to mention the most common, were not eaten they would not be killed.
With the exception of butchers, hunters and fishermen, who kill the food they
eat, the majority of flesh eaters are only indirectly responsible for the violence
to and destruction of animals. This, however, does not make them less answerable
to the first precept. Thus, all those portions of the Pali Tipitaka which condone
meat-eating directly as well as indirectly (including the Rule of Tikotiparisuddha)
must be seen as interpolations made by meat-eating bhikkhus after the death of
 Atha yat tapo danam arjavam ahijsa satya-vacanam
iti, ta asya daksinah (Chandogya Up.III.17.4).
 Christopher S. Queen, "The
Peace Wheel: Nonviolent Activism in the Buddhist Tradition," D.L. Smith-Christopher
(ed) Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions,
Boston: Boston Research Center for the 21st Century, 1998:25-28.
85, 193 D.I.4, III.68, 70, 149, 182, 235 M.I.361, III.23 Sn.242 KhA.26 It.63 J.III.181
Pug.39 DA.I.69 PvA.27f, 33.
 The other four precepts being:
2. not to take what is not given 3. not to engage in improper sexuality 4. not
to lie 5. not to cause others to use liquors or drugs that confuse or weaken the
mind nor to do so oneself.
in one of the verses of the Dhammapada,(v275) it has been pointed out that one
does not become noble through the killing of living beings, but through ahijsa
towards all of them ("Na tena ariyo hoti, yena panani hijsati,/ Ahijsa sabbapananaj,
 "Hatred never ceases by hatred in this
world. Through loving kindness it comes to an end. This is an ancient law."
(Dh.v5). "Who kills not, nor aught causes to be killed,/Who robs not, not
makes others rob, for all/ Within his heart hath share, he hateth none."(GS.IV.104.)
"The sage who injures none/ who aye controls himself,/ Goes to the everlasting
state/ where those who go don't grieve." (Dh.v225.)"Gotama's disciples
are always well awake/ Both day and night their minds in harmlessness delight."
(Dh.v300)"With all am I a friend, comrade to all,/ And to all creatures kind
and merciful/ A heart of amity I cultivate,/And ever in good-will is my delight."
 A. Huxley, "The Kurudhamma: From
Ethics to Statecraft."Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Vol. 2,1995: 191-203.
 Pacittiya nos. 10 & 11.
 SBE.XVII.30 XX.128.
 BD.III.3 J.I.83.
KS.II.171, A.III.383 Pug.56 PugA.233 PvA.
 H. Sadhatissa: Buddhist Ethics:Essence of Buddhism, New York:
G. Braziller, 1970: 89.
I.B. Horner:"Early Buddhism and Taking of Life," D.R. Bhandarkar, K.A.
Nilakanta Sastri et al (eds), B.C. Law Volume, I, Calcutta, 1945: 443.
 SBE.XIII.196, 230.
 See, for
example, A.II.116 III.89, 100, 161 J.II.276.
See, for example, amongst others R.S. Sharma: Material Culture and Social Formation
in Ancient India, first edition, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1983, paperback
reprint, Madras: Macmillan, 1992: 96.
 I.B. Horner, Op. Cit.: 440.
 I.B. Horner, Op. Cit.: 442.
G.C. Pande:"On the Question of the Social Origins of Buddhism,"Mahesh
Tiwary (ed), Bodhi-Rawmi, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1984: 6.
C.S. Prasad, Op. Cit: 104-05.
 PED: s.v. Sukara. H.
Oldenberg (Ibid) and Fleet (JRAS: 1906: 656, 881) agree with him.
Morris, Madly Singing in the Mountains: An Appreciation and Anthology of Arthur
 Quoted at R.P. Kapleau: 24.
sampanna-kolav sukaramajsa (pork with jujube) at A.III.49.
 E.J. Thomas,
The Life of the Buddha, London: Routledge, 1949: 149.
 C.A.F. Rhys Davids,
A Manual of Buddhism, London: Sheldon, 1932: 260.
 S.I.172 Sn.78.
 Ibid. 707.
 Pu.21 tr.31.
S.IV.314 A.II.210, III.92, IV.249 Pug.57, 68.
 D.II.237 Ps.I.126f PvA.61,
A The Avguttata Nikaya,
ed. R. Morris & E. Hardy, 5 vols. London: PTS, 1885-1900. Translated references
are from the Book of Gradual Saying, Tr. F.L. Woodward vols. I II & V E. M.
Hare, vols. III & IV, London: PTS, 1955-1970 (Reprints).
BD The Book of
the Discipline, tr. I.B. Horner, 6 vols. London: PTS, 1938-1966.
D. The Digha
Nikaya, ed. T.W. Rhys Davids & J.E. Carpenter, 3 vols., London: PTS: 1890-1911.
Translated references are from Dialogues of the Buddha, tr. T.W. & C.A.F.
Rhys Davids, 3 vols, London: SBB: 1899, 1910, 1957 (reprints).
DA The Sumavgalavilasini,
Buddha-ghosa's commentary on the Digha Nikaya, ed. T.W. Rhys Davids, J.E. Carpentier
& W. Stede, 3 vols, London: PTS, 1886-1971.
DB Dialogues of the Buddha,
tr. T.W. & C.A.F. Rhys Davids, 3 vols, London: SBB: 1899, 1910, 1957 (reprints).
The Dhammapada, ed. & Tr. Narada Thera, Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary
GS The Book of Gradual Saying, Tr. F.L. Woodward vols. I II
& V E.M.Hare, vols. III & IV, London: PTS, 1955-1970 (Reprints).
Indologica Taurinensia, Turin.
J The Jataka, ed. V. Fausbhll, 7 vols, London:
Trubner & Co: 1977-1897. The translated references are from Cowell et al,
6 vols. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1895-1907.
KhA The Khuddaka-patha
Commentary, ed. London: PTS: 1915.
KS The Book of Kindred Saying, tr. C.A.F.
Rhys Davids and S.S. Thera, vol. I C.A.F. Rhys Davids & F.L. Woodward vol.
II F.L. Woodward vols. III, IV, V, London: PTS, 1950-1956 (Reprints).
Majjhima Nikaya, ed. V. Trenckner & R. Chelmers, 3 vols, London: PTS: 1888-1896.
The translated references are from the Book of Middle Length Sayings, tr. I.B.
Horner, 3 vols, London: PTS: 1954-1959.
MLS The Book of Middle Length Sayings,
tr. I.B. Horner, 3 vols, London: PTS: 1954-1959.
PED Pali-English Dictionary,
ed. T.W. Rhys Davids & W. Stede, London: PTS: 1921-25.
Ps The Patisambhidamagga,
ed. A.C. Taylor, 2 vols, London: PTS: 1905, 1907.
PTS Pali Text Society.
The Puggalapabbatti, ed. London:PTS:1883.
PuA The Puggalapabbatti Commentary,
ed. London: JPTS: 1914
PvA The Petavatthu Commentary, ed. London:PTS:1894.
The Sajyutta Nikaya, ed M.L. Feer, 5 vols, London: PTS: 1884-1898. The translated
references are from the Book of Kindred Saying, tr. C.A.F. Rhys Davids and S.S.
Thera, vol. I C.A.F. Rhys Davids & F.L. Woodward vol. II F.L. Woodward vols.
III, IV, V, London: PTS, 1950-1956 (Reprints).
SBE The Sacred Book of the East,
50 vols., ed. F. Max Muller, reprint, Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass.
Sn The Sutta-Nipata,
ed. V. Fausbh ll, London: PTS, 1885.
Th. The Theragatha, ed. K.R.Norman &
L. Alsdorf London: PTS, 1966.
Vin The Vinaya Piaka, ed. H. Oldenberg, 5 vols,
London: PTS: 1879-1883. The translated references are from the Book of the Discipline,
tr. I.B. Horner, 6 vols. London: PTS, 1938-1966.