A Spiritual Perspective, Part 5

In the Secret Mantrayana or Vajrayana, these acts of taking life and eating meat become even more serious than in the Mahayana. These days many ignorant people say, “Meat and alcohol are samaya substances” and carelessly partake of them. What kind of practitioners of the vajrayana are these? They appear even viler than common, non-spiritual lay people.

Pawo Tsuklak Trengwa said,

In brief, the genuine Dharma is virtuous in the beginning, virtuous in the middle and virtuous in the end. It is taught that in the beginning one definitely needs to abandon certain actions. It is not possible that later one would need to practice contrary to that.

In the beginning the compassionate teacher skilled in means taught in a coarse way about action and result, abandoning wrong doing, embracing virtue, and presented the result of the peaceful path. Elaborating on these, the teachings gradually became more and more subtle and profound. Finally, he taught that all of these completely fall under the nature of emptiness and compassion. Since this is the defining characteristic of Buddhist teachings, actions that harm sentient beings must be completely abandoned. Even in the lower classes of the tantras of the secret mantra it is said that a mere trace of meat, alcohol, garlic, onions, etc. is not appropriate to be mixed with one’s food. Particularly, there is never a time when eating meat and killing would be permitted.

From the yoga tantra tradition,

One should not drink alcohol.
One should not eat meat and the like.
One should not harm sentient beings.
These acts should never be engaged in.

And,

Even if one comes to die, this is easy.
The killing of living beings isn’t so.
From the Twofold Hevajra Tantra,
One should not kill.
By merely harming sentient beings
One will not be able to master the supreme siddhi.

Thus, it is also explained in all the other tantras.

The unexcelled mantra has superior means, and even though there is a need for the samaya substances of the five meats and so forth, these do not come from causing suffering for animals or by garnering flesh and blood by killing. From the teachings on the twenty-five tantric vows that vajrayanists certainly need to protect, the first is abandoning killing and the seventh is abandoning eating meat, an inadmissible food. In general, yak meat, fish, and the like are not appropriate meats for a samaya substance. Samaya substances come from animals for which there is no tradition of killing for food, such as dogs, and should come from a being that has died naturally.

Pawo Tsuklak Trengwa said,

Flesh and blood killed per one’s request and flesh and blood obtained by trading are not samaya substances. Because for these, by the mere existence an eater, there is a killer. Therefore the killed meat that you got or bought is tainted by thoughts of duality. It is therefore inadmissible meat and a tantric practitioner is not permitted to eat it as a samaya substance. Something that has died naturally in a place where such a being is never killed for the purpose of food, something that just happened to die or that which has been discarded is easy to find and admissible. Therefore, a yogi partakes of these as being equal in taste to primordial wisdom not bound by clinging to tastes of delicious or not delicious, good or bad. In the noble land of India there was no killing of the so-called five meats for the purpose of food so it was permitted to use them.

In some places if some of the five meats are killed for food, then these should be abandoned, and in their place one should use meat from an animal for which there is no custom of killing. As explained in the Kalachakra Tantra, at one time in the country of Tibet, as cattle were killed for the purpose of meat, the meat of a crow should used as a replacement. This would be in accordance with the meaning. In brief whether one is a sutrayana practitioner or a mantrayana practitioner, murdered flesh and blood is an inadmissible food and definitely needs to be abandoned.

 

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