Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
II. Majjhima Paṇṇāsa
1. Gahapati Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume V
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part IV

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume I

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers
G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1926
Public Domain

Sutta 55

Jīvaka Suttaɱ

Lawful and Unlawful Meats

 


[368] [264]

[1][pts][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once when the Lord was staying Rājagaha in the mango-grove of Jīvaka Komārabhacca,
Jīvaka
came to the Lord and, after salutations,
took his seat at one side, saying:

I hear [265] it is being said, sir,
that people slay animals
expressly for the recluse Gotama,
who wittingly eats meat
expressly meant for him
and deliberately provided for him.

Now, in so saying,
are people accurately quoting the Lord's own words
and not misrepresenting him?

Are they stating what is congruent with the Doctrine?

And is there no plausible version of your utterance
which provokes criticism?

[369] Those who talk like that
are not accurately quoting words of mine, Jīvaka,
but are wrongfully misrepresenting me
in defiance of fact.

I forbid the eating of meat in three cases, -
if there is the evidence
either of your eyes
or of your ears
or if there are grounds of suspicion.

And in three cases I allow it, -
if there is no evidence
either of your eyes
or of your ears
and if there be no grounds of suspicion.

Take the case, Jīvaka, of an Almsman,
supported by a village or a township,
who dwells with radiant goodwill
pervading one quarter of the world -
a second -
a third -
and then the fourth quarter,
pervading the whole length and breadth of the world -
above, below, around, everywhere -
with radiant goodwill
all-embracing,
vast,
boundless,
wherein no hate or malice finds a place.

To this Almsman comes a householder
or his son
with an invitation to to-morrow's meal.

If he so desires, the Almsman accepts,
and next morning,
when the night is over,
duly robed and bowl in hand,
he makes his way to the house,
takes the seat set for him,
and is served with an excellent meal.

No thought comes to him
that he could have wished his host
either to desist now,
or to desist in future,
from furnishing so excellent a meal;
he eats his food without greed
or blind desire
but with a full consciousness of the dangers it involves
and with full knowledge that it affords no refuge.

Do you think that at such a time
that Almsman's thoughts are set on hurting himself,
or others,
or both?

NO, sir.

Is not that Almsman then eating food
to which no blame attaches?

[266] Yes, sir.

I had heard that Brahmā's state
is one of good-will,
and now I have direct testimony of my own; -
for the Lord's state is one of good-will.

In the truth-finder all passion,
[370] all hatred,
and all delusion
that could breed hurtfulness
have all been grubbed up by the roots,
like the cleared site
where once a palm-tree grew,
a thing that once has been
and now can be no more.

If this was the purport of your remark, Jīvaka,
I agree.

Yes, sir; that was what I meant.

Take the case of an Almsman,
supported by a village or a township,
who dwells with radiant pity -
sympathy -
poised equanimity -
pervading one quarter of the world -
a second - ...
food to which no blame attaches?

Yes, sir.

I have heard that Brahmā's state
is one of poise.

I have the testimony of my own eyes for the Lord
that his state is one of poise.

In the truth-finder all passion,
all hatred,
and all delusion
which could breed annoyance
or dislikes
or aversions
have all been grubbed up ...
I agree.

[371] Yes, sir;
that was what I meant.

Whoso takes life expressly for the truth-finder
or for a disciple of his,
is storing up much demerit for himself in five respects.

First, in that he orders a particular living creature to be fetched.

Secondly, in that this living creature,
by being fetched,
experiences pain of mind and body.

Thirdly, in that he orders it to be killed.

Fourthly, in that, in being killed,
that living creature experiences pain of mind and body.

And fifthly, in that he offends the truth-finder
or a disciple of his
by offering him what is improper.

Hereupon, Jīvaka Komārabhacca said:

It is wonderful, sir;
it is marvellous!

Strictly correct is the Almsman's eating,
strictly correct and blameless.

Excellent, sir; excellent!

Just as a man might set upright again what had been cast down ...
I ask the Lord to accept me as a follower
who has found an abiding refuge
from this day onward while life lasts.


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