Chinese Buddhism, by Joseph Edkins, , at sacred-texts.com
The Ten virtues and Ten vices—The cause of human stupidity is in the passions—The Five prohibitions—The Ten prohibitions—Klaproth's praise of Buddhism—But it is atheistic, and therefore this praise should be qualified—Kindness to animals based on the fiction of transmigration—Buddhism teaches compassion for suffering without inculcating obedience to divine law—Story of Shakyamuni—Sin not distinguished from misery—Buddhists teach that the moral sense is innate—They assign a moral nature to animals—The Six paths of the metempsychosis—Hindoo notions of heaven and hell—Countless ages of joy and suffering—Examples—Exemption from punishment gained by meritorious actions—Ten kings of future judgment—Fate or Karma—Buddhism depreciates heaven and the gods—Buddha not God, but a Saviour—Moral influence of the Paradise of the Western heaven—Figurative interpretation of this legend—The contemplative school identifies good and evil—No moral distinctions in the Nirvâna—Buddhism has failed to produce high morality—The Confucianist condemnation of the Buddhists—Mr. P. Hordern's praise of Buddhism in Birmah—The Birmese intellectually inferior to the Chinese—Kindness to animals known to the Chinese before they received Buddhism—Buddha's reasons for not eating flesh.
THE books of primitive Buddhism exhibit a higher moral tone than is found in the larger works full of metaphysical abstractions, which succeeded them. The "Book of Forty-two Sections," translated in the first century, and belonging to the former class, speaks of Ten vices and Ten virtues as belonging to mankind. The vices are: three of the body—killing, stealing, and adultery; four of the lips—slandering, reviling, lying, and elegant words (uttered
with a vicious intention); three of the mind—jealousy, hatred, and "folly" (ch‘ï), the last of which includes not believing in "the Honoured Three" (Buddha, Dharma, Sanga), and holding erroneous opinions. The opposites of these are the Ten virtues.
In the same work Buddha says: "That which causes the stupidity and delusion of man is love and the desires." "Man having many faults, if he does not repent, but allows his heart to be at rest, sins will rush upon him like water to the sea. When vice has thus become more powerful it is still harder than before to abandon it. If a bad man becomes sensible of his faults, abandons them and acts virtuously, his sin will day by day diminish and be destroyed, till he obtains full enlightenment."
In the work Kiau-ch‘eng-fa-shu, the three vices of the mind are described as—covetousness, hatred, and folly. The Ten virtues that correspond to the Ten vices are there stated to be—preserving life, almsgiving, a "pure and virtuous life" (fan-hing), peaceful words, yielding words, truthful words, plain unadorned words, abstinence from quarrelling, mercy, and "acting from good causes" (yin-yuen).
Hardy, in describing the Buddhism of Ceylon, states the four sins of speech to be—lying, slander, abuse, and unprofitable conversation. The three sins of the mind he states to be—covetousness, malice, and scepticism.
The disciple of Buddha, whether he enters a monastery or wears the prescribed dress and continues in the family, must pledge himself to the five following things:—(1.) not to kill; (2.) not to steal; (3.) not to commit adultery; (4.) not to lie; (5.) not to drink wine. These are called Wu-kiai, "The five prohibitions." In Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, five evils to be avoided are mentioned—viz., (1.) drinking intoxicating liquors; (2.) gambling; (3.) idleness; (4.) improper association; (5.) frequenting places of amusement.
In the work called Sheng-t‘ien-shïh-kiai-king, "The book
of birth in heaven through keeping the ten prohibitions," a Deva informs Buddha that he was born in the "heaven of the Thirty-three Devas" (that of Indra Shakra), as a reward for reverencing the "Three Precious Ones" (Buddha, the Law, and the Priesthood), for not inflicting death, or stealing, or committing adultery, or slandering, or deceiving, or lying, or drinking wine, or eating flesh, or coveting, or holding false opinions.
In the work Kiau-ch‘eng fa-shu, the Ten prohibitions are stated to be:—(1.) killing; (2.) stealing; (3.) adultery; (4.) lying; (5.) selling wine; (6.) speaking of others' faults; (7.) praising one's-self and defaming others; (8.) parsimony joined with scoffing; (9.) anger, and refusing to be corrected; (10.) reviling the Three Precious Ones.
In the comment on the Fan-wang-king, a work of the Great Development school in the Discipline division, by Chï-hiü, the Ten prohibitions are identified with the Ten vices, but in the text the prohibitions are given as in the last quotation.
Other lists of prohibitions might be transcribed amounting to two hundred and fifty, and even higher numbers. For these it will be sufficient to refer to the works already mentioned.
Klaproth, having in view these moral precepts, and their effects on the character of nations, speaks of Buddhism as being of all religions next to Christianity in elevating the human race.
He says: "The wild nomades of Central Asia have been changed by it into amiable and virtuous men, and its beneficent influence has been felt even in Northern Siberia."
The beneficent influence of this religion would have been much greater had it recognised the love and fear of God as the first of all the virtues. Buddhism, by ascribing the creation, continuance, and destruction of the world to an ever-changing fate, avoided the necessity of admitting a supreme God. This was the side the Buddhists took in their controversies with the Brahmans in India.
Atheism is one point in the faith of the Southern Buddhists. By the Chinese Buddhists each world is held to be presided over by an individual Buddha, but they do not hold that one supreme spirit rules over the whole collection of worlds. Klaproth affirms that, according to, the Buddhists and the other Hindoos, "the universe is animated by a single spirit, individualised under innumerable forms, 'by' (par) matter which does not exist except in illusion." This spirit, however, is not God, the universal Creator and Preserver, and separated from the world by His everlasting personality.
Good has resulted doubtless in many instances from the prominent exhibition made by this system of the virtues and vices enumerated. But much more good would have been done if they had rested on a better basis, and been supported by a different view of the future state. The crime of killing rests chiefly on the doctrine of metempsychosis, which ascribes the same immortal soul to animals that it does to man. Faithful Buddhists are told not to kill the least insect, lest in so doing they should cause death to some deceased relative or ancestor whose soul animates the insect. On this account the corresponding virtue is stated to be fang-sheng, "to save life," constantly applied by the Buddhist priests and common people of China to the preservation of the lives of animals. The monks are vegetarians for the same reasons. They abstain from flesh because they will not share in the slaughter of living beings. They also construct reservoirs of water near the monasteries, in which fish, snakes, tortoises, and small shell-fish, brought by worshippers of Buddha, are placed to preserve them from death. Goats and other land animals are also given over sometimes to the care of the monks, and it is a custom in some monasteries, as at T‘ien-t‘ung, near Ningpo, to feed a bird with a few grains of rice just before the morning meal has commenced. When the priest appears at the door, the little bird, which is watching in the neighbourhood,
and knows how to act on the occasion, flies to receive the gift.
In the Buddhist account of human sins and duties no obligation is included except the duty of lessening the sum of human misery and promoting happiness. This accords with the anecdote already related of Shakyamuni in his youth. His father, remembering the forewarning of a hermit, that the prince his son would wish to abandon the world, erected for him three palaces, where everything fascinating was placed to keep him from such a purpose. The son of a Deva came down to praise the beauty of the gardens and groves.
But the prince, then eighteen years old, wished to go out and see the city. The king sent him with a wise minister to attend him. A Deva appeared at one of the city gates transformed into an old man resting on a staff. At another gate a Deva appeared as a sick person in pain and helpless. At another gate he saw a corpse attacked by ravens—also a Deva. The prince asked in each case the reason of what he saw. The wise counsellor told him these sufferings came from the natural state of the world, and could not be avoided. People must grow old, must suffer from sickness, and must die. The prince was not satisfied, and the next day, seeing a Deva dressed as a monk, he dismounted from his horse and asked him who he was. The reply was, "A Shamen 1 who has left the world." The prince asked him why he had left the world. He said, because he saw men exposed to the evils of birth, old age, sickness, and death; he therefore left the world to seek truth and save living beings. The disguised Deva then ascended into the air and disappeared.
At nineteen, assisted by the Devas, Shakyamuni is said to have gone through the air on horseback two hundred and fifty miles to Baga, a mountain belonging to the
[paragraph continues] Himalayas. Here he lived as a hermit for six years, and became prepared for the office he was to assume.
According to the view thus presented of the great object of Buddha's teaching, it is to deliver men from suffering. This is done by persuading them to enter on the monastic or hermit life, and act in obedience to the directions of Buddha. This system looks on mankind as involved in misery rather than guilt. The Ten vices are rather to be regarded as faults, into which men fall from delusion and ignorance, than positive sins. The common people in China, whose phraseology is extensively infected with Buddhist ideas, see in every attack of sickness, and in other misfortunes, a close connection with "sin" (tsui). They hold that sin is the cause of suffering. Yet they do not mean by this wilful sin, but some improper act done unconsciously, or in childhood, as treading on an insect, wasting rice-crumbs, or misusing paper that has the native characters upon it. Or they refer the calamity to the sins of a former life. Hence they regard themselves as more to be pitied than blamed for the tsui or "sin" of which their ill fortune gives evidence.
This is an example of the mode in which the better tendencies of the Buddhist system are neutralised by its omissions. Its moral precepts, good as most of them are, would have more power, and the true character of sin be more felt by the people, if the authority of God were recognised as the great reason for acting well—the source of moral obligation.
Buddhism shook the faith of the Chinese in Heaven as a personal ruler, and put the Buddhas and Bodhisattwas in the place of that personal ruler. The effect of Buddhism in part was to urge the Chinese mind to see in Heaven only impersonal and material power. Thus the good effect of its moral teaching was neutralised; and then the Chinese had good moral teaching before.
The question that has been raised by European moralists as to whether man has from his natural constitution an
inborn moral sense, is decided by the Buddhists, though without holding a controversy on the subject, in the affirmative. They may be said to appeal to a natural conscience, when they teach that all men have within them a good moral nature, and that this principle of good is only prevented from making men virtuous and happy by contact with the world and the delusions of the senses. This is similar to the Confucian doctrine, that all men are born good, and it is only by falling into evil habits subsequently that they become vicious. Most systems of morals, indeed, 1 in words or by implication, admit the existence of conscience, because all men possess it, and cannot be made to understand moral distinctions without it. 2 The existence of a system of virtues and vices shows the operation of conscience on the maker of it, as the use of that system in moral instruction involves an appeal to conscience in the disciple. The identification of conscience, however, with natural goodness, by the Confucianists and the Buddhists, obscures its true character as the judge between right and wrong. And to tell men that they are naturally good is not only assuming, in compliment to human nature, a fact that should be proved, but it is also likely to induce those who are thus taught to look leniently on their own vices as originating solely in the influences of the outside world. The feebleness of the Buddhist appeal to conscience, as the source of moral obligation, is further increased by its assigning the same originally good nature to each member of the animal creation that it does to man.
The motives to well-doing, drawn from a future state of retribution in this system, are derived from the Hindoo popular account of heaven and hell. The Six life-paths into which living beings can be born are—(1.) "Devas"
[paragraph continues] (gods); (2.) men; (3.) "Asuras" (monsters); (4.) "hell" (naraka); (5.) hungry ghosts; (6.) animals. The first three are assigned to the good, the latter three to the wicked. The moral action is called yin (cause), and its recompense kwo (fruit). All beings, whether virtuous or vicious, continue to be re-born in one of these six states, until saved by the teaching of Buddha.
Buddha said: "To leave the three evil states is difficult. When the state of man has been attained, to leave the female sex and be born in the male, is difficult. To have the senses and mind and body all sound is hard. When this is attained, to be born in Central India is hard." He continues to say, that to meet Buddha and be instructed, to be born in the time of a good king, to be born in the family of a Bodhisattwa, and to believe with the heart in the Three Honoured Ones, are all difficult.
Buddha said, 1 in a discourse delivered in the heaven of Indra Shakra, that whatever good man or woman heard the name of Ti-tsang Bodhisattwa, and in consequence performed an act of praise or worship, or repeated that Bodhisattwa's name, or made an offering to him, or drew a picture of him, such a person would certainly be born in the heaven of Indra Shakra.
The same Bodhisattwa tells the mother of Buddha, who resides in the paradise just mentioned, that “disobedience to parents, with slaying, and wounding, are punished with an abode in the place of suffering called Wu-kien-ti-yü. Slandering the Three Precious Ones, or wounding the person of Buddha, or dishonouring the sacred books, or breaking the vows, or stealing from a monk, are punished in a similar way. Their punishment will last for ten millions of millions of kalpas. Then their sin being compensated for by sufficient suffering, they will be released.
"If a woman with an ugly countenance and sickly constitution prays to this Bodhisattwa, she will, for a million of kalpas, be born with a beautiful countenance." If any
men or women perform music before the image of the same deity, sing, and offer incense, they shall have hundreds and thousands of spirits to protect them day and night, so that no unpleasant sound may enter their ears. Any one who slanders or ridicules a worshipper of this Bodhisattwa will be transported to the "Avichi naraka" (O-pi ti-yü) till the end of this kalpa. He will then be born a wandering hungry ghost, and, after a thousand kalpas become an animal. After a thousand kalpas more he will again become a man.
Such are a few specimens of the doctrine of retribution as taught to the popular mind. It is easy to see that such sensual conceptions of the future existence of man must degrade the common notions of the people on duty and virtue. The objects for which the common people in China worship in the Buddhist temples are almost all of a very inferior nature. Religious worship, which ought to concern the recovery of man to pure virtue, and the restoration of direct communication with God by the forgiveness of sin, is changed into an instrument for acquiring various kinds of material happiness.
The opinion the Buddhists hold on the forgiveness of sin is, that it can be attained by repentance and meritorious actions. A definite amount of gifts and worship will gain the removal of a corresponding amount of sin and its attendant suffering. Thus, a filial daughter, by a certain number of days spent in worshipping a Bodhisattwa, or a Buddha, can obtain the rescue of a mother from hell.
In the popular view of the future state, the Hindoo king of death, "Yama" (Yen-lo) holds a high place as the administrator of the punishments of hell. Nine others are joined with him of Chinese origin. They are called the Ten kings. The wicked at death are conducted to them to receive judgment.
The decree by which men are born into the Six states of the metempsychosis is merely that of fate, expressed in the words yin-kwo, "cause and effect," or, employing one
factor only, yin-yuen, "causation," or "fate" (karma). "Good actions" are also sometimes called yin-yuen, because they ultimately bring happiness to the doer.
The motive to a good life, drawn from heavenly happiness, cannot be considered a strong one, when the Devas and their felicity are systematically depreciated, as they are in Buddhism. The "Devas" (or popular Hindoo gods; in Chinese, t‘ien) are all mortal, and limited in power. The state of man may be so elevated as to approach to that of the paradise of the Devas. Some men attain to nearly the same power as the gods, e.g., Krishna. Southey, in the Curse of Kehama, has made that personage, although a man, a terror to the kings of the Devas, and such a representation is in accordance with Hindoo notions. So in Chinese Buddhist temples, the visitor sees the highest of celestial beings listening humbly to Buddha.
It may be said that it is not correct to institute or imply a parallel between God as He is in the view of the Christian, and the Hindoo deities. It may be said that a parallel between God and Buddha would be more just. But Buddha is a world-born man, who washes away his sins like others, by penances, offerings, and the teaching of some enlightened instructor. He is not said to create the universe, nor to act as the judge of mankind. He is simply a teacher of the most exalted kind, who, by superior knowledge, passes out of the world of delusion, and gradually attains the Nirvâna. His attitude towards his disciples is simply that of an instructor, not an authoritative superior. The tie by which the disciple is attached to him is that of voluntary not compulsory obedience.
In fact, the character ascribed to Buddha is rather that of a Saviour than that of God. The object of his life and teaching is to rescue living beings from their misery. While such is the character of Buddha as he is described in books, he is, as an object of popular worship, like the great Bodhisattwas, simply regarded as a powerful divinity.
A brief notice will here be taken of the ethical views of some of the Chinese sects. The Tsing-tu school substitutes a paradise of purely Buddhist invention for that of Hindoo mythology. It makes birth in the Western heaven, the abode of Amitabha Buddha, the reward of virtue. The description of this paradise consists entirely of things pleasing to the senses. It is popularly regarded as real, but the founder of the Yün-ts‘i school in his commentary on the "Amitabha Sutra," 1 explains it as figurative. According to this explanation, the Western heaven means the moral nature, confirmed, pure, and at rest. Amitabha means the mind, clear, and enlightened. The rows of trees mean the mind cultivating the virtues. The music means the harmony of virtues in the mind. The flowers, and particularly the lotus, mean the mind opening to consciousness and intelligence. The beautiful birds mean the mind becoming changed and renovated.
It is evident that, on adopting this mode of commenting on the fable of the Western heaven, it cannot any longer be honestly held out as a future state of reward, to attract men to good actions.
The object of this figurative interpretation of the Western paradise of Amitabha was, doubtless, to redeem the Tsing-tu school from the discredit into which it had fallen, by abandoning the Nirvâna in favour of a sensual heaven. The original inventors of the fiction must also have had such a notion of it as that here given, while they did not try to prevent its being accepted as real by the ignorant and uninquiring.
In the contemplative school, founded by Bodhidharma, the distinction of vice and virtue is lost. To the mind that is given up to its own abstract meditations, the outer world becomes obliterated. A person who attends simply to his own heart may revile Buddha without sin, for nothing is sin to him. He does not make offerings or pray. All actions are the same to him. This system;
however, is not in opposition to ethical distinctions. It only aims to enter a higher sphere. It seeks to attain a sort of Nirvâna even in the present life.
In the books of this school, as in others where the unreality of all sensible phenomena is maintained, virtue and vice occupy an inferior position. These notions only come into existence through the imperfection of the present state. They disappear altogether when an escape from it is effected, by admission into the higher region of pure enlightenment. Virtue and vice, life and death, happiness and misery, the antithetical states originated in the world of delusions to which we belong, are all condemned together as constituting a lower state of existence. All beings should strive to be freed from them, and to rise by Buddha's teaching to that perfection where every such diversity, moral or physical, will be lost in unity. The Nirvâna does not admit any such distinctions as those just mentioned. It is absolute and pure illumination, without anything definite attached to it, whether good or evil, pain or pleasure. Thus there is no place for ethics, except in the lower modes of life.
It is common for intelligent priests in China of the contemplative school to defend their system of idolatry by saying that they do not worship images themselves. They are intended for the ignorant who cannot comprehend the deeper principles of their religion. Religion being purely a matter of the heart, offerings and prostrations are really unnecessary. This exemplifies how what is regarded as a highly virtuous action in the common people, ceases to be so in the case of one who, as he thinks, has made some progress towards the state of Buddha. According to this view the consistent Buddhist will offer worship to no being whatever. He simply aims to raise himself above all the common feelings of human life.
We cannot wonder that the Buddhist system of ethics having such deficiencies and such faults as have been pointed out, has failed to produce high morality among its
votaries. The mass of the people have gained from it the notion of a future retribution, but what is the use of this when the promised state beyond death consists merely of clumsy fiction? The metempsychosis, administered by a moral fate, has only provided them with a convenient means for charging their sinfulness and their misfortunes on a former life. What virtue the people have among them is due to the Confucian system. Buddhism has added to it only idolatry, and a false view of the future state, but has not contributed to make the people more virtuous.
Klaproth complains of "a worthy and learned English missionary" (Dr. Marshman of Serampore) for saying, "Unhappily for mankind, Buddhism . . . was now fitted to spread its baneful influence to any extent."
These modes of expression are not, however, by any means too strong to describe the effects of this religion in China if we accept the Confucianist view of Buddhism. No thorough-going disciple of Confucius would think this language too strong if only Buddhism be judged from the standpoint of political and social morality. Surely if the Confucianist cannot see how the monk, who forsakes his family and his duties as a working citizen, is to be excused from heavy condemnation, the Christian also may be permitted to criticise with severity a system which denies the authority of God, identifies the moral nature of men and animals, teaches mankind to look to man instead of to God for redemption, and amuses the imagination with the most monstrous fictions of the unseen world and of the future state.
The morality of Buddhism has received very high praise from more recent writers. Professor Max Müller says, "The moral code of Buddhism is one of the most perfect the world has ever known." Mr. P. Hordern, the Director of Public Instruction in Birmah, says, “The poor heathen is guided in his daily life by precepts older and not less noble than the precepts of Christianity. Centuries
before the birth of Christ men were taught by the life and doctrine of one of the greatest men who ever lived lessons of the purest morality. The child was taught to obey his parents and to be tender of all animal life, the man to love his neighbour as himself, to be true and just in all his dealings, and to look beyond the vain shows of the world for true happiness. Every shade of vice was guarded by special precepts. Love in its widest sense of universal charity was declared to be the mother of all the virtues, and even the peculiarly Christian precepts of the forgiveness of injuries and the meek acceptance of insult were already taught in the farthest East.
"Throughout Birmah it is a daily thing to see men, women, and children kneeling on the road side, their hands clasped, and their faces turned devoutly to a distant pagoda; while at the weekly festivals, or the full moons, the devotions of the mass of the population is among the most interesting spectacles in the whole East."
It is otherwise in China. Though the Buddhists have good precepts they are very much neglected, even in the teaching. Books containing hard metaphysical dogma such as the non-existence of matter, form much more the subject of daily reading. The monks are subject constantly to the Confucianist criticism that they are not filial to parents nor useful working members of the commonwealth. A widely-extended monastic system does not approve itself to the Chinese political consciousness any more than it has done to European governments in times of revolution. The charge of laziness and neglect of social duties was made the ground of persecution in former days. At present, while Confucianism has ceased to persecute Buddhism, it has never withdrawn its indictment against it on the ground of morality. Indeed, all the force of the moral teaching of the Chinese is in Confucianism and not in Buddhism. It is the moral sense of the Chinese themselves that is energetic and influential so far as they are really a moral people. The Buddhist
moral code is feebleness itself compared with the Confucianist. This is partly because it is entangled by the coexistence with it of monkery as a life, and of the metempsychosis and metaphysical nihilism as dogma.
Then in regard to the power of Buddhism to elevate a people above the vain shows of the world and render then devotional, the conclusion to be drawn from the effect of this religion in the Chinese is very different from that adopted by Mr. Hordern in regard to Birmah. The Chinese intellect is strong and independent in its judgments, and it does not accept the fictions of Buddhism. The Hindoo mind cannot dominate the Chinese mind, and the contemplative life has no attractions for the countrymen of Confucius. The foreign resident in China does not witness the appearance of devotion which has won the admiration of Mr. Hordern in Birmah.
The power shown by Buddhism to win the faith of the Birmese I should rather trace to the superiority of the Hindoo race over the mountain tribes of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. The Birmese belong, with the Thibetans, to the Bod race, which, having no intellectual development of its own, accepted the Hindoo religion when brought them by the Buddhist teachers. The superiority of Hindoo arts and civilisation helped Buddhism to make this conquest. Bishop Bigandet 1 says: “The Birmese want the capability to understand the Buddhist metaphysics. If the Buddhist moral code in itself has the power to influence a people so far as to render them virtuous and devotional, independently of the element of intellectual superiority, we still lack the evidence of it.
"The success of Buddhism is in this respect the reverse of the success of Christianity, which, originating in Judea, subjugated both Greece and Rome without aid from intellectual superiority."
I just add here that the Confucianists do not allow that kindness to animals was first taught them by Buddhism.
[paragraph continues] They find it in their own ancient books. Thus Mencius made the compassion felt by a prince, Tsi Siuen-wang, for a bullock about to be slaughtered, a ground for his exhibiting compassion still more for the people he governed. He had been distressed at the shuddering of the bullock chosen for sacrifice, and ordered it to be changed for a sheep, which was done. Confucianism assumes that pity for animals is natural for the human heart. The mother of Mencius moved her residence from the neighbourhood of a butcher's shop because she would not have her boy, while of tender years, witness daily that which would make him cruel.
Yet it cannot fairly be denied that beneficial effects must follow from the great prominence and publicity assigned to compassion as an attribute of Buddha to be imitated by every devout believer. The salvation of multitudes from suffering is held up as his great achievement, and to this he was prompted by disinterested pity.
This the Confucianists would probably admit, while they would never allow that there is any ground to believe in the Buddhist metempsychosis, on which pity for animals is often made to rest for its basis. With Buddhist temples and monks everywhere, the Chinese do not accept the teaching that the souls of men migrate into animals, nor do the monks cordially maintain it.
Among the reasons the Buddhists give for sparing the life of all animals, they do not mention the duty of not inflicting unnecessary pain, nor do they say that Buddha has a sovereign power to make laws, and he having made this law it must be obeyed.
Their reasons are of a lower sort, or they are based on dogmatised necessity. This, like other matters, is by the Buddhists treated in a thoroughly utilitarian and selfish way. Only in one point it is not so. They are invariably conscious of "moral fate," the karma, pervading the universe by an inevitable and unconquerable
force. Kindness to animals is sure to bring happiness, as cruelty will cause misfortune.
The following are the reasons given by Buddha for abstinence from animal food:—
First, In the endless changes of the metempsychosis, persons in the relation to me of any of the six divisions of kindred have become, from time to time, some of the animals used for food. To avoid eating my relations I ought to abstain.
Second, The smell and taste are not clean.
Third, The smell causes fear among the various animals.
Fourth, To eat animal food prevents charms and other magical devices from taking effect.
The writer who invented these reasons and put them in the mouth of Buddha, did not add the certainty of the retribution of the karma, as an additional motive for showing compassion to objects possessed of life, but this is understood and lies underneath all Buddhistic thought.
192:1 In Sanscrit, Shramana; but according to the commentator on the "Life of Buddha," Shakamananga, meaning "Diligence and cessation."
194:1 Paley and those who side with him, who have attempted to construct a moral system without a natural sense of right and wrong in man, must be excepted.
194:2 Morality is now accounted for by evolution. The School of Darwin and Spencer refuses to accept moral law as eternal. Yet all the Asiatic religions make it their basis.
195:1 Vide Ti-tsang-king.
198:1 O-mi-to-king-su-ts‘au, by Lieu-sï-ta-shï.
202:1 See Vie de Gaudama, p. 412.