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Unresolved Questions

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I had an interesting discussion with a friend today and we couldn't completely agree on two issues. I thought maybe others on the forum could help us with your views?


Issue 1:

A person who eats meat; to kill or to buy? What is better? Or what is less 'bad' (none of us eats meat, so benefits of that are clear);


One of us believes killing your own meat is better - going to the butcher is like asking somebody else to kill for you so it remains the act of killing, just that you selfishly involve someone else in it as well; while not going to the butcher would eventually put him out of business...plus if you kill your own meat eventually you might get disghusted by it and give it up all together;


The other belives going to the butcher's you buy a being that is already dead, you can no longer change that, you did not directly order it to be killed for you to enjoy, so the negative karma seems less heavy ...


What do you think?


Issue 2:

Samsara...is there an end to it?

Bodhisattvas vow to keep coming back until Samsara ends.

The question was if anyone truly belives Samsara will ever end?

We had two opposing opinions.


What do you think?

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Tashi delek,


1. I beleive it is said that ordering to kill is the same as killing. If you go to a butcher or a fisherman and tell him: 'Tomorrow i would like a kilo of this or that meat, please', and he kills an animal or many of them for you, you both killed. On the other hand, if you go to a supermarket, and buy some wrapped up chicken from time to time, you do share a part of the karmic debt for the killing of that animal, but it is much less severe as in the first case. Of course, in the second case, if we buy meat all the time in a supermarket, many beings suffer so that our stomachs are filled, so we can ask ourselves: what kind of causes are we creating?

Here are a few excerpts from the Sutra of Causes and Effects of Actions:

'The person who is compassionate is born long-lived, and the one who kills living beings is born short-lived.'

'One who kills and cuts up living beings falls into the hell of the mountain of knives and the trees of swords.'

'For the sin of killing, the person falls both into hell and into the existence of animals and pretas; then, when later born human, acquires two kinds of retribution: one is that the person is short-lived, and the other is that the person is sickly.'


2. I thought i was sure about this one, but i am actually not... Though i do remember reading about it - that all sentient beings will get enlightened, i am not sure about the source though.


Best regards :)

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1. I think His Holiness writes in autobiography that in principle it is karmically better to buy the food on the market - i.e. that it hasn't been killed specificially for you. He also mentions that Westerners often find this logic a bit hypocritical. In Tibet there was not many plants, so people had to eat meat - but killing of animals was usually performed by Muslims (a few thousands lived in Tibet). In our society we surely have more responsibility to be vegetarian, because more food is available.


An interesting website about Buddhism & vegetarianism, including the statements of His Holiness regarding the topic.


Best regards,


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