1

Was Sakyamuni Buddha a vegetarian? I've heard that he ate some pork and got poisoned by it when he died? Yet the precepts say that he was vegetarian.

Which one is correct?

  • This question depends on which Buddhism. Chinese Mahayana is vegetarian and say the Buddha was as well and died eating Pigs delight , or rotten mushrooms. – MatthewMartin Apr 22 '18 at 19:09
5

The Buddha was not a vegetarian.

The precepts call for no killing, but it does not say that meat cannot be eaten.

A clarification on this can be found in MN55:

Thus have I heard: At one time the Lord was staying at Rājagaha in Jīvaka Komārabhacca's Mango Grove. Then Jīvaka Komārabhacca approached the Lord; having approached, having greeted the Lord, he sat down at a respectful distance. As he was sitting down at a respectful distance, Jīvaka Komārabhacca spoke thus to the Lord:

“This is what I have heard, revered sir: that they kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama, and that the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat killed on purpose and specially provided for him. Those who speak thus, revered sir: ‘They kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama, and the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat killed on purpose and specially provided for him’, now, are these quoting the Lord's own words, revered sir, not misrepresenting the Lord with what is not fact, are they explaining in conformity with Dhamma, and does no reasoned thesis give occasion for contempt?”

“Jīvaka, those who speak thus: ‘They kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama, and the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat killed on purpose and specially provided for him’, these are not quoting my own words, but are misrepresenting me with what is not true, with what is not fact. I, Jīvaka, say that in three cases meat may not be used: if it is seen, heard, suspected (to have been killed on purpose for a monk). In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say that meat may not be used. But I, Jīvaka, say that in three cases meat may be used: if it is not seen, heard, suspected (to have been killed on purpose for a monk). In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say that meat may be used.

Regarding the Buddha being poisoned by pork, please see this answer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.