Buddhism & the Vegetarian Ideal

By Bodo Balsys
July 2004
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
ISBN: 812151102X
150 pages, Illustrated, 5 " x 8 "
$27.50 Hardcover

Ahimsa means "harmlessness," carried out in thought, word or deed. A major precept of Buddhists of all denominations is to practice harmlessness. Such activity is not supposed to be theory, but a practical fact, a sacred pledge (samaya) integrated into the fibre of one's every mode of conduct on the path to enlightenment and liberation from the samsara.

However, as this text elaborates, all good intent along this line falls flat in the light of the practice condoned by many Buddhists of meat consumption. Harm is thus caused to the animal butchered, to the consumers of the flesh, and to the environment we all live in. It is also a decidedly gross act of adharma to all in the society wherein the Buddhist practitioner that consumes animal products resides, as clearly explained in this book.

It is time that Buddhists whole-heartedly spurn all considerations of meat toxins in their bodily environments, to actively espouse the cause of true harmlessness in all that they do; and to act as Bodhisattvas by teaching all how to be compassionate through not killing or harming their animal brethren. The reasons are clear as to the way to be truly compassionate, as all Buddhists should be. Read, learn and observe your true motives in everything you do; desist from harmful actions, and thereby grow and become Bodhisattvas and Buddhas at the end of it all.


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