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The sin of eating

Posted March. 16, 2022 07:58,   

Updated March. 16, 2022 07:58


It was a special day, when the king ploughed the land and prayed for a plentiful crop for the year. The king’s plow was decorated in gold, his servants in silver. When the king started to plough, his servants followed suit. It was a fancy ceremony. In contrast, the farmers that worked on the field appeared anything from elegant. Their bodies were thin and brawny. It was sweltering, causing the famers and the ox to sweat. The ox ploughed the land, bearing the whip that tore through its skin. As the earth turned, worms became exposed. Birds flew over the ground, fighting over their prey.

A 12-year-old boy watched all this nearby. He was the crown prince. He was disturbed by what he saw. It did not seem fair that someone led elegant lives, some had to work under the sun all day and ox had to work being whipped. The circle of life, where the living fought over to devour one another, was even more difficult to bear. This was the life of Sakyamuni Buddha at youth.

Birds eating the worms exposed from the earth and thrushes being eaten by hawks- there is nothing wrong about this. All living things eat or are eaten. They do not take revenge for this as it is the nature of law. What Buddha felt at the age of 12 was not very different from that of a poet observing what takes place in a forest. It is such empathy where poems and religions originate from.