Buddha and animal slaughter

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Expressions researched:
"Buddha" |"Buddhists" |"animal is being slaughtered" |"animal slaughter" |"animal slaughterhouses" |"animal-killing in the slaughterhouse" |"poor animals from the slaughtering process" |"slaughter of animals" |"slaughtered animals" |"slaughterer of animals" |"slaughterhouse, and animal-killing"

Notes from the compiler: (1) VedaBase research query: buddh* "animal* slaughter*"@5 (2) Duplicate transcriptions? Lectures - Bombay, November 2, 1970 and Bombay, January 14, 1973

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly.
SB 1.3.24, Purport:

Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjanā, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal-killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.

This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity. There is no justice when there is animal-killing.
SB 1.3.24, Purport:

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said that only the animal-killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated to the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal-killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal-killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. By this dangerous theory many so-called sannyāsīs have sprung up by the grace of Kali-yuga who preach animal-killing under the garb of the Vedas. The subject matter has already been discussed in the conversation between Lord Caitanya and Maulana Chand Kazi Shaheb. The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse. Because the asuras or the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal-killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity. There is no justice when there is animal-killing. Lord Buddha wanted to stop it completely, and therefore his cult of ahiṁsā was propagated not only in India but also outside the country.

We are glad that people are taking interest in the nonviolent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahiṁsā cult.
SB 1.3.24, Purport:

Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead. As such, he is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy. But he rejected it outwardly because the sura-dviṣa, or the demons who are always envious of the devotees of Godhead, try to support cow-killing or animal-killing from the pages of the Vedas, and this is now being done by the modernized sannyāsīs. Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of the Vedas altogether. This is simply technical, and had it not been so he would not have been so accepted as the incarnation of Godhead. Nor would he have been worshiped in the transcendental songs of the poet Jayadeva, who is a Vaiṣṇava ācārya. Lord Buddha preached the preliminary principles of the Vedas in a manner suitable for the time being (and so also did Śaṅkarācārya) to establish the authority of the Vedas. Therefore both Lord Buddha and Ācārya Śaṅkara paved the path of theism, and Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, specifically Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, led the people on the path towards a realization of going back to Godhead.

We are glad that people are taking interest in the nonviolent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahiṁsā cult.

SB Canto 4

Actually, in the sacrifices the slaughtered animals were given a new life, but people without such powers were taking advantage of such Vedic rituals and unnecessarily killing poor animals. Therefore Lord Buddha had to deny the authority of the Vedas for the time being.
SB 4.19.36, Purport:

For his own sense gratification, King Indra thought to defeat Mahārāja Pṛthu in the performance of one hundred horse sacrifices. Consequently he stole the horse and hid himself amid so many irreligious personalities, taking on the false guise of a sannyāsī. Such activities are attractive to the people in general; therefore they are dangerous. Lord Brahmā thought that instead of allowing Indra to further introduce such irreligious systems, it would be better to stop the sacrifice. A similar stance was taken by Lord Buddha when people were overly engrossed in the animal sacrifices recommended by Vedic instructions. Lord Buddha had to introduce the religion of nonviolence by contradicting the Vedic sacrificial instructions. Actually, in the sacrifices the slaughtered animals were given a new life, but people without such powers were taking advantage of such Vedic rituals and unnecessarily killing poor animals. Therefore Lord Buddha had to deny the authority of the Vedas for the time being. One should not perform sacrifices that will induce reversed orders. It is better to stop such sacrifices.

Nārada Muni explained that devotees like him are very much afflicted by all the killing that goes on in human society. Not only are saintly persons afflicted by this killing, but even God Himself is afflicted and therefore comes down in the incarnation of Lord Buddha. Jayadeva Gosvāmī therefore sings: sadaya-hṛdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam. Simply to stop the killing of animals, Lord Buddha compassionately appeared.
SB 4.26.9, Purport:

The devotees are pained to see the hunting and killing of animals in the forest, the wholesale slaughter of animals in the slaughterhouses, and the exploitation of young girls in brothels that function under different names as clubs and societies. Being very much compassionate upon the killing of animals in sacrifice, the great sage Nārada began his instructions to King Prācīnabarhiṣat. In these instructions, Nārada Muni explained that devotees like him are very much afflicted by all the killing that goes on in human society. Not only are saintly persons afflicted by this killing, but even God Himself is afflicted and therefore comes down in the incarnation of Lord Buddha. Jayadeva Gosvāmī therefore sings: sadaya-hṛdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam. Simply to stop the killing of animals, Lord Buddha compassionately appeared. Some rascals put forward the theory that an animal has no soul or is something like dead stone. In this way they rationalize that there is no sin in animal-killing. Actually animals are not dead stone, but the killers of animals are stonehearted. Consequently no reason or philosophy appeals to them. They continue keeping slaughterhouses and killing animals in the forest. The conclusion is that one who does not care for the instructions of saintly persons like Nārada and his disciplic succession surely falls into the category of naṣṭa-prajña and thus goes to hell.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

When India was too much addicted for animal slaughtering under the plea of Vedic sacrifice, the Lord Buddha appeared. Why? They misused the Vedic injunctions. They misused the injunctions of the Vedas. So he, he proclaimed, "No, this animal slaughter should be stopped." He did not agree even with the Vedic injunction.
Lecture on BG 4.6-8 -- New York, July 20, 1966:

Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati. And abhyutthānam, whenever there is discrepancy in the natural sequence and natural life of the human being, and there is artificial increase of sense gratification, at that time, when there is too much sense gratification...

Just like Lord Buddha. When did he appear? He appeared... He appeared in India. The condition of his appearance, perhaps you know. I shall still explain. When India was too much busy in animal slaughter. Of course, the Hindus, they, there are Vedic principles, animal slaughtering. They are... Just like in Muhammadans also, they have got some principle for animal slaughtering. You know, those who have read Koran, the Muhammadan religion allows animal slaughtering once in a year. It is called koravāni. And they can slaughter animals in the mosque. Similarly, in the Vedic religion also, the animals are allowed to be slaughtered in some sacrifice. But no religion, either Muhammadan or Hindu... I do not (know) in detail of your Christian religion, but they do not allow animal slaughter in the slaughter house. There are some particular rules and regulations. Anyway, that is a religious details.

But when India was too much addicted for animal slaughtering under the plea of Vedic sacrifice, the Lord Buddha appeared. Why? They misused the Vedic injunctions. They misused the injunctions of the Vedas. So he, he proclaimed, "No, this animal slaughter should be stopped." He did, he did not agree even with the Vedic injunction. Therefore Lord Buddha's preaching was not accepted. It was... Once it was accepted, whole of India accepted. Under the king, under the Emperor Aśoka, the whole of India became Buddhist. But later on, Śaṅkarācārya appeared and he made against them, Vedantists. So India, Buddhist religion from India was practically banished. So these are historical facts.

Initiation Lectures

Lord Buddha had to preach amongst the atheist class of men who were too much addicted with animal slaughter and he wanted to stop animal slaughter. That was his main business.
Initiation of Jayapataka Dasa -- Montreal, July 24, 1968:

So Lord Buddha, he, of course, did not preach directly God consciousness, but we accept him as the incarnation of God. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. He had to preach amongst the atheist class of men who were too much addicted with animal slaughter and he wanted to stop animal slaughter. That was his main business. So I've several times explained. Therefore he rejected Vedic authority. Because in the Vedic authority there is recommendation, under certain condition, of animal sacrifice. But he wanted to stop completely animal sacrifice. Therefore superficially he said, he denied the authority of Vedic ritual. Because if he accepted Vedic rituals then he could not preach this ahiṁsā paramo dharma. So that is a great story. Anyway we accept, we Vaiṣṇavas, we accept Lord Buddha as incarnation. That is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra. So indirectly the Buddhists are worshiping God. They are denying, there is no existence of God but they are accepting the incarnation of God.

General Lectures

Lord Buddha appeared being very much compassionate on the matter of animal slaughter. As nowadays, animal slaughter is going on without any check, similarly, sometime before about 2,500 years ago in India, the same condition prevailed.
Lecture -- Bombay, November 2, 1970:

Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). There is a list of incarnation of God. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Lord Buddha is also accepted as śaktyāveśa avatāra, especially empowered incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Although Buddhism, we do not accept the philosophy of Buddhism, we Vaiṣṇavas, we do not accept, but we accept Lord Buddha as incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. Lord Buddha appeared being very much compassionate on the matter of animal slaughter. As nowadays, animal slaughter is going on without any check, similarly, sometime before about 2,500 years ago in India, the same condition prevailed. Vedic civilization is very liberal. According to Vedic civilization, the king has to give protection to all the prajās. Prajā means one who has taken birth in his kingdom. Prajāyate. So the animal is also prajā of the government. The trees are also prajā of the government. So formerly, nobody could slaughter an animal, nobody can cut even a tree without reason, without sanction by the Vedic injunctions. At the present moment, in our country... This Bhārata-varṣa is called puṇya-bhūmi. Actually, it is so, because on this land, all the great saintly persons appeared. The incarnation of God, Lord Rāmacandra, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Buddhadeva, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all the big, big ācāryas—Śaṅkarācārya, Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī. So... Vyāsadeva. All of them appeared on the sacred land of Bhārata-varṣa. But the present Bhārata-varṣa has degraded so much that we have lost our Vedic culture. We are eating meat, we are eating..., drinking wine, and we are having illicit sex life, and indulging in gambling. This is India's position. It is due to this Kali-yuga. Otherwise the land is puṇya-bhūmi.

Lord Buddha appeared, being very much compassionate on the matter of animal slaughter. As nowadays animal slaughter is going on without any check, similarly, sometime before, about 2,500 years ago, in India the same condition prevailed.
Pandal Lecture -- Bombay, January 14, 1973:

Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). There is a list of incarnation of God in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Lord Buddha is also accepted as śaktyāveśa avatāra, especially empowered incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Although Buddhism, we do not accept the philosophy of Buddhism, we Vaiṣṇava, we do not accept, but we accept Lord Buddha as incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra, jaya jagadīśa hare. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. Lord Buddha appeared, being very much compassionate on the matter of animal slaughter. As nowadays animal slaughter is going on without any check, similarly, sometime before, about 2,500 years ago, in India the same condition prevailed. Vedic civilization is very liberal. According to Vedic civilization, the king has to give protection to all the prajās. Prajā means one who has taken birth in his kingdom. Prajāyate. So the animal is also prajā of the government. The trees are also prajā of the government. So formerly nobody could slaughter an animal, nobody can cut even a tree without reason, without sanction by the Vedic injunction. At the present moment in our country, this Bhāratavarṣa is called puṇya-bhūmi. Actually it is so, because on this land all the great saintly persons appeared. The incarnation of God, Lord Rāmacandra, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Buddhadeva, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all the big, big ācāryas—Śaṅkarācārya, Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī... So... Vyāsadeva... All of them appeared on this sacred land of Bhāratavarṣa. But the present Bhāratavarṣa has degraded so much that we have lost our Vedic culture. We are now eating meat. We are eating, drinking wine, and we are having illicit sex life and indulging in gambling. This is India's position. It is due to this Kali-yuga. Otherwise the land is puṇya-bhūmi.

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

We are not meant for moving anyone's sentiment against animal slaughter; we are neither Buddhists or Jains, whose main propaganda is against animal slaughter. Even the so-called vegetarians who do not take Krishna prasadam are as much sinful as the non-vegetarians. Our propaganda is different: to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter.
Letter to Rayarama -- Los Angeles 19 November, 1968:

Regarding propaganda against animal slaughter in BTG. Please do not print any picture showing how a cow is being murdered in our BTG. This will pollute the whole atmosphere. We are not meant for moving anyone's sentiment against animal slaughter, we are neither Buddhists or Jains, whose main propaganda is against animal slaughter. Even the so-called vegetarians who do not take Krishna prasadam are as much sinful as the non-vegetarians. Our propaganda is different, to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, one living entity subsists on the life of other living entities, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. But we are neither of them. We are not vegetarian nor non-vegetarian. We are transcendental. We are concerned with Krishna Prasadam. Try to popularize Krishna Prasadam as you have already done. People will naturally become vegetarian without any ghastly propaganda. The pictures of a mahajana or similar pictures for propagating the Bhagavata conclusion should be our objective. Other pictures, there are so many subject matters, just like we follow 4 principles, say for example, illicit sex life, we can publish so many pictures of illicit sex life, but that will not advance our cause. Similarly we may make propaganda against animal slaughter, but that will not advance our real cause. KC is based on pure understanding, not by any sentimental provocation. People must be intelligent enough to catch up this KC movement without being carried away by any sentimental wave. We should always remember that we do not belong to any group like the karmis, jnanis, or yogis. We belong to pure devotional service group, following the footprints of great mahajanas. Our purpose should be that we are in one side and all others they are on the other side. We deprecate everyone, even one who is against animal slaughter. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, it is clearly said that there are two classes of activities. Pious and impious. We do not favor any one of them. Neither we favor any philosophical speculation, we simply stick to Krishna, and wish to render loving transcendental service unto Him. That should be our main objective, and the policy of BTG must be pursued on this line of action.

Compiled byLabangalatika +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryNovember 20, 0011 JL +
Date of last entryNovember 20, 0011 JL +
Total quotes10 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 5 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 4 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 1 +