Refraining oneself from killing also means not eating animal flesh because although we do not kill it ourselves, others have to kill so we can eat it. This is indirect killing. If we cannot keep the five commandments we cannot be born as human beings again.
Whenever we eat meat, it is unavoidable that some of the hatred, anger and frustration in the animal's heart caused when it departed, will be imprinted upon our consciousness, and then we will feel uneasy inside. Therefore, when we sleep at night we have nightmares, when animals see us they are frightened of us and run away. And when we are sick, it is difficult to heal ourselves because of all this hatred, this angry atmosphere which hangs around the meat that we eat.
We respect all lives in the creative Plan of God. We can see by ourselves that all lives resist suffering and resist death. Therefore, when we kill or see animals being killed, they are suffering and they try to run away. That means God empowered them with the instinct of wanting life. If we interfere and force their lives away, we interfere with God's will. We should treat every being in the same way as we ourselves like to be treated. Then our lives will be blessed with grace, with longevity and with wisdom. 'As you sow, so shall you reap.' Then we will never blame God for any misfortune. The more we cultivate, the better we become in speech, in body and in mind.
So, we are all from God. All of creation are from God, including the trees and animals. This is beyond argument. No philosophy can argue this truth. Who else except God, the Lord of all of creation, could have created us? Therefore, we are very precious.
Since we are all God's children, we have more reasons not to torture our brothers and sisters, including the animals. They are our younger brothers and sisters with weaker and younger souls. They have not yet developed themselves to the level of humans. We observe a vegetarian diet out of compassion. We cannot bear to see them suffer. Though we do not slaughter them ourselves, we can imagine their pain...
God said: "I created many beautiful plants and fruits to please your eyes and nourish your body. These are food for you. "Didn't Hes state clearly that these are our food? Right on the first page of the Old Testament!
The old Testament Bible also didn't tell people to eat meat. The Catholics should be clear about this point. God didn't state: I created the animals as your food. Hes said: "I created the trees, fruits, vegetables, and these shall be your food." Hes also said: "And for each type of creature on earth, I have created different kinds of food for them."
The food for humans are the plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables. Hes said, "We should teach the animals, take care of them, and educate their souls to grow." Hes never said that we could kill the animals to eat; the animals are not listed in our menu!
Try to be as much as possible a vegetarian, it will help you. Even to be a vegetarian in a polluted area will help you be more immune, you must know that. Vegetarian people are less sick than the meat-eating people. It gives you protection, your mind will be calmer, and you will be thinking less. This is the good thing about a vegetarian diet. It is not only for its mercy quality. We forget that by not taking other lives, our life will also not be at stake. It is the law of karma, of cause and effect. If we forgive others, others will forgive us;
It is nice to have dinner without thinking that someone else had to suffer for it. This is the main reason for a vegetarian diet. You chose your own way of life, and chose less suffering for us, as well as for others.
M. Wa! You get me into trouble. Ah, Thou shalt not kill is the precept of all religious scriptures, not only Christians. It's even in Jainism, Hinduism and other religions also. If they truly take this thou shalt not kill in a true sense of the precept, abortion, of course, should be avoided. And the doctor should be very precise in determining what is the special situation that people should undertake this. Because maybe sometimes it's dangerous for the mother, yeah, or dangerous for both. So, the doctor should be fair in determining that situation. Otherwise I think we should save life in any way we can. Whatever special circumstance with you, that you have to answer, your self conscience, and the doctor has to determine that. Okay? I am not here to condemn anyone, because I know life is very hard, and very difficult to say which is right and which is wrong. Because we are also all under the sway of karma, of the law of cause and retribution, and sometimes it is very difficult for a person to go above that, to be saintly, and to be decisive about anything in life. But, bear in mind that if you have faith in God, and in all our wisdom and if we are enlightened, no circumstance is difficult, no situation is hard to handle. So, I just propose enlightenment, and no condemnation for anything.
M. It is important to you, hum? You can get enlightenment also without being a vegetarian because I don't require you to be vegetarian before initiation but after only. You get enlightened all the same through the grace of the Master. But we have to keep a loving attitude towards all beings, because they are ourselves. If you eat all your body's members, afterwards you realize you have nothing left, understand, yeah? And also we should not be so sinking into the material taste, but to be emerged in the bliss of heaven. Every being deserves life. Therefore we grant them the happiness of survival.
M. Yes! Because we all know God is love and merciful, and Buddha is compassion. If we do not learn to become like them, then how shall we become one with God, how shall we live in heaven which is a place of love and mercy? Yeah? if we want to learn something, we have to become that. Animals desire life, they love life, they would run for life. So we know they desire life, they know, they love to live, like us. We have no right to take away their life. By all means, even directly or indirectly, we should not.
M. No, you don't have to. You can experience enlightenment without a vegetarian diet. But to be completely enlightened, and to keep the state of happiness all the time, we should grant happiness to all beings as well, in a complete way, give them no fear, have no threatening atmosphere around you. This is a more complete enlightenment. Being a vegetarian alone doesn't bring you enlightenment, or help you become a Buddha. All the cows and horses are all vegetarians, but that doesn't mean that they are enlightened. Vegetarianism is a great way for us to achieve complete enlightenment.
M. Meat is the cause of all wars and suffering in this world, as well as in your personal self. To refrain from meat is to contribute peace to this planet. If we terminate the cause of killing, we will not reap the result of being killed or being wounded. Also, to refrain from eating meat is a non-direct action towards the 'Thou shalt not kill' precept. Also, it nourishes our compassion towards all beings, so we can treat them as equal creations of God. Therefore, it is best that we refrain from animal products. Even if you are enlightened after initiation with a meat-eating diet, you will suffer a lot of heavy karmic burdens because it has to be cleansed out. And sometimes if you reach a certain height in spiritual attainment, you will experience some side-effects of your physical impurity when clashed with the absolute purity of Heaven. You understand! It is not always easy to withstand the intensity of power within yourselves, while having an impure physical and mental state of being.
M. That probably would give you a little bit of a stomach-ache. But you meditate a little bit more that day, and that would be no problem. We can't always avoid. The vegetarian diet is only to propagate more loving kindness which already exists in us. To polish it more, to bring it to full extent to all beings, including our younger brothers and sisters. Yeah! But if you, that is, just to show our love and also to polish our compassion. But if we do something unconsciously, no one can blame us. God would not.
M. You see, most the wars which happen in this world are due to economical reasons, prompted by the lack of food in different countries, and the lack of equal distribution of food. Now, if you care to read magazines and the results of research, then you will find out that to raise cattle and animals for meat consumption brings about an economical state of bankruptcy in all aspects. It causes the state of hunger in the third world. This isn't my conclusion. It is you, the American people, who researched and reached this conclusion. Read about food processing and the book called DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA. The author is the son of an ice cream millionaire, and he gave it all up in order to be a vegetarian, and write a book against his family tradition and business. Such a stand means not only loss of money, but also prestige and business to him, but he did it for the sake of truth. But there are many more magazines and books giving you a lot of information and facts about vegetarianism and how it contributes to world peace. You see, we bankrupt the resources of our planet to obtain flesh food, by feeding cattle so much protein, water and medicine. We use a lot of manpower, cars, roads, etc., and many hundreds of thousands of acres of land have been wasted before a cow can yield one meal. If all these resources could be distributed to the underdeveloped countries, then we could solve world hunger. When a country is in need of food, it will probably invade another country just to save its own people, but in the long run it creates bad causes and retributions. Remember what the Bible says, 'As you sow, so shall you reap.' If we kill someone for food, then we will be killed because of food later. It is a pity that we are so intelligent, so civilised and yet most of us do not know the cause of the suffering of our neighbouring countries. It is through our palate. In order to feed just one body, we kill so many beings and starve so many fellow human beings. And this guilt, consciously or unconsciously will weigh down our conscience and make us suffer with incurable diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis, including AIDS. Ask yourself why the United States has the highest rate and suffers the most of cancer. Because we eat a lot of beef. We eat more meat that any other country. And ask yourself why the Chinese or other communist countries don't have such a high rate of cancer. They don't have meat. That is the conclusion of your research, not mine. So, do not blame me!
Q. Is fish okay to eat?
M. It is all right if you want to eat fish, but if you want to be vegetarian, fish is not a vegetable. (laughter)
Q. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus fed thousands of people with fish and bread, and also at a wedding, Jesus turned water into wine...
M. So what is the question? You want me to know about this? I know. I have been asked a thousand times, and even if I didn't know, I would have to know by now! You mean that I say do not eat fish, and in the Bible it is said that Jesus fed fish to the crowd? But you must consider what kind of fish this was! He used two fish to feed five thousand people! It was a magic fish, made with air.
Q. Do you feel that there is more aggression in societies that consume meat than in ones that consume less?
M. Yes. You can compare India with other countries that eat more meat. You can also compare the rate of aggression in religious communities that eat more meat than others, and then you will see the difference. You will also notice that animals that eat meat are more aggressive than herbivores. Even in the animal Kingdom, one can see the connection.
Q. Dear Master, my wife is here today for initiation. She has been vegetarian for a long time. I tried, but could not. Please tell me why and how to.
M. Maybe your wife should go and learn vegetarian cooking more. The poor husband cannot just eat when it's not tasty. So actually, enlightenment begins here too, (Master points to Her stomach) not just here. (Master points to the wisdom eye) (Laughter) When I first met my husband, (my ex-husband, he already remarried) I was a vegetarian, he was not. He was a doctor, very practical, very down to earth. He's a Taurus kind; he belongs to the bull in the zodiac of the orient, so he is a double bull. So he doesn't believe any nonsensical things, but because I cooked very nicely, he ate every day with me and he had nothing against vegetarianism at all. After I left him for "to save the world kind of idea," (Master says jokingly) he gathered all my recipes and cooked for his friends. He always advertised, "My wife used to do this, my wife used to do that, and all the vegetables are very rich in vitamins." He cooks exactly like the recipes I left behind.
If even a Westerner, a German, a scientific-minded doctor like that, could be a vegetarian, you could be too. If all the wives cook very tasty meals, you don't miss anything. For example, you eat a bowl of soup, like Chinese soup, you have noodles and some pieces of meat in it. Instead of those meat pieces, you can have like gluten meat, tofu meat, or vegetarian ham meat, everything, all kinds. even fish. Everything can be made exactly like the non-vegetarian, so it's a matter of skill. The way to enlightenment goes through the stomach, I believe. So you wives, please take care of your crafty fingers, make it nice and tasty so your husband will be able to eat with you. Women are easier. Truly. Once you believe something, you just eat anything. (Master and all laugh) But men they are more scientific, they are more practical not too sentimental like a woman. A woman can live by sentiment, affection, emotion, so she believes, then she eats and she doesn't care how it tastes. (Laughter) But men, they're more critical, so they please their taste first, and then enlightenment comes. (Laughter)
M. Well, we have to do what we need for the environmental care. But then, we have to pay for that. But they are small bugs. They are not so big, bigger of life, then we meditate for them, and they will be all right. The important thing is not the act of killing. The most important thing is that the violence in your heart that must be terminated, you know what I mean? Some people, they don't kill actually with their hands but they kill with their thoughts. That is more important than even the act of killing. So what we try to minimize is the violence in our heart, the tendency to want to destroy other beings. But if we have to do it for environmental hygiene, we must do it. And pray for these in our meditation. But it is best when we avoid it. Like we keep our place very clean, so that the ants and other insects won't come around. And if you spray around so that they will leave, they will not die. There are some ways to avoid not to kill. You have to take care of that. The less killing, the better, even the small insects! But sometimes they are too harmful for the children and babies, then the mother has to do it. Because after all, human beings... human life is more precious. We don't do it because we are bad or we are malicious. It's just the situation.
M. Yes it is true, but the life in vegetables is very much less. The soul is sleeping. You know all things are composed of many elements, yeah. We human beings are composed of the most elements, including soul, ether, earth, metal, wood; all kinds of these substances together. But the plants consist of water, ninety percent water. Understand that? And the other substances are very much less, and the soul is almost dormant. But then we still take life if we eat vegetables. Therefore the Buddha said that if you eat anything, even vegetables, you have to consider it like eating your own child's flesh. But what shall we do if we live in this world and can not eat anything. We can do that also but it's against the needs of our bodies. It would take us tremendous will power to overcome the material needs of our bodies. Some people don't eat anything. There exist such people, but I do not advise you to do so. First, people would look at you as a, how you say, coo-coo, or how you say, some kind of nut. Or if people stream to you, only because they are attracted to your non-eating diet, then they will overlook your spiritual qualities and the highest goal that you want to set before them. You understand that? Fancy me, Ching Hai not eating anything, and then I advertise in the paper "Master Ching Hai doesn't eat anything". So many people will flock here, and all day they will ask me bow? why? how long? You know, how long since? And that's it. And I would have a lot of trouble to tell them to please convert their attention to God and to my topic. It is the Quan Yin Method. It is life and death. It is serious. You have to meditate two and a half hours, and be vegetarian. And all these things, they wouldn't listen a bit, because all their attention is diverted to the non-eating diet, and that's it. I know all about it. I know in Formosa there is one who hasn't eaten anything for twenty years. And everybody comes there and asks the same question, including myself. [Laughter] So even if we eat vegetarian, we also have some karma, meaning the influence of the bad effects. So we have to practice this method in order to cleanse out this even minimal karma, so that we can be free and purified.
M. They also have life but their consciousness is very, very low. They hardly feel much. So actually when we eat vegetables we also collect some so-called "karma". "Karma" means As you sow, so shall you reap. If you kill, you will get killed, that is the meaning of "karma". If we hit someone, later we will get beaten. That is called "karma". Now when we eat the plants, we also have, but very minimal "karma", very little, and when we meditate every day for two to three hours we will clean it out. If we do not meditate on God, it's difficult to clean this even minimal karma. Therefore, the practice of the Heaven of God, of the Kingdom within is necessary because even before eating vegetables, we have already killed. We breathe, we walk, and we wash our hands, and all these are killing. So it doesn't mean if we eat vegetarian we are free of sins. Even if we don't eat anything we sin. We sin from our past life's karma, what the Bible calls "original sin". We sin from breathing in and killing so many invisible insects. We sin from washing our clothes and washing our body, disinfecting our body, and killing many insects, invisible insects, from walking on the earth, on the grass and everywhere. Therefore, no way we can escape except using the greatest force inside and cleaning everything out. That is what we called the grace of God. We can take the grace of God out every day to cleanse our house. Without this, there is hardly any chance to go back to the Kingdom of God. That is what I want to share with you, how to clean ourselves every day from the inevitable sins and unavoidable sins. Okay?
M. Because cheese is made with milk, but fat comes from an animal that has been killed. And taking milk, we don't have to kill the cow, and from milk we can make cheese, butter, etc. This is the difference.
M. Because egg is a symbol of life and death. In it contains life, yeah. And many of the black magicians or white magicians they use eggs to withdraw some of the negative possessive spirit within some people, yeah. Therefore, if we eat eggs too much we tend to attract this negative force toward ourselves. Yeah, that's one of the reasons why we should not eat eggs, hm.
Q. May we eat unfertilised eggs?
M. No, because the egg has half a life already, and if you give it a chance, it will become a chicken. Also, eggs will attract negative powers, ghosts, so if we eat some, we might get contaminated by these negative forces. As you may know, many black and white magicians, use eggs to cure people who are possessed by spirits. So it is very logical not to eat eggs.
M. It would probably give you a little bit of a stomach ache. But if you meditate a little bit more every day, and that would be no problem. We can't always avoid. The vegetarian diet is only to propagate more loving kindness which already exists in us. It is to polish it more, to bring it to its full extent, to all beings, including our younger brothers and sisters, to sow our love, and also to polish our compassion. But if we do something unconsciously, no one can blame us. God would not.
M. No, but you must select a protein-rich diet to replace the missing animal protein. In my English sample book, you know I talked about the vegetarian diet, and there I told you what foods you can eat, and which have enough nutrition. We will try to translate it into Portuguese later. But you go home and find an English speaking friend and tell them to translate it for you. English is international, so you'll be able to find anywhere some people to translate. Meat is not all that good, we all know already by now. You see the hospitals are full of meat eating people; vegetarian people hardly go to the hospital. The more civilized, the more meat we have, the more hospitals we build. if you feel that the vegetarian diet has not enough nutrition, look at the elephants, look at the horses, look at the cows; is there anything stronger than an elephant? What does he eat? He doesn't even care about protein I tell you. Don't cheat yourself. The vegetarian diet is very healthy. Even Mohammed Ah the boxer, he is vegetarian. So don't tell me any tales. If you want to eat meat, then you eat meat; nobody says anything. Just don't make excuses. Meat is not good, very filthy; all kinds of bacteria in it, all kinds of poisons in it, all kinds of hatred, fear, and terrifying feelings in the magnetic field in the meat of an animal when he is killed, and it remains there. when you consume the meat, you consume all these "energies" within it. It is a very heavy energy, so you couldn't climb up back "home
M. Oh, my God! You are fanatic. Wash them with salty water, yes, and eat them. Otherwise, you will die, Hmm?
(Also see: Promoting vegetarianism)