Monday, December 11, 2006

Vegetarianism and Spirituality

"Most Merciful shows mercy to those who have mercy on others. Show mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heaven will show mercy to you." - Prophet Mohammed, upon him be peace

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet" - Albert Einstein.

"If a man eats meat, he will take on the qualities of the animal he eats and once those qualities enter, the man's anger, his hastiness, and his animal qualities will increase. If he does not kill anything on the inside he will not kill anything on the outside." - Islamic Holiness M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

"The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion." - The Buddha in Mahaparinirvana Sutra

"One is not a great one because one defeats or harms other living beings. One is so called because one refrains from defeating or harming other living beings." - The Buddha in Dhammapada, Ch. 19 (15/270), Max Muller, Trans.

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men" - Leonardo da Vinci

"I do feel that spiritual progress does demand, at some stage, that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants" - Mahatma Gandhi

Such words are not about justifying vegetarianism as a dogma but rather imploring to our hearts the deeper side of nutrition and it's importance in modern society.

The subject of nutrition is not simply a question of the food we eat at meals. Besides nutrients, foods contain scents, colours and invisible particles that attract pure light, light that is so essential for our joyful life and well-being. The choice we make is therefore always of consequential significance.

The difference between flesh-based and vegetarian foods lies in the amount of sunlight they contain. Fruits and vegetables are so steeped in sunlight, that one could say they are a condensed form of light. In order to develop the qualities of the heart, besides eating peacefully, one needs to eat consciously. This means bringing in the light, eating the concentrated light which contains the beautiful sounds that connect our hearts to the rhythms and invisible aspects of the Universe. This attracts the luminous properties of matter and illuminates your being, especially your thoughts and emotions, not just today, but throughout your experience of your existence on this material plane.

Your future depends on how you eat and what you eat. Your body is your temple and every action within the temple, done with conscious intention, creates a more harmonious outcome. Transcendence happens as you obtain better and more refined particles to replace that which hold the old and limiting particles which colour your experience of this ecstatic universe. The quality of your food, it's physical properties, not only transforms your emotions and mind, but can actually change your appearance and personality. Everything around us is is permeated by forces and those forces become more pure and subtle the further they reach the higher planes of light that exist here in the physical world.

This realm is of a spiritual nature, which transcends limitations and lives in the pureness of your most luminous and open qualities. The secret to opening the treasure-house of food, is the love and compassion attained within your consciousness. The treasure is the sun, condensed into particles, which we can send to all the centres in our bodies. This essential signpost of love reveals to you that at the deepest level, compassion becomes a healing power in the widest sense.

For those of you who have a religious inclination, it would be interesting to take note that, for example, in the Bible we can read: "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed which is upon the face of the Earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food." (Genesis 1:29)

It is the first dietary law for spiritual life in the Torah/Old Testament (which Jews, Christians and Muslims consider as divinely inspired revelation), where there is no indication for people to eat animals. It is also one of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13).

In Jainism, ahimsa, the doctrine of non-violence, is a central theme. Because of this the Jains have maintained a strong and unbroken vegetarian lifestyle throughout history.

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." (Bhagavad Gita, 9.26)

by Tony Samara. Vegetarianism and Spirituality - from ancient times to the present | Selected part only. read the full article here.
:: Credit: The Samara Foundation

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