The Culture and Diet of Buddhism and Hinduism Christina Ferraiuolo Colleen Lynch
Objectives • Identify the history and dietary practices of Buddhism and their origin. • Identify the history and dietary practices of Hinduism and their origin. • Compare and contrast the Buddhist and Hindu cultures.
Origin of Buddhism Nepal, India Bihar, India
Buddhism Beginning • 6th Century B.C.E - 490-410 BCE Life of Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha. • 4th Century -Second Buddhist Council at Vesali, India (386) • 3rd Century- Indian Emperor Asoka (272-231) converts and establishes the Buddha's Dharma on a national level for the first time.
Buddhism Beginnings • 2nd Century BC-The beginning of the Mahayana • 1st Century CE-Buddhism enters Central Asia and China. • 2nd Century CE- The Age of Indian Buddhist
The Self • The Western notion of the individual self (or shall we say "selfish individual") is distinctly "un"-Buddhist • “He who lives only for pleasures, and whose soul is not in harmony, who considers not the food he eats, is idle, and has not the power of virtue - such a man is moved by MARA (evil one), is moved by selfish temptations, even as a weak tree is shaken by the wind.”
Karma • Karma- We are affected by a collective karma • Bad karma from not following the moral code causes a person to be reborn as a lesser being • Good karma from following moral precepts will be born a higher being.
Holy Days in Buddhism • Vesak or VisakahPuja("Buddha Day") • Buddhist New Year • Ulambana(Ancestor Day)
The Buddhist teachings and tradition provide important "food for thought" to all of us.
Buddhist Meal Chant • First, let us reflect on our own work and the effort of those who brought us this food.Second, let us be aware of the quality of our deeds as we receive this meal.Third, what is most essential is the practice of mindfulness, which helps us to transcend greed, anger and delusion.Fourth, we appreciate this food which sustains the good health of our body and mind.Fifth, in order to continue our practice for all beings we accept this offering. • The first morsel is to cut all delusions.The second morsel is to maintain our clear mind.The third morsel is to save all sentient beings.May we awaken together with all beings.
A Theravada Meal Chant • Wisely reflecting, I use this food not for fun, not for pleasure, not for fattening, not for beautification, but only for the maintenance and nourishment of this body, for keeping it healthy, for helping with the Spiritual Life;Thinking thus, I will allay hunger without overeating, so that I may continue to live blamelessly and at ease.
Buddhism Diet Restrictions • “A son of the Buddha shall not eat the flesh of any sentient beings. If he eats their flesh, he shall cut off great compassion, as well as the seed of Buddhahood within him.” • Buddhism, in general, fundamentally prohibits any and all animal meat or intoxicants at all times.
A Part of the Whole • The Buddha taught that all sentient beings are really a part of one original whole organism. Therefore, when one kills another, they are actually killing a part of themselves. They are also killing a part of their parents (also forbidden in Buddhism). So, in effect, eating meat is suicidal!
Vegetarianism and Veganism • “A natural and logical ramification of the moral precept against the taking of life" is a diet that includes no animal meat. • In modern terms, we might use the word "vegan" to describe the strict Mahayana diet.
Pure Bodhisattvas follow this ideal: • “[they] who do not wear silk, leather boots, furs, or down ...and who do not consume milk, cream, or butter, can truly transcend this world. Both physically and mentally one must avoid the bodies and the by-products of beings, by neither wearing them or eating them. I say that such people have true liberation.”
Forbidden Foods • It is important to know why certain foods and drink fall into either the forbidden or appropriate categories • Vegetables that result in the death of the plant were not eaten. • "Five Pungent Spices", including garlic and onions, are forbidden. • If these five are eaten cooked, they increase one's sexual desire; if they are eaten raw, they increase one's anger.
Other Restrictions • Proper times and amounts of food that can be eaten • forbiddance of raw foods • The observance of a diet that does not violate the moral precept of no killing is most important and universal. • Many only eat after dawn and before midday.
Ceremonial Food Offerings • In Theravada countries such as Thailand, monks still rely on receiving alms for most of their food. • Food may be simply and silently left on an altar, with a small bowl. • Zen make food offerings to the hungry ghosts.
"Five Moral Precepts" • Failure to follow any of the "Five Moral Precepts" causes harm to others, further clouds one's true seeing nature, and greatly decreases one's chances of being born a human again (a vantage point along the path to enlightenment). • NO killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, or partaking of intoxicants.
"Five Contemplations While Eating" • This is an exercise that forces the Buddhist to stop and think about the food they are eating. • Whatfood is, why we eat it, where it comes from, and when and how we should eat it. • "think about where the food came from and the amount of work necessary to grow the food, transport it, prepare and cook it and bring it to the table.”
Killing or eating meat breaks several rules: • One who harms other sentient beings and restricts their path/chance to gain enlightenment/nirvana. • One also hurts one's self since all beings are a part of one whole. • One also spreads the bad killing karma, which will later cause one suffering, or propagate more killing. • One also enforces the suffering caused by the cycle of death and rebirth.
It is believed that the Buddha himself actually died from food poisoning.
Origin • Originated around the Indus Valley near the River Indus in modern day Pakistan. • The religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. Over 900 million practicing worldwide.
Teachings • No single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings • The main Hindu texts are the Vedas and their supplements. • Veda- a Sanskrit word meaning 'knowledge'. Many scriptures discuss dharma, which can be rendered as 'code of conduct', 'law', or 'duty'
Beliefs • Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him. • Existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, governed by Karma. • The soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived.
Holy Days • Diwali- the Hindu festival of lights • Holi- originally a spring festival of fertility and harvest • GaneshChaturthi- the birthday of lord Ganesh
Hindu beliefs emphasize the importance of living in harmony with nature, and having mercy, respect and compassion for all creatures.
Dietary Practices • Ayurvedic dietary practices- under this system, certain foods are classified as hot or cold and can adversely or positively affect health conditions and emotions. • Hot foods-foods which are salty, sour or high in animal protein. • Cold foods- generally sweet or bitter. • Food is divided into three categories based on how they enhance or hinder physical and spiritual development.
Three Categories • Tamasic foods- foods considered heavy, dull and depressive; Including meat, heavy cheese, onions, garlic, and mushrooms, old and stale food. • Rajasic foods- foods that are hot, spicy and salty are said to irritate and stimulate, often to a state of high agitation, anger and hate. • Sattvic foods- foods like many fruits, fresh yogurt and leafy greens, are supposed to bring clarity and perception and help unfold love and compassion in the consumer.
Vegetarianism • Hindus believe in the interdependence of life and will not eat any food that has involved the taking of life. • Many do not eat beef or beef products because the cow is held to be sacred. • Fish is a staple food product.
Preparation and Drink • Milk products are considered essential to a vegetarian diet and ghee (clarified butter) is a widely used frying medium. • Spices provide taste, aid digestion and promote good health. • The main meal, lunchtime, will typically consist of rice, sabji, dahland chapattis. • Orthodox Hindus and most vegetarians are unlikely to consume alcoholic beverages.
Food and Worship • Food offered to the deities is thought to bestow considerable religious merit, purifying body, mind and spirit. • Temple cooks are usually brahmanas and follow strict standards of personal cleanliness. • There is a belief that the consciousness of the cook enters the food and influences the mind of the eater.
Prasad • For true service to God, purity of food is necessary to maintain the desirable state of mind that leads to enlightenment. Food is consumed not only to survive but also to stay healthy and maintain mind/body equilibrium. • A true devotee will refuse to accept any food that is not offered first to God. • Before starting any daily meal, water is sprinkled around the plate as an act of purification. • Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the table to acknowledge the debt owed to thedevtaruna (divine forces) for their benign grace and protection.
Fasting • Fasting is seen as a means of purifying the body and the soul, encouraging self-discipline, and gaining emotional balance. • Practiced on specific days of the week, during festivals or on holy days, or in conjunction with special prayers. • It is not required for a Hindu patient to fast during hospitalization. However, some may wish to do so. • There is no specified way to fast. May choose to abstain completely from all food and drink or only abstain from certain foods.
Buddhism Both Hinduism India, Nepal No single founder Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas, Gita dharma shastras Perist and Brahmins The five Jivas Ashrama Individual Tibet, Sri Lanka Siddhartha Gautama Sutras, Pali canon, Tipitaka Eightfold Path Vedas and the Brahmans Atman bodhisattva Collective Polytheistic Reincarnation Vegetarianism Karma Forbiddance of onions and garlic Use of spices
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