There is nothing wrong in eating meat but it is so much surprising that Buddhist monks eat meat whereas the religion preaches non-violence.
I asked this question to a monk during my visit to Thailand and he told me that Buddha allowed monks to eat meat, if they had not seen, heard or suspected that any living being had been killed specifically to make the dish for the monk.
Monks are mendicants dependent for all of their food needs on the generosity of householders, they are not allowed to grow store or cook food, they may not pick fruit from trees. Though there have always been monks who prefer vegetarianism but they do not refuse to accept meat if someone offered meat in their arms round.
The answer to me was less convincing. Then I read a beautiful and an interesting story. Once a monk came to Buddha and said that he was going around in the town with his bowl in hand and a eagle flying in the sky dropped a piece of meat in it. Buddha had told his monks to eat what ever is offered in the bowl or in arms round with total acceptance. He had also advised monks not to eat meat. In this case which is rarest of the rare exception, the eagle dropped the meat piece in the bowl of the monk, which Buddha had also never thought as a possibility, but it happened and now this monk is standing before him asking what to do eat or not to eat?
Buddha closed his eyes for a second and thought it is such a rare exception that it will not happen again. If he allowed the monk to make choice he will miss the point of choice less awareness, which is Buddha’s sole teaching. So he said to Monk eat what you have in the bowl.
Since then Buddhist monks have started eating meat. Now it is not the eagle but the Buddhist followers drop meat in their bowl. Buddha never wanted to give rules to its followers, but he gave a few simple rules on the insistence of his favorite disciple Anand, the last of it was to live with choice less awareness. A person with awareness can never eat meat, as he knows that life cannot be fed by killing a life but most Buddhist monks in southeast follow the rule of eating what you get in the bowl.
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