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People eat meat mainly because of habit; so many people have not thought that the animals experience unbelievable suffering. If the same thing was done to human beings—eating human meat and being killed for business—then you can see how much suffering there would be. It would be unbearable.
When I was in hospital after a stroke [in April 2011] I saw on TV so many goats being sold by Australia to Indonesia for so many years. It even showed the place where the goats would be killed, one by one. I didn’t see the actual place where they were killed, but I saw a cow who was tied up by ropes. A man was pulling him down from the platform, but the cow didn’t want to go down. So I thought, I can’t stop the animal suffering, but what I can do as I go around the world to teach, I will announce or request if people can become vegetarian.
Of course, individually we can’t say everyone who eats meat is bad. Many manifestations of buddhas, bodhisattvas and great yogis, who have very high tantric realizations on the basis of the three principals of the path, they eat meat, but they don’t eat it with the self-cherishing thought. They eat it to purify the animal’s negative karma, so that animal has a good rebirth, meets the Dharma in future lives, is reborn in a pure land, and achieves enlightenment as quickly as possible. So it is done to benefit the animals. When it comes to the individual person like that, it is a great blessing.
Here I am asking ordinary sentient beings to be vegetarian—ordinary sentient beings, just like myself—especially those who like to eat meat.
Some people have health problems and may have to eat meat. Some people are like this, but not the majority. For example, one of my gurus, Ribur Rinpoche, lived in Tibet and ate meat. He took the aspect of sickness in America at one FPMT center. At that center you cannot eat meat, so they did not even offer it to Rinpoche, but a Tibetan lady brought meat quietly & only then Rinpoche took the aspect of recovering. So there are situations like this.
Also ordinary beings sometimes depend on meat to be healthy, so we need to be careful and make exceptions.
In our normal daily lives, it is very good to recite this in the morning after completing prostrations while reciting the names of the Thirty-five Buddhas. Normally the mantra is recited when we take the Eight Mahayana Precepts, but it can be recited even when you are not taking precepts.
This mantra is called the “Mantra that Makes Morality Pure.”
Buddha explained in the Kangyur:
ONE, the minute you recite this mantra your morality becomes pure—“great pure”—and it helps to complete the perfection of morality.
(I think it is called great pure because it purifies what has been degenerated.)
TWO, many scented smells or morality come from the body & you become far-famed in the ten directions due to your pure morality.
(I remember this scented smell from many years ago when I was around 3 or 4 & still living on the Namche Bazaar side of Solu Khumbu. There is a monastery close to the village where I was born. One time there was a puja or initiation with the head lama of that monastery. That time the gompa was full of monks and there was a young incarnate lama who came from Junbesi or somewhere in the lower part of Solu Khumbu. When we finished the puja, this young lama got down from his seat in the row of monks and I remember smelling a very strong scent. Of course, there is no perfume in Solu Khumbu! The scented smell was coming from the young incarnate lama. It wasn’t something bought from a shop and then put on the body!)
THREE, if one remembers this mantra every day then one will always have pure morality. Any bhikshu who has degenerated morality, by doing nyung-nä & reciting this mantra, the morality will become completely pure & one will be able to live in many moralities.
Also my root Guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche explained in the Commentary on the Eight Mahayana Precepts that:
One will receive all the Buddhas’ paramita of morality.
Reciting this mantra helps us & supports us to be able to live in pure morality, to purify whatever has been degenerated in the past & to be able to complete the perfection of morality.