Eat onion?

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Eat onion?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:07 am

Dear Members,

Are there any rules about eating onions for monks in Theravada tradition?
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:18 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:33 am

Greetings,

Would that then prohibit the use of any onion (or onion powder) whatsoever in curries etc?

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:54 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Would that then prohibit the use of any onion (or onion powder) whatsoever in curries etc?

Metta,
Retro. :)
Of course, it has nothing to do with the laity, but for monastics, it would seem so.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:59 am

Thanks for the link.

After reading that, I think we can imply that eating onions are not encouraged.

This can be understood from Buddha answered to Sariputta, I allow .....

The second reason is yogic do not eat onion because onions affect the stability of their mind. Since Siddharta Gautama was also a yogic, he should share same rules.

I have a friend who is from Brahmin caste from India. All of their family dont eat onions. When they cook curry, it doesn't have oniOns.

If I can conclude eating onions probably can be considered as a soft rule. If you can, then avoid it, but not a must.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:11 am

DarwidHalim wrote:The second reason is yogic do not eat onion because onions affect the stability of their mind. Since Siddharta Gautama was also a yogic, he should share same rules.
There is no justification for making that leap.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:11 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Of course, it has nothing to do with the laity, but for monastics, it would seem so.

The reason I ask is because I imagine that curries are quite popular offerings in traditional Theravada countries, and being a common (and often 'hidden') ingredient in curries, it's hard to see in practical terms how a bhikkhu would easily and simply be able to know if the offering was permissible. Would he have to ask? etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:Of course, it has nothing to do with the laity, but for monastics, it would seem so.

The reason I ask is because I imagine that curries are quite popular offerings in traditional Theravada countries, and being a common (and often 'hidden') ingredient in curries, it's hard to see in practical terms how a bhikkhu would easily and simply be able to know if the offering was permissible. Would he have to ask? etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
All I can say to this is: damdifino, but there are a number of bhikkhus who do post here. They might be able to say something about this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:05 am

Isn't that a Mahayana text?

:anjali:
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:16 am

mikenz66 wrote:Isn't that a Mahayana text?

:anjali:
Mike
The text I linked?


http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe20/

VINAYA TEXTS
TRANSLATED FROM THE PÂLI BY
T.W. RHYS DAVIDS AND HERMANN OLDENBERG
Part III
THE KULLAVAGGA, IV-XII.
Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 20
[1885]
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:25 am

Hmm, OK, interesting. I know that the Mahayana texts have all kinds of stuff about garlic and onions...

:anjali:
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:32 am

Chapter 7 of the Mhayana Nirvana Sutra (translated by Kosho Yamamoto and edited by Dr. Tony Page) states:

"One who eats meat kills the seed of great compassion... O Kasyapa! I, from now on, tell my disciples to refrain from eating any kind of meat. O Kasyapa! When one eats meat, this gives out the smell of meat while one is walking, standing, sitting or reclining. People smell this and become fearful. This is as when one comes near a lion. One sees and smells the lion, and fear arises. O good man! When one eats garlic, the dirty smell is unbearable. Other people notice it. They smell the bad smell. They leave that person and go away. Even from far off, people hate to see such a person. They will not come near him. It is the same with one who eats meat. It is a similar situation with all people who, on smelling the meat, become afraid and entertain the thought of death. All living things in the water, on land and in the sky desert such a person and run away. They say that this person is their enemy. Hence the Bodhisattva does not eat meat."

And then there is this:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 12&start=0
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:43 am

Hee, hee. I think the great Rhys Davids forgot to consult his own PED when he translated "lasuṇa" in that rule to read as "onion". The PED lists it as "garlic".
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:44 am

Sylvester wrote:Hee, hee. I think the great Rhys Davids forgot to consult his own PED when he translated "lasuṇa" in that rule to read as "onion". The PED lists it as "garlic".
If there is a mistake, blame Oldenberg.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:50 am

Sylvester wrote:Hee, hee. I think the great Rhys Davids forgot to consult his own PED when he translated "lasuṇa" in that rule to read as "onion". The PED lists it as "garlic".

I wonder Sylvester whether back then onions and garlic were so similar that they were classed together?
Just a thought...
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:19 am

One has rings, the other is arranged in cloves. How could they be mistaken? But these vegetables were certainly classified among the "5 pungents" that are discouraged in Mahayana monastic practice.

I wonder why the monk demurred after a meal of garlic. Bad breath or flatulence?

Some enigmatic translations persist that refer to "corn" in the ancient Indian landscape. I thought maize was unknown in the Old World before Columbus et al...
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:54 am

The Vinaya Pali text doesn't seem to mention whether the garlic is cooked or not. It just says:
Aññatarena bhikkhunā lasuṇaṃ khāyitaṃ hoti.
A certain bhikkhu had eaten garlic.

Of course, food cooked with garlic is frequently offered to bhikkhus, and I have never noticed any bhikkhu refuse food on the grounds that garlic is not allowable unless one is sick, so I assume that this means that the bhikkhu had eaten raw garlic.
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby chownah » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:32 pm

Sylvester wrote:One has rings, the other is arranged in cloves. How could they be mistaken? But these vegetables were certainly classified among the "5 pungents" that are discouraged in Mahayana monastic practice.

I wonder why the monk demurred after a meal of garlic. Bad breath or flatulence?

Some enigmatic translations persist that refer to "corn" in the ancient Indian landscape. I thought maize was unknown in the Old World before Columbus et al...

It is my understanding that in England before Columbus rediscovered the "new" world the word "corn" was the equivalent of what in the US is called "grain" meaning any cereal seed.....for instance many have heard of John Barley Corn......here "barley corn" means barley grain I think.......so perhaps the usage of "corn" you saw was meant to be interpreted as "grain".
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:52 pm



Not being able to stand the smell of a person having eaten onion is not a very tolerant attitude. I would also expect more from people skilled in meditation and in meditation on feelings. But maybe the bhikkhus was not skilled which is understandable.
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Re: Eat onion?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:12 pm

Jaidyn wrote:Not being able to stand the smell of a person having eaten onion is not a very tolerant attitude.
The bhikkhu in question was not intolerant — he was being considerate of his fellows who might be discomfited by the smell of his breath.

The bhikkhus in those times who were advanced in their practice would have been tolerant of such a slight inconvenience. The rule was made because it created an obstacle for the bhikkhu who had eaten garlic, not because it would interrupt those other bhikkhus who were attentively listening to the Dhamma.

If a meditator has the 'flu, perhaps he or she should stay away from a meditation class or group sittings to avoid spreading the infection. However, one doesn't need to leave the room every time one has a dry cough. Other meditators should be able to tolerate such sounds. If it becomes frequent, then one should just get up slowly and go to get a drink of water or leave the room until it has subsided.
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