Subject: Buddha's teaching against eating meat & fish just prior to his passing - The "Nirvana Sutra" Ch 7: On the Four Aspects

Please note in all these excepts from the Buddha's final teaching before his passing, the Buddha is undeniably and emphatically against eating meat and fish and warns that after his passing even followers will distort his teachings and say the Buddha said it was acceptable to eat meat & fish.

 Here are excerpts of the final teaching of Shakyamuni
Buddha just before his passing. It is from the "Nirvana Sutra" Ch 7: On the Four Aspects.

(Mahaparinirvana Sutra Vol 2)

"Buddha's final teaching on Avoiding meat & fish" - Translation by Dr Tony Page

Then Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One!
To one who eats flesh, we should not give flesh. Why not? I see a great virtue arising out of abstention from eating flesh." The Buddha praised Kasyapa and said: "Well said, well said! You now come to know my mind well.
A Bodhisattva who protects Dharma should be thus. O good man!
From now on, I do not permit my sravaka disciples to eat meat.
When receiving from a danapati a pristine dana [gift] of faith, think that one is eating the flesh of one's own son." Bodhisattva Kasyapa said further to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One!
Why is it that the Tathagata does not allow us to eat meat?"
"O good man! "One who eats meat kills the seed of great compassion. "Kasyapa said again: "Bodhisattva Kasyapa said further to the Buddha:
"Why is it that the flesh of fish is praised and called beautiful?"
"O good man! I do not say that the flesh of fish is a beautiful food. I say that sugar cane, non-glutinous rice, rock candy, black rock candy, ....

How could one greedily stick to [crave after] the flesh of fish?" Buddha continued "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! 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. They say that this person is their enemy. Hence the Bodhisattva does not eat meat. In order to save beings, he shows [pretends] that he eats meat. Though he [seems to] eat meat, in actual fact he does not. O good man! Such a Bodhisattva does not even take pure food. How could he eat meat? One hundred years after my death, all the holy sages of the four fruitions [the four stages leading to "arhatship"] will enter Nirvana. The age of Wonderful Dharma will be over, and there will appear the age of Counterfeit Dharma, when the bhiksu will keep the precepts [only] as a matter of form, will recite [only] a little of the sutras, will greedily take food and drink and [excessively] nourish his body. What he wears on his body will be ugly and coarse. He will look wearied and show no dignity. He will feed [farm] cows and sheep and carry fuel and grass. His beard, nails and hair will be long. He will don the kasaya [priestly robe] but look like a hunter.

One such as this transgresses against the precepts, right action and deportment instituted by the Tathagata. He talks about the fruit of emancipation, but his actions depart from what is pure and he violates Dharma, which is profound and hidden. Each such person, following his own interpretation, will speak contrary to what the sutras and vinaya rules state, saying: "The Tathagata allows all of us meat". They will talk thus and say that the Buddha has so spoken.
They will dispute and say that they are shramanas and successors to the Buddha's teaching. O good man! At that time, again, there will be shramanas who store cereals, receive fish and meat, prepare meals themselves, and keep oil pots.

If any bhiksu rejects such evils, one can say that he is truly my disciple. "Then Kasyapa said further to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! The bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas and upasikas may have to live depending on people. At the time of the alms-round, one may be given food containing meat. How can one take it and yet be pure?" The Buddha said: "Use water, wash away the meat, and then eat it [the rest of the food]. The utensil may be defiled by meat. But if no taste of meat remains, this may be used. There will be no harm done. If one sees that there is a lot of meat, one should not accept such a meal. One must never eat the meat itself. One who eats it infringes the rule. I now set this rule of segregating one's self from eating meat. If we go into detail, there will be no end of explanations. So I must dispense with explanations. This is "answering well what is enquired about

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