He was caught hold of, and he saw a big pot of boiling water on the fire. Fear started coming to him. He had been told by his friends, “Don’t go there; it is impossible to convert those people to Christianity. And anyway they are disappearing by themselves. By the end of this century there will perhaps be no cannibals in the world.” But the missionary was adamant. He wanted to be the pioneer who converted even the cannibals.
While they were putting him into the boiling water he said, “What are you doing?”
They said, “Soon you will see.”
Just as a last resort he said, “Have you ever tasted Christianity?”
They said, “No, not yet, but soon we are going to taste – just let the soup be ready.”
I don’t see any difference between nonvegetarians and cannibals. A man of love, compassion, understanding, can only be a vegetarian.
And the trees are available to give their abundance. There is no need to kill. It is a sheer hangover from the past hunting days when there was no cultivation.
You will be surprised to know that Jainas, who are the only community in the whole world which is vegetarian… Not even the Buddhists are vegetarians, although Buddha preached vegetarianism. Then what happened? How did the whole of Asia, which is Buddhist, become meat-eaters? This will show you the cunning mind of man. If he can find some small loophole he is not going to miss the opportunity to remain his old self. He is not going to transform.
The story is that Buddha had told his disciples absolutely not to eat meat. Because it is not only a question of reverence for life; it is also a question that if you are not full of reverence for life, your own heart is going to become hard. Your love is going to be phony, your compassion, just a word.
The concern of Mahavira and Gautam Buddha was that man should not only eat to live; man should eat to grow into purer consciousness. A meat-eater remains unconsciousness, tethered to the earth. He cannot fly into the sky of consciousness. Both things cannot exist together, that you are becoming more and more conscious and you are not even aware what you are doing. And just for taste, which is not impossible without killing: you can have the tastiest food possible. So it is absolutely unnecessary, an old past hangover.
But one day an incident happened – because the teaching of Buddha was that his sannyasins should eat only once a day, and that was enough. And perhaps science is going to say the same to you, to eat only once a day. Because it has now been found that if you eat less you live longer. If you eat more, you die sooner.
And the reason is that eating for taste becomes an obsession; you want more and more. Americans eat at least five times a day. That is just the average; I’m not talking about real Americans.