Theravada Mind Of Consumption (小乘饮食之道)

In the canteens of some Theravada temples, we can find a board inscribed with 5 'kata' or sentences reminding how a Buddhist should think before eating:

1. Please think what have you done to enjoy the food donated by others on that day. Meaning: You must eat according to your fair share of dharma act to repay the good deeds of the donors.

2. Please think how many dharma acts you have performed before consuming foods donated. Meaning: If you are lazy with your dharma practice, then you shall not enjoy your food.

3. You must try to remove the 'greed' from the 5 desires. Meaning: you must not feel unjust if others have a bigger portion.

4. You should know that eating is for the sustenance of life for the practice of dharma. Meaning: Dharma is always come first.

5. You must not over eating because your only aim is to attain the Bodhisattva stage so as to help others. Meaning: Always control the quantity you eat.

Just to recap: the aim of a Theravada Buddhist eating is to sustain life so that he can have more time to practice dharma to liberate sentient beings. 

It is probably a fact that  most of the Theravada monks observe the above 5 rules faithfully hence majority of them are quite slim. This is a contrast to the monks of Mahayana schools. Just look around and you shall see.

Comments