Of all the great religions, only Jainism has always preached strict vegetarianism and absolute nonviolence toward animals. This religion, which originated in the sixth to fifth centuries B.C.E., was very widespread in ancient India. It still has around five million followers and often exerts a major influence on Indian society.
Following their ideal of nonviolence, or ahimsa, the Jains denounce sacrifices, arranged animal fights, hunting and fishing, and also the consumption of meat. They have built numerous shelters for animals and run a charity-supported hospital for birds in Delhi—the Birds Charitable Hospital—which can accommodate as many as six thousand birds. There, a doctor in an impeccable white frock, a volunteer like all the others, can be seen treating an old rooster suffering from pneumonia; another might be cutting out a cancerous tumor or setting the broken bone of a kite or a pigeon. If a bird cannot be cured and released, the hospital hospice will keep her until she dies.
They regard it as their duty to avoid treading on insects or other crawling creatures when they walk. Jain monks tie a cloth over their mouths in order to avoid swallowing insects that might be in the air they breathe. For similar reasons, they filter the water they drink. They even avoid eating vegetables that grow under the earth (potatoes, carrots, etc.) for fear of injuring subterranean fauna such as worms and insects. In all conservative Jain homes, fires for cooking are not lit in the morning until forty-five minutes after sunrise so that insects will not be drawn into the flame. For the same reason, cooking fires are put out forty-five minutes before sunset.
A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion
by Matthieu Ricard
If you care about animals too help them by helping us build the first Farm Animals Sanctuary. this FREEDOM Sanctuary will serve as a shelter for rescued animals from the meat and dairy industries, and will provide an opportunity for a comfortable, free, compassionate and well being life.
Being cruelty free is not nearly as hard as explaining why I’m cruelty free. People don’t want to hear about animal suffering, they want to hear if I miss cheese, but, to me, they are related. I don’t miss causing animal suffering, therefore I don’t miss cheese.
Inner Sound Meditation: The Opening of the Inner Subtle Hearing Faculty
“At first we receive this Teaching through our sense of hearing, but when we are fully able to realize it, it becomes ours through a Transcendental and Intuitive Hearing. This makes the awakening and perfecting of a transcendental faculty of hearing of very great importance to every novice. As the wish to attain Samadhi deepens in the mind of any disciple, he can most surely attain it by means of his Transcendental Organ of Hearing. For many a Kalpa – as numerous as the particles of sand in the river Ganges – Avalokiteshvara Buddha, the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired Transcendental Powers of Boundless Freedom and Fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! It is the pure Brahman Sound. It is the subdued murmur of the seatide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid; it brings a sense of permanency to those who are truly seeking the attainment of Nirvana’s Peace.” (Surangama Sutra, Sacred Text of Mystical Buddhism)
“Sants have articulated about the closing of three gates of the body to experience the inner Sound. The three gates are eyes, ears, and mouth. Close these and, only then, can one hear the inner Sounds. According to Sant Kabir: ‘Close your eyes, ears, and mouth, and listen to the anahad (inner Unstruck Divine Sound).’ Sant Nanak Sahab says: 'Close the three gates and listen to the reverberation of the Divine Sound.’ Sant Maharshi Mehi and also Sufi Sants have used similar vocabulary to describe the process of closing three openings for hearing the inner Sound.
"Someone asked, 'If the Sound is not heard with the physical ears then with what kind of ear is this subtle Sound heard?’ When the mind becomes concentrated, then the physical sense of hearing becomes quiet and one does not hear. This occurs because the attention withdraws from the senses and one is unable to hear physical sound.
"In response Sant Tulsi Sahab says: 'A practitioner who is able to focus in the Sushumna or the tenth gate for some time will experience the opening of the inner subtle hearing faculty. That inner sense of hearing is also known as the consciousness Current.’ My Guru Maharshi Mehi said: 'A practitioner hears the sweet Sound of the flute through the stream of inner consciousness.’ When the outer ear ceases to hear and the mind is fully concentrated within, then the inner hearing opens up and the practitioner can hear the Divine Sound within (through the inner ear)…
"By focusing on the third eye he must attempt to recognize the Central Sound, as instructed by the guru. As soon as the practitioner recognizes the Sound emanating from the center of the light realm, this Sound, like a magnet, will attract the consciousness and will draw it to the center of a higher realm. Once a practitioner grasps the Central Sound, he will continue to ascend upward until the soul reaches the ultimate goal of realization of the Divine. Maharshi Mehi says: 'It might be possible to separate the magnet from the iron but the consciousness Current which is attracted to the Divine Sound cannot be separated in spite of any outward distractions and dangers.’ Sant Daria Sahab elaborates: 'My mind is always drawn to the Divine Sound (Shabd) and it has forsaken all worldly distractions. Day and night it is focused on the target and listens to the resounding of the Divine Sounds (Shabd) within.’”
– Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
Being vegetarian here means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.