Enlightened Vegetarian Restaurants in Malaysia: Buddhist Ethics in Contemporary Buddhism


  • John Lee Kean Yew University of Malaya


Buddhist ethics, Ahimsa, Vegetarian restaurants, Buddhist values, Malaysia


It is important to consider Buddhist Ethics of Ahimsa as a true practice to enhance compassion and understanding. The first precept of Buddhism stresses the importance of protecting life-beings and not exploiting other living beings. The Theravada and the Vajrayana schools are inclined to permit eating of meat whereas Mahayana practitioners advocate vegetarianism. The question that arises is whether running a vegetarian restaurant in Malaysia is identified as a way to practice Buddhist Ethics of Ahimsa. However, not much of Buddhist literature highlights the practices of Buddhist Ethics towards vegetarianism. This paper traces the link between the running of vegetarian restaurants in Malaysia and Buddhist ethics of Ahimsa and how this will decrease violence in one-self, in the family and in society. The authors’ conclusion is that the running of vegetarian restaurants will bring about greater awareness about Buddhist ethics which will have an impact on practicing the Buddhist value.






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