2.2. Food and the True Meaning of “Stench”
“No carrion-stench is mine”, you say like this,
that it does not apply to you, O Brahma-kin—
while eating sālī-rice, all other things
with flesh of fowls so very well prepared;
the meaning of this, O Kassapa, I ask:
Your food, what sort of carrion-stench it has?
Towards others greedy or hateful—they attack them,
ever on misdemeanours bent,
they go to darkness after death;
such beings as this fall headlong into Hell:
this is carrion-stench, not the eating of meat.
Not from fish and flesh tasting and not by nudity,
not by the plucking of head-hairs,
nor growing of matted locks,
not by the smearing of the ashes of the dead,
not wearing abrasive skins,
not following sacrificial fires,
or worldly austerities for gaining immortality,
nor mantras, nor offerings,
oblations, seasons’ services
can purify a mortal still overcome by doubt.
Again, again the Radiant One this topic taught
to that knower of the Vedas, in those mantras expert,
thus clarified the Sage in verses sweetly-sounding.
Him of no carrion-stench, free who’s hard to trace.
Having listened to these verses well-spoken by the Buddha,
free of such stench, all dukkhas dispelling,
he of humble heart bowed at the Tathāgata’s feet
and there and then requested his own Leaving-home.