Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

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ryan_oliveira
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Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by ryan_oliveira » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:04 am

What are the Sutras that "ban" the Five Pungent Roots? I only know Surangama Sutra and Brahmajala Sutra.

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Aemilius
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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Aemilius » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:16 pm

Says Sravasti Dhammika (in Guide to Buddhism A 2 Z):
"Garlic (lasuna) is the onion-like bulb of the plant Allium sativum which is eaten for its pungent taste. The Buddha asked monks and nuns not to eat garlic because the strong smell it leaves on the breath can be offensive to other people (Vin.II,139). However, he did allow garlic to be taken as a medicine. For reasons that are not clear, the ancient Indians came to believe that eating garlic, onion and leeks is very detrimental to meditation. Buddhist monks picked up this superstition, took it to China and even today pious Chinese Buddhists will never eat garlic."
(Vin. means Vinaya)
Avalokiteshvara fasting practice also forbids the five.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm

One of the “ roots” is not a root at all of course. Asafoetida is a ground up resin........ You’re welcome.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by justsit » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:05 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm
One of the “ roots” is not a root at all of course. Asafoetida is a ground up resin........ You’re welcome.
My understanding is that the five pungents are onions, garlic, scallions (green onions), chives, and leeks.

Asofoetida is derived from the root of a perennial herb plant, and apparently Jains, who avoid the five pungents, are permitted to use it in cooking. At least Manjula, a Jain, does on her Indian cooking website. :shrug:
(ETA - Great vegetarian Indian recipes here, if you're interested https://www.manjulaskitchen.com/)

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by seeker242 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:08 pm

Chapter 8 of the Lankavatara Sutra mention "refrain from meat, onions, various kinds of liquor, allium, and garlic". But technically, allium include onions and garlic as allium mean various species of plants, including onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives, etc. Asafoetida is a resin, of a root.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:37 pm

Are there reasons why one should avoid them?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:32 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:08 pm
Chapter 8 of the Lankavatara Sutra mention "refrain from meat, onions, various kinds of liquor, allium, and garlic". But technically, allium include onions and garlic as allium mean various species of plants, including onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives, etc. Asafoetida is a resin, of a root.
A resin is a resin...whether derived from leaf, bark, flower or root.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:35 pm

Miroku wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Are there reasons why one should avoid them?
Convention. Custom and practice?
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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Vasana » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:37 pm

Miroku wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Are there reasons why one should avoid them?
Body Odour at monastery.
They are also rajastic foods and Some are aphrodisiacs. They can be quite energizing, invigorating- similar to how chilli and ginger really have a 'kick' to them. For some, this kick or additional arousal is not useful if you are trying to eat and live and meditate in a satvic way, or sharing your living space in a monastery. They can increase desire and aggression.

There can also be dietary restrictions in place for enhancing/protecting the effects of yogic practices but this varies by teacher, instruction but also the Individual's constitution and purity of elements. Generally, better health and balance of doshas and elements will be better for practice.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:43 pm

Vasana wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:37 pm
Miroku wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Are there reasons why one should avoid them?
Body Odour at monastery.
They are also rajastic foods and Some are aphrodisiacs. They can be quite energizing, invigorating- similar to how chilli and ginger really have a 'kick' to them. For some, this kick or additional arousal is not useful if you are trying to eat and live and meditate in a satvic way, or sharing your living space in a monastery. They can increase desire and aggression.

There can also be dietary restrictions in place for enhancing/protecting the effects of yogic practices but this varies by teacher, instruction but also the Individual's constitution and purity of elements. Generally, better health and balance of doshas and elements will be better for practice.
I see that is quite a good explanation thank you.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by justsit » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:38 am

Miroku wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Are there reasons why one should avoid them?
From a sutra perspective, no idea.

I do recall hearing proscriptions discussed at some vajrayana teachings related to disruption of internal winds in the body. Can't provide a definitive source, though, sorry.

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:50 am

There are some Tantric initiations where you don't eat this 24 hours beforehand, etc., usually Kriya Tantra initiations. I mean it exists in Tibetan Buddhism, but not as any consistent thing at all that I've seen.

Generally speaking though, it was my understanding that as a consistent practice it is mostly a Chinese Buddhism thing ala the Shurangama Sutra. One explanation is that Bodhisattva/Mahasattvas don't like the smell. Seems pretty prissy for enlightened beings so I don't buy it personally, but whatevs. We should do what our tradition and our teacher teaches to the best of our ability - including dietary stuff.

Here's a link

http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama7/shurangama7.asp
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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:25 am

justsit wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:05 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm
One of the “ roots” is not a root at all of course. Asafoetida is a ground up resin........ You’re welcome.
My understanding is that the five pungents are onions, garlic, scallions (green onions), chives, and leeks.

Asofoetida is derived from the root of a perennial herb plant, and apparently Jains, who avoid the five pungents, are permitted to use it in cooking. At least Manjula, a Jain, does on her Indian cooking website. :shrug:
(ETA - Great vegetarian Indian recipes here, if you're interested https://www.manjulaskitchen.com/)
This is what I have always believed, too.
Asafoetida is known as "hing" in Indian cooking and it's used a lot. I use it as a substitute for garlic, but only because a family member is allergic to garlic. For the same reason, I've dabbled in Jain recipes, all of which have been very enjoyable.
:stirthepot:

But I don't think the prohibition is particularly Jain. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the Hare Krishna restaurants avoid these same five roots. I haven't checked, though.

:coffee:
Kim

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:47 am

Read https://hridaya-yoga.com/onions-garlic-ayurveda/ for the same prohibition in ayurveda and yoga.

:coffee:
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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Aemilius » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:57 am

There is more than one thousand years of experience of retreats in Zen/Chan and of the food that is suitable for their needs and purposes. There are plenty of books available on cooking for Zen seshins or Zen retreats. Even the Soto shu's official webpage offers information about food and cooking in Soto zen.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:16 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:25 am
justsit wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:05 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm
One of the “ roots” is not a root at all of course. Asafoetida is a ground up resin........ You’re welcome.
My understanding is that the five pungents are onions, garlic, scallions (green onions), chives, and leeks.

Asofoetida is derived from the root of a perennial herb plant, and apparently Jains, who avoid the five pungents, are permitted to use it in cooking. At least Manjula, a Jain, does on her Indian cooking website. :shrug:
(ETA - Great vegetarian Indian recipes here, if you're interested https://www.manjulaskitchen.com/)
This is what I have always believed, too.
Asafoetida is known as "hing" in Indian cooking and it's used a lot. I use it as a substitute for garlic, but only because a family member is allergic to garlic. For the same reason, I've dabbled in Jain recipes, all of which have been very enjoyable.
:stirthepot:

But I don't think the prohibition is particularly Jain. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the Hare Krishna restaurants avoid these same five roots. I haven't checked, though.

:coffee:
Kim
They use a lot of hing...asafoetida, Because they have the same proscribing of the allium family, and hing isn’t one. It’s actually related to celery.
As had been said although in the raw state hing smells like old socks left sweaty in the drawer by a heedless teen..once cooked it imparts a sweet smooth garlicky flavour to food but does not remain on the breath.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by seeker242 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:21 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:32 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:08 pm
Chapter 8 of the Lankavatara Sutra mention "refrain from meat, onions, various kinds of liquor, allium, and garlic". But technically, allium include onions and garlic as allium mean various species of plants, including onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives, etc. Asafoetida is a resin, of a root.
A resin is a resin...whether derived from leaf, bark, flower or root.
It's a part of a root, AKA a pungent root. Resin that comes from a leaf is not resin that is part of a root.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Queequeg » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:03 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:57 am
There is more than one thousand years of experience of retreats in Zen/Chan and of the food that is suitable for their needs and purposes. There are plenty of books available on cooking for Zen seshins or Zen retreats. Even the Soto shu's official webpage offers information about food and cooking in Soto zen.
I think it goes back further than Zen/Chan.

My understanding is that as mentioned above, these foods agitate. I suspect someone who has the liberty to delve deeply into practice would become very sensitive to any influences, dietary, environmental, whatever. I've heard that monks deep into the 9 day practice of not eating, drinking or sleeping during the Kaihogyo can hear the ashes fall off of burning incense sticks.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by justsit » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:12 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:16 am
As had been said although in the raw state hing smells like old socks left sweaty in the drawer by a heedless teen..once cooked it imparts a sweet smooth garlicky flavour to food but does not remain on the breath.
Lol, the first time I bought hing, it was for an Indian recipe, I had no idea about the smell. Opened it in my kitchen - and almost fell over. It's so strong I can't even leave the closed bottle in the kitchen cabinet, it's stored outside in the shed.

But when it hits the hot oil in the pan - ah, magic.

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Re: Five Pungent Roots in the Sutras

Post by Simon E. » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:48 pm

I once bought some in a plastic container with a tightly fitting lid....you’ve guessed it..I prised the lid off clumsily and spilt it all down my shirt. Which had to go straight into the wash, along with my chinos. :shock:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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