Friday, August 19, 2005
The Dhamma of Food
"Food and wine within the vermillion gates become rotten,
Whereas the man on the street dies of cold & hunger."
This saying describes the extreme gap between the rich and the poor and criticizes the starking social inequality of every society.
It is reported in the Shin Min papers on 18.8.05 that after the Shenyang Int. Food Festival in China was over, the Complete Banquet of the Man & Han races (worth 200,000 RMB) on display for 3 days were all thrown away like rubbish. This extravagant banquet of the past Qing emperors consist of 196 dishes and took 60 over cooks and workers days to prepare. Yet for all their efforts, they feel no pity when so much food is thrown away just like that. A recent survey in China shows that on average, each and every restaurant in China throw away about 50kg of food everyday as a result of left overs after every meal served. That amounts to about 600 billion RMB worth of food wasted in one year!
This proves that what I mentioned previously about decadence is true. The Chinese people in general have long developed the unwholesome habit of food wastage as a nation, a sure sign of decadence and corruption. Even my wife, who is from China, display such identical negative traits; behaviour which I constantly chastise her for. China was once poor also and the people there also suffered daily hunger before. But all that is forgotten, now that they have grown affluent after years of economic reforms. Another Chinese saying goes:
"When one is rich but not humane, he is no different from a fat pig."
Affluence corrupts the mind and breeds decadance when not tempered with the proper moral guidance and education. The rich gets richer while the poor tries to strike it rich at any cost; and so the whole nation is enveloped by the poison of craving. Having lost the traditional teachings of Taosim, Confucianism & Buddhism; after being suppressed by the communist governement for so many years, China is slowly, but surely trodding towards another woeful era, for the seeds of negative karma have already been sowed. Just think, so many other people in the 3rd world nations are still living in extreme poverty and hunger, especially in Africa, which is none other than the realm of the Hungry Ghosts manisfested on Earth. So anyone can see it is not wholesome at all for any nation to waste food on such a massive scale instead of helping those starving sentient beings. A wise man knows that the fortunes of nations are never permanant, rising and falling like the tide. The Chinese people are already trapped in the Prison of Craving, yet they do not know it. Although on the surface China is still doing very well now, I forsee that in my life time I will witness China suffer the fruits of its collective kamma.
May the Dhamma lead them out of the coming darkness.