In those days it was common in India for people to kill animals as a sacrifice,or offering, to their gods. This was supposed to make the gods happy. Thenthe gods would give the people what they prayed for, such as wealth, orrain for their crops.
Wherever he went, Buddha told people that it was wrong to sacrifice animalslike this. Some people who heard him became angry with Buddha and said,"Our holy books say that it is correct to kill animals and offer them toour gods. How dare you teach differently?"
And Buddha replied, "It is not right to make another unhappy so that youcan be happy. Everyone wants to remain alive just as you do. Therefore,if you sacrifice an animal, you are just being selfish. And I have taughtagain and again that a selfish person finds nothing but unhappiness inlife.
"Also, any god who demands the blood of an animal before he will help youis not a kind god. He is not worthy of being worshipped by anyone. Butif you act with love and kindness towards everyone - animals and peoplealike - then the gods themselves should worship you!"
Many of the people who heard these words of wisdom say that they were true.Immediately they gave up their custom of sacrificing animals. In this waya great deal of unhappiness was brought to an end.