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Life of a Saint

Venerated Ancient Greek Philosopher Pythagoras (vegan): A Mathematician and Mystic, Part 1 of 2

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Pythagoras is said to have been heavenly handsome and is well-known for the mathematical theorem named after Him. Moreover, Pythagoras was a much-loved vegan spiritual Master. His teachings are said to have been influential for both Plato and Aristotle, setting a foundation for Western philosophy. The perceptive and talented Pythagoras didn’t stop at metaphysics and mathematics; He was also a pioneering figure in the fields of astronomy and music.

We know that He was born around 570 BC on Samos, a Greek island sitting just off the coast of modern-day Turkey. Around 518 BC, Pythagoras settled in Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy. In Croton, He founded a learning academy, and this is where most of His philosophical and spiritual teaching took place. In Croton, Pythagoras established a spiritual organization, or brotherhood, although it was open to both men and women. Pythagoras was well ahead of His time and considered women and men to be equal.

The basic beliefs taught by Pythagoras were: 1. at its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature, 2. that philosophy can be used for spiritual purification, 3. that the soul can rise to union with the Divine, 4. that certain symbols have mystical significance, 5. that all members of the order observe strict loyalty and secrecy.

Pythagoras was a trailblazing vegan with an understanding that animal-people were to be treated with respect, and His followers were also required to be vegetarian. Not only did Pythagoras understand the karmic consequences of killing and consuming animal-people, but He also recognized the health benefits of a plant-based diet and saw vegetarianism as an important component of a peaceful, human life.

In 2007, Supreme Master Ching Hai also mentioned how Pythagoras’ teachings followed the essence of the Essenes, the same wisdom as transmitted by all peaceful religions. “That is according to the book research; they think that way, but these are only all theory. What the book cannot show you here is the essence of it. The essence of the Essenes, the name connotes the essence, the essence of things, essence of yourself, essence of the Divine; the essence of all things; the most important thing! So, the Pythagoreans and the Stoics of ancient Greeks also followed the Essenes principles and much of their way of life.”

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