"That night the wife of King Suddhodana,
Maya the Queen, asleep beside her Lord,
Dreamed a strange dream; dreamed that a star from heaven--
Splendid, six-rayed, in colour rosy-pearl,
Whereof the token was an Elephant
Six-tusked and whiter than Vahuka's milk--
Shot through the void and, shining into her,
Entered her womb upon the right. Awaked,
Bliss beyond mortal mother's filled her breast,
And over half the earth a lovely light
Forewent the morn. The strong hills shook; the waves
Sank lulled; all flowers that blow by day came forth
As 't were high noon; down to the farthest hells
Passed the Queen's joy, as when warm sunshine thrills
Wood-glooms to gold, and into all the deeps
A tender whisper pierced. "Oh ye," it said,
"The dead that are to live, the live who die,
Uprise, and hear, and hope! Buddha is come!"
Whereat in Limbos numberless much peace
Spread, and the world's heart throbbed, and a wind blew
With unknown freshness over lands and seas.
And when the morning dawned, and this was told,
The grey dream-readers said "The dream is good!
The Crab is in conjunction with the Sun;
The Queen shall bear a boy, a holy child
Of wondrous wisdom, profiting all flesh,
Who shall deliver men from ignorance,
Or rule the world, if he will deign to rule."
In this wise was the holy Buddha born."
~The Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold~
Sharing here is the powerpoint I presented to the Asia Society (HK Branch) in a recent event. I was trying to give reasons why there is such a strong tie between the two and why overall, vegetarian cuisine flourishes in China (with virtually no help from the Hippies and PETA people!).