sacrifice and karma

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sacrifice and karma

Postby Dhammanucara » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:35 pm

I was reading through the Jataka stories about the Bodhisatta's pat lives who lived to perfect his paramis, and there upon came a question to my mind when I finished reading about Vessantara Jataka, and the story where he threw himself to the hungry tigress to avoid her from eating her own cubs. I may have interpreted it wrongly, but to me, his acts of life-sacrifice seem to be similar with suicide. And according to my understanding, those who commit suicide are actually taking away their own lives (breaking the 1st precept) and would have heavy, bad karmic consequences. Would those life-sacrifices that the Bodhisatta commit fall under this category? Why or why not?
Thanks.

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby bodom » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:44 pm

And according to my understanding, those who commit suicide are actually taking away their own lives (breaking the 1st precept) and would have heavy, bad karmic consequences.


I would assume only if it was done out of craving for self annihilation.

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby Hanzze » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:19 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:13 am

Dhammanucara wrote:I was reading through the Jataka stories about the Bodhisatta's pat lives who lived to perfect his paramis, and there upon came a question to my mind when I finished reading about Vessantara Jataka, and the story where he threw himself to the hungry tigress to avoid her from eating her own cubs. I may have interpreted it wrongly, but to me, his acts of life-sacrifice seem to be similar with suicide. And according to my understanding, those who commit suicide are actually taking away their own lives (breaking the 1st precept) and would have heavy, bad karmic consequences. Would those life-sacrifices that the Bodhisatta commit fall under this category? Why or why not?
Thanks.

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:

I think you're over-analyzing. It's just a neat story meant to inspire compassion.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby Hanzze » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:36 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby pt1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:38 pm

Dhammanucara wrote:I was reading through the Jataka stories about the Bodhisatta's pat lives who lived to perfect his paramis, and there upon came a question to my mind when I finished reading about Vessantara Jataka, and the story where he threw himself to the hungry tigress to avoid her from eating her own cubs. I may have interpreted it wrongly, but to me, his acts of life-sacrifice seem to be similar with suicide. And according to my understanding, those who commit suicide are actually taking away their own lives (breaking the 1st precept) and would have heavy, bad karmic consequences. Would those life-sacrifices that the Bodhisatta commit fall under this category? Why or why not?


I forget where I read this - probably a commentary - basically, a bodhisatta has different perfections to develop, and one of them is the perfection of giving. So, when it comes to developing that perfection, it was said to have three levels as I remeber:
1. giving of material things
2. giving of body parts
3. giving of life

I would assume that giving of life by a bodhisatta happens with wholesome intention - i.e. it's not based on aversion like it would be in case of suicide.

Best wishes
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby Dhammanucara » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:37 pm

Hi all,
Thanks for the input, really appreciate it. I guess pt1 is right; that as long as the sacrifice is not guided by greed, hatred and delusion, then it should be acceptable.
In the Vessantara Jataka that I read about, it was said that Prince Vessantara deceived Maddi about her ominous dream that her limbs were cut off, though the prince was very clear about the meaning of the dream. While totally understanding his intention that his objective could be achieved (i.e. perfection of his giving parami), I was wondering if such deceptive act would beget any bad karma to himself?
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Re: sacrifice and karma

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:19 pm

Dhammanucara wrote:Hi all,
Thanks for the input, really appreciate it. I guess pt1 is right; that as long as the sacrifice is not guided by greed, hatred and delusion, then it should be acceptable.
In the Vessantara Jataka that I read about, it was said that Prince Vessantara deceived Maddi about her ominous dream that her limbs were cut off, though the prince was very clear about the meaning of the dream. While totally understanding his intention that his objective could be achieved (i.e. perfection of his giving parami), I was wondering if such deceptive act would beget any bad karma to himself?

Hello Dhammanucara,

I don't agree with this at all.
The Vessantara Jataka is considered by Maurice Walshe to be older than buddhism (don't have a link).
But certainly the Jataka Tales are NOT canonical, only the verses are.
There are teachings in the actual Canon to show that if you make any differentiation between oneself and others you have still not
''laid down the burden''. e.g. the recent quotes from the Vissudhimagga about the four persons and the bandits needing a 'volunteer' so they could cut their throat.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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