Plant Life

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:03 pm

Sapience:

sapient
"wise," 1468, from O.Fr. sapient, from L. sapientem (nom. sapiens ), prp. of sapere "to taste, have taste, be wise," from PIE base *sep- "to taste, perceive" (cf. O.S. an-sebban "to perceive, remark," O.H.G. antseffen, O.E. sefa "mind, understanding, insight"). Sapience "wisdom, understanding" is recorded from c.1300.
taken from dictionary.com

Plants have a preference as to what soil conditions, and what atmospheric conditions are suitable for them. They have evolved adaptations to such conditions and grow only where they can thrive in those environments. This is what the concept of Plant Biome is all about. You never see a palm tree growing in Siberia, because they are not adapted to the conditions in Siberia. Just like you never see a cactus or other succulents growing in Antarctica.

Plants have been on Earth well before animals. How do we know this? Animals needed oxygen to breathe, and oxygen was manufactured by plants.

I won't ask you if plants are wise, or self aware, because self is a delusion. However, I will say for a fact that you never see plants arguing and debating online about such obvious things as you and I have, which in my opinion makes them much wiser that you and I. :bow: :console:

Thank you again for discussing this topic with me and sharing your opinions and understanding of The Dhamma. And thank you for being so kind and respectful in your discourse.

_/\_Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:06 pm

Stefan wrote:Dear Ron,

Can plants feel pain? Do they suffer?


Hi, Stefan.

Yes, plants do feel pain and experience fear, which is a form of dukkah, physical and mental pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction.

Please see my second response and question to Chowna.

Plants also communicate with others of their species to warn of impending danger.

I recommend that those who have an interest in this topic read "all" the information in the links I previously provided during this discussion, as all possible questions in that regard have been answered therein. Otherwise, we will just rehash the same information over and over......ad infinitum.
Last edited by Ron-The-Elder on Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Nibbida wrote:An interesting talk, in this vein:

Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
Plants behave in some oddly intelligent ways: fighting predators, maximizing food opportunities ... But can we think of them as actually having a form of intelligence of their own? Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso presents intriguing evidence.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stefano_mancuso_the_roots_of_plant_intelligence.html

I don't ascribe consciousness to plants, but he makes some interesting points.


Nibbida,

Thank you for this contribution to the conversation.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:17 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:My assumption is, that you already agreed that plants were alive in your first response that you will agree in the second response.

So, let's define "sentience":

sen·tience   
[sen-shuhns] Show IPA
–noun
sentient condition or character; capacity for sensation or feeling.
Also, sen·tien·cy.

Origin:
1830–40; senti(ent) + -ence



I could have sworn that The Buddha said somewhere that sentience is defined by the five aggregates, which gives the word a very different meaning than dictionary.com would give. But regardless...

If we take dictionary definitions, you didn't really follow it as far as you should have.

sen·tient   
[sen-shuhnt] Show IPA
–adjective
1. having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.
2. characterized by sensation and consciousness.


con·scious   
[kon-shuhs] Show IPA
–adjective
1. aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

and more definitions specifically relating to humans...


So do you believe that plants are aware of their own existence?
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:29 pm

andrer9999 wrote:

con·scious   
[kon-shuhs] Show IPA
–adjective
1. aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

and more definitions specifically relating to humans...


So do you believe that plants are aware of their own existence?


Yes. We already addressed this.

By responding with plant toxins to attack by herbivores,
By responding with moving limbs to move out of the way of travelers,
By responding to the radiation of the sun,
By responding to chemical conditions in the soil,
By producing flowers with nectar to the presence of pollinators,
By dropping their leaves and limbs in response to sounds,
By capturing prey to gain nutrients,
By developing plant communications networks to warn of impending danger,

...plants have demonstrated each and every consciousness that animals have, and they do it, by staying in place for most of their lives. Another way to look at it, is that plants are the masters in many ways, and animals have become their servants.

Interesting?

Thanks for your contribution to this thread. Great question. :thumbsup:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Stephen K » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:46 pm

Why didn't the Buddha include the "plant realm" in his list of realms where one can be reborn into?
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana (Stephen)


My philosophy is simple: Saying 'yes' to the positive and 'no' to the negative; because the positive is so much better than the negative.

Stop the evil; start and continue the good.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:20 pm

Stefan wrote:Why didn't the Buddha include the "plant realm" in his list of realms where one can be reborn into?


Excellent question. One which I have asked many times. We can never know and therefore whatever one might say would be a guess.

Interestingly, the same thing happened in the Torah, during the description of Noah's orders from The God of Abraham and Isaac: Take animals two by two and put them on an arc. God totally ignored the predominant life forms on Earth, which would have been destroyed by such a great flood described by Torah. It remains a perpetual curiosity.

Since Buddha was a Samasambuddha, knower of all things past, present, and future, he certainly knew about the true nature of plants. Perhaps it is that plants cannot comprehend human languages, just as we could not comprehend plant languages at the time. But we are learning today what the true plant capabilities are.

Remember, Buddha said to us that what he taught us was only a mere handful of everything that he knew, but that what he taught us was sufficient for us to end dukkha and for us to achieve nibbana in the here and now.

Perhaps there is an entire dhamma somewhere, written and communicated in plant language, which applies only to plants.

But this is pure conjecture. Perhaps we will know more when we achieve the ability to communicate better with plants. We are just learning.

What do you think. Your ideas are just as good as mine, or anybody else's along these lines.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Stephen K » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:42 pm

Perhaps there is an entire dhamma somewhere, written and communicated in plant language, which applies only to plants.


May all flowers,trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, and mosses attain Nibbana in this very life!
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana (Stephen)


My philosophy is simple: Saying 'yes' to the positive and 'no' to the negative; because the positive is so much better than the negative.

Stop the evil; start and continue the good.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:42 pm

Dear friends,

I can not tell the happiness by reading this tread.

I am sure, that there some infos in the suttas. The higher teachings are given to monks, maybe the monk rules are useful:

The living beings are often in the rules of the vinaya like in house building or monastery building.

"bhūtagāmapātabyatāya, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to destroy plants. If a bhikkhu destroys or causes someone else to destroy plants that already reached their growing stage or completed their growth, he commits a pācittiya.

However, a bhikkhu who destroys a germ (root, stem, joint, bud or a seed) commits a fault but not a pācittiya. Concerning moss, being neither endowed of a bud, nor of leaves, it is considered as a germ. If, at the same time a root or a bud have grown out, it is already considered as a plant (or tree). By destroying a plant (or a tree), a bhikkhu commits the pācittiya 11. If a bhikkhu accidentally destroys small plants, he does not commit any fault.

Offering of fruits

In order to consume one of these plants or seeds (fruits and vegetables containing edible grains, roots, leaves, sugar cane, etc.), the vinaya foresees a way to make them permitted. There are three ways to make a fruit (or another plant) authorised:

1. Notch done with a nail.
2. Marking by means of fire (or by cooking, etc.)
3. Cutting with a knife.

In order to make the fruit permitted, a kappiya (hence the term), layman or sāmaṇera, by touching a fruit (or another plant) must first of all announce to a bhikkhu that this fruit is authorised and only after (or at the same time), he damages it by marking it with fire, a scratch with a nail, or even by peeling and by completely cutting it into slices, but this fruit should at least have a small notch (or a burn). If the fruit is cut before announcing that it is authorised, it is suggested to renotch it after this announcement.

Once the fruit is allowed, the kappiya offers it to the bhikkhu who must receive it (touching from the base) whilst the kappiya holds it, or else, by receiving it in the container in which it is, or perhaps on the table on which it is served.

When a bhikkhu is offered a non authorised fruit, he can request a kappiya to make it authorised by pronouncing the adequate formula, in pāḷi or in another language...

"kappiyaṃ karohi."

Please make this fruit authorised", "Could you make that this fruit become consumable", etc.

Before damaging the fruit (or by damaging it), the kappiya pronounces the adequate formula whether in pāḷi, or else in another language...

"kappiyaṃ bhante."

"Now being authorised, Venerable" or "You can eat it" or "It is ready to be consumed", etc.

If the fruits fit to be authorised are in large quantity, it is just sufficient to gather them in such a way that they all touch each other. Afterwards, by damaging one of these fruits, all the others are also made authorised.

If a non autorized fruit must be ground before being offered, as a matter of convenience, it is preferable that it is made authorised before grinding.

Once a fruit is made authorised, it remains as such forever. If an authorised fruit being offered to a bhikkhu is not eaten and the bhikkhu on purpose forsook it, this fruit can be re-offered to such or another bhikkhu another day. To that end, it doesn't need to be authorised a second time.

The fruits that need to be authorised by a kappiya are all those that contain edible seeds (strawberries, fresh peanuts, tomatoes...) or that can be damaged (grape, mandarins...) The cooked fruits in which the seeds are eaten no longer need to be authorised by a kappiya given the fact that the seeds are no longer fertile. The same applies to fruits whose seeds or grains are too young to be fertile.

The roots fit to give birth to a plant need a kappiya so as to be authorised (ginger, radish, carrots...)

The uncooked cereals also need a kappiya in order to be authorised (corn, wheat, millet, sunflower...)


even respect

"na harite agilāno uccāraṃ vā passāvaṃ vā kheḷaṃ vā karissāmīti sikkhā karaṇīyā."

Not to defecate, urinate, or spit on the grass or on green plants (unless a medical reason prevents doing otherwise). If a bhikkhu is in a place completely covered by vegetation, he must find an area where the grass is dry to do his needs.

http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227.htm

I am sure, if somebody knows the original suttas where the rules are taken from, we will find more
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: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:54 pm

just an inspiration

Dhammika Sutta: Dhammika

In[1] ancient times when seafaring merchants put to sea in ships, they took with them a bird to sight land. When the ship was out of sight of land, they released the bird; and it flew eastward and westward, northward and southward, upward and all around. And if the bird saw no land, it returned to the ship; but if the bird sighted land nearby, it was truly gone.[2]

...

Once upon a time[3] there was a royal fig tree called Steadfast, belonging to king Koravya, whose five outstretched branches provided a cool and pleasing shade. Its girth extended a hundred miles, and its roots spread out for forty miles. And the fruits of that tree were indeed great: As large as harvest baskets — such were its succulent fruits — and as clear as the honey of bees.

One portion was enjoyed by the king, along with his household of women; one portion was enjoyed by the army; one portion was enjoyed by the people of the town and village; one portion was enjoyed by brahmans and ascetics; and one portion was enjoyed by the beasts and birds. Nobody guarded the fruits of that royal tree, and neither did anyone harm one another for the sake of its fruits.

But then a certain man came along who fed upon as much of Steadfast's fruits as he wanted, broke off a branch, and wandered on his way. And the deva who dwelled in Steadfast thought to herself: "It is astonishing, it is truly amazing, that such an evil man would dare to feed upon as much of Steadfast's fruits as he wants, break off a branch, and then wander on his way! Now, what if Steadfast were in the future to bear no more fruit?" And so the royal fig tree Steadfast bore no more fruit.

So then king Koravya went up to where Sakka, chief among the gods, was dwelling, and having approached said this: "Surely you must know, sire, that Steadfast, the royal fig tree, no longer bears fruit?" And then Sakka created a magical creation of such a form that a mighty wind and rain came down and toppled the royal fig tree Steadfast, uprooting it entirely. And then the deva who dwelled in Steadfast grieved, lamented, and stood weeping on one side with a face full of tears.

And then Sakka, chief among the gods, went up to where the deva was standing, and having approached said this: "Why is it, deva, that you grieve and lament and stand on one side with a face full of tears?" "It is because, sire, a mighty wind and rain has come and toppled my abode, uprooting it entirely."

"And were you, deva, upholding the dhamma of trees when this happened?" "But how is it, sire, that a tree upholds the dhamma of trees?"

"Like this, deva: Root-cutters take the root of the tree; bark-strippers take the bark; leaf-pickers take the leaves; flower-pickers take the flowers; fruit-pickers take the fruits — and none of this is reason enough for a deva to think only of herself or become morose. Thus it is, deva, that a tree upholds the dhamma of trees."

"Then indeed, sire, I was not upholding the dhamma of trees when the mighty wind and rain came and toppled my abode, uprooting it entirely." "If it were the case, deva, that you were to uphold the dhamma of trees, it may be that your abode might be as it was before." "I will indeed, sire, uphold the dhamma of trees! May my abode be as it was before!"

And then Sakka, chief among the gods, created a magical creation of such a form that a mighty wind and rain came down and raised up the royal fig tree Steadfast, and its roots were entirely healed.
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: Plant Life

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:10 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:What do you think. Your ideas are just as good as mine, or anybody else's along these lines.


I think that while they're almost certainly not sentient, the romantic notion of valuing all life is pleasant to me... I anthropomorphize pretty much everything, unfortunately.

There was something I read of Native Americans, which may not even be true, but the concept was that they prayed in thanks of the spirits of whatever they killed. They knew that they needed meat to survive, and they had incredible respect and thanks for everything it gave them in death. I don't know if this crossed over into plants, but I suspect that would have.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:51 pm

Hanzze wrote:Dear friends,

I can not tell the happiness by reading this tread.

I am sure, that there some infos in the suttas. The higher teachings are given to monks, maybe the monk rules are useful:

The living beings are often in the rules of the vinaya like in house building or monastery building.

"bhūtagāmapātabyatāya, pācittiyaṃ."

Not to destroy plants. If a bhikkhu destroys or causes someone else to destroy plants that already reached their growing stage or completed their growth, he commits a pācittiya.

However, a bhikkhu who destroys a germ (root, stem, joint, bud or a seed) commits a fault but not a pācittiya. Concerning moss, being neither endowed of a bud, nor of leaves, it is considered as a germ. If, at the same time a root or a bud have grown out, it is already considered as a plant (or tree). By destroying a plant (or a tree), a bhikkhu commits the pācittiya 11. If a bhikkhu accidentally destroys small plants, he does not commit any fault.

Offering of fruits

In order to consume one of these plants or seeds (fruits and vegetables containing edible grains, roots, leaves, sugar cane, etc.), the vinaya foresees a way to make them permitted. There are three ways to make a fruit (or another plant) authorised:

1. Notch done with a nail.
2. Marking by means of fire (or by cooking, etc.)
3. Cutting with a knife.

In order to make the fruit permitted, a kappiya (hence the term), layman or sāmaṇera, by touching a fruit (or another plant) must first of all announce to a bhikkhu that this fruit is authorised and only after (or at the same time), he damages it by marking it with fire, a scratch with a nail, or even by peeling and by completely cutting it into slices, but this fruit should at least have a small notch (or a burn). If the fruit is cut before announcing that it is authorised, it is suggested to renotch it after this announcement.

Once the fruit is allowed, the kappiya offers it to the bhikkhu who must receive it (touching from the base) whilst the kappiya holds it, or else, by receiving it in the container in which it is, or perhaps on the table on which it is served.

When a bhikkhu is offered a non authorised fruit, he can request a kappiya to make it authorised by pronouncing the adequate formula, in pāḷi or in another language...

"kappiyaṃ karohi."

Please make this fruit authorised", "Could you make that this fruit become consumable", etc.

Before damaging the fruit (or by damaging it), the kappiya pronounces the adequate formula whether in pāḷi, or else in another language...

"kappiyaṃ bhante."

"Now being authorised, Venerable" or "You can eat it" or "It is ready to be consumed", etc.

If the fruits fit to be authorised are in large quantity, it is just sufficient to gather them in such a way that they all touch each other. Afterwards, by damaging one of these fruits, all the others are also made authorised.

If a non autorized fruit must be ground before being offered, as a matter of convenience, it is preferable that it is made authorised before grinding.

Once a fruit is made authorised, it remains as such forever. If an authorised fruit being offered to a bhikkhu is not eaten and the bhikkhu on purpose forsook it, this fruit can be re-offered to such or another bhikkhu another day. To that end, it doesn't need to be authorised a second time.

The fruits that need to be authorised by a kappiya are all those that contain edible seeds (strawberries, fresh peanuts, tomatoes...) or that can be damaged (grape, mandarins...) The cooked fruits in which the seeds are eaten no longer need to be authorised by a kappiya given the fact that the seeds are no longer fertile. The same applies to fruits whose seeds or grains are too young to be fertile.

The roots fit to give birth to a plant need a kappiya so as to be authorised (ginger, radish, carrots...)

The uncooked cereals also need a kappiya in order to be authorised (corn, wheat, millet, sunflower...)


even respect

"na harite agilāno uccāraṃ vā passāvaṃ vā kheḷaṃ vā karissāmīti sikkhā karaṇīyā."

Not to defecate, urinate, or spit on the grass or on green plants (unless a medical reason prevents doing otherwise). If a bhikkhu is in a place completely covered by vegetation, he must find an area where the grass is dry to do his needs.

http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227.htm

I am sure, if somebody knows the original suttas where the rules are taken from, we will find more


Hanze, Thank you for this. I had read it long ago, but had forgotten how respectful of plants Buddha was in his instructions. Hopefully it will help others to understand the respect that Buddha had for plants. :anjali:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:56 pm

andrer9999 wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:What do you think. Your ideas are just as good as mine, or anybody else's along these lines.


I think that while they're almost certainly not sentient, the romantic notion of valuing all life is pleasant to me... I anthropomorphize pretty much everything, unfortunately.

There was something I read of Native Americans, which may not even be true, but the concept was that they prayed in thanks of the spirits of whatever they killed. They knew that they needed meat to survive, and they had incredible respect and thanks for everything it gave them in death. I don't know if this crossed over into plants, but I suspect that would have.


Yes, I am attracted to the idea of giving thanks for all life which is sacrificed for our need to survive. As was stated repeatedly in another thread, "Veganism vs. Carnivorism", or something to that effect, all life must eat life to survive. We make our decisions as to what to eat on the basis of what we know and how we have been raised in our various cultures. My understanding is that we make choices based upon which choice causes the least amount of harm.

There is of course a third choice, which was also stated in the other thread: We may choose to sacrifice our own lives for the benefit of other living beings.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:03 pm

Hanzze wrote:just an inspiration

Dhammika Sutta: Dhammika

In[1] ancient times when seafaring merchants put to sea in ships, they took with them a bird to sight land. When the ship was out of sight of land, they released the bird; and it flew eastward and westward, northward and southward, upward and all around. And if the bird saw no land, it returned to the ship; but if the bird sighted land nearby, it was truly gone.[2]

...

Once upon a time[3] there was a royal fig tree called Steadfast, belonging to king Koravya, whose five outstretched branches provided a cool and pleasing shade. Its girth extended a hundred miles, and its roots spread out for forty miles. And the fruits of that tree were indeed great: As large as harvest baskets — such were its succulent fruits — and as clear as the honey of bees.

One portion was enjoyed by the king, along with his household of women; one portion was enjoyed by the army; one portion was enjoyed by the people of the town and village; one portion was enjoyed by brahmans and ascetics; and one portion was enjoyed by the beasts and birds. Nobody guarded the fruits of that royal tree, and neither did anyone harm one another for the sake of its fruits.

But then a certain man came along who fed upon as much of Steadfast's fruits as he wanted, broke off a branch, and wandered on his way. And the deva who dwelled in Steadfast thought to herself: "It is astonishing, it is truly amazing, that such an evil man would dare to feed upon as much of Steadfast's fruits as he wants, break off a branch, and then wander on his way! Now, what if Steadfast were in the future to bear no more fruit?" And so the royal fig tree Steadfast bore no more fruit.

So then king Koravya went up to where Sakka, chief among the gods, was dwelling, and having approached said this: "Surely you must know, sire, that Steadfast, the royal fig tree, no longer bears fruit?" And then Sakka created a magical creation of such a form that a mighty wind and rain came down and toppled the royal fig tree Steadfast, uprooting it entirely. And then the deva who dwelled in Steadfast grieved, lamented, and stood weeping on one side with a face full of tears.

And then Sakka, chief among the gods, went up to where the deva was standing, and having approached said this: "Why is it, deva, that you grieve and lament and stand on one side with a face full of tears?" "It is because, sire, a mighty wind and rain has come and toppled my abode, uprooting it entirely."

"And were you, deva, upholding the dhamma of trees when this happened?" "But how is it, sire, that a tree upholds the dhamma of trees?"

"Like this, deva: Root-cutters take the root of the tree; bark-strippers take the bark; leaf-pickers take the leaves; flower-pickers take the flowers; fruit-pickers take the fruits — and none of this is reason enough for a deva to think only of herself or become morose. Thus it is, deva, that a tree upholds the dhamma of trees."

"Then indeed, sire, I was not upholding the dhamma of trees when the mighty wind and rain came and toppled my abode, uprooting it entirely." "If it were the case, deva, that you were to uphold the dhamma of trees, it may be that your abode might be as it was before." "I will indeed, sire, uphold the dhamma of trees! May my abode be as it was before!"

And then Sakka, chief among the gods, created a magical creation of such a form that a mighty wind and rain came down and raised up the royal fig tree Steadfast, and its roots were entirely healed.


Thank your for this, Hanzze.

May Sakka restore all deforested regions of The Earth.
May all Devas have their homes restored, due to their honoring The Dhamma of their trees. :anjali:
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby andre9999 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:11 pm

Hanzze wrote:Dear friends,

I can not tell the happiness by reading this tread.

I am sure, that there some infos in the suttas. The higher teachings are given to monks, maybe the monk rules are useful:

The living beings are often in the rules of the vinaya like in house building or monastery building.

http://en.dhammadana.org/sangha/vinaya/227.htm

I am sure, if somebody knows the original suttas where the rules are taken from, we will find more


This rule is taken out of context, which makes it practically meaningless. You can find the context here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1/bmc1.ch08-2.html#Pc11

"A certain Āḷavī bhikkhu was chopping down a tree. The devatā living in the tree said to the bhikkhu, 'Venerable sir, do not chop down my home to build a home for yourself.' The bhikkhu, disregarding her, kept right on chopping and injured the arm of the devatā's child. The devatā thought: 'What if I were to kill this bhikkhu right here?' Then another thought occurred to her: 'But no, that wouldn't be proper... What if I were to tell the Blessed One of what has happened?' So she went to the Blessed One and... told him of what had happened.

"'Very good, devatā, very good. It's very good that you didn't kill the bhikkhu. If you had killed him today, you would have produced much demerit for yourself. Now go, devatā. Over there is a vacant tree. Go into it.' (The Commentary adds here that the tree, being in Jeta's Grove, was a definite move up for the devatā. She had a front-row seat for overhearing the Buddha's teachings well into the night; unlike other lesser devas she wasn't pushed out to the far reaches of the galaxy when large groups of major devas met with the Buddha; and when the Four Great Kings came to attend to the Buddha, they always made a point of visiting her before leaving. However:)

"People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan-son monks cut down trees and have them cut down? They are mistreating one-facultied life.'"


Thanissaro Bhikkhu states that "the reason this rule was laid down in the first place was to prevent bhikkhus from offending people who held to the animist belief that regarded plants as one-facultied life having the sense of touch."

Literalist interpretations of ancient religious texts is rarely useful, in my opinion.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:27 pm

ander999 wrote: Thanissaro Bhikkhu states that "the reason this rule was laid down in the first place was to prevent bhikkhus from offending people who held to the animist belief that regarded plants as one-facultied life having the sense of touch."

Literalist interpretations of ancient religious texts is rarely useful, in my opinion.


Thank you for the link, ander.

Obviously modern biological, botanical, and ecological science has shown that plants are not one-facultied. Another example of how ignorance causes dukkha.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:07 am

Removed because it violated TOS
Last edited by BubbaBuddhist on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:36 am

Dear andrer9999,

thanks for sharing. As soon people make rules, it has the interest to keep something alive, make it join able for others who do not understand yet. In the same way the Buddha also never teaches to abstain form meat or to eat meat. He also did not teach to have children, or don't have children. He just told about beings and not harming.

If one tells that it is only like that, it would be the next disaster.

I think it is good to follow just the precepts, and the 8fold path. The rest of the told Dhamma is just one hint and the force to look for your self, the next hint (inspiration) and look for your self. Not harming as much as possible and your past karma allows. Or directly walking the safe path that was worked out, with its clear roles. Maybe to bring that up is just a good remembrance for somebody already had leaved the household. You know there is so much like to build and help... which is causing so much suffering.

I am sure that there are more suttas regarding plants.
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: Plant Life

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:04 am

Greetings,

Just a gentle reminder that this is the General Theravada discussion forum, so if we could keep this in mind when presenting further references or opinions that would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Plant Life

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:12 am

Kimsuka Sutta: The Riddle Tree
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1998–2011
Alternate translation: Walshe

A certain monk went to another monk and, on arrival, said to him, "To what extent, my friend, is a monk's vision said to be well-purified?"

"When a monk discerns, as it actually is, the origination & passing away of the six media of sensory contact, my friend, it is to that extent that his vision is said to be well-purified."

The first monk, dissatisfied with the other monk's answer to his question, went to still another monk and, on arrival, said to him, "To what extent, my friend, is a monk's vision said to be well-purified?"

"When a monk discerns, as it actually is, the origination & passing away of the five clinging-aggregates, my friend, it is to that extent that his vision is said to be well-purified."

The first monk, dissatisfied with this monk's answer to his question, went to still another monk and, on arrival, said to him, "To what extent, my friend, is a monk's vision said to be well-purified?"

"When a monk discerns, as it actually is, the origination & passing away of the four great elements [earth, water, wind, & fire], my friend, it is to that extent that his vision is said to be well-purified."

The first monk, dissatisfied with this monk's answer to his question, went to still another monk and, on arrival, said to him, "To what extent, my friend, is a monk's vision said to be well-purified?"

"When a monk discerns, as it actually is, that whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation, my friend, it is to that extent that his vision is said to be well-purified."

The first monk, dissatisfied with this monk's answer to his question, then went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he [reported to the Blessed One his conversations with the other monks. The Blessed One then said:]

"Monk, it's as if there were a man who had never seen a riddle tree.[1] He would go to another man who had seen one and, on arrival, would say to him, 'What, my good man, is a riddle tree like?"

"The other would say, 'A riddle tree is black, my good man, like a burnt stump.' For at the time he saw it, that's what the riddle tree was like.

"Then the first man, dissatisfied with the other man's answer, went to still another man who had seen a riddle tree and, on arrival, said to him, 'What, my good man, is a riddle tree like?'

"The other would say, 'A riddle tree is red, my good man, like a lump of meat.' For at the time he saw it, that's what the riddle tree was like.

"Then the first man, dissatisfied with this man's answer, went to still another man who had seen a riddle tree and, on arrival, said to him, 'What, my good man, is a riddle tree like?'

"The other would say, 'A riddle tree is stripped of its bark, my good man, and has burst pods, like an acacia tree.' For at the time he saw it, that's what the riddle tree was like.

"Then the first man, dissatisfied with this man's answer, went to still another man who had seen a riddle tree and, on arrival, said to him, 'What, my good man, is a riddle tree like?'

"The other would say, 'A riddle tree has thick foliage, my good man, and gives a dense shade, like a banyan.' For at the time he saw it, that's what the riddle tree was like.

"In the same way, monk, however those intelligent men of integrity were focused when their vision became well purified is the way in which they answered.

"Suppose, monk, that there were a royal frontier fortress with strong walls & ramparts and six gates. In it would be a wise, experienced, intelligent gatekeeper to keep out those he didn't know and to let in those he did. A swift pair of messengers, coming from the east, would say to the gatekeeper, 'Where, my good man, is the commander of this fortress?' He would say, 'There he is, sirs, sitting in the central square.' The swift pair of messengers, delivering their accurate report to the commander of the fortress, would then go back by the route by which they had come. Then a swift pair of messengers, coming from the west... the north... the south, would say to the gatekeeper, 'Where, my good man, is the commander of this fortress?' He would say, 'There he is, sirs, sitting in the central square.' The swift pair of messengers, delivering their accurate report to the commander of the fortress, would then go back by the route by which they had come.

"I have given you this simile, monk, to convey a message. The message is this: The fortress stands for this body — composed of four elements, born of mother & father, nourished with rice & barley gruel, subject to constant rubbing & abrasion, to breaking & falling apart. The six gates stand for the six internal sense media. The gatekeeper stands for mindfulness. The swift pair of messengers stands for tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana). The commander of the fortress stands for consciousness. The central square stands for the four great elements: the earth-property, the liquid-property, the fire-property, & the wind-property. The accurate report stands for Unbinding (nibbana). The route by which they had come stands for the noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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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