About not kill any living being

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Virgo » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Nope. Youc killed him and took his life away.

I realise this the Discovering Theravada, so I don't want to go too deeply into this, but what is the "him" that was killed?

(Accepting the commentarial Theravada account for the sake of argument...) Wouldn't this event have triggered rebirth consciousness and in turn, the first moment of consciousness in a new psycho-physical organism? If the so-called "stream of consciousness" is not destroyed, then what has really been "killed"? What "life" was taken away?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Retro, technically you are right, but we are just speaking conventionally here. No being dies because their is not a "being" there. Also, some entity does not completely cease because there is rebirth. But speaking conventionally, we can say that a mosquito gets killed. I think that is all that is being done here, ie speaking conventionally.

All the best,

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby cooran » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:11 am

Hello all,

In order for the act of killing to bring akusala kamma, there has to be the intention to kill another ‘being’. The act itself requires dosa ~ whether it is irritation towards a mosquito or termite, or murderous rage towards a hated person. It is the kammic accumulation of dosa (maybe from one horrendous act, or from 200 small acts) which may surface at the time of death and influence the place and form of rebirth. (Additionally, the being who was killed, is also receiving the results of previous kamma.)

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby salmon » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:53 am

cooran has summarize it already but here's a "cut & paste" from buddhanet



Q>But surely it is good to kill sometimes. To kill disease-spreading insects, for example, or someone who is going to kill you?


A>It might be good for you but what about that thing or that person? They wish to live just as you do. When you decide to kill a disease-spreading insect, your intention is perhaps a mixture of self-concern (good) and revulsion (bad). The act will benefit yourself (good) but obviously it will not benefit that creature (bad). So at times it may be necessary to kill but it is never wholly good.


Q>You Buddhists are too concerned about ants and bugs.


A>Buddhists strive to develop a compassion that is undiscriminating and all-embracing. They see the world as a unified whole where each thing or creature has its place and function. They believe that before we destroy or upset nature's delicate balance, we should be very careful. Just look at those cultures where emphasis is on exploiting nature to the full, squeezing every last drop out of it without putting anything back, on conquering and subduing it. Nature has revolted. The very air is becoming poisoned, the rivers are polluted and dead, so many beautiful animal species are extinct, the slopes of the mountains are barren and eroded. Even the climate is changing. If people were a little less anxious to crush, destroy and kill, this terrible situation may not have arisen. We should all strive to develop a little more respect for life. And this is what the first precept is saying.


This is why the Buddha wants us all the train our mindfulness. When our mindfulness is strong, we will not be so defensive and react in the wrong way.
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:54 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Virgo wrote:Nope. Youc killed him and took his life away.

what is the "him" that was killed?

The mosquito.

Wouldn't this event have triggered rebirth consciousness and in turn, the first moment of consciousness in a new psycho-physical organism?

Unless the mosquito had attained arahantship, yes.

If the so-called "stream of consciousness" is not destroyed, then what has really been "killed"?

The mosquito.

What "life" was taken away?

The mosquito's.

I'm not sure why you are attempting to complicate the uncomplicated.
- Peter

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:55 am

As I have learned it, the teachings on anatta do not invalidate the teachings on virtue.
- Peter

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:38 am

Peter wrote:As I have learned it, the teachings on anatta do not invalidate the teachings on virtue.


Clearly. And furthermore, the Buddha warned about over-interpretation of not-self here:

MN 109 Maha-punnama Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Now at that moment this line of thinking appeared in the awareness of a certain monk: "So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?"

Then the Blessed One, realizing with his awareness the line of thinking in that monk's awareness, addressed the monks: "It's possible that a senseless person — immersed in ignorance, overcome with craving — might think that he could outsmart the Teacher's message in this way: 'So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?' Now, monks, haven't I trained you in counter-questioning with regard to this & that topic here & there? What do you think — Is form constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"


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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:03 am

Greetings,

MN 109 wrote:'So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?'

What a strange argument. :?

Kamma can neither be tricked by strange arguments nor putthujana conventions.

Kamma is action, committed by mind, body and speech. It may be wholesome or unwholesome depending upon the mindstate in which it is rooted.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
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: About not kill any living being

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:39 pm

_Daniel_ wrote:Hello,

I am agnostic, and I am studying buddhism, because I think that it is a interesting religion/philosophy, and I would like do a approach to it. I have a question about the importance of not kill any living being. For example, if I am sleeping, and there are a lot of mosquitoes in the room trying to bite me, cant I kill them? It is survival, I dont want kill them, but they are attacking me.

Thank You.


Having had that experience this night, a mosquito in my bedroom was trying to bite me and my wife, I can tell that killing is not the only solution. What I do is I use a glass cup to trap the mosquito on the wall, slide a piece of paper between the cup and the wall, and with the paper trapping the mosquito inside the glass I take it outside and let it go.

I see two main reasons for not killing:

1 - Killing, namely squashing a mosquito or using chemicals to poison him, is a violent action that causes physical pain to the mosquito and leads him to the suffering of being reborn and having to experience all the difficulties of growing up once more.

2 - If you look at the mind moments that preceded the act of killing, and the mind moments that accompanied the act of killing, you will be able to identify different feelings and thoughts. For example the desire to get rid of the annoying bug or the desire to punish the !"!#"$!"% mosquito how deserves to die. In the latter there is anger and a desire to do harm and induce pain on the mosquito as a form of punishment, these are negative thoughts that have negative consequences on your mind and body.
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:36 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

MN 109 wrote:'So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?'

What a strange argument. :?

Kamma can neither be tricked by strange arguments nor putthujana conventions.

Kamma is action, committed by mind, body and speech. It may be wholesome or unwholesome depending upon the mindstate in which it is rooted.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Quite. Unfortunately, it seems like a rather common mistake to try to use teachings such as anatta to argue with conventional statements such as "killing living beings".

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:06 pm

Greetings Mike,

I suspect you think I'm trying to make a point that I'm not.

My point is that the instruction regarding "not killing" is a training precept, designed to protect and benefit the person who takes it. The benefit to others (e.g. that "creature" not "deprived" of "its life", as if a life were one's property) is an indirect, rather than a direct consequence.

If others' benefit were fore in this, the Buddha would have told kings not to ride on chariots lest they inadvertently crush insects and people would be told to mindfully avoid stepping on insects wherever they go. In essence, they would have become like the Jains. The Buddha would also have condemned meat-eating, like the Mahayana Buddha did. People would be anxious and terrified to walk, eat, drink, breathe, or build a home, lest they damage another sentient creature and freak themselves out at the thought of being thrust into Virgo Hell for kappa. However, the Buddha didn't kick up a fuss about insects... in fact, compared to the attention the subject gets nowadays he was conspicuously silent on the matter. What he did say though was "do not kill", because that protects the mind from hate and aversion, and in turn from creating bad kamma. When one protects oneself they protect others - consider the simile of the acrobats.

The fact an ant is deprived of its life if you accidentally step on it is not relevant to the pursuit of the Dhamma. Conventionally, you deprived the ant of its life, but that's by-the-by if there was no intentional to kill. Anyone who objects to this last statement might do well to consider Jainism, Mahayana or political activism as an alternative endeavour.

In conclusion, focusing on who (conventionally) has been deprived (conventionally) of what is to miss the point and be lulled into conventional legal-thinking which has no bearing on things as they really are. The point is about growth of wisdom and the purification of the mind.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Anicca » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:56 pm

retrofuturist wrote:However, the Buddha didn't kick up a fuss about insects...
Not for lay people - but the monks have to fuss ...
from Buddhist Monastic Code - Translated and Explained by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
61. Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive an animal of life, it is to be confessed.

There are five factors for the full offense here.

1) Object: a living animal.
2) Perception: One perceives it to be a living animal.
3) Intention: One knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wants to cause its death.
4) Effort: whatever one does with the purpose of causing it to die.
5) Result: It dies as a result of one's action.
Object. Animal here covers all common animals. As the Commentary notes, whether the animal is large or small makes no difference in terms of the penalty, although the size of the animal is one of the factors determining the moral gravity of the act.
Apparently, this factor does not include beings too small to be seen with the naked eye, inasmuch as the classes of medicine allowed in Mv.VI include a number of anti-bacterial and anti-viral substances — some mineral salts and the decoctions made from the leaves of some trees, for example, can be antibiotic. The Commentary's example of the smallest extreme to which this rule extends is a bed bug egg. The four "Things Not To Be Done" taught to every new bhikkhu immediately after his full Acceptance (Mv.I.78.4) say that one should not deprive an animal of life "even if it is only a black or white ant."



On the other end of the spectrum, Pr 3 imposes a pārājika for deliberately killing a human being, and a thullaccaya for deliberately killing a peta, yakkha, or nāga.

Perception. If one is in doubt as to whether something is a living animal, it is grounds for a dukkaṭa regardless of whether it actually is. If one perceives an inanimate object to be a living animal, it is grounds for a dukkaṭa. If one perceives an object to be inanimate, then regardless of whether it actually is, it is not grounds for an offense. Thus, for example, if — with murderous intent — one steps on a spot of dirt thinking it to be a bed bug egg, the penalty is a dukkaṭa. If one steps on bed bug eggs thinking them to be spots of dirt, there is no penalty.

Intention, in the Vibhaṅga, is described as "having willed, having made the decision knowingly and consciously" — the same phrase used to define intention under Pr 3. The Commentary to this rule refers back to the Commentary to that rule, where having willed means having willed, having planned, with a murderous intention. Having made the decision means "having summoned up a reckless mind-state, 'crushing' through the power of an attack." Knowingly means knowing that, "This is a living being." Consciously means being aware that one's action is depriving the animal of life.

All of this indicates that this factor is fulfilled only when one acts on a clear and consciously made decision to deprive the animal of life. Thus, for example, if one is sweeping a walk, trying carefully not to kill any insects, and yet some ants happen to die, one does not commit an offense even if one knew that there was the possibility that some might die, because one's purpose in acting was not to cause their death.

Motive, here, is irrelevant to the offense. Even the desire to kill an animal to "put it out of its misery" fulfills the factor of intention all the same.

Effort. The act of taking life may take the form of any of the six types of action listed under Pr 3:

using one's own person (e.g., hitting with the hand, kicking, using a knife or a club);
throwing (hurling a stone, shooting an arrow or a gun);
using a stationary device (setting a trap, placing poison in food);
using magical formulae;
using psychic powers;
commanding.
Mv.V.10.10 discusses a case of this last instance, in which a depraved bhikkhu tells a layman that he has use for a certain calf's hide, and the layman kills the calf for him. Because the bhikkhu did not give a specific command that the calf be killed, and yet the Buddha said that his action did come under this rule, we can conclude that there is no room for kappiya-vohāra in this context. Whatever one says in hopes of inciting someone else to kill an animal would fulfill this factor. This rule thus differs from Pr 3, under which commanding covers only clear imperatives.

Result. Only if the animal dies does one incur the pācittiya here. The Commentary to Pc 74 imposes a dukkaṭa on the simple act of striking an animal.

Non-offenses. There is no offense in killing an animal —

unintentionally — e.g., accidentally dropping a load that crushes a cat to death;
unthinkingly — e.g., absent-mindedly rubbing one's arm while it is being bitten by mosquitoes;
unknowingly — e.g., walking into a dark room and, without realizing it, stepping on an insect; or
when one's action is motivated by a purpose other than that of causing death — e.g., giving medicine to a sick dog whose system, it turns out, cannot withstand the dosage.
Still, the Commentary states that if one notices even bed bug eggs while cleaning a bed, one should be careful not to damage them. Thus, "out of compassion, one's duties are to be done carefully." Or, in the words of the Sub-commentary: "One's duties in looking after one's dwelling are to be done with mindfulness well-established so that such creatures do not die."

Summary: Deliberately killing an animal — or having it killed — is a pācittiya offense.

62. Should any bhikkhu knowingly make use of water containing living beings, it is to be confessed.

This rule is similar to Pc 20, differing only in the factor of effort and the way the non-offenses are defined. Here, as under that rule, the factors for the full offense are four.

Object: water containing living creatures. This includes things like mosquito larvae, but not beings too small to be seen.

Perception. One knows that they are there — either from having sensed their presence on one's own or from having been told of their presence — and that they will die from the factor of effort, defined below.

If one is in doubt as to whether water contains living beings, or if one perceives living beings in the water when there actually aren't, then to use it in a way that would cause their death if they were there is to incur a dukkaṭa.

Effort. The Vibhaṅga does not go into detail on this factor, while the Commentary defines it with examples: drinking the water, using it to wash one's bowl, using it to cool hot porridge, dipping it out of a tank or pond to bathe with it, making waves in a pool so that the water will splash over its banks. The Sub-commentary suggests that this rule covers only cases in which one is using water for one's own personal consumption, but this does not fit with the fact that, under this rule, the Commentary explains how one should go about cleaning out a dirty pool. (Place eight to ten potfuls of water containing no living beings in another place that will hold the water, and then dip the water from the pool into it.) The Commentary to Pr 3 states that using water to put out a fire — even an approaching wildfire that threatens one's dwelling — would also come under this rule.

From all of this, it would appear that this rule covers all cases of using water containing living beings that are not covered by Pc 20.

Unlike that rule, though, the Vibhaṅga here makes no mention of whether the factor of effort here would include the act of getting other people to make use of water containing living beings. The Commentary and K/Commentary argue, reasonably, that it would.

Accidentally spilling or splashing water would apparently not come under the term using here.

Intention. This factor is fulfilled simply by the immediate aim of using the water. As the K/Commentary notes, one need not have murderous motives in order to fulfill this factor. For example, if after perceiving that the water contains insects, one chooses to ignore their existence and boils the water — not to kill the insects, but to use the water for bathing — one commits an offense all the same.

"Result" is not a factor here. Whether the living beings actually die is of no consequence in determining the offense.

Non-offenses. There is no offense in using water —

if one does not know that it contains living beings;
if one knows that it does not contain living beings; or
if one knows that the living beings it contains will not die from the use one has in mind.
Water strainers. Cv.V.13.1 gives permission for one to use a water strainer to remove dirt and living beings from water before using it, and such strainers eventually became one of a bhikkhu's eight basic requisites. According to Cv.V.13.2, one must take a water strainer along when going on a journey. If one has no strainer, one may determine the corner of one's outer robe as a strainer and use it to filter water.

Summary: Using water, or getting others to use it, knowing that it contains living beings that will die from that use, is a pācittiya offense.

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

I suspect you think I'm trying to make a point that I'm not.

It seems to me that, as Peter said, you are overcomplicating.
retrofuturist wrote:My point is that the instruction regarding "not killing" is a training precept, designed to protect and benefit the person who takes it. The benefit to others (e.g. that "creature" not "deprived" of "its life", as if a life were one's property) is an indirect, rather than a direct consequence.

Yes, the key point is that intentional killing is bad kamma (for the killer). And the definition of killing is the ending of the life of a being. Perhaps "You deprived it of its life" (or "deprived it of it's property" in the case of stealing) is too poetic a way to put it. "You killed it" (or "You stole it") would clearly suffice.
retrofuturist wrote:If others' benefit were fore in this, the Buddha would have told kings not to ride on chariots lest they inadvertently crush insects and people would be told to mindfully avoid stepping on insects wherever they go. In essence, they would have become like the Jains. The Buddha would also have condemned meat-eating, like the Mahayana Buddha did. People would be anxious and terrified to walk, eat, drink, breathe, or build a home, lest they damage another sentient creature and freak themselves out at the thought of being thrust into Virgo Hell for kappa. However, the Buddha didn't kick up a fuss about insects... in fact, compared to the attention the subject gets nowadays he was conspicuously silent on the matter. What he did say though was "do not kill", because that protects the mind from hate and aversion, and in turn from creating bad kamma. When one protects oneself they protect others - consider the simile of the acrobats.

The fact an ant is deprived of its life if you accidentally step on it is not relevant to the pursuit of the Dhamma. Conventionally, you deprived the ant of its life, but that's by-the-by if there was no intentional to kill. Anyone who objects to this last statement might do well to consider Jainism, Mahayana or political activism as an alternative endeavour.

Sure, without intention there is no bad kamma.
retrofuturist wrote:In conclusion, focusing on who (conventionally) has been deprived (conventionally) of what is to miss the point and be lulled into conventional legal-thinking which has no bearing on things as they really are. The point is about growth of wisdom and the purification of the mind.

Well, the question was to do with whether killing a mosquito was bad kamma. And clearly the answer is yes, if the killing is intentional.

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:10 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:It seems to me that, as Peter said, you are overcomplicating.

On the other hand... I think I'm simplifying it by drawing focus exclusively to the mind and the intentional action spawned from it, rather than getting absorbed in and infatuated by the (often uncontrollable) consequences to others that may result from our intentional and unintentional actions. I'm simplifying by excluding that which is irrelevant... narrowing the focus. If you or Peter think that's complicated, then that's fine.

mikenz66 wrote:Well, the question was to do with whether killing a mosquito was bad kamma. And clearly the answer is yes, if the killing is intentional.

If you go back to the original question, you'll see that the question had nothing whatsoever to do with kamma... my point is that it should be about kamma, and that the question itself needs correction if it's going to yield an answer that is meaningful in the context of the Dhamma. The fact you assumed it was about kamma, suggests you think it should have been asked and answered in relation to kamma too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
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: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:20 am

Greetings Anicca,

Anicca wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:However, the Buddha didn't kick up a fuss about insects...
Not for lay people - but the monks have to fuss ...

I disagree. The stipulations quoted are nothing that doesn't already take care of itself if they adhere to the first precept.

Ironically in the context of this topic, the source you provide says...

There is no offense in killing an animal

unintentionally — e.g., accidentally dropping a load that crushes a cat to death;
unthinkingly — e.g., absent-mindedly rubbing one's arm while it is being bitten by mosquitoes

... which only further goes to validate my point that it's intention that is the key and not the fact that a mosquito has been deprived of its life. Placing the emphasis on the mosquito rather than the mind is to miss the point. Those who try to thrust vegetarianism upon the Dhamma miss this point, get all emotional and filled with desire in the name of compassion and then revert to anger.

The Dhamma is about renouncing the world and its obsessions rather than wallowing in them and fussing over them.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:41 am

Greetings,

retrofuturist wrote:When one protects oneself they protect others - consider the simile of the acrobats.

Since this is the Discovering Theravada forum and some people may not know the simile in question, here is the sutta from which it is derived.

SN 47.19 wrote:On a certain occasion, the Exalted One was dwelling in the Sumbha country, in a township of the Sumbhas, called Sedaka. There the Exalted One addressed the monks:

"Once upon a time, monks, a bamboo-acrobat set up his pole and called to his pupil, Medakathaalika, saying: 'Come, my lad, Medakathaalika, climb the pole and stand on my shoulders!'

"'All right, master,' replied the pupil to the bamboo-acrobat, climbed the pole and stood on his master's shoulder. Then, monks, the bamboo-acrobat said to his pupil: 'Now, Medakathaalika, my lad, you protect me well and I shall protect you. Thus warded and watched by each other, we will show our tricks, get a good fee and come down safe from the bamboo-pole.'

"At these words Medakathaalika the pupil said to the bamboo-acrobat: 'No, no! That won't do, master! You look after yourself, master, and I'll look after myself. Thus warded and watched each by himself, we'll show our tricks, get a good fee and come down safe from the bamboo-pole.'

"Therein that is the right way," — said the Exalted One. "Just as Medakathaalika the pupil said to his master: 'I'll protect myself': so, monks, should the Foundations of Mindfulness be practiced. 'I'll protect others': so should the Foundations of Mindfulness be practiced. Protecting oneself, monks, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself. [77]

"And how, monks, does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By frequent practice, development and making-much-of (the Foundations of Mindfulness). Thus, monks, in protecting oneself one protects others.[78]

"And how, monks, does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By forbearance, by non-violence, by loving-kindness, by compassion. Thus, monks, in protecting others, one protects oneself.[79]

"'I shall protect myself': with this intention, monks, the Foundations of Mindfulness should be practiced. 'I shall protect others': with this intention the Foundations of Mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself, one protects others: protecting others, one protects oneself."

Footnotes by venerable Nanananda...

It is noteworthy that the parable in this sutta has some peculiarity in that it is not on all fours with the doctrinal points discussed in relation to it. The maxims presented in connection with the practice of Mindfulness ("I'll protect myself"; "I'll protect others,") are an improvement on that recommended by the acrobat's pupil ('You look after yourself, master, and I'll look after myself"). This is the significance of the Buddha's remark: "Therein, that is the right way." This point seems to have been overlooked when the P.T.S. edition and translation attribute these words to the acrobat's pupil, breaking up and distributing the sentence between two paragraphs (The sentence should read:'So tattha ~naayoti bhagavaa avoca, yathaa medakathaalika antevaasii aacariya.m avoca'). The sentence thus wrongly broken up, is then taken to mean that the Buddha here recommends the same acrobatic principle to the monks. ('... Then said the Exalted One: "Now, monks, just as Medhakathaalika, the pupil said to his master, "I'll look after myself," so ought ye to observe the station of mindfulness...' etc.) That principle, striking as it is, is less broad-based than the twin-principle recommended by the Buddha himself: "Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself." As clearly expounded in the Ambala.t.thika Raahulovaada sutta (M. I 415ff), the way to purify one's bodily, verbal and mental actions is by constant reflection on their repercussions on oneself as well as on others. Mindfulness, then, is that benign agent of transmutation which preserves the inner consistency and harmony of this twin-principle.
78. '...in protecting oneself one protects others': The principle indicated here in brief can be appreciated the better with the aid of the following exhortation by the Buddha at S. II 29:
"Wherefore, monks, you stir up energy that you may reach what is still unreached, that you may attain what is still unattained, that you may realize what is still unrealized. 'Thus will this going-forth of ours not be barren, but fruitful and of consequence. And those offerings of them whose requisites of robes, almsfood, lodgings and medicaments we enjoy, shall, on our part, be of great fruit, of great consequence for them.' Verily, it is thus, monks, that you should train yourselves. For one who discerns his own good, this is enough to call up diligent effort. For one who discerns another's good, this is enough to call up diligent effort. For one who discerns the good of both, this is enough to call up diligent effort."

'The frequent practice, development and making much of mindfulness' recommended by our sutta, is one that is conducive to the good of both oneself and others. As the commentary observes, even the mere appreciation of a monk who, by his diligent practice, attains to arahantship, will be a thought productive of great merit. Besides, one's devotion to the practice and exemplary life can be a source of inspiration to others. Since greed, hatred and delusion are the mainsprings of all evil intentions resulting in harm to oneself and others, in protecting one's mind from them, one is at the same time, protecting others as well.

79. '...in protecting others, one protects oneself:'
Forbearance, non-violence, loving-kindness and compassion, being positive altruistic attitudes, directly concern one's relations with the outside world. Yet, on the mental side too, they exercise a wholesome influence conducive to one's own spiritual growth. They are all 'object-lessons' in the practice of mindfulness.

Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el183.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Anicca » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:01 am

Howdy retrofuturist!

retrofuturist wrote:I disagree.


Well, I disagree so we are even. Sounds like a fuss to me:

Still, the Commentary states that if one notices even bed bug eggs while cleaning a bed, one should be careful not to damage them. Thus, "out of compassion, one's duties are to be done carefully." Or, in the words of the Sub-commentary: "One's duties in looking after one's dwelling are to be done with mindfulness well-established so that such creatures do not die."


retrofuturist wrote:Those who try to thrust vegetarianism upon the Dhamma miss this point, get all emotional and filled with desire in the name of compassion and then revert to anger.


Pretty broad stroke of the brush. Some of us just smile and say "ok".
:smile:
Ok.

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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:05 am

Greetings Anicca,

Anicca wrote:Pretty broad stroke of the brush. Some of us just smile and "ok".
:smile:
Ok.

I'll point it out to you next time it happens. ;)

I guess those in what would become the Mahayana heartland just smiled and said "OK" too. :| Now they have Mahayana Dharma.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby Anicca » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:16 am

Heydy-Ho Senior Retro!
retrofuturist wrote:I guess those in what would become the Mahayana heartland just smiled and said "OK" too. :| Now they have Mahayana Dharma.


Sad to think that us veggies can't be Theravadins, but

:smile:

Ok.

Just one more thing to let go of...

:tongue:

Metta
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:I think I'm simplifying it by drawing focus exclusively to the mind and the intentional action spawned from it

I totally didn't get that from your initial comment, but I do agree with this (as evidenced by my last comment in the other thread).

Though I think it brings us into some difficult territory. We could surmise that there is no fault if a person genuinely believes a particular being doesn't count as a being. For example the recent post opining that ants operate on autopilot and don't really have self-awareness. I have heard people say fish can't feel pain therefore there is nothing wrong with catch-and-release fishing. And we have people in abortion debates arguing over when life really begins. We had people not too long ago firmly arguing that people of dark skin weren't really human.

The problem for me is when people put forth these ideas, not because they really believe them, but because they cling to that as an excuse for bad behavior. I am concerned with "giving people rope to hang themselves" as it were. It's all fine and good to say "all that matters is what's in your mind" but when the mind is so skilled at deceiving itself... I can see the need for more blunt instructions.
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Re: About not kill any living being

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:29 am

Greetings Anicca,

Anicca wrote:Heydy-Ho Senior Retro!
retrofuturist wrote:I guess those in what would become the Mahayana heartland just smiled and said "OK" too. :| Now they have Mahayana Dharma.


Sad to think that us veggies can't be Theravadins, but

:smile:

Ok.

Just one more thing to let go of...

:tongue:

Metta


Oh no, Anicca... that's not what I meant at all!

I'm talking about people who insist that vegetarianism is an inherent and necessary component of the Buddhist path and that those who aren't vegetarian violate the first precept.

I wish you and your vegetarian endeavours all the best! :thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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