does this violate the 1st precept?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby marc108 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:51 pm

would releasing ladybugs into my garden to eat aphids violate the 1st precept?

thanks :smile:
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Ben » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:52 pm

Hi Marc,

Ethically, its no different to spraying your garden with pesticide.
kind regards,

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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:11 am

It depends on your intention, as all kamma does. If you release them intending for aphids to die, then it is a breach of the first precept, yes.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby plwk » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:29 am

You could train them to eat mindfully....
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:42 am

marc108 wrote:would releasing ladybugs into my garden to eat aphids violate the 1st precept?

thanks :smile:

like Ben said,although I would add, the benefit is that this method has a possibility of the aphids getting away to pastures new
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:14 am

marc108 wrote:would releasing ladybugs into my garden to eat aphids violate the 1st precept?

thanks :smile:
"Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions."

It is always a balancing act. I'd have no compunctions about the ladybugs, and it beats the begeesus out using poisons.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:53 am

It's your decision.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby SDC » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:33 pm

plwk wrote:You could train them to eat mindfully....


:tongue: Nice!
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Sumangalo » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:50 am

I'm glad you brought up the subject of gardening and pests. I struggle so much with the first precept and gardening. It seems as though it is okay to pass the burden of killing on to others by buying our produce at the grocery store, and meat for that matter, but it's not okay to destroy pests in order to feed ourselves and our families in our own gardens.

This bothers me. We greatly benefit from the killing others do for us Buddhists.

Forgive me for having my doubts about such a fundamental Buddhist teaching, perhaps I'm a "bad" Buddhist. I see the killing of insects to provide food for the world to be a great good.

Thank you for hearing me.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:It is always a balancing act.

Can you explain more of the balanced intention of aversion or its physical act of killing? Hiri is very dangerous.
Last edited by Hanzze on Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:31 am, 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: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:30 am

Sumangalo wrote:I'm glad you brought up the subject of gardening and pests. I struggle so much with the first precept and gardening. It seems as though it is okay to pass the burden of killing on to others by buying our produce at the grocery store, and meat for that matter, but it's not okay to destroy pests in order to feed ourselves and our families in our own gardens.

This bothers me. We greatly benefit from the killing others do for us Buddhists.

Forgive me for having my doubts about such a fundamental Buddhist teaching, perhaps I'm a "bad" Buddhist. I see the killing of insects to provide food for the world to be a great good.

Thank you for hearing me.

Nobody tells you to do so. If you see that it is harmful for you and/or for others just stop. If you have no idea because you thinks that you need to do this or that, ask somebody who had mastered this situation.

There is no such thing as a "bad" Buddhist, there is just not understanding or not seeing a good way out. And one more thing focus on your self, and do not care to much about Buddhists. There are some who do well and some who do not that well but no need to identify your self with Buddhists, just stay on the well side and what the Buddha taught.

There should have been people who gave up real wealth, kingdoms and anything esle as they realiced some things on this earth and start to follow the Dhamma and we are not able to let go of some plants and even give killing in this regard a thought...
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: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Sumangalo » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:13 pm

There should have been people who gave up real wealth, kingdoms and anything esle as they realiced some things on this earth and start to follow the Dhamma and we are not able to let go of some plants and even give killing in this regard a thought...



Thank you for taking the time to reply Hanzze. I guess that my problem is that I don't think that it's noble to pass necessary, unpleasant tasks down to others, I feel there is nobility in taking on these tasks yourself, though with a heavy heart. While it might be nice if permaculture or other agricultural techniques that rely on nature to take care of pests naturally, we're not there yet, and most likely never will be. Since the introduction of agriculture, man has been destroying pests in order to feed himself.

I respect the Native American philosophy that realizes that taking life is necessary but they pay great respect to animals they kill.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby santa100 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:52 pm

Could try plants that are natural repellents..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphids#Control
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:56 am

Sumangalo wrote:
There should have been people who gave up real wealth, kingdoms and anything esle as they realiced some things on this earth and start to follow the Dhamma and we are not able to let go of some plants and even give killing in this regard a thought...



Thank you for taking the time to reply Hanzze. I guess that my problem is that I don't think that it's noble to pass necessary, unpleasant tasks down to others, I feel there is nobility in taking on these tasks yourself, though with a heavy heart. While it might be nice if permaculture or other agricultural techniques that rely on nature to take care of pests naturally, we're not there yet, and most likely never will be. Since the introduction of agriculture, man has been destroying pests in order to feed himself.

I respect the Native American philosophy that realizes that taking life is necessary but they pay great respect to animals they kill.

Yes Sumangalo, that is really often a nice thought (reality is sometimes different to romantic stories), but actually you are just responsible for your own actions and intentions and one has plenty enought to do to take care of them. To think in sphears of we, is not only very unsecure for one self, but also for all others. It's very importand to let go of ideas of we to help the whole groupe. Obsering precepts menas to look on ones own actions and more intentions and is less about philosopies and silly sacrifies for anything. Its hard enought to get one self a little under control, but that how ever has allways 100% impact of all beings. And you can really focus on where you are and work effective for your own and the wellfar of all others.

Five faultless gifts

"There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans...

"Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, & appealing; to welfare & to happiness."

— AN 8.39


There is also a good short essay, I would like to share: Getting the message
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: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Sumangalo » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:45 am

I'll certainly check out the essay, I listen to Than Geoff every day. Thanks again for responding.

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings


The thing is that it really doesn't give freedom from oppression one bit. We just hire others to do our killing with our buying decisions. Perhaps I will not call myself Buddhist because I just can't get past this. I've listened to the Ajahns talk on the first precept and they don't allow any wiggle room yet they themselves have others kill for them and benefit from it.

Looks like farming and raising livestock is wrong livelihood but passing the buck is okay. I don't see how the Buddha could condone such a thing.
Last edited by Sumangalo on Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Sumangalo » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:46 am

santa100 wrote:Could try plants that are natural repellents..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphids#Control


Thank you. Companion planting certainly can help along with designing to draw in the natural predators to kill for you.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:04 am

Sumangalo wrote:I'll certainly check out the essay, I listen to Than Geoff every day. Thanks again for responding.

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings


The thing is that it really doesn't give freedom from oppression one bit. We just hire others to do our killing with our buying decisions.

We?
Perhaps I will not call myself Buddhist because I just can't get past this.

That would be secure if you can not let go of we. But you might take the Sangha as we, the Sangha of the noble ones. That would put you in a direction you can learn from others.

I've listened to the Ajahns talk on the first precept and they don't allow any wiggle room yet they themselves have others kill for them and benefit from it.

:thumbsup: If you speak of they, don't forget that you speak of the sample of the noble Sangha.

Looks like farming and raising livestock is wrong livelihood but passing the buck is okay. I don't see how the Buddha could condone such a thing.

Do you have such a livelihood, or do you like to judge that of others. Don't forget that you mabye live from them before, accept such things silently if you tell them to be crule. Don't waste your merits and work on your path rather to seek for reasons why you stop and look left and right and wonder why they still do not go.

Maybe you like to read that: Buddha Dharma and Food - consider food as path to liberation
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: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Sumangalo » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:30 am

We?

Where do you get your produce? Do they use no insecticide organic or chemical? Do they not till the ground? If you manage to grow all your own food with no death to any life than I congratulate you and can learn much from you.


That would be secure if you can not let go of we. But you might take the Sangha as we, the Sangha of the noble ones. That would put you in a direction you can learn from others.



Can't let go of we? I've learned much from others. I come here with an aspect of the Buddha's teaching I do not accept.

If you speak of they, don't forget that you speak of the sample of the noble Sangha.

Not sure I get your point here. Of course I respect the Ajahns but that does not mean I accept what they say without pondering it.

Do you have such a livelihood, or do you like to judge that of others.


Not yet. I am judging no one. I am actually saying the opposite. I feel that farmers daily practice of killing insects is a great good for humanity.

Don't forget that you mabye live from them before, accept such things silently if you tell them to be crule. Don't waste your merits and work on your path rather to seek for reasons why you stop and look left and right and wonder why they still do not go.


Forgive me but I'm not sure I understand.


Maybe you like to read that: Buddha Dharma and Food - consider food as path to liberation


I would. Thank you. Please know that my disagreeing with you does not mean a lack of respect on my part. I have not been convinced by anyone's arguments and that may well be a defect in my logic but I don't see it. Maybe I will have insight in future meditation.
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Re: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:55 am

Sumangalo wrote:
We?

Where do you get your produce? Do they use no insecticide organic or chemical? Do they not till the ground? If you manage to grow all your own food with no death to any life than I congratulate you and can learn much from you.

It's not so importand how I do or others, but those who have much conviction into the Dhamma and Vinaya, simply abstain form taking what is not given, so there would be, if done in the right way, very less till no involvement. Intentions are very deep.
It's good to direct the mind to the noble one's and to learn and follow their advices, but we also need to walk the way step by step. That means we need to look at our next step rather to make fictions about steps later on. We might fall while our thoughts are in the future.


That would be secure if you can not let go of we. But you might take the Sangha as we, the Sangha of the noble ones. That would put you in a direction you can learn from others.



Can't let go of we? I've learned much from others. I come here with an aspect of the Buddha's teaching I do not accept.

If I could not let go of "we", how could I even let go of "I". Buddhas teachings are not about we, maybe that is importand to understand. It's actually all about you.

If you speak of they, don't forget that you speak of the sample of the noble Sangha.

Not sure I get your point here. Of course I respect the Ajahns but that does not mean I accept what they say without pondering it.

That is very wise, not to forget that Ajahn does not mean that one is already part of the noble Sangha. How ever, if he would teach what the Buddha had taught, he would not be able to teach much wrong. Maybe its good to understand noble (from what the Buddha meant with it) a little more.

Do you have such a livelihood, or do you like to judge that of others.

Not yet. I am judging no one. I am actually saying the opposite that I disagree that farmers daily practice of killing insects is not a great good for humanity.

You are judging no one?

Don't forget that you mabye live from them before, accept such things silently if you tell them to be crule. Don't waste your merits and work on your path rather to seek for reasons why you stop and look left and right and wonder why they still do not go.

Forgive me but I'm not sure I understand.

Give you some time and be careful that you don't lay your self an egg, with your thought. We often have not much compassion with our self and that is a lesson that is very difficult sometimes hurtful to learn.

Maybe you like to read that: Buddha Dharma and Food - consider food as path to liberation

I would. Thank you. Please know that me disagreeing with you does not mean a lack of respect on my part.

Not any feeling of misrespect at all, more over the opposite. There is no higher act of respect as to listen and the think about things other tell. Over all I am never very charming in my kind of argumenting, so I am also used to disrespect. One does not need to take food. No need to worry at all and over all a nice talk.

I have not been convinced by anyone's arguments and that may well be a defect in my logic but I don't see it.

That is good, for the first step. We can neither trust your self or others all the time. It is not that there are inherent bads, but we are not always aware if our mind is very deluded and grasps some views. How ever, it is good to stay with people who are wise and even criticise one, for thing growing better and not worse.

Maybe I will have insight in future meditation.
[/quote]
Mindful observing precepts and the intentions behind them in daily life are the first steps to meditation. You know, we have to many subtile guilty feelings if we do not so, that we would not easily benefit from meditation at all. There is a good essay: The Healing Power of the Precepts

Buddhist practice is not something done on a cushin, especial if we are laypeople and still busy with daily life.
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: does this violate the 1st precept?

Postby manas » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:06 am

I carefully and gently captured a cockroach yesterday, and this morning placed it into the tank inhabited by my daughter's pet lizard. I felt sorry for the poor insect, but the lizard has to eat.

I've been resisting this for a long time. I must admit that I don't feel comfortable doing it, but I'm trying to 'do my bit' with the upkeep of the pet.

Sometimes, as a layman, life is just complicated.

_/I\_
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