Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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Dhammapardon
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Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by Dhammapardon »

I used to bond with my father through fishing but since I start practicing I try to keep 5 precepts. My dad accepts but does not understand. He is a hunter in his mind. He provides for the family in this way and he does not want to be different than this. I do not want to kill any longer for food but I will eat what he brings home.

Am I breaking precepts if I tie a hook on his line or if I cast line for him or if I help reel in a caught fish? My dad would be very happy if I did these things with him again. Am I still honoring parents? If I go with him to watch, he will push me to help. Where to draw the line?

I also have cousins who work for weapons manufacturers that deal in human death and find no problem in this because they wrongly think it is in defense. They see the world through eyes of me me me. They are very close to my parents but not to me. Recently one cousin requested to strengthen our bond. How is this connection to be addressed? :thinking:
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Sam Vara
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by Sam Vara »

Try reading through this sutta:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

I'm not suggesting that you have hatred for your relatives, but when you deplore certain aspects of people's behaviour it is often useful to look for their good qualities and make much of them. It seems that your father and your cousins are doing their best, and have good intentions to provide for their families and protect their loved ones from external aggression. OK, we might not agree with how they do it, but that's seriously praiseworthy stuff compared to some people.

And what about their good aspects which have nothing to do with your points? My advice is to reflect on them, and dissolve barriers. Deal with them where they are, and show whatever kindness you can muster.
perkele
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by perkele »

There is this story in the Dhammapada commentary about a hunter's wife, who was a sotapanna, yet continued to fulfill her assistive "duties" to her husband:
The Story of Kukkuṭamitta wrote:If there is no wound on the hand, one may handle poison; poison does not affect one who has no wound; there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.
Of course it's difficult to be so unaffected while assisting. It's good that you made it clear that you don't like to participate in killing.
Last edited by perkele on Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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robertk
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by robertk »

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/v ... ?verse=124
Dhammapada Verse 124
Kukkutamittanesada Vatthu


Panimhi ce vano nassa
hareyya panina visam
nibbanam visamanveti
natthi papam akubbato.

Verse 124: If there is no wound on the hand, one may handle poison; poison does not affect one who has no wound; there can be no evil for one who has no evil intention.

The Story of Kukkutamitta

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (124) of this book, with reference to the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family.

At Rajagaha there was once a rich man's daughter who had attained Sotapatti Fruition as a young girl. One day, Kukkutamitta, a hunter, came into town in a cart to sell venison. Seeing Kukkutamitta the hunter, the rich young lady fell in love with him immediately; she followed him, married him and lived with him in a small village. As a result of that marriage, seven sons were born to them and in course of time, all the sons got married. One day, the Buddha surveyed the world early in the morning with his supernormal power and found that the hunter, his seven sons and their wives were due for attainment of Sotapatti Fruition. So, the Buddha went to the place where the hunter had set his trap in the forest. He put his footprint close to the trap and seated himself under the shade of a bush, not far from the trap.

When the hunter came, he saw no animal in the trap; he saw the footprint and surmised that someone must have come before him and let cut the animal. So, when he saw the Buddha under the shade of the bush, he took him for the man who had freed the animal from his trap and flew into a rage. He took out his bow and arrow to shoot at the Buddha, but as he drew his bow, he became immobilized and remained fixed in that position like a statue. His sons followed and found their father; they also saw the Buddha at some distance and thought he must be the enemy of their father. All of them took out their bows and arrows to shoot at the Buddha, but they also became immobilized and remained fixed in their respective postures. When the hunter and his sons failed to return, the hunter's wife followed them into the forest, with her seven daughters-in-law. Seeing her husband and all her sons with their arrows aimed at the Buddha, she raised both her hands and shout: "Do not kill my father."

When her husband heard her words, he thought, "This must be my father-in-law", and her sons thought, "This must be our grandfather"; and thoughts of loving-kindness came into them. Then the lady said to them, ''Put away your bows and arrows and pay obeisance to my father". The Buddha realized that, by this time, the minds of the hunter and his son; had softened and so he willed that they should be able to move and to put away their bows and arrows. After putting away their bows and arrows, they paid obeisance to the Buddha and the Buddha expounded the Dhamma to them. In the end, the hunter, his seven sons and seven daughters-in-law, all fifteen of them, attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Then the Buddha returned to the monastery and told Thera Ananda and other bhikkhus about the hunter Kukkutamitta and his family attaining Sotapatti Fruition in the early part of the morning. The bhikkhus then asked the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, is the wife of the hunter who is a sotapanna, also not guilty of taking life, if she has been getting things like nets, bows and arrows for her husband when he goes out hunting?" To this question the Buddha answered, "Bhikkhus, the sotapannas do not kill, they do not wish others to get killed. The wife of the hunter was only obeying her husband in getting things for him. Just as the hand that has no wound is not affected by poison, so also, because she has no intention to do evil she is not doing any evil
Dhammapardon
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by Dhammapardon »

These are great resources and you've all given me a number of points to reflect on. :thanks:
dharmacorps
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by dharmacorps »

Dhammapardon wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:25 pm
Am I breaking precepts if I tie a hook on his line or if I cast line for him or if I help reel in a caught fish? My dad would be very happy if I did these things with him again. Am I still honoring parents? If I go with him to watch, he will push me to help. Where to draw the line?

Recently one cousin requested to strengthen our bond. How is this connection to be addressed?
If you participate in fishing, yes you are breaking the precept. You can't control other's behavior. There is no need to convert others. Go ahead and strengthen your bond with your family. If they are tolerant of your choices, there is no reason to be intolerant of theirs. :soap:
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lavantien
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Re: Honoring parents & cousins dealing in killing

Post by lavantien »

If you already have a right livelihood and can be self-sufficient, there's always the route of moving to a different place, disassociate with people who will hinder your practice. You can still occasionally visit, support and take care of your father situation arises.

There's nuance about indirectly support wrong livelihood and breaking the precepts. So my advice would be avoid them as much as possible, there's nothing to gain to living under such terms if you are self-sufficient :sage:
https://suttacentral.net/mn17 wrote: Take the case of a mendicant who lives supported by a village … town … city … country … an individual. As they do so, their mindfulness does not become established, their mind does not become immersed in samādhi, their defilements do not come to an end, and they do not arrive at the supreme sanctuary. And the necessities of life that a renunciate requires—robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick—are hard to come by…. That mendicant should leave that person at any time of the day or night, without asking. They shouldn’t follow them. …
"Then the Teacher, being sympathetic, and having compassion for the whole world,
said to me, “Come, monk!” That was my ordination.
Staying alone in the wilderness, meditating tirelessly,
I have completed what the Teacher taught, just as the victor advised me.

In the first watch of the night, I recollected my past lives.
In the middle watch of the night, I purified my clairvoyance.
In the last watch of the night, I shattered the mass of darkness."
- KN Thag 12.2
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