Zhaxi Cairang wrote:
Can someone explain to me how the use of silk (kataks etc.) in Vajrayana buddhism is compatible with the bodhisattva practice. For instance in regards to statments as:
"Make every effort not to kill any living creature,
Birds, fish, deer, cattle and even tiny insects,
And strive instead to save their lives,"
by Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche. When, according to wikipedia, 3000 insects are killed in order to produce one kilo of silk.
Apparently it is not a problem for Inner Tantra practitioners:
"Outer tantra practitioners maintain scrupulous personal cleanliness and purity of appearance, cleaning themselves several times a day and keeping a very clean external appearance. Inner tantra practitioners experience everything equally. This does not mean that they are dirty or crazy, but they realize the equal nature in each situation without needing to constantly distinguish between good and bad.
Outer tantra practitioners are vegetarian, eating only the three white and the three sweet substances. They drink from beautiful cups studded with precious gems. Inner tantra practitioners may wear animal skins for clothing, such as human, tiger and elephant." (Gyatrul Rinpoche, The Generation Stage in Buddhist Tantra, p. 18).
No no, inner tantra practitioners are not allowed to kill animals directly or indirectly either, unless they have the ability to liberate those animals. Inner tantra practitioners need to obey all vows unless they have the ability not to, which is a rare case. Otherwise inner tantra won't require rarer, kinder, more deligent and smarter students: everyone can do for comfortable and easy.
Tantras never say that you can kill human, elephant or tiger to get clothes just for your own greed.
In sense of the number of animals being killed, silk is much more serious than leather I think.
The problem of silk in Tibetan culture is, Chinese silk was a precious product in both Tibet and India, and when they saw it it's already a silk cloth, you can hardly think of boiling insects from it. Giving a Katak might seem just to be a custom today, but in old time katak itself is an expensive thing for Tibetan. It used to be that katak itself can be a gift, receiver didn't need to give it back to your neck. Also keep in mind that Tibetan also count their property as numbers of animals: how many cows and lambs they have. They didn't raise those animals to let them die naturally.
In another sense, when old Tibetan got those silk clothes, it's already a done product. They might just have wanted to offer what they think valuable to whom they think supreme. You can't say that motivation was bad.
Anyway, since we live in a modern world now and everyone has enough knowledge, I personally think we should choose a product that doesn't require thousands of worms to be boiled to death.http://www.thebetterindia.com/135/ahims ... -silkworm/