Animals and rebirth

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Animals and rebirth

Postby duffster1 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:45 pm

If a human being can take a lower rebirth as an animal because of negative actions etc how would an animal say a cat gain rebirth as a human?If animals are dominated by their primitive instincts their behavior is not positive or negative,ethical or non ethical etc.How are animals meant to take rebirth in a Human realm?
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby T. Chokyi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:02 pm

duffster1 wrote:If a human being can take a lower rebirth as an animal because of negative actions etc how would an animal say a cat gain rebirth as a human?If animals are dominated by their primitive instincts their behavior is not positive or negative,ethical or non ethical etc.How are animals meant to take rebirth in a Human realm?



There has to be a cause.

For instance, while sitting outside yesterday "chippy" came around and wanted some seeds. I blew a blessing "Om Ah Hung" on the seeds, and also I do mantras so he can hear them. He likes to run under my chair, and he looks at me, making eye contact for quite long periods although I feel as though I am in "slow motion" compared to the movements of this little guy.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:03 pm

yeah i like to bless animals food and sing mantras and purify cats negative karma by massaging them or what the exact english word. petting them.

om padme ushnisa vimale hum phat
om drum soha om amrita ayur dade soha
om mani padme hum
om amideva hrih

and up they hopefully go

and of course the heart sutra can be very very beneficial.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:07 pm

A good reason to take care of animals, give them a home where the option of a life without getting torn apart and tearing other living beings apart is viable.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby smcj » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:42 pm

Check out the YouTube video called "Battle at Kruger". There's a stupid water buffalo somewhere in So. Africa that has more noble qualities than almost anyone I know.

Animals have Buddha Nature too. Over lifetimes there's a subtle imperative towards realizing it.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby duffster1 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:13 pm

Thanks for the replies,interesting...

p.s. Chippy's lovely

:smile:
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby ClearblueSky » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:22 am

I've had the same thought. There are some stories in Jataka tales of animals doing good deeds and taking better births, but they are pretty far-fetched, and even when some animals are "nicer" than others, it's hard to say how much intention is really behind it. To me the explanation in terms more of exhausting karma, in the sense of what is described in hell realms too, resonates a bit more with me. So maybe it's that, maybe they happen to get an owner who sings them mantras all the time, or maybe their compassion towards their young outweighs the things they do to survive. I'd be lying if I said I totally understood it myself.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby smcj » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:43 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

Check out the link. Tell me that water buffalo isn't doing that deliberately.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby Seishin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:06 pm

From what I understand, animals are able to move on from their animal rebirth when the karmic conditions that put them there are exhausted/depleted. Karma is intention (volition), so as animals are subject to animal-instinct they don't create karma when they act on their instincts. However, I've seen many animals who go against their instinct to help another being, and I am sure that this creates good karma as it is an intentional act :smile:

Gassho,
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:12 pm

As an analogy, think about what happens when you move from one house to another, but it is taking an unimaginably long amount of time, and you have a lot of boxes of stuff in storage. As you begin to move things out of storage into your new house, you have a lot of boxes to unpack, boxes that you have taken with you. As soon as you unpack your clothes, you still have to unpack your dishes. when that is done, you have to unpack your books, and so forth. Once all of the boxes are unpacked, unless you fill them with more things, you are done.

When a being assumes rebirth in one of the realms, the causes, or seeds for that rebirth may have been planted a long time ago. This means that habitual patterns in the mind stream have developed some momentum. There is a saying in Tibetan that when a sheet of paper has been rolled up, that even when you lay it flat, it wants to roll up again. Behaviors tend to replicate themselves and become hard to reverse. They manifest as attachment.

So, an animal itself does not have to perform actions for a higher rebirth. In fact, it is (for the most part) only in the Human realm that beings really have the opportunity to change their behaviors, to practice Dharma. And even when born as a human, the opportunities are few. hence the expression, "precious human birth". Anyway, when the causes for life as an animal are no longer there, when that 'box has been unpacked', so to speak, there may still be the causes for rebirth as a human or as another kind of being, causes, or seeds, planted long before that life as an animal ever occurred.

Aside from that, animals are actually much smarter and more communicative than humans give them credit for.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:16 pm

duffster1 wrote:If a human being can take a lower rebirth as an animal because of negative actions etc how would an animal say a cat gain rebirth as a human?If animals are dominated by their primitive instincts their behavior is not positive or negative,ethical or non ethical etc.How are animals meant to take rebirth in a Human realm?


My belief:

By using up sanchita (accumulated) karma. An animal, child or person without faculties to reason or commit right or wrong can't create new karma (kriyamana), but they can, do and must use up sanchita karma to advance.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:54 pm

It might be worthwhile to note that the reason why beings have various "stored up karma", if you want to call it that, and that this karma eventually gets used up or whatever, isn't because of some external hand of fate or cosmic cause. It is because all beings desire, in one way or another, to be free from unhappiness, to attain a perfect state of mind. Of course, an insect may not be thinking about this in a way that we would regard as cognitive. But, to put it simply, you eat so that you do not need to eat, and you flee a predator so that you are not eaten. We strive to be free from striving, and where that freedom occurs is in the mind.

The true nature of mind is clear, and without conflict. A famous analogy (referring to the true nature of the mind) is often used, in which a pond of water is described as being originally clear. but if you take a stick and stir up all of the dirt at the bottom of the pond, the water becomes cloudy. However, if you wait, when the water stops moving, the silt will once again settle and the water's true state will once again reveal itself.

So, the whole point of Dharma, really, is that all beings will, eventually, attain liberation from confusion, from rebirth, samsara and suffering, because the true nature of mind is the Buddha (awake) mind. What the Buddha taught was an expedient method for the Human realm, a method of settling the mind in order that it might return to its original state. If the true nature of mind was not perfect clarity, and if this perfect state of mind was not attainable, then the practice of Dharma would be pointless.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:57 pm

Seishin wrote:From what I understand, animals are able to move on from their animal rebirth when the karmic conditions that put them there are exhausted/depleted. Karma is intention (volition), so as animals are subject to animal-instinct they don't create karma when they act on their instincts. However, I've seen many animals who go against their instinct to help another being, and I am sure that this creates good karma as it is an intentional act :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin


Exactly. One of my former students is now researching the use of animals in therapeutic applications (therapeutic dogs and cats) and is coming to the conclusion that animals are capable of empathic behavior and intentional action under some conditions. Far from definitive but it seems sensible to me.

One thing I've noticed in many Buddhist communities in different traditions is a tendency toward caring for animals in one way or another. I know a sensei who has an inordinate number of birdfeeders, who never turns even a raccoon away... in doing these sorts of things, one is creating the conditions for a meeting down the line. Dependent origination...

I write this with a cat at my feet and a dog under one arm.

:cheers:
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby rory » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:28 am

Bato Kannon (馬頭観音), horse-headed Kannon is the protector of animals in the animal realm (chikushōdō 畜生道) and appears in the Mahavairocana Sutra.
When my dear labrador Jack died recently I had Ven. Indrajala give him a buddhist name and I performed a service for him at my altar, transferring the merit to him and for his rebirth in Mt. Potalaka.
At my altar I always do transference for people and animals routinely, when I lived in Ireland I chanted to the sheep and cows in the countryside. I'm surprised no one else has posted as it is a common Mahayana understanding that bodhisattvas preach in the 6 realms, everyone knows Jizo preaches in the Hell realms, so of course there are bodhisattvas liberating animals in the animal realms.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby Nosta » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:59 pm

Rory, many times I made prayers to animals he see. I will even pray the Medicine Buddha mantra loudly to them. Sometimes I do that even to spiders and other bugs i see.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:17 pm

it is said somewhere by Lama Zopa Rinpoche that if you recite 10 rounds of om mani padme hum everyday, your whole body becomes holy and even the wind touching your body will make the wind purifying factor of karma to the beings it touches. also if you recite the 10 rounds everyday and go to swim in a lake or any mass of water, all the living beings karma is purified and they will be born in the higher realms. and also doing the ten rounds and giving a massage or petting cats will purify theyre karma also.

also Namgyalmas mantra is very powerful, chanting it 3 or 7 times if you hear it you will not be born in the lower realms. it is good for animals.

i like to blow my breath while chanting mantras to little insects or animal fur or skin.


so there is a lot you can do for the benefit of animals and insects.


you can also buy from FPMT site a sadhana called '' charity to ants ''

i have it but havent done it yet and now theyre going to sleep since it is winter so hopefully next year.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby greentara » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:01 am

Do animals need your mantras? Animals can often behave in an intelligent, dignified and surprisingly playful manner, with us and with others. Animals can paw you so you don't get up and leave(no food inducement involved) can be skittish and playful for no other reason then a sense of well being.
It seems to me they exist in there own right and arn't extentions of humanity. The worse examples like a 'showy' handbag or in some cases needy humans resorting to smother love.
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:38 am

greentara wrote:Do animals need your mantras? ...
It seems to me they exist in there own right and arn't extentions of humanity.


This weekend, in many places, churches are performing blessings for animals as Oct 4 is the feast day of St. Francis. A few years ago, the nice folks at the church across the street, who often saw me with my dog, asked me if I would like to bring him over for a blessing. I told her, "Thanks, but I don't think my dog actually believes in God".
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby greentara » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:38 am

Padma, 'Asked if I would like to bring the dog over for a blessing. I told her, "Thanks, but I don't think my dog actually believes in God'
Spot on, funny, perfect reply!
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Re: Animals and rebirth

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:43 am

greentara, do animals need your mantras?

i dont think so but i think it is defenitely very beneficial to come in contact with buddhas/buddhist mantras. there are amazing stories what a single touch of a mantra or a single image of a buddha when seen or come in contact can create the causes of enlightenment in future. i think it is very good karma for an animal to come in contact with mantras.

i heard tsem tulku say that if you chant the sanskrit alphabet and then blow those mantras energy from your breath to the bottom of your feet and then when you are with your shoes on and you ACCIDENTALLY step on insects and they die they will be born in the heaven of 33.

do the insects need it ? im sure they are happier that way going to upper realms, and i think it is theyre karma, no such a thing as ''you'' are giving the mantras to the animals, emptiness manifest theyre own karma, so it is the animals own good karma to receive the blessings.
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