Indrajala wrote:sukhamanveti wrote:I think that you're both right. Generally speaking, killing animals is seen karmically as a very negative action that can lead to rebirth in a hell realm, as it says in the Close Mindfulness Sutra and elsewhere, and hunting is viewed in a particularly negative light in the sutras.
Sūtras always speak in extremes to convey a point.
When it comes to virtue it says the same thing, such as speaking of vast rewards to those who do a small good deed. If you took every such scripture in its literal sense, then you could just as well believe that a dhāraṇī could eliminate all your negative karma thus solving the issue of karma. Plenty of scriptures state that a specific dhāraṇī will in fact remedy the karma for even the five heinous acts (like killing your parents). So, if you believe that, you could just as well kill your chickens and recite said dhāraṇī without having to worry about the repercussions.
That would be unwise of course.
This is not to say the scriptures are incorrect, but just that they need to be understood figuratively. Yes, killing animals can lead to unfortunate rebirths, the most extreme of which (and Buddhist scripture usually speaks in extremes) is rebirth in the hell realms, though this is just one possible outcome of many. They don't mention the other outcomes because extremes convey the point in the most striking manner.
Likewise, perhaps the Heart Sūtra mantra can in fact eliminate all suffering like it says it will, but that is the ideal. Your individual mileage with it will vary.
Well said, Venerable. I see your point.