The logic of Vinaya rules

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Re: The logic of Vinaya rules

Postby sukhamanveti » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:56 pm

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.
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"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra
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Re: The logic of Vinaya rules

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:58 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Indrajala wrote:In traditional Vinaya exegesis, there is a distinction made between inherently transgressive actions (killing, theft, etc.) and actions which are transgressive by virtue of being prohibited (consuming alcohol, eating past noon, etc.).

I'm assuming intentionally killing an animal would be one of the inherently transgressive actions. If so, it seems odd that the rule about it is only a pacittiya. The rule concerning theft, e.g., is a parajika, i.e. one requiring expulsion from the order for life.

Btw, this distinction seems to correspond nicely to that made in law between malum in se and malum prohibitum.


Theft of "five cash" or more could have meant the death sentence, hence it was classed as a pārājika.
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Re: The logic of Vinaya rules

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:26 am

Indrajala wrote:Theft of "five cash" or more could have meant the death sentence, hence it was classed as a pārājika.

OK, that makes some sense. I suppose it would have made more sense to just say that committing any crime that could result in a death sentence is a parajika.
Is there some text that gives that explanation of why theft is a parajika?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: The logic of Vinaya rules

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:21 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Indrajala wrote:Theft of "five cash" or more could have meant the death sentence, hence it was classed as a pārājika.

OK, that makes some sense. I suppose it would have made more sense to just say that committing any crime that could result in a death sentence is a parajika.
Is there some text that gives that explanation of why theft is a parajika?


The source Vinaya texts themselves and the associated commentary literature.

The Dharmagupta and Mahāsāṃghika Vinayas will be published in due time by the Numata Foundation.
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