the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:40 am

Adamantine wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:It shows that killing animals was not viewed as one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in. In fact, if you look at the rest of the pacittiya you will see that they are mostly NOT serious offenses, and many of them are quite trivial.


Listen, we are on a Mahayana forum, I am a lay practitioner (as I imagine you are), so neither of us are qualified to have an intelligent discussion about the vows of monks and nuns, although I am happy to have JKhedrup or other ordained sangha weigh in. Regardless, even talking from a Theravada POV, it is one of the quintessential vows all Buddhists take, along with refuge, as I originally stated. Not only that, it is the very first vow given. The order implies the primacy and importance. From the same website as your links:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sila/pancasila.html
These basic training rules are observed by all practicing lay Buddhists. The precepts are often recited after reciting the formula for taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.

The Five Precepts:
1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

I was only responding to this statement:
Adamantine wrote:Yes, it is 100% incontrovertible, in every single branch of Buddhism, killing is one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in.

Do you think then that all the actions forbidden by the five precepts are among the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? Is stealing anything one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? Is engaging in any kind of sexual misconduct one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? The point is there are degrees here, and I think the fact that the Theravadan Vinaya, and most likely all the Vinayas, make a distinction between killing a human and killing an animal is relevant.
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 great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:14 am

Yes, you are right, killing a human is worse. But that doesn't take away from the fact that killing, of all karmic actions, is the worst. Your point only emphasizes that among beings potentially killed, there are levels of negative potential. And among humans, killing your mother or father, or an arhat, is worse than killing other humans.. there is relativity in the karmic effects. So yes, killing a human is worse than killing an animal, and killing an animal is worse than killing an insect. I never argued otherwise. But killing anything is worse than other karmic actions, assuming all four factors are present. Because the most precious thing to any being is it's life, and by taking it's life, you take away everything: all of it's sense perceptions, all of the things it cherished with those sense perceptions, etc. So there is not greater harm to another than taking it's life. And karma is based on non-harm, avoiding harm-- and of trying to benefit. So likewise, saving lives is about as virtuous an act as you can engage in.

Here is an excerpt from the Berzin Archives that goes deep into it, along with karmic consequences:

Refraining from Taking the Life of Others

The first thing is in terms of the actions of your body. Don’t take the life of any creature. In order to actually kill someone, four things need to be complete. The basis of the act of killing might be, for example, a sheep. The intention or thought involves both a motivation and the recognition. You can kill out of three different types of motivation: out of desire, out of anger and hatred, or out of ignorance. The way you kill out of desire is for example, by slaughtering an animal out of desire for eating meat. Or you become angry and hate something so much that you go out and kill it. The way that you can kill out of naivety and closed-minded ignorance is out of just not knowing any better. There are people who sacrifice many animals to make offerings of blood to some gods; likewise, some people feel that when they are sick if they go out and sacrifice an animal, it will cure them of their sickness. As for the recognition, if you have the intention to kill a sheep and there are two animals there, one is a goat and one is a sheep, for the act to be complete, you need to kill the sheep, not the goat.

As for the actual action involved in killing, some people kill animals by smothering them, by putting something over their mouth and nose so they can’t breathe. Others stick their hand in and pull out all the insides. There are others who cut the throats of the animals. For the action of killing the sheep to actually be completed, it has to lose its life; its life has to come to an end.

There are four types of results. The first type of result that follows is the ripened result. The ripened result of killing is a rebirth either as a hell being, as a ghost, or as an animal. Even when that rebirth comes to an end and you are reborn as a human being again, the results from that previous action are still not finished. There are further results that are similar to their cause in terms of what we experience. As a result of shortening and taking the life of someone else, you yourself will have a very short life that will be filled with sickness. There is also a result that is similar to its cause in terms of instinctive behavior. As a result of killing, when you are reborn as a human, even from childhood you will be a very sadistic person who always enjoys killing creatures. Then there is a comprehensive result, which involves a whole area or group of people getting killed. In the area in which you are born everything has a very low ability to sustain life. The food is very poor and weak; the medicine is not very effective or powerful, etc.

If you see all these disadvantages and shortcomings that follow from killing, and as a result you decide to not kill, then to restrain yourself from killing, that is a constructive action. The result of a constructive positive action is that you are reborn as a human or a god. A result that corresponds to its cause in your experience is that, having been reborn as a human, you yourself will have a long life and good health, free from sickness. Since everybody wants to have a long life and not be sick, and nobody likes to die young and to have any illnesses, the thing to bring that about is to always to refrain from killing. The result that corresponds to its cause in our behavior would be, even as a small child, to always be horrified by killing. You never would kill, and you would even be repulsed at the thought of eating meat. The comprehensive results are that in the area in which you are born, the food will be very rich and nutritious and the medicines will be very potent and effective. If, by just restraining once from killing, it has one positive set of effects like this, then if you actually promise that you will never kill again, it will bring effects continuously, even while you are asleep. It will be a constructive action all the time.

The Buddha Shakyamuni had many great disciples – great listeners to the teachings, shravakas – and each of them had a specialty. Some had the specialty of miraculous powers, others of wisdom, and so on. The one who had the great specialty of being able to tame the minds of people in the uncivilized border areas was the highly realized arya being, Katyayana (Ka-tya’i bu). Once, when Katyayana was out begging for alms, he went to the house of a butcher. He explained all the shortcomings and disadvantages that come from slaughtering animals and the butcher said to him, “I can’t promise to stop slaughtering animals during the day, but I will promise to never kill an animal at night.” And he did that.

Some time after that, there was another highly realized being called Sangharakshita (dGe-‘dun ‘tsho). In those days, there were many people who used to go out on the ocean to try to find great treasures. They did not have great ships that we have now. They just had sailboats. It was the custom to invite a spiritual person to be like a chaplain on the ship, so they invited this highly realized being, Sangharakshita. They lost their way, and ended up in a strange distant land. Sangharakshita went out and came to a very beautiful house. At night, everything was beautiful. There was a great deal to eat and drink, and everything was very comfortable. The owner of the house said, “Please don’t stay here until the sun rises in the morning.” He explained that during the daytime, as soon as the sun rose, the animals would come. They all attacked him. Some bit him, some kicked him, and others gored him with their horns. It was just terrible. But at night, everything became peaceful and quiet as soon as the sun set. “So please go away when the sun rises, but come back again as soon as it gets dark.”

Later, Sangharakshita returned and met the Buddha Shakyamuni and explained what he had seen. The Buddha explained that the person in this house was the rebirth of the butcher who had taken a vow not to kill at night, but continued to kill during the day. Because of not killing at night, everything was very lovely at night. But because he continued to kill animals during the day, animals always attacked him.

In terms of what you kill, there is a difference in the type of negative potential that is built up according to the size of the creature. It is much worse to kill a human being than an insect. If you kill an arhat, someone who is a completely liberated being, or you kill your mother or your father, this is what is known as a heinous crime, and is the most serious type of killing that you can do. For instance, you might kill a tiny louse. Even though it is a small unwholesome act, if you kill it today and you don’t admit that what you have done is wrong and don’t try to purify yourself, the negative potential builds up, and by tomorrow, it’s as if you had killed two. If you leave it for another day, the negative potential is the same as if you had killed four. It continues to increase like that, becoming twice as much each day. If you let it go for one year, the negative potential of having killed one small louse is very great.

The result of having crushed an insect between your fingers is being reborn in a joyless realm, a hell in which you have a very large body, and you are smashed between two large mountains. This is something that you see as well in the human realm. There are people who fall off of rocks and cliffs and are smashed on the rocks below, or people whose houses collapse on top of them. This is likewise the result of a similar type of action of crushing a creature in their previous lives. If you consider all the horrible things that happen, all the disadvantages and shortcomings that follow from killing, and you promise never to take the life of any living creature again, it is very beneficial. When you are walking and you see that there are many insects on the ground, you need to try to avoid stepping on them. If, while you are walking, you accidentally step on small insects that you were unaware of, it is unintentional. Therefore, it is not a similar type of negative action.

It is very important to see the disadvantages that come from killing, and to promise not to kill again. By making such a promise you will be able to live a long life, and have good health and freedom from sickness. If you are practicing as a bodhisattva, as a dedicated being, you have an extremely broad, vast mind and aim. We can look at the examples of the previous lives of the Buddha when he himself was a bodhisattva.

You could kill someone yourself, or get someone else to do the killing for you, which also builds up a very negative potential for you. In fact, it is much worse. It creates a double amount of negative potential because not only do you build up the negative potential of causing somebody else to kill, but the other person as well builds up negative potential by actually carrying out the act for you.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:49 am

dzogchungpa wrote:It shows that killing animals was not viewed as one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in. In fact, if you look at the rest of the pacittiya you will see that they are mostly NOT serious offenses, and many of them are quite trivial.


It seems that you are dismissing the killing of animals as a light offense mainly because it is not enumerated in the category of defeats and remainders. This means that killing an animal would not require disrobing (as for a defeat offence) or confession and reparation (as it would for a remainder offence), only killing a human being would.

However, the category in which the activity is placed according to the Vinaya is not the only consideration for the weight of a specific negative action. And you also have the categories of natural misdeeds and proscribed misdeeds. So for example unchastity is a defeat according to the monastic vows. You would have to disrobe if you engaged in sex through any of the three orifices. However, this deed is not negative in and of itself- for example, is a layman sleeps with his wife or girlfriend, there would be no heavy negative karma. However, the monk accumulates heavy negative karma due to breaking the promise he made when taking the vows, and ruins his ordination.
http://dalailama.com/messages/buddhism/ ... -tradition

Of the four Pārājikas the first enumerated is the one that deals with the prohibition of sexual intercourse. It is interesting to note that the under the five precepts this falls under the third precept namely, the one concerned with unlawful sexual conduct.[14] Sexual intercourse is not taboo for the laity. They are admonished not to indulge in sexual relations with certain categories of women who are under the care, ward and protection of guardians.[15] Laity could enjoy sexual relation with his wife, and the ideal relationship is, to be satisfied with one’s own wife.[16]
http://buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ghvin/ghvin02.htm

You can see from this example the hierarchy of the monastic vows does not take the karmic weight of the action as its only consideration.

As for the matter of the killing of animals, I think using the teachings on the Ten non-virtues is more of a suitable basis for making that determination. In the presentation of the ten non-virtues, killing is the killing of any living being. This is stated clearly in the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim or Stages of the Path Literature (Gelug), as well as in similar works such as Words of My Perfect Teacher of the Dza Patrul Rinpoche (Nyingma).

http://www.gadensamtenling.org/007-dhar ... rtuous.htm

Results of Doing the Ten Non-Virtues
1. Killing any living being. It includes abortion, suicide (ruining a body that could have reached nirvana in this life), and participating in the military (even being a cook, it is as if you shot the gun yourself).
Personal Result: Your life is short; and you get sick easily, have little energy.
Environmental Result: Food, drink, medicine, crops, have very little effect, are always inferior, are not nutritious, are hard to digest, and cause disease in you. Most beings around you die before reaching the end of a full life.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby sukhamanveti » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:43 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
sukhamanveti wrote:Lama Zopa Rinpoche says, "It is said in the teachings ..."

Which teachings?


It is said in the teachings of the Mahayana Sutras and in other sources. Apparently, those who kill animals go to at least three different narakas.

In The Wondrous Emanated Scripture, Shabkar quotes the Saddharmasmrityupasthana Sutra ("Sutra of Close Mindfulness"):

"Those whose actions are evil are the ones who will fill the Hell of Great Heat...All this is said to be the result of killing living beings for the sake of enjoying their meat."

He also quotes the Lankavatara Sutra: "For the sake of profit animals are killed...Slayer, buyer, are both caught in sin, And both will boil in hells of lamentation."

He quotes Milarepa: "Harmless beasts you slay and eat; You make and taste a drink to make you drunk And lay the cause for the Reviving Hell...When pricked by thorns, you cannot bear the pain, And yet you kill and eat the flesh of living beings. How harsh will be the prickles of Reviving Hell, When skin will be flayed from your burning limbs! So take away your dreadful blood-red meat."

He tells the story of an "ugly" Brahmin who "used to kill wild beasts and fish whenever he could...He eventually met his death, stabbed in the heart...He at once fell into an infernal realm where he was torn apart and eaten alive..." The source is not given for this one.
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:43 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Do you think then that all the actions forbidden by the five precepts are among the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? Is stealing anything one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? Is engaging in any kind of sexual misconduct one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in? The point is there are degrees here, and I think the fact that the Theravadan Vinaya, and most likely all the Vinayas, make a distinction between killing a human and killing an animal is relevant.


Yes, there are degrees, but it is still akusala kamma patha, one of the ten main non-virtues and should be avoided.

"The Blessed One said: "There is the case, student, where a woman or man is a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, hell — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is short-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a short life: to be a killer of living beings, brutal, bloody-handed, given to killing & slaying, showing no mercy to living beings.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man, having abandoned the killing of living beings, abstains from killing living beings, and dwells with the rod laid down, the knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, & sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination, in the heavenly world. If, on the break-up of the body, after death — instead of reappearing in a good destination, in the heavenly world — he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is long-lived wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a long life: to have abandoned the killing of living beings, to abstain from killing living beings, to dwell with one's rod laid down, one's knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, & sympathetic for the welfare of all living beings.

"There is the case where a woman or man is one who harms beings with his/her fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is sickly wherever reborn. This is the way leading to sickliness: to be one who harms beings with one's fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives.

"But then there is the case where a woman or man is not one who harms beings with his/her fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is healthy wherever reborn. This is the way leading to health: not to be one who harms beings with one's fists, with clods, with sticks, or with knives...."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.135.than.html

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:40 pm

A question for everyone: Why do you think the Vinaya requires expulsion from the order for life for the intentional killing of a human, but only confession, without even a probationary period, for the intentional killing of an animal?
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 great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:03 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:A question for everyone: Why do you think the Vinaya requires expulsion from the order for life for the intentional killing of a human, but only confession, without even a probationary period, for the intentional killing of an animal?


Because killing a human is much worse than killing an animal. Also so monks do not advise people to conduct assassinations, or wars, and so on.

Nevertheless, killing is one of ten non-virtuous actions and leads to birth in the lower realms, especially if engaged in repeatedly.

Furthermore, unwholesome karma leads to unwholesome result. The more unwholesome results you have, the harder it is for your to meet and practice the path, and the longer it takes for you to achieve Buddhahood. So you not only cause yourself to suffer in an extreme way, but also cause yourself all sorts of obstacles to attaining enlightenment.




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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:09 pm

Virgo wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:A question for everyone: Why do you think the Vinaya requires expulsion from the order for life for the intentional killing of a human, but only confession, without even a probationary period, for the intentional killing of an animal?

Because killing a human is much worse than killing an animal.

Why is killing a human much worse than killing an animal?
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 great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:10 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Virgo wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:A question for everyone: Why do you think the Vinaya requires expulsion from the order for life for the intentional killing of a human, but only confession, without even a probationary period, for the intentional killing of an animal?

Because killing a human is much worse than killing an animal.

Why is killing a human much worse than killing an animal?


Because they are a higher life-form, in a higher realm, because they have better and or more faculties, a longer lifespan, because they are more moral than animals, and so on.

Likewise giving to a human being causes greater karmic rewards than giving to an animal for the same reasons, nevertheless, the Buddha said that you should given even the remains of food from your almsbowl (for a monk) to fish and so on. :)

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:34 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:A question for everyone: Why do you think the Vinaya requires expulsion from the order for life for the intentional killing of a human, but only confession, without even a probationary period, for the intentional killing of an animal?



Dzogchungpa, please listen, Jkhedrup-- one of our resident DW monks, has already explained to you and others that the vinaya vows do not reflect the severity of the karmic consequences necessarily. For instance, he cited the severe consequence of a monk or nun having sexual penetration of any of the three orifices. No lay person would have a weighty karmic effect from that, in general. It is only because of the vows taken by the monks, for their particular pratimoksha path, which also reflects the social order of monks and how it is affects the community organism, etc. So, therefore, the basis for the point you were trying to make regarding the lives of animals has been disproven.

If you want to engage in a discussion or debate about the intricacies and logic of the vinaya vows, please start another thread on the topic. But for here and now, :focus:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:35 pm

One has to go beyond studying just a list of the vows to really understand the Vinaya, especially in the context of Mahayana Buddhism. I would recommend Dzogchungpa to learn about natural versus proscribed misdeeds and to study the presentation of the 10 Non-virtues as it appears in Lama Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim Chenmo or Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Vajrasvapna » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:41 pm

However from Sufism, I found this point of view very interesting:
The Chishti Inayat Khan, who introduced Sufi principles to Europe and America in the early part of this century, expressed similar concerns. He observed that vegetarianism promotes compassion and harmlessness to living creatures, and that a vegetarian diet aids in the purification of the body, the opening of the channels of breath and refinement of spiritual faculties. He also taught that meat can be a medicine, and can help some people to withstand the struggle of life in the material world. Therefore, each spiritual seeker should be guided by a teacher in the choice of diet, a decision also inevitably influenced by the regional climate and food supply
http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook/essay_vegetarianism.html

Others texts:
http://www.westonaprice.org/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/not-to-go-vegetarian
http://www.care2.com/causes/do-vegetarians-kill-more-animals-than-meat-eaters.html
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:42 pm

Settle down everyone, once again I point out that I am only responding to this:
Adamantine wrote:Yes, it is 100% incontrovertible, in every single branch of Buddhism, killing is one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in.

Ven. JKhedrup, what do you think about this statement? Is killing a chicken one of the worst karmic actions one could possibly engage in?
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 great vegetarian debate

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:53 pm

Dzogchungpa you know the teachings on karma so you know I cannot give a definitive answer to this. A great deal depends on the state of mind of the person doing the killing for example. One must also consider if the being was killed in a particularly violent way etc. There are many variables:

Karma, be it wholesome or unwholesome, is modified by the conditions under which the actions are performed. In other words, a wholesome or unwholesome action may be more or less strong depending upon the conditions under which it is done. The conditions which determine the weight or strength of karma may be divided into those which refer to the subject — the doer of the action — and those which refer to the object — the being to whom the action is done. So the conditions that determine the weight of karma apply to the subject and object of the action. Specifically, if we take the example of killing, in order for the act of killing to have its complete and unmitigated power, five conditions must be present — a living being, the awareness of the existence of a living being, the intention to kill the living being, the effort or action of killing the living being, and the consequent death of the living being. Here too, we can see the subjective and the objective conditions. The subjective conditions are the awareness of the living being, the intention to kill and the action of killing. The objective conditions are the presence of the living being and the consequent death of the living being.
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma1.htm
Last edited by JKhedrup on Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:55 pm

JKhedrup wrote:One has to go beyond studying just a list of the vows to really understand the Vinaya, especially in the context of Mahayana Buddhism. I would recommend Dzogchungpa to learn about natural versus proscribed misdeeds and to study the presentation of the 10 Non-virtues as it appears in Lama Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim Chenmo or Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher.

Are you saying I need to read Tsongkhapa and Patrul to understand the Theravadan Vinaya?
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 great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:56 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Dzogchungpa you know the teachings on karma so you know I cannot give a definitive answer to this.

Alright then. :smile:
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.
- Conze
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:57 pm

Are you saying I need to read Tsongkhapa and Patrul to understand the Theravadan Vinaya


I don't understand how you can think I said such a thing. Less than five posts ago I typed this:
One has to go beyond studying just a list of the vows to really understand the Vinaya, especially in the context of Mahayana Buddhism.


If you want to discuss these things I am happy to, to the best of my ability. But if you want to discuss please do me the courtesy of reading my responses, as I read yours.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:00 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:Dzogchungpa you know the teachings on karma so you know I cannot give a definitive answer to this.

Alright then. :smile:



Similarly, there are five conditions that modify the weight of karma and they are persistent, repeated action; action done with great intention and determination; action done without regret; action done towards those who possess extraordinary qualities; and action done towards those who have benefited one in the past. Here too there are subjective and objective conditions. The subjective conditions are persistent action; action done with intention; and action done without regret. If one does an unwholesome action again and again with great intention and without regret, the weight of the action will be enhanced.
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma1.htm

In other words, I would not advise Buddhists to take a job in a slaughterhouse.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:18 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:Dzogchungpa you know the teachings on karma so you know I cannot give a definitive answer to this.

Alright then. :smile:


I think it is safe to say, with the 5 factors he mentioned present, yes it is one of the worst karmic actions one can engage in. Of course, killing one's mother or father or an arhat is far worse -- also for a Vajrayana pracititioner -killing one's Guru or Vajra sibling, then still at the top of the list of negative actions but following those, killing a human being in general, then killing an animal.. all of those of course, dependent on those conditions we have already listed exhaustedly. Now, drop this line of questioning here, because you have been more than generously answered, and it is :offtopic: at this point. If you want to continue this circular discussion, start a new thread.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:23 am

fishchicken sez "No food with a face!"
fish chicken.png
fish chicken.png (212.25 KiB) Viewed 170 times
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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