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 Post subject: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:28 am 
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We found a small newborn kitten alone on the side of our dirt road. He had been abandoned by his mother to be devoured by ants, probably because he was the runt and is missing a foot. I named him Forsaken. Clearly, his reproductive karma is quite negative. He was born as a pitiful runt kitten and disowned by his mother, separated from his family immediately.

However, this question came up and we have discussed it. As we drove by my friend spotted something in the grass and we rescued him, cleaned him and force-fed him from a syringe. My question is, is it just happenstance that we found him and saved him, or is it actually his counteractive karma that worked against his sustaining karma? I'm very inclined to the latter notion and have been from the start.

From my understanding, the reason everything is not determined by karma but only mostly influenced by it, is because our karma (actions), according to intentions, always push us and try to lead us to our fruits, in one way or another. But the world is inherently empty so therefore it's impossible to avoid chaos and accident despite our karmas. So, this leads me to consider that against his reproductive and sustaining karma, Forsaken has experienced his counteractive karma in this way, to relieve him of his reproductive afflictions and prevent his sustaining afflictions.

At any rate, this should produce some helpful discussion for fellow Buddhists.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:10 am 
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In the Abhidharmakosha, Vasubhandhu says something like "the world in its variety arises from karma."


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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Location: Magga ~ Path to Liberation.
There's a particular cat that "comes by" every now and then for cat food. I feed it. Is that good karma?..


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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Wesley1982 wrote:
There's a particular cat that "comes by" every now and then for cat food. I feed it. Is that good karma?..


Remove the "I" and it would be great karma :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin

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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Son wrote:
At any rate, this should produce some helpful discussion for fellow Buddhists.


I have been taught that there is no way of knowing what is and what isn't the result of karma. To try and figure it out would make us go crazy.

IMHO (and it's only my opinion) I see karma as having thousands of shades of grey as well as black and white

Gassho,
Seishin

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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Seishin wrote:
Son wrote:
At any rate, this should produce some helpful discussion for fellow Buddhists.


I have been taught that there is no way of knowing what is and what isn't the result of karma. To try and figure it out would make us go crazy.

IMHO (and it's only my opinion) I see karma as having thousands of shades of grey as well as black and white

Gassho,
Seishin


It's measured by its conventional result. Ergo, if it kills you there is no need to call it any shade of grey--it's destructive, bad, and resulted in your death.
Karma is a constant force. Although it is not responsible for everything, it does relate to everything in our lives. This fluid concept, coupled with the notion of "grey-shades," presents a good understanding of karma.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:02 am 
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Son wrote:
It's measured by its conventional result. Ergo, if it kills you there is no need to call it any shade of grey--it's destructive, bad, and resulted in your death.
Karma is a constant force. Although it is not responsible for everything, it does relate to everything in our lives. This fluid concept, coupled with the notion of "grey-shades," presents a good understanding of karma.


All composite phenomena are impermanent. I think that conceiving death as destructive and bad can create a karmic impression that isn't necessarily true.
Best wishes to the cat, how is he coping with only 3 feet?

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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:23 am 
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futerko wrote:
Son wrote:
It's measured by its conventional result. Ergo, if it kills you there is no need to call it any shade of grey--it's destructive, bad, and resulted in your death.
Karma is a constant force. Although it is not responsible for everything, it does relate to everything in our lives. This fluid concept, coupled with the notion of "grey-shades," presents a good understanding of karma.


All composite phenomena are impermanent. I think that conceiving death as destructive and bad can create a karmic impression that isn't necessarily true.
Best wishes to the cat, how is he coping with only 3 feet?


According to the Buddha, destructive karma is a cause of death, among other destructive fruits. Holding an extreme view of destructive karma, like all extreme view, does lead to impressions that aren't true. But karma does commonly cause death and it is wise to consider this. Many Buddhists say that they recognize karma and yet they seem to believe that nothing is actually caused by karma. Both the view that karma does not bring any affects, and that karma causes everything that happens to us, are extreme and therefore lead to incorrect impressions.

The kitten passed away yesterday. And I can confidently say that karma played a role in its very short and miserable life. I was chanting for him and my impression was that he wasn't able to avoid another animal birth. However as we are offering his body to others soon I'm hoping that yet more prayer will be able to help him in some way.

I heard someone once say that karmic effects direct life, their side-effects influence it, and prayer is mostly responsible for the rest. Prayer here meant more than just spoken prayer, but the force of prayer in general.


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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:23 am 
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Karma does commonly "cause" death because insofar as it is causality, it is death (and rebirth), and you are right, not all causality is karma, but all karma is causality.

Sorry to hear that, best wishes to him in the intermediate bardo. He may well be reborn in the animal realm, and maybe his suffering may have burned off some karma.

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 Post subject: Re: Cat's Karma
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Sorry to hear that Forsaken didn't make it, to quote mama bunny "kitten is in kitty heaven now".

Over the years we've had numerous cats here at the burrow. Our latest Anya arrived as a stray, mama bunny is convinced that it is Abigail returned. She in turn thought that Abigail was Dusty that had returned. You get the idea. Mama bunny does not believe in karma or rebirth but she does with the cats.

Dusty was a calico tabby, she was a manx cat that passed over *thinks* must be nearly 20 years ago. Abigail (also a calico tabby) arrived as a stray and passed over 5 years ago. Then 4 years ago Anya (also a calico tabby) appeared. To quote mama bunny "Anya knows this house too well to not have been here before". Anya got pregnant, had 2 kittens, 1 didn't survive the first night while the other did. We kept the surviving one, called her Jane who is a calico tabby too and now we have two cats. Who are spoiled rotten! :tongue:

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