All Sentient Beings are equal?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:38 pm

Are all sentient beings equal? Based on what are they equal?

Is possible to discuss this?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Kyosan » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:20 pm

I'm not sure whether they are equal but if I understand the scriptures correctly, all sentient beings have the Buddha nature and all sentient beings hear the Buddha dharma.
Kyosan
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:57 pm
Location: USA, Tucson

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:32 pm

Kyosan wrote:I'm not sure whether they are equal but if I understand the scriptures correctly, all sentient beings have the Buddha nature and all sentient beings hear the Buddha dharma.


Then why don't I see that a chicken is equal to me?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:36 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Kyosan wrote:I'm not sure whether they are equal but if I understand the scriptures correctly, all sentient beings have the Buddha nature and all sentient beings hear the Buddha dharma.


Then why don't I see that a chicken is equal to me?

Your past habitual mental patterns involving delusion.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:47 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Kyosan wrote:I'm not sure whether they are equal but if I understand the scriptures correctly, all sentient beings have the Buddha nature and all sentient beings hear the Buddha dharma.


Then why don't I see that a chicken is equal to me?

Your past habitual mental patterns involving delusion.


Just to be clear, do you mean distinction of forms? That I am a this and that is a chicken?
Last edited by LastLegend on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Pero » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:58 pm

LastLegend wrote:Are all sentient beings equal? Based on what are they equal?

I think they're equal in the sense that they have Buddha nature, however,

Kyosan wrote: and all sentient beings hear the Buddha dharma.


All sentient beings certainly don't hear the Buddha dharma.

LastLegend wrote:Then why don't I see that a chicken is equal to me?

Because a chicken is a chicken and a human is a human. Well at least I imagine you're a human. If not, my apologies. :smile:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
Pero
 
Posts: 1841
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:38 pm

Pero wrote:Because a chicken is a chicken and a human is a human. Well at least I imagine you're a human. If not, my apologies. :smile:


Good good
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby tamdrin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:30 am

Keep this in mind..
I believe it is worse karma to kill a human than to kill a fly... This would suggest that relatively all beings aren't equal..
tamdrin
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:36 am

LastLegend wrote:Just to be clear, do you mean distinction of forms? That I am a this and that is a chicken?

Nah, I meant that both you and the chicken possess buddha nature. Of course you are what you are, and the chicken is what it is. So, you're not equal in that sense.

And yes, chickens abide in the animal realm which is considered to be a lower realm, because it is not conducive to liberation. But still, the chicken possesses buddha nature just like you.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby ground » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:13 am

LastLegend wrote:Are all sentient beings equal? Based on what are they equal?

Is possible to discuss this?


Your style of opening threads is very terse. :)

LastLegend wrote:What is meditation?

Please discuss

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3599

LastLegend wrote:How do you understand Buddha Nature/Mind in relation to matter?

Please share in your own understanding so that others and I can learn from you.

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3597


Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:26 am

let's put it this way: you may have been a chicken in your last life. if not your last one, certainly at some point down the line. and you may be a chicken again. what distinguishes the human incarnation from other embodiments is that there are many advantages and positive attributes to being human: you are not purely experiencing unbearable suffering alone as a hell being would; you are not purely experiencing various degrees of unsatiated craving as a hungry ghost would; you are not mainly at the whims of your instincts and focused on basic survival alone as an animal
would. Similarly, you are probably not lulled into indulgence in pure pleasure or power as god realm beings would be. Of course, the human experience has all the negative habitual patterns and emotions that lead to these other states-- so the human experience may at times mirror these conditions to an extent. But as a human we have the perfect balance between suffering and pleasure-- not too much of either, so we are motivated to desire release from suffering-- nirvana or enlightenment -- and have the freedom and time to pursue a path towards that end. Because there is a greater potential to connect with Dharma or to reach liberation in a human embodiment, it is considered a more precious incarnation then the others. It is the fruit of very powerful postive karmic accumulation to be reborn as a human. Otherwise, there is no difference in the mindstreams among the various beings in the different realms. We ourselves have incarnated as many if not all of them over the course of countless aeons. That is why it is worse to kill a human, and why we need to make use of this precious opportunity while we can.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:38 am

tamdrin wrote:Keep this in mind..
I believe it is worse karma to kill a human than to kill a fly... This would suggest that relatively all beings aren't equal..

Yes sir...difference of karma leading to manifestation of different forms-e.g., a chicken versus a human.

Adamantine wrote:let's put it this way: you may have been a chicken in your last life. if not your last one, certainly at some point down the line. and you may be a chicken again. what distinguishes the human incarnation from other embodiments is that there are many advantages and positive attributes to being human: you are not purely experiencing unbearable suffering alone as a hell being would; you are not purely experiencing various degrees of unsatiated craving as a hungry ghost would; you are not mainly at the whims of your instincts and focused on basic survival alone as an animal
would. Similarly, you are probably not lulled into indulgence in pure pleasure or power as god realm beings would be. Of course, the human experience has all the negative habitual patterns and emotions that lead to these other states-- so the human experience may at times mirror these conditions to an extent. But as a human we have the perfect balance between suffering and pleasure-- not too much of either, so we are motivated to desire release from suffering-- nirvana or enlightenment -- and have the freedom and time to pursue a path towards that end. Because there is a greater potential to connect with Dharma or to reach liberation in a human embodiment, it is considered a more precious incarnation then the others. It is the fruit of very powerful postive karmic accumulation to be reborn as a human. Otherwise, there is no difference in the mindstreams among the various beings in the different realms. We ourselves have incarnated as many if not all of them over the course of countless aeons. That is why it is worse to kill a human, and why we need to make use of this precious opportunity while we can.


Yes sir...you are right.

So killing an Arhat carries different karma from killing a human. Then would you agree that the difference here is based on cultivation of Mind? In other words, a human has more potentials than an animal. An Arhat has more potentials than a human.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:43 am

All have the same potential because all have Buddha Nature, but they do not all possess the same capacity/capability to fulfil this potential. So ultimately, or at the ultimate level, they are all the equal but at the relative level, due to differences in the capabilities they currently possess, they are different (or not equal).
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9635
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:57 am

LastLegend wrote:So killing an Arhat carries different karma from killing a human. Then would you agree that the difference here is based on cultivation of Mind? In other words, a human has more potentials than an animal. An Arhat has more potentials than a human.


Greg already answered this well. . I don't have anything to add. . . except the capabilities are impermanent, results of the force of positive karma, but they will not last. So you could say, 'cultivation of Mind', but don't reify it. Even Bodhisattvas on the Bhumis, until they attain the 8th Bhumi can still fall-- can still backslide. A chicken may be a human next life, and may become a great practitioner, while a Bodhisattva could get caught again in patterns of grasping and fall to a lower rebirth. Don't solidify notions of difference between the appearances of the various beings-- the forms are liquid, changing, in flux. The potential for Buddhahood is always there.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:34 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:All have the same potential because all have Buddha Nature, but they do not all possess the same capacity/capability to fulfil this potential. So ultimately, or at the ultimate level, they are all the equal but at the relative level, due to differences in the capabilities they currently possess, they are different (or not equal).
:namaste:


Good work

Adamantine wrote:
LastLegend wrote:So killing an Arhat carries different karma from killing a human. Then would you agree that the difference here is based on cultivation of Mind? In other words, a human has more potentials than an animal. An Arhat has more potentials than a human.


Greg already answered this well. . I don't have anything to add. . . except the capabilities are impermanent, results of the force of positive karma, but they will not last. So you could say, 'cultivation of Mind', but don't reify it. Even Bodhisattvas on the Bhumis, until they attain the 8th Bhumi can still fall-- can still backslide. A chicken may be a human next life, and may become a great practitioner, while a Bodhisattva could get caught again in patterns of grasping and fall to a lower rebirth. Don't solidify notions of difference between the appearances of the various beings-- the forms are liquid, changing, in flux. The potential for Buddhahood is always there.


Good work
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby KwanSeum » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:40 pm

tamdrin wrote:Keep this in mind..
I believe it is worse karma to kill a human than to kill a fly... This would suggest that relatively all beings aren't equal..
Why would it be worse to kill a fly?
User avatar
KwanSeum
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:43 pm
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby Dexing » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:53 pm

All sentient beings are equal in their being deluded and ignorant. That is why they perceive each other as inferior or superior.

Buddhas perceive all sentient beings as equal even to a Buddha, insofar as they possess the virtuous qualities for the Tathāgata. It is merely due to their habit of conceptualization and grasping that deluded sentient beings are ignorant of this and create all sorts of dualities and unnecessary suffering and difficulty.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
User avatar
Dexing
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:41 am

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:56 pm

Dexing wrote:All sentient beings are equal in their being deluded and ignorant. That is why they perceive each other as inferior or superior.

Buddhas perceive all sentient beings as equal even to a Buddha, insofar as they possess the virtuous qualities for the Tathāgata. It is merely due to their habit of conceptualization and grasping that deluded sentient beings are ignorant of this and create all sorts of dualities and unnecessary suffering and difficulty.

:namaste:


Very well
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:07 pm

KwanSeum wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Keep this in mind..
I believe it is worse karma to kill a human than to kill a fly... This would suggest that relatively all beings aren't equal..
Why would it be worse to kill a fly?

If you mean "why would it be worse than to kill a fly, I would say that a human has the possibility of achieving buddhahood in this very lifetime. Whereas the fly will have to be reborn to achieve that.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: All Sentient Beings are equal?

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:11 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
KwanSeum wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Keep this in mind..
I believe it is worse karma to kill a human than to kill a fly... This would suggest that relatively all beings aren't equal..
Why would it be worse to kill a fly?

If you mean "why would it be worse than to kill a fly, I would say that a human has the possibility of achieving buddhahood in this very lifetime. Whereas the fly will have to be reborn to achieve that.


Excellent!
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Next

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

>