YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Killer cows of the Pali Canon - Dhamma Wheel

Killer cows of the Pali Canon

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:56 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3633
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: hell officers

Postby SDC » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:11 am


Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: hell officers

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:05 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: hell officers

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:05 am

Thanks for your reply.

Maybe - in another thread, of course - we could outline the suttas in which such an event occurs, and examine them closer.

One consideration, in the meantime, is it all all possible that simply because the event was so out of the ordinary, that it was so recalled and maintained for prosterity in the first place? Moreover, - if a literary creation alone - why would a fabrication use such a bizarre event as accentuation? What is the significance involved?
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3633
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: hell officers

Postby SDC » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:00 pm

Retro and Paññāsikhara,

Considering that my comments eventually led to your exchange I feel I should say something.

Although I disagree with the scenario being a "common literary device", it is most definitely a common occurrence in several stories. Some more of which are in the Dhammapada. My take on it is that during that time in India, as may still be the case today, the streets were always very busy and there was always livestock around. Also just walking past a random cow in a field puts you at risk. So the potential for an encounter was high. It was probably a very common cause of death in those days. Just so happens it was the cause of death for people associated with the Buddha and the teaching so the story was passed along.

As far as why it happened so quickly in the stories, usually that same day, I'm not sure. Retro pointed out that in the story of the executioner he had a very fortunate rebirth after a very questionable life. He had heard the Dhamma so briefly yet it had such a profound effect. So I believe the manner of death is irrelevant. What is relevant is what occurs just before.

Hope this helps.

User avatar
catmoon
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:59 am

Re: hell officers

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:20 am

I am no expert, but I have in my lifetime had several hundreds of encounters with cows, many of them with no fence between us. In none of those encounters did the cow attack me. Come to think of it, none of them threatened me though one might say some of them stalked me. Probably looking for treats.

OTOH I did once see a Scottish Highland (the shaggy ones with the long straight horns) take a swipe at someone who entered her stall. She had a young calf with her. I attribute this to her being a Scottish mother, which anyone knows is dangerous.

But in general, cows are about as threatening as a tree stump. Or maybe a large rock. The most common form of assault results in the victim getting slimed by those big wet noses. I don't know why the sight of a recently-awakened saint would arouse the murderer in the bovine soul. It must be some kind of ancient grudge.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: hell officers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:43 am


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:02 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: hell officers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:15 am


Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: hell officers

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:34 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:53 am

Hi Retro

I would caution you against ascribing death by attack by cow as a literary device. While in today's world it might be a rare event (or rarey reported event) - it may not have been the case 2,500 years ago in North India.
You might be interested to know that the No. 1 cause of death (outside of childhood diseases) in Australia during the 19th Century was falling from a horse. And today, the most dangerous animal in Australia is the horse.

I don't think it would be that unusual for people in North India to be attacked by cattle. They were then, more so than now, living amongst their great herd.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]com..

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:05 am

Greetings Ben,

I'm not saying people weren't killed by cows... it's this rather convenient sequence of events that I find a little too convenient...

- Obscure bhikkhu with little or no realisation receives a teaching from prominent bhikkhu or the Buddha
- Obscure bhikkhu instantly attains some significant degree of realisation
- Obscure bhikkhu is killed by a rampaging cow, later that very day
- The post-mortem fate of the deceased bhikkhu is revealed

It's the repetition of this pattern juxtaposed against an absence of other "death by cow" combinations in the Pali Canon and commentaries that piqued my interest, rather than simply "death by cow" per se.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby appicchato » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:45 am

From this angle it looks as though we've all got too much time on our hands... :coffee:

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: hell officers

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 am


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:15 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:23 am

A friend of mine was badly injured and hospitalised by a Brahman cow he was taking food to. He was pinned against a fence and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. The fact that it was deliberate was confirmed by the cow then stomping on him. Not all cows are placid, modern Holsten/Friesens.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Killer cows of the Pali Canon

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:48 pm



Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine