Insect karma

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rory
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Re: Insect karma

Post by rory »

You don't have to worry about the ants or other insects, it states in the Lotus Sutra, Ch. 25 that Kannon will manifest their shape and preach the Dharma to them.
"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a heavenly dragon, yaksha, gandharva, asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga, human, or nonhuman, and so forth, he will manifest in such a body and speak Dharma for them.

"If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Vajra-wielding spirit, he will manifest in the body of a Vajra-wielding spirit and speak Dharma for them.

"Inexhaustible Intention! Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has accomplished merit and virtue such as this and, in all manner of forms, roams throughout the land, saving and liberating living beings.
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... otus25.htm

Of course you can always tranfer the merit of chanting sutras, nenbutsu for t birth in the Pure Land. My deceased pet dogs have buddhist names and I chanted the small Amida sutra for their rebirth.
https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/d004 ... -pets.html
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/
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Aemilius
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Aemilius »

Vasana wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 5:01 pm
Aemilius wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 9:17 am "There is not even a very slight subtle difference between samsara and nirvana ", Nagarjuna in MulaMadhyamaka Karika.
For realized beings and those further on the path, yes.
Aemilius wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 9:17 am [...]Ants' thoughts are often sophisticated and complex, the normal human expressions seem straightforward and crude, in comparison.
Sophisticated and complex yes but also more chemically calculated and mechanical? (Not a bad thing but to compare the perceptual process of an ant to a human reminds me of when Einstein said you shouldn't judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree...)

Image

The main thing is that animals do not have the leisure or opportunity to develop the path or understand the teachings. Only a handful of animals have passed the self awareness test and even this doesn't qualify them.

I write this as I think more about getting a snack instead of practcing. Now who's more sophisticated than an animal ? :popcorn: :pig:
The point of many yogis and meditators is that consciousness is not what the modern culture/science thinks it is. Consciousness is always consciousness, even when it occupies a small body or a small form (rupa). Even the tiniest insects experience the mind of clear light at the moment of death, says Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, for example.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Vasana
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

Sure. Which is why all beings are objects of our compassion, especially when they lack the freedoms and endowments to enter the path in their current bodies.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
ydnan321
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Re: Insect karma

Post by ydnan321 »

For those who think this is not to be taken literally, I found a video by Master Chin Kung (sorry it’s in Vietnamese with Chinese subtitle). I’ve been afflicted thinking about this. Any help would be appreciated.

https://youtu.be/yxBXZ2bDnZk

Thanks,

YN
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Insect karma

Post by 明安 Myoan »

I’ve been afflicted thinking about this. Any help would be appreciated.
To have this difficulty in the first place means you care about the Dharma :smile:

Your good heart that seeks to benefit others doesn't depend upon one sutra or a conceptual framework.
Your abandonment of negativities doesn't either.
Sometimes you have to set aside one sutra as not the right medicine for the time.

Regarding your specific question.
The presence of a supportive condition doesn't guarantee that a cause will produce a specific result. This is true of anything in life.
I could have been asleep in a hut next to Shakyamuni's and never known.
To set out on the path to awakening, we need the eight freedoms and ten advantages mentioned above. But to receive benefit from food, a mantra, a connection to the Dharma through holy objects, from positive qualities like generosity and patience, we need only be sentient beings.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
ydnan321
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Re: Insect karma

Post by ydnan321 »

Mönlam Tharchin wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 1:01 am
I’ve been afflicted thinking about this. Any help would be appreciated.
...to receive benefit from food, a mantra, a connection to the Dharma through holy objects, from positive qualities like generosity and patience, we need only be sentient beings.
That’s what I had been thinking. I’d thought the fore mentioned ant would have received such benefit (its karma purified) by the actual Buddhas (with their great compassion and power) whom it was fortunate enough to be nearby...” and be able to escape its ant form.

Regards,

YN
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Aemilius
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Aemilius »

Vasana wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 8:44 am Sure. Which is why all beings are objects of our compassion, especially when they lack the freedoms and endowments to enter the path in their current bodies.
That is a preconceived idea that may well turn out to be limited or wrong. Ants and other insects seem to have free time as much or as little as humans have. Concerning the other things, there are other means of communication than the spoken language, these include odors and smells, or just silence etc, that are mentioned in the Lankavatara sutra and the Vimalakirti Nirdesa sutra as means of communicating the Dharma in some other Buddha-fields. Currently human biologists know that communication between ants mainly takes place through chemical messages that they emit from different glands in their bodies.
Carl Sagan has given several enormously good lectures about the self-centeredness of human world view, which has manifested in many different ways in the course of human history. I feel that this view about other beings, like the insects, that is put forward in this thread, is one more manifestation of the narrowness of human worldview. The evolutionary view of life on planet Earth sees meaning in the life of ants and in the lives of other insects. The Buddhist view that you are propagating sees the life of ants and other insects as meaningless and quite useless. That surely can't be true.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Insect karma

Post by 明安 Myoan »

ydnan321 wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 am
Mönlam Tharchin wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 1:01 am
I’ve been afflicted thinking about this. Any help would be appreciated.
...to receive benefit from food, a mantra, a connection to the Dharma through holy objects, from positive qualities like generosity and patience, we need only be sentient beings.
That’s what I had been thinking. I’d thought the fore mentioned ant would have received such benefit (its karma purified) by the actual Buddhas (with their great compassion and power) whom it was fortunate enough to be nearby...” and be able to escape its ant form.

Regards,

YN
There are other factors too: retrogression, and beings need both the accumulations of merit and wisdom to awaken. Birth in a buddha-land can address the former, but the latter is where beings still have to participate in the process of awakening. Awakening isn't a passive process, because samsara isn't passive.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Insect karma

Post by 明安 Myoan »

And to rephrase the point about clear light earlier in this thread, part of benefiting animals includes purifying our deluded vision of past mothers and buddhas-to-be as merely animals, in a positive or a pejorative sense.

(I love the idea of a bodhisattva communicating with ants via smells!)
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
Simon E.
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Simon E. »

ydnan321 wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 8:13 pm For those who think this is not to be taken literally, I found a video by Master Chin Kung (sorry it’s in Vietnamese with Chinese subtitle). I’ve been afflicted thinking about this. Any help would be appreciated.

https://youtu.be/yxBXZ2bDnZk

Thanks,

YN
You are asking for help, but only if it conforms to a belief system you subscribe to. Its the belief system that is causing you to have afflicted thoughts.
Neither you or anyone else reading this thread has the slightest idea what consciousness means in terms of insect life. Its all speculation..prapanca. Just do your practice and get on with your life and leave insects to the Buddhas to protect. If you want things to worry about have a walk around your neighbourhood, I'm sure that you will find lots of denizens of the human world who need a helping hand.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Insect karma

Post by 明安 Myoan »

It's all about your situation.
If you see more animals and insects than people,then why not include them in the mandala of your practice, if so inclined?
One rouses bodhicitta, one gives with no expectation of reward, one thinks of the Dharma, one adds Dharma objects to the world, one displays non-harming, one remembers beings, one's beneficial attitude gains continuity across all interactions, one gains ease around all kinds of creatures and people, the body becomes gentle, anger becomes an appearance to tame, and on and on. The practices are easy, but if done with faith, the benefits are profound.
Without bodhicitta or faith, the benefit is short lived: only food, ideas at a great distance. So one's inclinations and conditions must be taken into account when deciding how to train.

Whether or not someone thinks animals or insects are sentient beings, they still seem to suffer, so we can surround them with reminders not to make them suffer more.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Vasana
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

Aemilius wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 8:53 am
Vasana wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 8:44 am Sure. Which is why all beings are objects of our compassion, especially when they lack the freedoms and endowments to enter the path in their current bodies.
That is a preconceived idea that may well turn out to be limited or wrong.

Ants and other insects seem to have free time as much or as little as humans have. Concerning the other things, there are other means of communication than the spoken language, these include odors and smells, or just silence etc, that are mentioned in the Lankavatara sutra and the Vimalakirti Nirdesa sutra as means of communicating the Dharma in some other Buddha-fields. Currently human biologists know that communication between ants mainly takes place through chemical messages that they emit from different glands in their bodies.
Carl Sagan has given several enormously good lectures about the self-centeredness of human world view, which has manifested in many different ways in the course of human history. I feel that this view about other beings, like the insects, that is put forward in this thread, is one more manifestation of the narrowness of human worldview. The evolutionary view of life on planet Earth sees meaning in the life of ants and in the lives of other insects. The Buddhist view that you are propagating sees the life of ants and other insects as meaningless and quite useless. That surely can't be true.
I think you are projecting your (perfectly valid) disapproval of the modern world's rejection of insect life on to this thread and my response. I'm as fascinated by insects and in love with the cosmos as you are. I love that ants 'farm' aphids, I love how complex ant 'archtecture' is and I love all of the other mind blowing symbiotic relationships we see in nature. I know ants are intelligent in their own manner.

But the fact remains ...The vast majority of animals and insects lack the faculties to enter and train on the path in their current bodies despite the varieies of their intelligence. The tenet of the 8 freedoms and 10 advantages is not a controversial one.
A parrot can repeat mantras. However, as a human being, you can understand if somebody explains the meaning of om mani padme hum, whereas a parrot cannot. There is no way a parrot can understand that mani means method and padme, wisdom. There is no way to make a parrot understand the wisdom of absolute truth. There is no way these pitiful goats, pigs and sheep can understand emptiness, even if you scream in their ears for years.
If even not all humans have access, ability or determination to practice the Dharma, then this should go without saying that the majority of insects and animals possess even less. Even if ants could understand the Dharma, first you would need to learn how to translate those concepts in to a language that ants could understand. Maybe Avalokiteshvara knows how to do this but waiting or assuming they have the means to figure it out on their own seems less useful than planting seeds of liberation in their continuums.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Aemilius
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Aemilius »

Nevertheless, Tsele Natsok Randrol writes that even insects (and other kinds of animals) posses consciousness that experiences the mind of clear light at the moment of death, in their present forms or bodies as insects (and animals). The 8 F and 10 A presumes that only human language exists as a means of communicating, it is thus erroneous and limited.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Simon E.
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Simon E. »

Appeals to authority are not going to cause me to give a lot of consideration to the idea that earthworms, fleas, gnats, and slugs are wee Buddhas in the making. :lol:

Maybe they are...I will leave that to the Universe and proceed with attempting to do as little harm as possible simply because that is the right thing to do. I don't accept that attempting to realise Buddhadharma means carrying the cultural baggage of another time and place.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

Aemilius wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 8:50 am Nevertheless, Tsele Natsok Randrol writes that even insects (and other kinds of animals) posses consciousness that experiences the mind of clear light at the moment of death, in their present forms or bodies as insects (and animals). The 8 F and 10 A presumes that only human language exists as a means of communicating, it is thus erroneous and limited.
The points is that even if animals and insects experience the mind of clear light at death, since they have not received pointing out instructions or practiced, they won't recognise it...like most humans. I have no problem accepting that humans can be reborn as animals or insects so I'm not putting one on a pedestal. The fact is that unless the conditions come together, attaining realization is difficult. If it's like that for humans, how much more so for animals. Only those animals and insects with a lot of merit could ever encounter animal emanations of Bodhisattvas. And since we don't know...

The 8 F and 10 A doesn't presume anything , it's a general description of what makes a precious human life, precious. I'm not really sure what you're arguing for or against at this point.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Vasana
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

For those who were following the weirdly specific discussion on insect intelligence, I just stumbled on this article from yesterday about a new study on paper wasps' ability for something called 'transitive inference' which sounds like it has some overlap with valid inference (anumāna ).
For millennia, transitive inference was considered a hallmark of human deductive powers, a form of logical reasoning used to make inferences: If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C.

But in recent decades, vertebrate animals including monkeys, birds and fish have demonstrated the ability to use transitive inference.

The only published study that assessed TI in invertebrates found that honeybees weren't up to the task. One possible explanation for that result is that the small nervous system of honeybees imposes cognitive constraints that prevent those insects from conducting transitive inference.

Paper wasps have a nervous system roughly the same size—about one million neurons—as honeybees, but they exhibit a type complex social behavior not seen in honeybee colonies. University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts wondered if paper wasps' social skills could enable them to succeed where honeybees had failed.

To find out, Tibbetts and her colleagues tested whether two common species of paper wasp, Polistes dominula and Polistes metricus, could solve a transitive inference problem. The team's findings are scheduled for online publication May 8 in the journal Biology Letters.

"This study adds to a growing body of evidence that the miniature nervous systems of insects do not limit sophisticated behaviors," said Tibbetts, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

"We're not saying that wasps used logical deduction to solve this problem, but they seem to use known relationships to make inferences about unknown relationships," Tibbetts said. "Our findings suggest that the capacity for complex behavior may be shaped by the social environment in which behaviors are beneficial, rather than being strictly limited by brain size."
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-paper-was ... mbles.html
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Aemilius
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Aemilius »

Vasana wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 10:17 am
Aemilius wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 8:50 am Nevertheless, Tsele Natsok Randrol writes that even insects (and other kinds of animals) posses consciousness that experiences the mind of clear light at the moment of death, in their present forms or bodies as insects (and animals). The 8 F and 10 A presumes that only human language exists as a means of communicating, it is thus erroneous and limited.
The points is that even if animals and insects experience the mind of clear light at death, since they have not received pointing out instructions or practiced, they won't recognise it...like most humans. I have no problem accepting that humans can be reborn as animals or insects so I'm not putting one on a pedestal. The fact is that unless the conditions come together, attaining realization is difficult. If it's like that for humans, how much more so for animals. Only those animals and insects with a lot of merit could ever encounter animal emanations of Bodhisattvas. And since we don't know...

The 8 F and 10 A doesn't presume anything , it's a general description of what makes a precious human life, precious. I'm not really sure what you're arguing for or against at this point.
The point is that shouting "Tongpanyid!" to an european, american or african person doesn't constitute communication. It is not communication in the case of humans. Much less in the case of animals and insects. As already said, Mahayana sutras describe several other means of communication as the human language and speech.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Vasana
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

Aemilius wrote: Wed May 08, 2019 8:56 am
Vasana wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 10:17 am
Aemilius wrote: Tue May 07, 2019 8:50 am Nevertheless, Tsele Natsok Randrol writes that even insects (and other kinds of animals) posses consciousness that experiences the mind of clear light at the moment of death, in their present forms or bodies as insects (and animals). The 8 F and 10 A presumes that only human language exists as a means of communicating, it is thus erroneous and limited.
The points is that even if animals and insects experience the mind of clear light at death, since they have not received pointing out instructions or practiced, they won't recognise it...like most humans. I have no problem accepting that humans can be reborn as animals or insects so I'm not putting one on a pedestal. The fact is that unless the conditions come together, attaining realization is difficult. If it's like that for humans, how much more so for animals. Only those animals and insects with a lot of merit could ever encounter animal emanations of Bodhisattvas. And since we don't know...

The 8 F and 10 A doesn't presume anything , it's a general description of what makes a precious human life, precious. I'm not really sure what you're arguing for or against at this point.
The point is that shouting "Tongpanyid!" to an european, american or african person doesn't constitute communication. It is not communication in the case of humans. Much less in the case of animals and insects. As already said, Mahayana sutras describe several other means of communication as the human language and speech.
Sure but I'm not sure anyone was arguing against that.
Most of this thread seems to be about planting seeds via the senses - liberation by hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling.
Animals and insects don't need to understand the mantras they hear in order to benefit from them.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Aemilius
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Aemilius »

It is not "mostly about planting seeds". You don't need to speak on my behalf something that I have neither said nor intended.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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Vasana
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Re: Insect karma

Post by Vasana »

Aemilius wrote: Sat May 11, 2019 9:48 am It is not "mostly about planting seeds". You don't need to speak on my behalf something that I have neither said nor intended.
I was only speaking on my own behalf and understanding.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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