animal liberation

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anjali
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animal liberation

Post by anjali » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:29 pm

The first time I came across the idea that an animal could be liberated was when I read the story of Ramana Maharshi and the cow Lakshmi. Back in the day, when I first came across this story, I initially had a hard time wrapping my head around this possibility. Now I have come across another concrete example of animal liberation in this excerpt from Wonders of the Natural Mind by Tenzin Wangyal,
...even animals may practice and achieve liberation. In fact there are stories of masters who were able to communicate with animals and who transmitted teachings to them. For example, there is a story about one such master at the beginning of this century who used to communicate with yetis, goats, and pigeons. One day a pigeon came to the tent where this master was giving a teaching. The master interrupted the teaching and went outside, sat down in front of the pigeon, and communicated with it without words. The bird was very weak and could not sit in the right posture, so the master put some rice in a bowl and set the bird in a nook in the rice so that it could assume the meditation position. After receiving teachings in the correct mediation posture for a few moments, the pigeon died and attained liberation.
First, does anyone know what master this quote is referring to? Second, is there any scriptural support for the view that animals can be liberated? And third, does anyone know of other animal liberation stories they could share?
Last edited by anjali on Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:33 pm

http://www.amazon.com/The-Essence-Benef ... 0968768954

Cannot even begin to tell you how much I (and my Greek lama especially) recommend this practice.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: animal liberation

Post by SeekerNo1000003 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:02 pm

You can find a few animal liberation stories in Lama Zopa Rinpoche's advice for benefiting animals:
http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect ... &chid=1389" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


LYWA website contains a number of other articles about animal liberation under "Teachings"
http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&cid=181" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: animal liberation

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:48 pm

From "Blazing Splendor", Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche telling a story about the 16th Karmapa:
Many extraordinary things happened in the company of the Karmapa. For example, he kept hundreds of birds. Karsey Kongtrul had given him a bird with an extremely melodious voice, which was very dear to him. When this bird got sick, he kept it alone in a special room. One day he was told that the bird was dying and he asked that it be brought to him.

The bird was placed on the table before him.

"This bird needs a special blessing," he said. So he took a small vessel with mustard seeds and made his usual chant for dispelling obstacles as he threw some of the grains on the bird. Suddenly he said, "There's nothing more to do - it is dying. No blessing can prevent it."

Then he turned to me, saying, "Pick it up and hold it in your hand."

The bird was still alive and it sat there in my palm with one eye half-open. But soon I saw its head slump, then its wings. But, strangely enough, the bird then straightened back up and simply sat there. An attendant whispered, "It's in samadhi!"

I didn't want to disturb it, so I asked him to put it on the table. The attendant seemed used to handling birds in this state, because he didn't disturb it as he put the bird down.

Somewhat astonished, I commented to the attendant, "How remarkable! A bird that sits up straight right after death!?!"

"That's nothing special. They all do it," he replied matter-of-factly.

A second attendant chimed in, "Every single bird from the Karmapa's aviary that dies sits up for a while after death. But we're so used to this, it has ceased to amaze us.

"When birds die," I objected, "they keel over and fall off their branch to the ground - they don't keep sitting!"

"Well, when the Karmapa is around, this is what they do," replied the attendant. "But you're right - when he's away, they die the normal way."

At this point everyone had arrived for dinner and I had to sit down, however I couldn't help keeping my eye on the bird while we ate. Halfway through dinner its right wing slumped and soon after the left followed.

An attendant whispered, "Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, it seems the samadhi is about to finish."

The Karmapa paid no attention and kept eating, even when the bird finally keeled over. I looked at my watch - approximately three hours had gone by. No matter what the attendants said, I was still pretty amazed because I saw it die in my hands. Most people probably wouldn't believe this unless they saw it with their own eyes.
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Re: animal liberation

Post by anjali » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:57 am

dzogchungpa wrote:From "Blazing Splendor", Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche telling a story about the 16th Karmapa: ...
Man, it's been a long time since I read Blazing Splendor and I don't remember that story at all. Maybe it's time to reread it. Thanks for the story.

When I posted the subject, I totally forgot about animal compassion practices (aka animal liberation). Probably should have chosen a different subject heading. Still, it's good to hear about what others are doing and practicing. :)

The only other story I have come across related to animal liberation is Case 2: Hyakujo's Fox from Mumon's Gateless Gate. I didn't include it in my original post because the monk was released from being a fox, but wasn't liberated (at least it didn't seem that way to me). But it does make the interesting point that even advanced practitioners can take an animal birth through a serious transgression of the Dharma.

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Re: animal liberation

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:20 am

Not to get too tirthika-ish, but apparently Ramana also liberated a crow:
http://www.indiadivine.org/content/topi ... on-a-crow/
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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:14 pm

life release.jpg
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"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by greentara » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:05 am

Indeed, besides Lakshmi the cow and the blessed crow Ramana also had an encounter with a mongoose so extraordinary that the Maharshi declared the animal a siddha

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Re: animal liberation

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:18 am

greentara wrote:Indeed, besides Lakshmi the cow and the blessed crow Ramana also had an encounter with a mongoose so extraordinary that the Maharshi declared the animal a siddha
Not to get too tirthika-ish, but:
http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/ ... pic=5357.0
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Re: animal liberation

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:04 am

Those Tirthika-ns.

:ban:

:guns:

:rules:

:crazy:

:jedi:

Anyway, so i've had these HUGE spiders in my house lately, apparently they are likely "Giant House Spiders"..I always collect them in a mason jar and put them outside, today one was so big it barely fit the mouth of the large mason jar, only worked because it bent it's legs in luckily. Made my spine shiver. I always release insects when I can, but some times it really gets to me as I have a real aversion to them.

What kind of death are they being saved from?

By cat.
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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:35 am

Shabkar.JPG
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http://www.shabkar.org/
Liberating animals.png
Liberating animals.png (277.63 KiB) Viewed 2565 times
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:39 am

Try to track down this book:
shabkar book.jpg
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"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by silver surfer » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:23 am

I heard and read about meditative killer whales (orcas), elephants, blue whales, dolphins, certain types of birds, gray/arctic-wolves and horses. Some wise-looking man also once told me that high virtue and some other noble qualities of mind can be seen with these animals. Liberation? We can imagine all we want, but we can't really know what's going on in their heads, unless we have some kind of real penetration which i believe requires a fine absorption.

I have my own experiences with animals, but these might as well be my imagination so no need to share really. I just know that some animals are really very special.

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:41 am

silver surfer wrote:I heard and read about meditative killer whales (orcas), elephants, blue whales, dolphins, certain types of birds, gray/arctic-wolves and horses. Some wise-looking man also once told me that high virtue and some other noble qualities of mind can be seen with these animals. Liberation? We can imagine all we want, but we can't really know what's going on in their heads, unless we have some kind of real penetration which i believe requires a fine absorption.

I have my own experiences with animals, but these might as well be my imagination so no need to share really. I just know that some animals are really very special.
Liberation from captivity and certain death. We free animals that are definitely going to be slaughtered. We say prayers for their long life and liberation of mind too, but you are right, we cannot really know what is going through their minds. Either way, the fact that they are freed from captivity and certain premature death is more than enough. We gain merit and they gain a degree of freedom.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Vajrasvapna » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:30 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Liberation from captivity and certain death. We free animals that are definitely going to be slaughtered. We say prayers for their long life and liberation of mind too, but you are right, we cannot really know what is going through their minds. Either way, the fact that they are freed from captivity and certain premature death is more than enough. We gain merit and they gain a degree of freedom.
Even though I am a animals lover, especially wild animals, it seems contradictory that by avoiding the killing of animals for human consumption; you're causing the death of a large number of animals that will serve as food for the animals released and ,even worse, you may cause environmental damage. Even if the good intention of releasing the animals is valid, I believe there is other ways to express compassion for them.

About gain merit, I think recite the Diamond Sutra weekly is one of the best way to gain merit:
“Moreover, Subhuti, when bodhisattvas give a gift, they should not be attached to a thing. When they give a gift, they should not be attached to anything at all. They should not be attached to a sight when they give a gift. Nor should they be attached to a sound, a smell, a taste, a touch, or a dharma when they give a gift. Thus, Subhuti, fearless bodhisattvas should give a gift without being attached to the perception of an object. And why? Subhuti, the body of merit of those bodhisattvas who give a gift without being attached is not easy to measure. What do you think, Subhuti, is the space
to the east easy to measure?”
The Diamond Sutra - Red Pine
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:46 pm

Vajrasvapna wrote:Even though I am a animals lover, especially wild animals, it seems contradictory that by avoiding the killing of animals for human consumption; you're causing the death of a large number of animals that will serve as food for the animals released and ,even worse, you may cause environmental damage. Even if the good intention of releasing the animals is valid, I believe there is other ways to express compassion for them.
You've never killed an animal, or been to an abattoir? Coz if you had would know from first hand experience that what you are saying just doesn't hold water.

Each animal that is saved from the slaughters hands is one less death that they will have to "account for".

Of course one should only release native animals into wild habitats. In some parts of the world many domesticated breeds (sheep, goats, cows, fish,etc...) also exist in the wild. It is also not necessary to release them into the wild. If one has a farm etc... one can just free them onto their property.

Then the tired argument of all those animals that will starve to death because you didn't slaughter the specific one??? Can you prove this? Maybe you are not aware of the fact that 1000's of animals that are slaughtered for food end up in rubbish tips because their flesh is not purchased?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Vajrasvapna » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:30 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Each animal that is saved from the slaughters hands is one less death that they will have to "account for".
The Buddha nature of animals will not die because of them being slaughtered.
Then the tired argument of all those animals that will starve to death because you didn't slaughter the specific one??? Can you prove this? Maybe you are not aware of the fact that 1000's of animals that are slaughtered for food end up in rubbish tips because their flesh is not purchased?
Perhaps you are not aware about the way animals are killed in farming, the fact that babies mouses sing to their dead mothers broke my heart: http://theconversation.com/ordering-the ... hands-4659.

I believe it is best to support ethical treatment for animals, than to seek unrealistic goals. Even the lives of some animals at risk of extinction depends on the meat of other animals.

We are omnivorous creatures even though today people eat more meat than necessary, clearly not eating meat causes disease,including mental illness , and an early death for most humans: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22676203#, http://www.examiner.com/article/vegetar ... -new-study.

Dza Patrul Rinpoche offers the following instruction: "If something would benefit lower beings such as animals but harm higher ones such as humans and so on, do not act for the benefit of the lower. Even if an action would harm some animals, if it would benefit humans and the like, then act for the benefit of humans." Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings. Thus, it is more important to worry about maintaining human life on our small planet, because animals are not able to attain enlightenment.
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Grigoris » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:48 pm

Vajrasvapna wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:Each animal that is saved from the slaughters hands is one less death that they will have to "account for".
The Buddha nature of animals will not die because of them being slaughtered.
What are you talking about??? I am talking about the karmic consequences for the slaughterer.
Perhaps you are not aware about the way animals are killed in farming, the fact that mouse sing to babies dead mother broke my heart: http://theconversation.com/ordering-the ... hands-4659.

I believe it is best to support ethical treatment for animals, than to seek unrealistic goals. Even the lives of some animals at risk of extinction depends on the meat of other animals.

We are omnivorous creatures even though today people eat more meat than necessary, clearly not eating meat causes disease,including mental illness , and an early death for most humans: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22676203#, http://www.examiner.com/article/vegetar ... -new-study.
This thread is not about vegetarianism, it is about life release practices. Do not try to derail it.
Dza Patrul Rinpoche offers the following instruction: "If something would benefit lower beings such as animals but harm higher ones such as humans and so on, do not act for the benefit of the lower. Even if an action would harm some animals, if it would benefit humans and the like, then act for the benefit of humans." Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings. Thus, it is more important to worry about maintaining human life on our small planet, because animals are not able to attain enlightenment.
How can saving an animal from slaughter be a case of "harming the higher"??? I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that saving an animal from slaughter will harm a human being. Especially in the Western world. Now if it was a choice of killing an animal in order to eat its flesh so that one would avoid certain death, then maybe (and here Shabkar would disagree) Dza Rinpoches teaching would apply; otherwise, you are just waving around red herrings.

When I purchase live bait (destined to be skewered on a hook and then eaten alive piece by piece) from the fishing supplies store, and release it into it's natural environment, I am pretty bloody sure that no humans are being harmed.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: animal liberation

Post by Vajrasvapna » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:34 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote: I am talking about the karmic consequences for the slaughterer.
Although I see some Buddhist saying that all butchers will go to hell. In fact, the result of the act of killing animals depend on the motivation of the butcher: "The results of killing appear in three ways.
1 . The result of ripening is that by killing out of desire you will mainly be reborn as a hungry ghost, by killing out of anger you will mostly be reborn in the hells, and by killing oUl of delusion you will mainly be reborn as an animal.
Z. The result of the dominant action is thaI, dominated by the former unvirtuous action, you will have a shorl life span and much sickness even if you take rebirth as a human being.
3. The result corresponding to the cause is that you will take pleasure in the act of killing, due to your former habitual tendencies."
Dakini Teachings: Padmasambhava's Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal.

I also have the belief that some butchers are Bodhisattvas who emanation that way so humans may sustain themselves.
This thread is not about vegetarianism, it is about life release practices. Do not try to derail it.
I just quoted those links to answer your statement about the deaths in slaughterhouses and show that damage could be caused to human beings if we stop eating meat and that even vegetarians are 'causing' deaths; since animals also die in farming.
How can saving an animal from slaughter be a case of "harming the higher"??? I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that saving an animal from slaughter will harm a human being.Especially in the Western world.
My concern is to avoid environmental damage, for example, if you release one animal in somewhere other than it natural habitat, you may cause great environmental damage. I also noticed that in some Eastern countries animals are trapped to be sold to people releasing them, which is something very stupid. Anyway, If you are not causing environmental damage and if the animal was not trapped to be sold for Buddhists, then ok for me; but I'm not sure if all the people who perform this practice are being careful.
Now if it was a choice of killing an animal in order to eat its flesh so that one would avoid certain death, then maybe (and here Shabkar would disagree) Dza Rinpoches teaching would apply. Otherwise, you are just waving around red herrings.
From the point of Dza Rinpoche's text, I think not just certain death, but general benefit: "Even if an action would harm some animals, if it would benefit humans and the like, then act for the benefit of humans.".
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.

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