When the villagers gave up hunting...

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Post Reply
climb-up
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by climb-up » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:00 am

((I am hoping this doesn't turn into a debate on vegetarianism, its more of a question of history))

In the biography of Ra Lotsawa, everywhere Lama Ra goes many hunters and fishers swear to give up killing.
But, of course, Tibetans usually eat a lot of meat.
Would these villages then have been vegetarian, or would they buy meat elsewhere but not actually kill, or can you give up killing but still hunt sometimes?

MiphamFan
Posts: 977
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by MiphamFan » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:12 am

They probably still had to slaughter yaks and sheep that they owned, they just didn't go out hunting wild animals.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1120
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Aryjna » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am

It makes little sense for them to swear to stop killing and then keep killing their own animals. Tibetans may eat a lot of meat in general, but that does not mean that one cannot be a vegetarian in Tibet. They can keep eating dairy stuff, champa or whatever it is called, etc., they do not rely on meat for sustenance.

MiphamFan
Posts: 977
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by MiphamFan » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:33 am

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am
It makes little sense for them to swear to stop killing and then keep killing their own animals. Tibetans may eat a lot of meat in general, but that does not mean that one cannot be a vegetarian in Tibet. They can keep eating dairy stuff, champa or whatever it is called, etc., they do not rely on meat for sustenance.
It makes perfect sense. Hunting except done in times of starvation was kinda like a hobby. Killing animals in a herd is unavoidable sometimes to avoid overgrazing etc.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1120
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Aryjna » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:23 am

MiphamFan wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:33 am
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am
It makes little sense for them to swear to stop killing and then keep killing their own animals. Tibetans may eat a lot of meat in general, but that does not mean that one cannot be a vegetarian in Tibet. They can keep eating dairy stuff, champa or whatever it is called, etc., they do not rely on meat for sustenance.
It makes perfect sense. Hunting except done in times of starvation was kinda like a hobby. Killing animals in a herd is unavoidable sometimes to avoid overgrazing etc.
In what way does it make perfect sense to you to take a vow to stop killing and then continue killing? Killing herd animals is very easily avoidable. In addition, the average Tibetan was not an owner of a large herd, possibly not even of a handful of animals.

Other than that, hunters in the past were not going out on weekends to mutilate animals with a shotgun and have a few beers, it was their profession and they relied on it to make enough to live on.

MiphamFan
Posts: 977
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by MiphamFan » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:35 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:23 am
MiphamFan wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:33 am
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:15 am
It makes little sense for them to swear to stop killing and then keep killing their own animals. Tibetans may eat a lot of meat in general, but that does not mean that one cannot be a vegetarian in Tibet. They can keep eating dairy stuff, champa or whatever it is called, etc., they do not rely on meat for sustenance.
It makes perfect sense. Hunting except done in times of starvation was kinda like a hobby. Killing animals in a herd is unavoidable sometimes to avoid overgrazing etc.
In what way does it make perfect sense to you to take a vow to stop killing and then continue killing? Killing herd animals is very easily avoidable. In addition, the average Tibetan was not an owner of a large herd, possibly not even of a handful of animals.

Other than that, hunters in the past were not going out on weekends to mutilate animals with a shotgun and have a few beers, it was their profession and they relied on it to make enough to live on.
They took vows to stop hunting, not stop killing.

There are numerous stories in namthars where hunting is portrayed as somewhat recreational. For example, in Brilliant Moon, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's father was told off for hunting even though his family was rich.

Hunting for survival in Tibet is something the poorest of the poor do, or something they do in harsh conditions like the Cultural Revolution. For example there are stories of people being forced to turn to hunting in "Nomads of Western Tibet".

Otherwise, culling herds is something people just have to do. If you read translations of contemporary lamas asking Tibetans to limit killing, they mainly tell them not to send yaks to commercial slaughterhouses, not to avoid killing altogether.

User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1120
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Aryjna » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:47 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:35 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:23 am
MiphamFan wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:33 am


It makes perfect sense. Hunting except done in times of starvation was kinda like a hobby. Killing animals in a herd is unavoidable sometimes to avoid overgrazing etc.
In what way does it make perfect sense to you to take a vow to stop killing and then continue killing? Killing herd animals is very easily avoidable. In addition, the average Tibetan was not an owner of a large herd, possibly not even of a handful of animals.

Other than that, hunters in the past were not going out on weekends to mutilate animals with a shotgun and have a few beers, it was their profession and they relied on it to make enough to live on.
They took vows to stop hunting, not stop killing.

There are numerous stories in namthars where hunting is portrayed as somewhat recreational. For example, in Brilliant Moon, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's father was told off for hunting even though his family was rich.

Hunting for survival in Tibet is something the poorest of the poor do, or something they do in harsh conditions like the Cultural Revolution. For example there are stories of people being forced to turn to hunting in "Nomads of Western Tibet".

Otherwise, culling herds is something people just have to do. If you read translations of contemporary lamas asking Tibetans to limit killing, they mainly tell them not to send yaks to commercial slaughterhouses, not to avoid killing altogether.
The OP said they swore to stop killing. If in the biography it says that they swore to stop hunting only, then that could be the case, though killing to cull herds or for similar reasons would still be a complete breach of one's samaya so I don't see how it makes much sense, unless they were random villagers and did not receive any empowerments from him or anyone else in their life.

Asking people to limit their killing is good, but hardly the same as them agreeing and taking a vow to stop.

Varis
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Varis » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:41 pm

Namthars are not the best source of accurate history.

Pero
Posts: 2176
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Pero » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:04 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:23 am
In what way does it make perfect sense to you to take a vow to stop killing and then continue killing?
...
I have no idea about the topic but regarding the above it seems to me it is not so difficult to take a vow in a kind of spur of the moment thing and then not follow through, so it wouldn't be at all surprising to me.
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

User avatar
Harimoo
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:57 pm

Re: When the villagers gave up hunting...

Post by Harimoo » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:31 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:35 pm
There are numerous stories in namthars where hunting is portrayed as somewhat recreational. For example, in Brilliant Moon, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's father was told off for hunting even though his family was rich.

Hunting for survival in Tibet is something the poorest of the poor do, or something they do in harsh conditions like the Cultural Revolution. For example there are stories of people being forced to turn to hunting in "Nomads of Western Tibet".
Hi,
I don't completely agree. Even for our forefathers, hunting is and was a very big deal. If you've got nothing to eat, hunting permits you not to slaughter your livestock, which concretely means getting poorer and weaker. Livingstock gives you milk and whool and can be used as beasts of burden.

To stop hunting is a huge huge sacrifice, particularly in the difficult to live in areas like the Himalaya (India is different). For these reasons, vegetarians are few in Tibet.

Good hunters were seeing as very important figure in the villages. They take the best seat, are the first to speak and the most listened to, even before monks.

Samten Karmay's biography (Les Neufs Forces de l'Homme in french, is a sociological study of some Amdo villages in the 50's) is very interesting in this domain.

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gatinho, heart, Miroku and 68 guests