"Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

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Grigoris
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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:26 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:19 pm
The suttas encourage focusing on ones own liberation, but it also encourage practicing the Brahmavihara, hence i fail to understand how your claim about ignoring the suffering of other beings can be accurate.

Thanks
"What is certain however, even from our limited scope of knowledge and perception, is that the first precept (not killing) would have been breeched. Therefore from that point of view, this is a "no-go"."

This is a Hinayana view.

Which part of it do you not understand (as being Hinayana)?
"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
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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:00 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:26 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:19 pm
The suttas encourage focusing on ones own liberation, but it also encourage practicing the Brahmavihara, hence i fail to understand how your claim about ignoring the suffering of other beings can be accurate.

Thanks
"What is certain however, even from our limited scope of knowledge and perception, is that the first precept (not killing) would have been breeched. Therefore from that point of view, this is a "no-go"."

This is a Hinayana view.

Which part of it do you not understand (as being Hinayana)?
What is said by Ven Thanissaro is clear enough to me, but what you said about "ignoring the suffering of other beings" is what i view as potentially misleading.

Are you equating being compassionate with what is described as "mercy killing"? why the act itself is not rooted in selfishness? Unenlightened beings often act with mixed intentions, and the intention behind the mercy killing could be ridding ones self of unpleasant feelings arising from seeing the suffering of another being, using compassion as a disguise.

There is also a lot of wisdom in having fixed and strict rules which can be understood by the practitioner. It is easy to notice that the most prevalent mindset among humans is to equate freedom with doing whatever i want. Understanding this, the logic behind the vinaya as a long list of strict rules and the role they play in personal and spiritual growth becomes clearer.

It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of those who commit atrocities do it under shiny slogans. The history of humanity is full of examples.

Even if one is certain of his/her own intentions when breaking the rule, at least should have the honesty of not claiming to be acting according to the Buddha's teachings. Understanding what "slippery slop" means and how it affects human behavior, one would take personal responsibility of his own actions without twisting the original teachings to justify them.

Peace

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:10 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:00 pm
Are you equating being compassionate with what is described as "mercy killing"?
Mercy killing can be an act of compassion. As can euthanasia, termination of pregnancy and various other other acts of killing. In the same way stealing, etc... can be acts of compassion.
why the act itself is not rooted in selfishness?
Of course it can be. So can generosity and the other paramita.
Unenlightened beings often act with mixed intentions, and the intention behind the mercy killing could be ridding ones self of unpleasant feelings arising from seeing the suffering of another being, using compassion as a disguise.
Of course it can, but it is not necessarily so.
There is also a lot of wisdom in having fixed and strict rules which can be understood by the practitioner.
Yes, strictly following rules works quite well for some people.
Understanding this, the logic behind the vinaya as a long list of strict rules and the role they play in personal and spiritual growth becomes clearer.
The Vinaya is for monastics, are you a monastic?
It is not a coincidence that the vast majority of those who commit atrocities do it under shiny slogans. The history of humanity is full of examples.
Indeed, that is what happens if one does not act out of wisdom and compassion.
Even if one is certain of his/her own intentions when breaking the rule, at least should have the honesty of not claiming to be acting according to the Buddha's teachings.
Which of the Buddha's teachings are you talking about?

Engaging in killing, even if motivated by wisdom and compassion, will bring karmic results which may delay one's "spiritual" progress; that is why the Bodhisattva's path takes such a long time to transverse.
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Precisely because things can be either way, rules are needed. Intentions are a personal matter, but the collective needs a common framework, a reference.

Non harming should be a guiding principle. Twisting and diluting the reference to fit personal actions do more harm than good, especially in the long term. For instance, some teachers such as Muhammad, not only permitted, but encouraged killing under certain circumstances. His pragmatic approach seem to have backfired long term. That of course, does not make Buddhists angels by definition, but for any Buddhist who commits violence and atrocities, it is extremely difficult to justify his actions using the teachings. Human imagination, however, is always capable of finding ways, such as what you seem to be doing.

If anyone claims that killing can be permitted under certain circumstances according to the Buddha's teachings, at least should be able to backup his claims.

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:37 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:45 pm
Precisely because things can be either way, rules are needed. Intentions are a personal matter, but the collective needs a common framework, a reference.
Yes, we have firmly established the fact that YOU need rules.
Non harming should be a guiding principle.
Is euthanasia harm?
Twisting and diluting the reference to fit personal actions do more harm than good, especially in the long term.
Given your aversion to killing, I imagine you are a vegan. Right?
If anyone claims that killing can be permitted under certain circumstances according to the Buddha's teachings, at least should be able to backup his claims.
It has nothing to do with permission. I do believe you are thinking of some sort of Abrahamic ethical system, presided over by a supreme God, that decides what is right and wrong?
"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
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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:11 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:37 pm
Yes, we have firmly established the fact that YOU need rules.
We don't live alone, hence rules are needed. This forum has its own framework, called the term of service/reference.

As the topic in hand has to do with morality, the issue of morality and a code of conduct cannot be separated. As a global moderator in this forum, you use the terms of service or the rules as a reference. The fact that it is on the top of the page is quite symbolic about its status, about what comes first.
Is euthanasia harm?
Irrelevant to the point i am making. If i want to claim that euthanasia is inline with the teachings of the Buddha, i need a reference to backup my claim. Until i do that, i am basing my judgement on my personal opinion rather than facts. Of course, everyone is entitled to his own opinion as long as he is aware of it. Claiming that a whole tradition ignores the suffering of other beings because they follow the original teachings is a mere opinion, and does not seem to hold up under scrutiny.

[/quote]It has nothing to do with permission. I do believe you are thinking of some sort of Abrahamic ethical system, presided over by a supreme God, that decides what is right and wrong?
[/quote]

Who needs a god when we have the Buddha?
Those wise ones who are devoted to meditation and who delight in the calm of renunciation — such mindful ones, Supreme Buddhas, even the gods hold dear.

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:17 pm

Emmet wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:41 pm
Am I prolonging life, or am I prolonging needless suffering? I know nothing about past or future lives or the karmic debt of swallows, but I've seen an awful lot of suffering and death. I believe that sometimes under some circumstances my Mahayana vow to save all beings might be best practiced by saving them from any further suffering.
The idea that we can save any being from further suffering is something of a delusion. When we euthanize an animal, we are not putting them out of their misery, we are putting them out of our own misery.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:17 pm
Emmet wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:41 pm
Am I prolonging life, or am I prolonging needless suffering? I know nothing about past or future lives or the karmic debt of swallows, but I've seen an awful lot of suffering and death. I believe that sometimes under some circumstances my Mahayana vow to save all beings might be best practiced by saving them from any further suffering.
The idea that we can save any being from further suffering is something of a delusion. When we euthanize an animal, we are not putting them out of their misery, we are putting them out of our own misery.
We are putting them out of their current misery.
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:52 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:11 pm
We don't live alone, hence rules are needed. This forum has its own framework, called the term of service/reference.

As the topic in hand has to do with morality, the issue of morality and a code of conduct cannot be separated. As a global moderator in this forum, you use the terms of service or the rules as a reference. The fact that it is on the top of the page is quite symbolic about its status, about what comes first.
There is a difference between rules and guidelines. Buddhism has guidelines, not rules. Adherence to it's ethical framework is not based on the fear of judgement and punishment.
Irrelevant to the point i am making.
It is relevant to the topic of the thread. Euthanasia and "mercy killing" are the same thing.

Do you support euthanasia?
Who needs a god when we have the Buddha?
Who needs bananas when we have tractors? If you think Buddha is a replacement for God...
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:57 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:46 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:17 pm
Emmet wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:41 pm
Am I prolonging life, or am I prolonging needless suffering? I know nothing about past or future lives or the karmic debt of swallows, but I've seen an awful lot of suffering and death. I believe that sometimes under some circumstances my Mahayana vow to save all beings might be best practiced by saving them from any further suffering.
The idea that we can save any being from further suffering is something of a delusion. When we euthanize an animal, we are not putting them out of their misery, we are putting them out of our own misery.
We are putting them out of their current misery.
No, we are putting them our of our current misery. Their misery does not cease, it only increases.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:21 pm

What people call "putting them to sleep" or "mercy killing" is just that, it is killing.

I agree with Malcolm that actually it is 'us' who cannot stand to see them suffering so we are putting it out sight, out of mind.

However, in Samsara, things are not that simple..

Instead of allowing that suffering to finish out we stop it prematurely, which can lead to them taking a rebirth somewhere where the suffering is much more intense then they were having ..

Even the Bardo alone, the suffering is far worse then here, and so, we are sending them into another suffering, a much worse one, and yes, it does contradict the vows of not killing.

This is the perspective of every Rinpoche I've ever heard on the subject.

No Bueno.

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:26 pm

Found a few quotes about it from the internet .. I will look for the longer teaching by the Karmapa on it later ..

When we decide to put our dog or cat to sleep, whose choice is that? It's not their choice. In the case of humans, if I am terminally ill, are you going to put me to sleep too? We should treat all sentient beings equally, so we need to think carefully. If animals are in pain we can administer pain killers. It's not necessary to kill them. "Putting to sleep" actually means killing them, and that's very difficult from a Buddhist perspective.

Karmapa Ogyen Trinely Dorje

Euthanasia is killing. If an animal can be allowed to die on its own, that particular cycle of suffering is ended. If euthanized, the animal will have to continue that cycle of suffering in the next life, until the cycle is finished. This does not mean that animals cannot be given pain medications nor have actions taken to alleviate their suffering.

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche

Of all the years I've translated for Rinpoche's interviews, which included many a time when he was asked the question: Can I put my pet to sleep so they can be relieved from extreme suffering? Rinpoche's answer was always a definite "No!" Killing is a negative action even with the best of intentions. All beings should be allowed to go through their lives to the end naturally.
Ani Lodro Lhamo
translator for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:57 pm
No, we are putting them our of our current misery.
Not necessarily.
Their misery does not cease, it only increases.
Their pain stops, their suffering continues. We don't know if it increases or decreases.
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:48 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:21 pm
Instead of allowing that suffering to finish out we stop it prematurely, which can lead to them taking a rebirth somewhere where the suffering is much more intense then they were having ..
Prematurely? If it is the being's karma that lead them to be mortally ill/wounded, then surely it is also their karma which leads them into the situation of being euthanised. Where does "premature" come into that equation?
Even the Bardo alone, the suffering is far worse then here, and so, we are sending them into another suffering, a much worse one...
So if you let the being die in pain and anguish, then they will not experience the suffering of bardo? Where do you come up with this stuff???
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:03 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:26 pm
Found a few quotes about it from the internet .. I will look for the longer teaching by the Karmapa on it later ..

When we decide to put our dog or cat to sleep, whose choice is that? It's not their choice. In the case of humans, if I am terminally ill, are you going to put me to sleep too? We should treat all sentient beings equally, so we need to think carefully. If animals are in pain we can administer pain killers. It's not necessary to kill them. "Putting to sleep" actually means killing them, and that's very difficult from a Buddhist perspective.

Karmapa Ogyen Trinely Dorje
1. Not all beings are the same, so we cannot treat a terminally ill cat in the same way as a terminally ill human being. 2. "Difficult" =/= Impossible
All beings should be allowed to go through their lives to the end naturally.
Ani Lodro Lhamo
translator for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
"Naturally"? Is death by disease "natural"? I guess we shouldn't administer medicine then, we should allow the current cycle of suffering to find a natural conclusion. What about drowning? That seems a pretty natural death to me. Guess we do not try to avert the drowning or administer CPR etc... just in case we prevent the natural cycle of suffering from coming to it's conclusion. :?

Sorry, but there seems to be a serious lack of logic in these statements.
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:44 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:57 pm
No, we are putting them our of our current misery.
Not necessarily.
Their misery does not cease, it only increases.
Their pain stops, their suffering continues. We don't know if it increases or decreases.
No, their pain does not stop. Being in the bardo is generally a painful experience for most beings, apart from practitioners. It is filled with terror, fear, and panic. You are just sending such animals from one painful experience into another.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by kirtu » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:47 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:26 pm
If animals are in pain we can administer pain killers.
Unfortunately Karmapa OTD does not live in the United States and he's not a vet.

In the United States there is practically no effective administration of pain killers for humans. This is because many medical personnel are afraid of creating an addictive situation (even in the case of terminal illness!!!!). This is an objective fact (although it has begun to change somewhat).

Most vets will not administer serious pain medicine for pets in difficult cases. And here again there seems to be a fear that humans will abuse the medicine for their own use. There is practically no acknowledgment of the implementation of pain mitigation in the US for pets (even in alternative veterinary medicine). Veterinary medicine worldwide grew out of farm medicine and while it has taken tremendous positive strides over the past 50 years still often defaults to its roots when dealing with end of life issues.

Vets *COULD* administer pain management but they usually don't (one objective reason is because animals cannot tell us how the pain regimen is working for them) at least in terminal situations.

Kirt
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"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Grigoris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm
No, their pain does not stop. Being in the bardo is generally a painful experience for most beings, apart from practitioners. It is filled with terror, fear, and panic. You are just sending such animals from one painful experience into another.
Pain is a body sensation, it ends when the body stops functioning. Suffering is a mental sensation, it ends with Buddhahood. A being suffering bodily pain that is euthanised and a being suffering bodily pain which is allowed to die in pain will both still suffer the bardo. The difference between the two is that one will not suffer bodily pain (and the suffering associated with it) as long as the other.
"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: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:04 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:47 pm
Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:26 pm
If animals are in pain we can administer pain killers.
Unfortunately Karmapa OTD does not live in the United States and he's not a vet.

In the United States there is practically no effective administration of pain killers for humans. This is because many medical personnel are afraid of creating an addictive situation (even in the case of terminal illness!!!!). This is an objective fact (although it has begun to change somewhat).
What do you mean by effective?

The over adminstration of pain management medicines such as Oxycontin has created an wide spread opioid addiction epidemic in the US, it is only with the past 5 years that medical personal have started to severely limit the amount and duration in the administration of pain management meds.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: "Mercy" killing of a dying animal - moral doubts

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:05 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:02 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm
No, their pain does not stop. Being in the bardo is generally a painful experience for most beings, apart from practitioners. It is filled with terror, fear, and panic. You are just sending such animals from one painful experience into another.
Pain is a body sensation, it ends when the body stops functioning. Suffering is a mental sensation, it ends with Buddhahood. A being suffering bodily pain that is euthanised and a being suffering bodily pain which is allowed to die in pain will both still suffer the bardo. The difference between the two is that one will not suffer bodily pain (and the suffering associated with it) as long as the other.
Killing causes physical pain. One has a body in the bardo. That also experiences pain.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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