Are plants living beings ?

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Are plants living beings ?

Postby Ajisai » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:34 am

Hello everyone,

As a very beginner, this is the first (but certainly not the least) of my silly questions.

Scientifically speaking, plants are living beings. I even read a scientific article some time ago, which explained that plants actually communicate with sounds that cannot be heard by the human hear, or communicate releasing chemical stuff into the air.

So my question is: how does Buddhims consider plants?
Is picking up a flower like killing a living being?
Are plants part of the samsara?

I cannot stop wondering so I hope you can help me. :smile:
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Re: Are plants living beings ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:43 am

Ajisai wrote:So my question is: how does Buddhims consider plants?


I believe they are considered "one-facultied" life forms.

Is picking up a flower like killing a living being?


No.

Are plants part of the samsara?


No. Beings do not get reborn to the plant kingdom, just devas, humans, animals, and other celestial realms (according to Buddhism).
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Re: Are plants living beings ?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:45 am

Greetings,

To borrow an awesome post from Cooran...

cooran wrote:Hello all,

An assortment of information for your delectation:

Plants ~ Borderline Beings?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1204" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Plant Life
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6822" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

From the Patimokkha, suddhapaacittiyaa, The Section about plant beings, 11:

"In causing damage to plant beings there is an offence entailing
expiation."

From SuttaVibhanga (Horner transl), the account leading up to this rule is
given:

"....at Alavi in the chief shrine at Alavi. Now at that time the monks of
Alavi, making repairs, were cutting down trees and having them cut down;
and a certain monk of Alavi cut down a tree, and the devata living in that
tree said to this monk:

"Do not, honoured sir, desiring to make an abode for yourself, cut down my
abode."

This monk, taking no notice, cut it down, and in doing so, struck the arm
of that devata's son. Then it occurred to that devata:

"What now if I, just here, should deprive this monk of life?" Then it
occurred to that devata:

"But this would not be suiting in me, that I were, just here, to deprive
this monk of life. What now if I were to tell this matter to the lord?"

Then this devata approached the lord, and having approached she told this
matter to the lord.

"Very good, devata, it is good that you, devata, did not deprive this monk
of life. If today you, devata, had deprived this monk of life, you,
devata, would also have produced much demerit. You go, devata; in a
certain place there is a solitary tree, go you into it."

People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

"How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, cut down trees and have them
cut down? These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is
one-facultied." Monks heard these people who looked down upon, criticised,
spread it about. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised,
spread it about, saying:

"How can these monks of Alavi cut down trees and have them cut down?"....

"Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, cut down trees and had them cut
down?"

"It is true, lord," they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

"How can you, foolish men, cut down trees and have them cut down? Is it
not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased.....And
thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

For destruction of vegetable growth there is an offence of expiation."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/66737" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
.....................
From Ajahn Dhammanando:

Hi all,

This is a re-post as the formatting of the last one was a mess.

> Connie: "For people believe, O Bhikkhus, that life dwells in a tree."

This is the key point. The belief that plants and the earth possess one
faculty (either kaayindriya or jiivitindriya) was held by the
Niga.n.thas (Jains) and acelakas (non-affiliated naked ascetics); since
these were the largest and oldest sama.na groups at that time, their
beliefs had passed into common lore and so any sama.na worth his salt
was expected to conform to them (by keeping the rains retreat so as not
to tread on growing crops, by not digging the earth or damaging plants,
and by taking various precautions when building a hut). But nowhere
does the Buddha actually concede that these beliefs were correct and in
the Vinaya commentaries they are dismissed as "mere imagining".

Best wishes,
Dhammanando
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/69259" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Plants in Early Buddhism and the Far Eastern idea of the Buddha Nature of Grasses and Trees
http://www.scribd.com/doc/47341101/Plan ... -and-Trees" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Are plants living beings ?

Postby SarathW » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:09 am

Killing means the intentional destruction of any living
being. The Pāli term pāna strictly means the psycho-physical
life pertaining to one’s particular existence. The wanton destruction
of this life force, without allowing it to run its due
course, is pānātipāta. Pāna means that which breathes. Hence
all animate beings, including animals, are regarded as pāna,
but not plants as they possess no mind. Bhikkhus, however,
are forbidden to destroy even plant life. This rule, it may be
mentioned, does not apply to lay-followers.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

PS:The way I understand they have Jivithandriya
:)
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Re: Are plants living beings ?

Postby Ajisai » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:10 am

David, thank you for your very clear answers.

What does "one-facultied" mean? Does it mean that it can only grow?

Retrofuturist, thanks a lot for all the links and readings. I am going read this carefully. :)
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Re: Are plants living beings ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:25 am

Ajisai wrote:What does "one-facultied" mean? Does it mean that it can only grow?


I think so. It probably means that it is just a rudimentary form of life, not one with consciousness, perceptions. Plants do react to sunlight, they do 'consume' water and other things, but it is reactive, [apparently] no decisions being made.
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