Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

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thang
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Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by thang » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:45 pm

What is the minimum size of the Organism we should care about in order to refrain from doing indirect harm?

What about micro organisms?

The blessed one has advised monks to drink only being-less water by filtering using a cloth. (Vinaya)
And there are incidents where the Blessed one asked other one to throw useless food in to being-less water. (Kasibharadvaja sutta)
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."

SarathW
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by SarathW » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:14 am

There is no minimum.
It is your level of aversion related to your intention.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:16 am

Greetings,
SarathW wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:14 am
There is no minimum.
It is your level of aversion related to your intention.
Accurate.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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DNS
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by DNS » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:19 am

Not sure of the exact reference, but I believe it is anything you can see with the naked eye. Seeing it under microscope doesn't count as breaking the precept. And I think that makes sense, since if you can't see it, then it's highly likely there's no intention to kill. The Jain rule is much more strict and invokes kamma even when you can't see it and even for the most smallest beings.

rolling_boulder
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by rolling_boulder » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:31 am

Actually contrary to the other posts I have heard somewhere, not sure if it's from the Vinaya or Canon or something, that the minimum is that the creature breathes.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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pilgrim
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by pilgrim » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:55 am

It makes sense only if they are creatures one can be reborn as. If one can't be reborn as virus, bacteria, coral polyps, amoeba and the like, there is no reason to consider these as sentient life. The difficulty is identifying which these creatures are as they are more likely to be sentient as their form increases in complexity and size.

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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by SarathW » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 am

What is the minimum size of the Organism we should care about in order to refrain from doing indirect harm?
For instance farmers do lot of indirect harm to many small and large creatures. (even to human and themselves by spraying pesticides)
Only requirement as per Buddhist teaching is to be mindful of your action.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:21 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 am
Only requirement as per Buddhist teaching is to be mindful of your action.
No, that's quite wrong. There are also requirements to follow the precepts, and follow the 8 ways of living (eightfold path).

Just mindfulness is not what the Buddha taught.

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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by SarathW » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:39 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:21 am
SarathW wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 am
Only requirement as per Buddhist teaching is to be mindful of your action.
No, that's quite wrong. There are also requirements to follow the precepts, and follow the 8 ways of living (eightfold path).

Just mindfulness is not what the Buddha taught.
Agree.
Perhaps I would say right mindfulness as it covers all.
It is a complex matter.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

thang
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by thang » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:34 am

There istance a monk with psychic ability looked into the water and saw there were microbes and asked the Buddha if drinking will harm them. Buddha said don't look and drink.
[can-a-buddhist-use-antibacterial-soap]
Does anyone know where this is in the cannon?
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."

form
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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by form » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:14 am

thang wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:34 am
There istance a monk with psychic ability looked into the water and saw there were microbes and asked the Buddha if drinking will harm them. Buddha said don't look and drink.
[can-a-buddhist-use-antibacterial-soap]
Does anyone know where this is in the cannon?
I dunno where this is from. Does this psychic monk know microbes cause diseases? By right he should be able to see that by his x ray eyes into the body. I dun have psychic power, but i suspect that japanese that photographed crystal emotional formation could be a conman. :mrgreen:

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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:14 am

thang wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:45 pm
What is the minimum size of the Organism we should care about in order to refrain from doing indirect harm?
In his Buddhist Monastic Code Ajahn Thanissaro maintains that it's any creature the size of a bed bug's egg or larger:
Animal here covers all common animals. As the Commentary notes, whether the animal is large or small makes no difference in terms of the penalty, although the size of the animal is one of the factors determining the moral gravity of the act.

Apparently, this factor does not include beings too small to be seen with the naked eye, inasmuch as the classes of medicine allowed in Mv.VI include a number of anti-bacterial and anti-viral substances—some mineral salts and the decoctions made from the leaves of some trees, for example, can be antibiotic. The Commentary’s example of the smallest extreme to which this rule extends is a bed bug egg. The four “Things Not To Be Done” taught to every new bhikkhu immediately after his full Acceptance (Mv.I.78.4) say that one should not deprive an animal of life “even if it is only a black or white ant.”
But I'm not convinced that he is reading the Commentary correctly. I think Buddhaghosa's statement is more likely intended as an exhortation to bhikkhus to be careful even when the creature is as small as a bed bug's egg, rather than as a legal definition of the minimum size of creature whose killing would amount to a transgression.

Bed bugs' eggs are about 2.5 mm in length, so if the Commentary's statement were read as Thanissaro reads it then it would mean that it would be a non-offence for bhikkhus to kill all sorts of small insects that they could quite realistically make an effort to avoid killing.

Here's the relevant passage:
The phrase "If he perceives it as a living being when it is in fact a living being..." means that even a bhikkhu who, through want of compassion, destroys so much as a bed bug's egg while cleaning a bed or seat commits a pācittiya offence. Therefore a bhikkhu should carry out his duties with care, arousing compassion [even] with respect to objects like these.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Minimum size of the Organism we should care about.

Post by binocular » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:13 pm

pilgrim wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:55 am
It makes sense only if they are creatures one can be reborn as. If one can't be reborn as virus, bacteria, coral polyps, amoeba and the like, there is no reason to consider these as sentient life. The difficulty is identifying which these creatures are as they are more likely to be sentient as their form increases in complexity and size.
I have heard Buddhists present the view that not even all humans (living, breathing, working humans) are to be regarded as sentient, because their spiritual advancement is too low for them to be considered sentient, hence it is no offence to have a go at those humans.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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