Building of viharas and life of insects

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by DNS » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:28 pm

greenjuice wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:05 pm
Himsa may be arambhaja - occupational, or anarambhaja - unrelated to one’s occupation, which is also known as samkalpaja - intentional. The former is allowed, the later isn't. Hunting, offering animals in sacrifice to please the gods, killing for food, for sport etc. are some of the instances of non-occupational, intentional himsa. Occupation himsa is of three types: (1) udyami, (2) grharambhi and (3) virodhi.
(1) Udyami himsa: Harm committed in a normal course of doing business. Occupations which are permissible to a Jain are: asi (sword), masi (ink), krsi (agriculture), vanijya (trade), silpa (crafts), and vidya (knowledge).
(2) Grharambhi himsa: Harm involved in the course of one’s carrying out the domestic duties. Preparation of food, use of water in bathing and washing clothes, keeping of cattle, cleaning the house, maintenance of gardens, cutting fruits and flowers, digging of wells, construction of buildings etc.
(3) Virodhi-himsa: Harm involved in defense and in the protection of persons or property.
Okay, thanks, that's interesting. It sounds very much like the buddhist concept that it is the intention that matters. I had thought the Jains considered any himsa to be wrong, even if unintentional.

(I'll cross-post this info over at Dharma Paths which is more suited for comparative analysis.)

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by greenjuice » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:55 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:28 pm
I had thought the Jains considered any himsa to be wrong, even if unintentional.
When some of the authors call nonoccupational himsa intentional himsa it's misleading, or at least the translation is, because it implies that the occupational himsa is unintentional, as if by mistake or ignorance. Asi himsa and virodhi himsa and some types of grharambhi himsa (like harming instects, and plants) are obviously directly intentional, and Jainism would also say that eg krsi himsa or himsa via building a building are also intentional, in the sense you are intentionally doing an action which you know (or should know because it's pretty obvious) will do harm to some beings. Buddhism would say there is no bad kamma in the process of agriculture because the person isn't tilling the soil in order to kill worms and moles and other beings there, but to grow crops, and the killing of small animals there is just a side effect. Jainism says that even if it a side effect, it's still bad karma, because the action is done intentionally (and it's easily knowable that some harm will be done). Also, i remember that the monastic rules in Buddhism have an example of a monk sitting on some clothes not knowing there is an child in the clothes, and the child dies, and that the monk isn't guilty of killing, because there was no intention to kill; or also an example of throwing a stone somewhere not knowing there are people there, hitting someone with a stone, and that person dying. Jainism disagrees, and would say that in both cases the monk is guilty of killing a person, and incurs bad karma for a killing; in the first case he could have avoided himsa by being careful, and in the second case he could have avoided himsa either by carefulness or by not doing the action at all (minimizing activities being a valued thing in Jainism).

When talking about "unintentional" himsa, we could say that Jainism actually differentiates between four things:
1. side effect harm avoidable through moderate asceticism, which is expected from lay people to avoid, that's why eg they are barred from eating at night, so as to avoid accidentally harming beings, that's also why they are barred from drinking water which isn't strained, or getting drunk, also that's why they have vows of limiting consumption, movement, and frivolous activities;
2. side effect harm avoidable through full asceticism, ie by becoming a monk, which is allowed to lay people (with the idea, as i said, that they will 'make up' for that bad karma through good works, asceticism, and finally becoming a monk), but which monks avoid - by avoiding most activities, they don't build buildings, don't till the soil, etc;
3. side effect harm avoidable through carefulness (samiti), which is what monks are expected to do always, and lay people in a limited degree; eg if one accidentally harms a being by stepping or siting on it, and it was avoidable if the person have been careful, the full harm is counted as the person fault. And
4. purely unintentional harm, which couldn't have been avoided through any asceticism or even carefulness (like eg crushing a bug while sleeping, or harming some being through mistake or accident even though one was practicing samiti).
Only the fourth kind is thought to *actually* not incur bad karma, the former ones are all thought to be ultimately wrong, though the 2nd and partly 3rd are allowed to lay people, with the idea i mentioned.

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by char101 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:20 pm

Here is a case: let's say I have a dirty floor and I want to vacuum it. There are ants crawling on the floor. If I do vacuum it knowing that it will kill the ants, is it an act of killing or not?

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:23 pm

greenjuice wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:55 am
2. side effect harm avoidable through full asceticism, ie by becoming a monk, which is allowed to lay people (with the idea, as i said, that they will 'make up' for that bad karma through good works, asceticism, and finally becoming a monk), but which monks avoid - by avoiding most activities, they don't build buildings, don't till the soil, etc;
Interesting, thanks, so most actions still have negative karmic effects for Jains, unless it is purely ascetic and couldn't have been avoided even with being careful, so definitely more extreme than buddhism.

In regard to #2 quoted here, a Jain monk who lives in a hut that was built by lay people, knows that worms and other animals, especially insects were probably killed during that construction; so does he incur negative karma due to that?

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by DNS » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:24 pm

char101 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:20 pm
Here is a case: let's say I have a dirty floor and I want to vacuum it. There are ants crawling on the floor. If I do vacuum it knowing that it will kill the ants, is it an act of killing or not?
If you know that you are vacuuming up ants, then yes, that would be an act of killing (buddhism and jainism).

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by greenjuice » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:18 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:23 pm
Interesting, thanks, so most actions still have negative karmic effects for Jains, unless it is purely ascetic and couldn't have been avoided even with being careful, so definitely more extreme than buddhism.
Yes, it's very constricting.
In regard to #2 quoted here, a Jain monk who lives in a hut that was built by lay people, knows that worms and other animals, especially insects were probably killed during that construction; so does he incur negative karma due to that?
He does not, the lay people who build those lodgings incur the bad karma. Also, monks usually sleep in the open, they must wander, not to stay in the same place for more than several days, only during monsoon season they say in monasteries, which are basically just lodgings alongside temples. Temples, including those lodgings, are run by lay people, monks only come as guests, it's a type of dana. It should be noted that Jains think even 'killing' plants and inanimate objects incurs some bad karma, but the food they eat and the possession they have (even the naked, hair plucking Digambara monks have two or three possessions) were made by 'killing' plants and inanimate objects. This is also seen as being the karma of lay people, and when lay people give lodgings, food, and possessions to monks, they are not gifting only the objects, but the fact that they are taking upon themselves the bad karma in making those objects is also a gift.

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by char101 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:59 am

DNS wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:24 pm
If you know that you are vacuuming up ants, then yes, that would be an act of killing (buddhism and jainism).
In the same way since we know that digging grounds will kill worms and insects, wouldn't the same logic apply. The abbot of a monastery do sometimes have to supervise construction don't they?

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by DNS » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:44 am

char101 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:59 am
DNS wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:24 pm
If you know that you are vacuuming up ants, then yes, that would be an act of killing (buddhism and jainism).
In the same way since we know that digging grounds will kill worms and insects, wouldn't the same logic apply. The abbot of a monastery do sometimes have to supervise construction don't they?
Yeah, that's a tough one. It's not the intention, but you know there will be the killing of some insects anyway. And we have to live some place; we don't live outside or up in trees anymore (as a species).

In some places, there may not be any killing, although I admit these areas are rare. For example, I live in Las Vegas and most of the ground here is caliche, an almost cement hard like soil that takes heavy equipment to break it up to build a foundation. In some cases there might actually be no insects and certainly not any worms living there. It is so hard, that the ground does not breathe enough to supply life.

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by DNS » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:03 am


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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:35 am

I'm an organic farmer. I put a lot of money, time, and effort into developing a rich organic soil....it is just teeming with life with a very high degree of biodiversity. I guess this means that my style of farming is the most lacking in virtue because I then go out and dig it up from time to time.

A chemical farmer on the other hand intentionally kills outright many of the living things on his farm initially and the living things he does not intentionally kill he kills as colateral damage and from that point on he really kills relatively few living things which are mostly bacteria and fungus so they are ususally not considered to be sentient and not a problem if they are killed. If the farmer continues to practice chemical farming without interuption his fields become pretty much void of sentient beings so digging then happens in a soil which does not bar the arising of his virtue. So it seems that a chemical farmer might be lacking in virtue initially but rapidly gains a more virtuous status as long as he can maintain a completely dead (or nearly so) soil. He then becomes the most virtuous of farmers.

I guess....don't know for sure....
chownah

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by greenjuice » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:19 pm

When agriculture is in the future replaced by hydroponics, this will not be an issue. :D

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:11 am

greenjuice wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:19 pm
When agriculture is in the future replaced by hydroponics, this will not be an issue. :D
Yes, and in the future when there is no life on the planet at all except for human life then there will be the perfection of the virtue under discussion.
chownah

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Re: Building of viharas and life of insects

Post by manas » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:27 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:35 am
I'm an organic farmer. I put a lot of money, time, and effort into developing a rich organic soil....it is just teeming with life with a very high degree of biodiversity. I guess this means that my style of farming is the most lacking in virtue because I then go out and dig it up from time to time.

A chemical farmer on the other hand intentionally kills outright many of the living things on his farm initially and the living things he does not intentionally kill he kills as colateral damage and from that point on he really kills relatively few living things which are mostly bacteria and fungus so they are ususally not considered to be sentient and not a problem if they are killed. If the farmer continues to practice chemical farming without interuption his fields become pretty much void of sentient beings so digging then happens in a soil which does not bar the arising of his virtue. So it seems that a chemical farmer might be lacking in virtue initially but rapidly gains a more virtuous status as long as he can maintain a completely dead (or nearly so) soil. He then becomes the most virtuous of farmers.

I guess....don't know for sure....
chownah
Hi Chownah,
due to being a bit run-down and having a serious medical condition, I rely on organically grown produce, especially fruits and veggies, to get well.
Thank you for the work you do, in providing this life-sustaining food for others to eat. My liver and kidneys greatly appreciate the lack of pesticides, fungicides and other chemical inputs.

:anjali:
Seeking your own happiness,
you should pull out your own arrow:
your own lamentation, longing, & sorrow.

With arrow pulled out,
independent,
attaining peace of awareness,
all grief transcended,
griefless you are
unbound.


(excerpt, Sn 3:8)

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