Mahakassapa

All posts tagged Mahakassapa

What to Do When One Sees A Dead Animal?

Published Mayo 15, 2015 by jptan2012

In my previous post, I talked about the story of Mahakassapa (also spelled as Mahakasyapa) and Ananda. In that particular post I talked about reincarnation, which I have talked about before, and subtly introduced a Buddhist accepted belief that I have never fully talked about here on this blog. This belief is about the accepted Buddhist teachings that all sentient beings reincarnate and has a consciousness and that we may have come from animals or insects and can be reborn as such.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

Hope to be able to talk more about it in my future blog articles. However, today I would like to talk about what one should do if one sees a dead animal. In my previous post, I mentioned that Mahakassapa prayed over the dead cat and buried the cat. The question is what we can do for the dead animal these days.

Like Mahakassapa, it would be great if we can pray over a body of a dead animal or insect by reading a sutra over it. The Medicine Buddha Sutra and/or the Past Vows of the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra) and then bury the dead animal or insect. If this is not possible or it may take time, you can do either of the following, put a printed copy of the sutra or a mantra on top of the body of the dead animal. If you can bury it, please do.

Still if this is not possible, chant the Medicine Buddha mantra (TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA), or the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Mantra (OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM) or the Mantra of the Bodhisattva of Compassion (OM MANI PADME HUM) and the Amitabha Mantra (OM AMI DEWA HRIH or NAMO AMITOFO) as many times as you can then blow over the dead body of the animal or insect. If possible bury or cremate the body.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Some Buddhist Temples would conduct a collective prayers for all animals being slaughtered for human consumption. Compassion and respect for this animals as sentient beings is the primary reason why a lot of Buddhists are vegetarian.

Still if this is not possible and you have the Vajrapani Ruel, which is a very powerful Buddhist amulet, you can simple place the Vajrapani Ruel near the body of the dead sentient being and then chant OM VAJRAPANI HUM three times or seven times.

Doing this out of great compassion is the best reason and it will earn you some tremendous amount of good karma. Doing this because of wanting to earn some good karma merit will work as well. But it may not as big as simply doing it because of great compassion.

 

For questions, suggestions and comments, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

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Mahakasyapa and Ananda: A Lesson About Karma and Great Compassion

Published Mayo 13, 2015 by jptan2012

Some people, especially those who are not Buddhist or Taoist might find this post a little extreme because of the belief or teaching about reincarnation and that we humans could be reborn as animals, or insects, or could have come from either animals or insects. Nevertheless, no matter how shocking it is, and some may even consider it ridiculously degrading, the truth is this is a widely accepted belief in Buddhism and Taoism, and thus it is important to be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings.

Today, allow me to share the story of Mahakasyapa (also spelled as Mahakassapa) and Ananda. Mahakasyapa and Ananda are just two of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s (also spelled as Shakyamuni) disciple. Mahakasyapa is an old disciple, and Ananda, who is of the royal family before he became a disciple of Buddha and a monk, is young and famous not just for his astounding memory but also for being handsome.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

One day, while they were out on a walk, the Buddha instructed Ananda to ask a fruit vendor for a watermelon. Ananda, confidently walked over to the lady who sells watermelon and begged for a watermelon. Remember, during those days it is traditional for monks to beg, and lay people even vendors would be very willing to donate food or whatever they can to the monks. However, much to Ananda’s surprise, the fruit lady not only denied him a watermelon, but also she rudely drove her away.

Ananda went back to the Buddha to report what happened. The Buddha then instructed Mahakasyapa to beg for a watermelon. Both Mahakasyapa and Ananda and other members of the sangha didn’t believe that Mahakasyapa will have better luck, but even before Mahakasyapa got to the fruit lady, the fruit lady ran towards him and offered him a watermelon to quench his thirst from the hot weather.

Needless to say, all the Buddha’s disciples were surprised. Then the Buddha explained to them what happened.

In one of their previous lives, Ananda and Mahakasyapa had come across the fruit lady. However, at that time the fruit lady was a cat. The cat died on the street, and when Ananda (in his previous life) saw the dead cat, he veered away because he didn’t like the smell of the rotting flesh and also he didn’t care about the dead cat. On the other hand, Mahakasyapa (in his previous life) when he saw the dead cat, he prayed for it, and picked it up to give the cat a proper burial. Mahakasyapa with his simple act of compassion and kindness towards the dead cat earned a lot of good karma affinity with the dead cat that now happens to be the fruit lady.

That simple act of compassion that Mahakasyapa did, which didn’t even cost him single money, earned him some good karma. Needless to say, Mahakasyapa did the good act of compassion and not for wanting good merits.

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