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A question how would the Buddha act if...

Hello! A question.

If Buddha saw an animal which was injured or suffering, what would he do, if he were the only person who could do something?

Would he think the suffering is karmic so no need to act? Or would he try to help the animal to recover? Or just showing compassion?

Shoshin

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 22

    Hello, @Asabasstsi;

    What would YOU do?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    In some of the tales told of the Buddha's previous life he actually sacrifices his own flesh or life to save the lives of animals. That doesn't mean that we need to make such sacrifices, just saying that, yes, the Buddha would show compassion.

    Also, the argument for inaction in response to suffering because of karma doesn't take the idea of karma far enough. If you did help, that would also be their karma. Since we don't know the extent of another's karma it shouldn't bear any weight in our decision making.

    Having said that, it is also important to act skillfully. Sometimes taking unskillful action, even motivated by compassion can make things worse than doing nothing or making minimal intervention.

    https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/found-orphaned-or-injured-baby-wild-animal

    ShoshinJasonrocala
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited November 22

    @Asabasstsi ( Welcome )

    Karma is a somewhat complex subject,

    however as @federica has already asked....

    If one see another sentient being suffering and one is in the position to help, but don't do anything about it because they 'think' that it's this being's karma ...

    What would the karmic impact be on this person if they consciously chose to ignore the suffering of others ( especially when they have the means to alleviate/ease the suffering ) ?

    If a person is suffering due to their Karma, (we all fall prey to karma-being the karmic bundles of energy flux that we are :) ) from what i gather this does not mean one should sit idly by and do nothing...We are not Karma's executioners, dishing out punishments as 'we' see fit...

    One would think that out of compassion if one is in the position to help alleviate/ease the suffering one would...

    But in the long run.... I guess... It's one's karma if you do and it's one's karma if you don't !

    You may also like to check out this "Link" which might be of some help....

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    This story may also help to answer your question

    https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/32lbud.htm

  • yagryagr Veteran

    I am, perhaps, the last person on this site you should believe - along with everyone else and the Buddha but...

    In answer to your question, "How would the Buddha act..." I suspect the Buddha wouldn't act - he would simply be the Buddha.

    FosdickKundolobsterShoshin
  • @Asabasstsi said:
    ...
    Or would he try to help the animal to recover? Or just showing compassion?

    Does not require Buddhahood to be kind. B)

    yagr
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I think this is a good answer.

    @person said:
    In some of the tales told of the Buddha's previous life he actually sacrifices his own flesh or life to save the lives of animals. That doesn't mean that we need to make such sacrifices, just saying that, yes, the Buddha would show compassion.

    Also, the argument for inaction in response to suffering because of karma doesn't take the idea of karma far enough. If you did help, that would also be their karma. Since we don't know the extent of another's karma it shouldn't bear any weight in our decision making.

    Having said that, it is also important to act skillfully. Sometimes taking unskillful action, even motivated by compassion can make things worse than doing nothing or making minimal intervention.

    https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/found-orphaned-or-injured-baby-wild-animal

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I would think that if a wounded animal had the great good fortune to come across a being as wise and capable as a Buddha, that would be their karma and the Buddha would help them.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 23

    He would most certainly help the animal in the way that would be most appropriate for the animal, just like he does for humans. When it comes to helping beings and alleviating suffering, Buddha does not discriminate according to what type of being they are.

    Would he think the suffering is karmic so no need to act?

    He would never say that. If he did, there would be no reason to help people either as their suffering is karmic too.

  • @Asabasstsi said:
    Hello! A question.

    If Buddha saw an animal which was injured or suffering, what would he do, if he were the only person who could do something?

    Would he think the suffering is karmic so no need to act? Or would he try to help the animal to recover? Or just showing compassion?

    Well, shrugging and thinking, "Oh well, that's his karma" isn't very compassionate, is it? Walking away from suffering doesn't help us develop compassion, does it?

    If the stories about the current Dalai Lama are to be believed, as a small child (around age 3 or 4?), he rescued an insect from some predator--a larger insect or beetle, or some such. This was taken as a sign, that he was an incarnation of a compassionate being, i.e. that he was already a highly-developed Bodhisattva, due to past-life studies and experience.

    Does that answer your question?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 24

    @Asabasstsi said:
    Hello! A question.

    If Buddha saw an animal which was injured or suffering, what would he do, if he were the only person who could do something?

    Would he think the suffering is karmic so no need to act?

    No, that is basically very much a Hindu Ajivaka thought process.

    Or would he try to help the animal to recover? Or just showing compassion?

    Wouldn't that be both? You cannot help an animal recover without showing compassion... and if it is within his power to help, Compassion is the trigger...

    I'm wondering if this is a "Blue touch-paper" question, in which case, all our responses are generally a waste of our time...

    I'm going to close the thread on a TEMPORARY basis, welcoming and encouraging @Asabasstsi to send me a message requesting I re-open it for his response.

    Many thanks everyone, for, as ever, your considered replies.

This discussion has been closed.