Author Topic: Pro Choice... Pro Karma  (Read 19542 times)

Damian.D

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Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« on: June 22, 2011, 08:44:37 PM »
Having an abortion whether for legitimate reasons or for selfish reasons is still the taking of a life and hence the act of negative karma or the result of negative karma.

Will there be any such practice that can purify the karma of taking a life?

daka

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 10:33:11 AM »
Thank you Damian.D for posting this question. This is what I want to ask too. One of my friend just have an abortion recently. According to her, it's out of no choice, she's not ready to be a single mother yet as she comes from a very conservative family and this will affect her career too.

However, as a buddhist, she suffered a lot mentally after the abortion and wonder what she can do to purify this karma of killing her own baby.

What practice can she do to purify or lessen her karma?



samayakeeper

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 12:57:30 PM »
Pro Choice... Pro Karma

I have read and heard that there are a few practices that may purify if done sincerely, like
1. Contributing financially to building of a temple or a statue for the temple
2. Doing 100000 prostrations to a Buddha statue with full regret and promising not to repeat
3. Reciting 35 Confessional Buddhas or Vajrasattva with great remorse and promising not to repeat.

In fact, number 2 and 3 are very good to do daily by incorporating into our daily sadhana. Donating to a temple purifies our karma and collects great merit for our Dharma practice.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 02:11:53 PM »
Pro Choice... Pro Karma

I have read and heard that there are a few practices that may purify if done sincerely, like
1. Contributing financially to building of a temple or a statue for the temple
2. Doing 100000 prostrations to a Buddha statue with full regret and promising not to repeat
3. Reciting 35 Confessional Buddhas or Vajrasattva with great remorse and promising not to repeat.

In fact, number 2 and 3 are very good to do daily by incorporating into our daily sadhana. Donating to a temple purifies our karma and collects great merit for our Dharma practice.


Thank you samayakeeper for sharing practices that can purify the karma of abortion. Of course, this is not to encourage women to have abortion and then do purification practices to purify it, but I believe this knowledge will help many women who previously had abortion either out of ignorance or due to fear of societal scorn and want to do something to purify their past misdeed.

I believe this will give relieve to many women out there who regret their actions but do not know what to do. 



   

hope rainbow

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 02:44:20 PM »
Thank you samayakeeper for sharing practices that can purify the karma of abortion. Of course, this is not to encourage women to have abortion and then do purification practices to purify it, but I believe this knowledge will help many women who previously had abortion either out of ignorance or due to fear of societal scorn and want to do something to purify their past misdeed.

Dear WT, you are so right to mention this (thank you), for the Lamrim also says that to engage in a non-virtuous action because we know of a way to purify the action is just as silly as breaking his own leg because we know it can be fixed. Duuuhhh...

triesa

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 10:20:19 AM »
Thank you samayakeeper for sharing practices that can purify the karma of abortion. Of course, this is not to encourage women to have abortion and then do purification practices to purify it, but I believe this knowledge will help many women who previously had abortion either out of ignorance or due to fear of societal scorn and want to do something to purify their past misdeed.

Dear WT, you are so right to mention this (thank you), for the Lamrim also says that to engage in a non-virtuous action because we know of a way to purify the action is just as silly as breaking his own leg because we know it can be fixed. Duuuhhh...

I am in total agreement with the above!

I think the purification practices mentioned above apply to taking out any forms of lives.......be it human, animal or insect.....

Positive Change

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 12:23:33 PM »
Having an abortion whether for legitimate reasons or for selfish reasons is still the taking of a life and hence the act of negative karma or the result of negative karma.

Will there be any such practice that can purify the karma of taking a life?

This is a tough one as it deals with a life... however if we really look into our lives under a microscope, we do "kill" lives unknowingly and sometimes knowingly but because it is not human we think it is ok. Perhaps it is of a lesser negative karma because a human life is more precious as is able to absorb the Dharma better... yes perhaps.

Back to the topic at hand... for me it is the lesser of two evils. Both may have repercussions of negative karma. If an unwed/unfit mother were to have the child, that may topple a series of dominos which will effect a lot more lives and a lot more negative karma as opposed to having an abortion which will have the negative karma but only effects one person. Having said this, does not give anyone the justification to go have an abortion and say.... "oh well, it worse karma if i have the baby".

I think in this day an age one should be able to not even have to get into that situation. One should have to be responsible for one's actions. Be safe! Be smart! Do not get yourself in a situation where you would have to make this choice and then think how to redeem oneself... We are ultimately responsible for ALL our actions and nothing that happens to us is by chance. Think about it! Those are my thoughts really...

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 05:02:14 AM »
There is no perfection in samsaric existence whether in human world , god realm or the other lower realms.It is futile to seek perfect solutions to the problems we face.  As someone had mentioned , its always the lesser of two evils. Rarely can we have a win win situation.Even when that happens we lose it all anyway at death.

Experiencing the unceasing difficulties , trials and tribulations of life and the temporal nature of our  solutions should make us fed up of such an unsatisfactory  existence. It should motivate us  to think or wish to get out of this cycle. We transform a potentially hopeless and negative situation into giving birth to a very precious mind - RENUNCIATION ! This is the starting point of one's spiritual path and way to go.
Buddha said all of us can do that, all of us deserve to be free from all kinds of suffering.

diamond girl

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 11:50:13 AM »
Life does on many occasions give us challenges and some leave us destitute (as we would like to think). Abortion is really killing life irregardless of what people may say about the state of the fetus at which month, and that there is no form yet. Once conceived, the mind stream exists whether or not the body is formed. Thus life exist. This topic is very hard for me because just the mere thought gives me pain.

However, given that there are circumstances which may "justify" an abortion in samsara, it is good to know that purification can be done. But it should never be used as an excuse for irresponsible actions.

Helena

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2011, 12:12:02 AM »
When we are stuck in between the devil and the deep blue sea, I guess, we do need to weigh the consequences very seriously.
Having both wisdom and compassion in making our decisions on very difficult issues are always essential.
Thereafter, whatever decision we make, we need to go through the consequences without incurring more bad karma for ourselves and suffering for others.
I guess, at the end of the day, it all boils down to if that decision will hamper or hasten our spiritual progress?
And if it will help us in our spiritual progress and it does not become an obstacle, then no matter how difficult it is to exercise that decision, then we have to do it for the sake of our spiritual progress and growth.
After which, we need to purify by doing whatever that is necessary to deal with the decision we have made.
There is no right or wrong, only what's most beneficial from the perspective of our spiritual development.

I had an abortion when I was twenty-one. It was a well thought out decision which I do have to purify to this day. I have not stopped purifying until now. Though it allowed me the freedom and ease to do what I needed to do, it does not mean that I can stop purifying that decision made. This is something I have to live with and pay for, every single day.
Helena

Positive Change

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2011, 07:44:20 AM »

I had an abortion when I was twenty-one. It was a well thought out decision which I do have to purify to this day. I have not stopped purifying until now. Though it allowed me the freedom and ease to do what I needed to do, it does not mean that I can stop purifying that decision made. This is something I have to live with and pay for, every single day.

Dear Helena,

Thank you for sharing... it is most interesting what you said here... "This is something I have to live and pay for, every single day". This is what it means to be responsible for one's choices and actions and not sweep it under the carpet. It is precisely this awareness of one's action that I feel is part of the "healing" or purification process. If we choose to ignore or feel justified in doing the negative actions we did, it will be counter productive to our growth!

Helena

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2011, 04:33:46 AM »
We make choices every day. Be it a right choice or wrong choice. They both have its own karma and we need to purify because they all have consequences.

I love the story about Buddha in one of his lifetimes as a Captain of a boat, if I recall correctly. And there were a few hundred people in the boat and one murderer/thief. Through Buddha's power of clairvoyance, he saw that the thief was going to kill everyone in the boat. So, in order to save the few hundred people, Buddha killed the thief himself. Though Buddha's act is noble and his intent is noble, Buddha still had to pay for the 'sin of killing'. For that, I think it was said that Buddha spent a day in the Hell Realm.

Now, Buddha had a lot of merits and spiritual attainments to support him. Whereas we do not.
Most fo the time, we can't even truly tell if our own motivations are pure or even right.
So, we must always purify and pay for everything that we have done wrongly every single day.
It would help a great deal when we do not add to that list of wrongly deeds anymore too.

Hence, Dharma is a living practice.

We practice every day, every moment, with every thought and with every breath we take. And we do our best to do the very best we can, with what we understand. As long as we keep learning, we will gain real knowledge and higher understanding. This allow us to see more and do more good - not just for ourselves but also others.

Helena

dondrup

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 04:04:45 PM »
... Though Buddha's act is noble and his intent is noble, Buddha still had to pay for the 'sin of killing'. For that, I think it was said that Buddha spent a day in the Hell Realm.


If we kill, we will end up being killed.  Or the we will have rebirths with very short life-spans etc.  Even Buddha has to be born in the Hell Realm as a result of killing. Killing is top in the list of non-virtuous actions to be avoided by all Buddhists.  That shows the severity of the action.

Abortion equals killing.  It doesn't matter whether the abortion was done to save the mother due to complication in delivery etc.  It is still Killing. It is the karma of the aborted child to have an early death.  Those involved in making decision for the abortion have to think carefully because they will experience the result of Killing. 

Angulimala has killed 999 persons but later he gained Arhatship after he met Lord Buddha.  He is able to purify all his negative karma of Killing.  This shows that we can purify our negative karma of Killing.  But this does not justify the act of Killing.  Why think of abortion when pregnancy could have been avoided in the first place?  In the event where abortion could not be avoided, the parties involved have to weigh all options available carefully ...

dsiluvu

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2011, 07:41:46 PM »
I know that killing is still killing. And I am glad that we are fortunate enough to know the Dharma and to have such wonder prayers to purify our negative karma.

But what if you were raped and you came to know you were made pregnant from your rapist? What would you do then? How will you decide then?

I suppose just like any other karma... it takes the 4 complete stages to make a karma complete...

1) Thought/Intent
2) Planning/Plotting theact 
3. Actually carrying out the action and
4. Rejoicing in your action

Samsara indeed is scary. 


Positive Change

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Re: Pro Choice... Pro Karma
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 04:19:01 AM »
I know that killing is still killing. And I am glad that we are fortunate enough to know the Dharma and to have such wonder prayers to purify our negative karma.

But what if you were raped and you came to know you were made pregnant from your rapist? What would you do then? How will you decide then?

I suppose just like any other karma... it takes the 4 complete stages to make a karma complete...

1) Thought/Intent
2) Planning/Plotting theact 
3. Actually carrying out the action and
4. Rejoicing in your action

Samsara indeed is scary. 




It is indeed scary if we choose to view it as thus! However there is a silver lining... if we choose to accept our karma as a result of our own negative actions be it from this lifetime or our previous lifetimes, we will not be so willing to blame others or use others or situations as an excuse. Hence when faced with a difficult decision such as choosing to have an abortion or to keep the child (whatever the circumstances of conception was) we make a firm decision based on the lesser of 2 evils so to speak and try not to propagate the negative karma any further.

Sure it is not easy and there is really no right or wrong, just different routes. They all lead to one goal in the end! It reminds me of a movie I love.... its called Sliding Doors and it stars Gweneth Palthrow. I thought is was brilliantly executed and very apt! Find the movie/download it and watch it if you have not!