Author Topic: Offering of silk khatas  (Read 24635 times)

lightning

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2011, 01:45:36 AM »
My question is, if Vajrayana buddhists know that silk are produced at the expense of silk worm suffering, why are we still doing it?

So far, I have not seen any conclusion on this discussion...
There are a lot of products we used everyday are at the expense of the animals suffering. If in this case, all Buddhist would or should become vegeterians and refrain from using animal products. This also is another contridicting point which is seeming not logical too? However, Buddha had passed down precept that 5 types of "pure" meat can be consumed and neither I had heard in any sutra mentioned that there is a restriction of use to animal products, like you mentioned that The All knowing One knowing these products are at expense of animals' lives. Most important point is we should not involve in direct or ordered the killing.

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2011, 06:35:44 AM »
The khata (or daar in Tibetan) is a silk scarf used as an offering in order to receive blessings. The khata represents a garland of flowers. Each thread in the khata represents a flower in bloom. In the highlands of Tibet, where flowers and trees are rare, khatas are used as offerings of reverence and devotion.

As to the ethical aspect of using silk khatas, my opinion is - it is part of the Tibetan tradition and culture just as meat eating is accepted among them. The reality is, in samsara, we cannot avoid killing. We kill small organisms all the time whether we realise it or not. However, there is a way of minimising the karma. It is said that if you take a small portion of a whole lamb, there is less heavy karma than say, eating a whole fish. The best is to get out of samsara as quickly as possible before all the negative karma opens up.

I feel that if the high lamas use khatas and allow us to use them, the act of offering silk khatas is not a bad one. Imagine offering thousands of flowers in that one khata! There must be tremendous merits involved.

nagaseeker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2011, 03:44:11 PM »
silkworms complete life cycle lasts less than two months,and it only eat , eat and eat mulberry leaves everyday and doing nothing else until they die , ok ... maybe mate and lay eggs when fully grown ..... basically they are doing nothing that really benefit to planet earth but put it this way , when we offer the khatas that made by silk which produce by silkworms , i guess they do collect certain merits right ? would it be better for them ? maybe they will get better rebirth ? ? ?

How about pearls that we offer ? will you offer plastic fake pearls to buddha instead of the real one because the oyster must die to surrender the pearl to our waiting hands, realize that we offer the best to buddha by oyster suffering at the cost of its life . again , think about what the oyster can contribute  ? i don't think silkworms n oyster can recite Om Mani Padme Hum ,i guess this is the only way to help them gain some merits  ::)

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2011, 04:39:36 PM »
To me, I do not think that offering a khata means that we are killing the silkworms for the sake of it.  Well, the 3 lower realms beings can't collect merits, in fact they collect more negative karma because of the non Dharma in them.  They can't read, practice, learn nor speak the Holy Dharma hence for us to offer them to Holy statues, offering to the Sangha and loved ones collect merits for them in ways they cant.  If we want to talk about silkworms being killed for their silk, what about the air we breath, the vege we eat, the water we drink?  Arent we also killing?  In the end, it is the right motivation that matters.

DSFriend

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 955
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 06:37:21 PM »
Confession time :  It actually didn't occur to me where the khatas come from and that living being died for it.

Thanks for the sharing from various people, who presented different viewpoints to consider :

- We can have the view of how silkworm's life is short and meaningless thus, this is a way to collect merits for their better rebirth as shared by bambi.

- We can have the view that high lamas use it, so it can't be bad, as shared by midakpa and naga seeker

- We can have the view that  in samsara, we cannot avoid killing,  a view shared by midakpa

- use cotton  as shared by tammy.

I do agree with all the above. Do what your conscience allows or dictates.

cheers



KhedrubGyatso

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • Email
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2011, 04:50:30 AM »
Dear ds friend,
On a very general level, i agree with what you said re: ' to each his/her own '.
Nevertheless , how sure are we that our conscience is telling us what we are doing is  correct?
The danger of following one's conscience is that it will always be right for its owner. There is much hostility and fear in this world because to a large extent we all believe what we are thinking and doing is always more right than others.
Hitler declared that jews were the source of all the world's problems and convinced an entire nation and many others to believe him.Even the Catholic church did nothing to change that view and the holocaust that ensued.The japanese during their S.E.Asian campaign of terror declared chinese were subhumans and did terrible biological experiments on living prisoners because they said they had no worth.
If we are the silkworm or any animal and someone said to us, we are useless beings and the only good is we and our family to be sacrificed, would you agree?

The Dharmic basis for  upon which one's conscience should arise in order to engage in wholesome actions is whether an action causes suffering to ourselves and others.Since others are more than us, others welfare and suffering becomes the most important thought in our conscience. In fact, we generally say someone has no conscience because they inflict harm on others, seldom when they are causing harm to themselves.
Lightning said a lot of things which are merely borrowed from examples of accomplished masters and sincere and serious practitioners whose mindstream had been highly if not completely purified. We can do the same as what they did but if our mind is impure and we have not even taken vows and holding them than the results will be very different for us and the objects of our actions.

I think it is very important for us to be mindful of the above and not leap frog with other's theories without us having any true practice or even simple realizations.

Tammy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2011, 08:19:25 AM »
Kris, in my humble opinion, various parties have offered their opinions on this subject, the discussion has been very interesting so far, however, I don't think it is within our acknowledge to draw conclusion. The discussion should serve as a way for us to reflect..

Agree?
Down with the BAN!!!

Positive Change

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2012, 06:18:34 AM »
Confession time :  It actually didn't occur to me where the khatas come from and that living being died for it.

Thanks for the sharing from various people, who presented different viewpoints to consider :

- We can have the view of how silkworm's life is short and meaningless thus, this is a way to collect merits for their better rebirth as shared by bambi.

- We can have the view that high lamas use it, so it can't be bad, as shared by midakpa and naga seeker

- We can have the view that  in samsara, we cannot avoid killing,  a view shared by midakpa

- use cotton  as shared by tammy.

I do agree with all the above. Do what your conscience allows or dictates.

cheers

Thank you DSFriend...

All said are correct in their own way... It reiterates the choices we have each and everyday, conscious or not of its repercussions. We are after all in samsara and we need to make the best choices with the understanding and knowledge we have for now and persevere to learn up more in order for us to make better and correct decisions throughout the rest of our lives.

hope rainbow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 947
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2012, 06:57:18 AM »
Confession time :  It actually didn't occur to me where the khatas come from and that living being died for it.

Thanks for the sharing from various people, who presented different viewpoints to consider :

- We can have the view of how silkworm's life is short and meaningless thus, this is a way to collect merits for their better rebirth as shared by bambi.

- We can have the view that high lamas use it, so it can't be bad, as shared by midakpa and naga seeker

- We can have the view that  in samsara, we cannot avoid killing,  a view shared by midakpa

- use cotton  as shared by tammy.

I do agree with all the above. Do what your conscience allows or dictates.

cheers

Dear ds friend,
On a very general level, i agree with what you said re: ' to each his/her own '.
Nevertheless , how sure are we that our conscience is telling us what we are doing is  correct?
The danger of following one's conscience is that it will always be right for its owner. There is much hostility and fear in this world because to a large extent we all believe what we are thinking and doing is always more right than others.

If I can't make sure that my "conscience" is reliable, I'd rather abstain from using silk.
In doubt, I abstain.

And in order for the silkworms to create merit, I'll make sure they are not forgotten in my merit dedication.

Galen

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 420
    • Email
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2012, 09:16:23 AM »
silkworms complete life cycle lasts less than two months,and it only eat , eat and eat mulberry leaves everyday and doing nothing else until they die , ok ... maybe mate and lay eggs when fully grown ..... basically they are doing nothing that really benefit to planet earth but put it this way , when we offer the khatas that made by silk which produce by silkworms , i guess they do collect certain merits right ? would it be better for them ? maybe they will get better rebirth ? ? ?

How about pearls that we offer ? will you offer plastic fake pearls to buddha instead of the real one because the oyster must die to surrender the pearl to our waiting hands, realize that we offer the best to buddha by oyster suffering at the cost of its life . again , think about what the oyster can contribute  ? i don't think silkworms n oyster can recite Om Mani Padme Hum ,i guess this is the only way to help them gain some merits  ::)

NagaSeeker,
Good points you have brought up with regards to the silk worms and oysters. They do not do anything to benefit anything or any being. At least they die for something bigger than themselves and collect merits for it. May those silk worms and oysters who have sacrificed their life for offerings to Buddha will get a good rebirth and be close to dharma in their next life. Om Mani Padme Hum!

happysun

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 72
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2012, 04:33:51 PM »

Offering khata, very simple reasons:
1. As Tibetan custom, showed respect to own guru, high lama, sangha and elderly people
2. As an offering to collect more merit
3. Showed our sincerity, humble and put down our ego
4. Khata, seem become a more precious offering item to all the Tibetan practitioner and Tibetan.
This is may be is my own opinion, but I think is good to share. 

KhedrubGyatso

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • Email
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2012, 03:46:20 PM »
May those silk worms and oysters who have sacrificed their life for offerings to Buddha will get a good rebirth and be close to dharma in their next life. Om Mani Padme Hum! ( from Galen)
Sorry Galen such a prayer  has  hypocrisy written all over it which we should really try to refrain from.The silkworms were murdered  because we don't respect every sentient beings right to live. Our mahayana prayers, to liberate all sentient beings become meaningless. We are talking about compassion , the mind that cannot bear the suffering of others. Do you think being boiled brings no suffering to the silkworms? Would Buddha be Buddha if he is selective and only saves higher beings?
As for the ' declaration' that silkworms have no benefit to any being or anything this is very shallow thinking. We live in an interdependent eco system wherein each of us has an effect on others and the whole planet.Have you heard of the butterfly effect  ? What it establishes is that a butterfly fluttering its wings in China can have an effect in another country way across the planet. If unseen microbes like penicillin bacillus can benefit the entire human race, i would be careful to assume silkworms have zero benefits.
On another note, enlightened beings might as well wipe us humans  out since from their pure perspective we are evil and contaminated with the 3 poisons which no worldly poison can match in terms of destructiveness and perpectuating evil.
We keep creating harm and suffering from the day we are born. One human can destroy our world. One human in history called Hitler did nearly that. Compared to a silkworm, who is more deserving to be ' sacrificed".Perhaps that's why the Christian God created the great flood to wipe sinful humans out and only save animals.
Hope this gets more of us thinking with broader perspectives.. we may just gain some  realizations : ))


nagaseeker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2012, 03:51:22 PM »
May those silk worms and oysters who have sacrificed their life for offerings to Buddha will get a good rebirth and be close to dharma in their next life. Om Mani Padme Hum! ( from Galen)
Sorry Galen such a prayer  has  hypocrisy written all over it which we should really try to refrain from.The silkworms were murdered  because we don't respect every sentient beings right to live. Our mahayana prayers, to liberate all sentient beings become meaningless. We are talking about compassion , the mind that cannot bear the suffering of others. Do you think being boiled brings no suffering to the silkworms? Would Buddha be Buddha if he is selective and only saves higher beings?
As for the ' declaration' that silkworms have no benefit to any being or anything this is very shallow thinking. We live in an interdependent eco system wherein each of us has an effect on others and the whole planet.Have you heard of the butterfly effect  ? What it establishes is that a butterfly fluttering its wings in China can have an effect in another country way across the planet. If unseen microbes like penicillin bacillus can benefit the entire human race, i would be careful to assume silkworms have zero benefits.
On another note, enlightened beings might as well wipe us humans  out since from their pure perspective we are evil and contaminated with the 3 poisons which no worldly poison can match in terms of destructiveness and perpectuating evil.
We keep creating harm and suffering from the day we are born. One human can destroy our world. One human in history called Hitler did nearly that. Compared to a silkworm, who is more deserving to be ' sacrificed".Perhaps that's why the Christian God created the great flood to wipe sinful humans out and only save animals.
Hope this gets more of us thinking with broader perspectives.. we may just gain some  realizations : ))



dear KhedrubGyatso,
it is a very good point that you pointed out,but put it this way, no matter how you avoid from harming other beings,the moment you step out of your house, you had killed hundreds or even thousand of insect that you step on,how could you make sure the egg that you ate was coming from free range farm ? how many of us are vegetarian ?  IF you have the merits to meet a high lama by chance , and your friend pass the khata for you to offer to the high lama, will you refuse to offer it and just folded you hands and say tashi delek to that high lama because deep down you are practicing compassion...

Om Mani Padme Hum!

KhedrubGyatso

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • Email
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2012, 12:44:45 PM »
Dear Nagaseeker,
Its about one's intention isnt it?
When we walk out our door, I don't think we look for insects etc to step on right?
If we are sincere about not contributing towards animals being slaughtered for food, and we consciously buy free range age , for most of us that is  as sincere as we can get. Since we are aware of not harming animals ,and had taken measures to avoid doing that, we will substantially avoid the full effect of any negative action even if insects etc are killed by our walking or the eggs turned out to be produced from factory.
We can not get a 100 % score in this karma created planet even with our best intentions and actions. We are doing great if we don't get a F mark which is intentionally causing harm.
In the scenario of khata offering,if u met a holy Lama without yr own cotton khata, and is offered a silk one, I don't think you are going to incur much karma . The most important factor  which decides whether we will experience the full result of a negative action is one's intention. When this is not present, most of our actions will not have enough power to ripen as heavy negative karma. The negative potency is so little that it could only ripen as  a slight headache the next morning.
The lamrim chapter on karma under the sub topic - the factors of completion of any action, and the severity of any actions is a great help to figuring out these sort of to do or not to do questions.

Tammy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2012, 09:04:53 AM »
My question is, if Vajrayana buddhists know that silk are produced at the expense of silk worm suffering, why are we still doing it?

So far, I have not seen any conclusion on this discussion...

Agree with you totally, maybe we should take a vote:

YES - offering silk khata is morally correct
NO - we should offer khata made of other materials than silk !

To start with - I vote 'NO'
Down with the BAN!!!