Author Topic: Offering of silk khatas  (Read 24869 times)

lightning

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »
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'
I feel there is no concern as long as we do not kill and we are merely burrowing the material to do offering.
My answer is Yes. I will continue to use silk khata.

Tammy

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 01:33:32 AM »
Lighting,

I totally disagree with you!

How can we make offerings base on other beings sufferings?

Do you know how is silk produced? The baby silk worms have to be BOILED to death before the silk thread are harvested. and then they would be cleansed and dye according to order and then weaves into cloth or khatas.

Not to mention the number of baby silk worms have to scarify for each khata.

Is'nt this totally against Budhdha's teaching ?

Down with the BAN!!!

lightning

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2012, 03:57:38 AM »
Lighting,

I totally disagree with you!

How can we make offerings base on other beings sufferings?

Do you know how is silk produced? The baby silk worms have to be BOILED to death before the silk thread are harvested. and then they would be cleansed and dye according to order and then weaves into cloth or khatas.

Not to mention the number of baby silk worms have to scarify for each khata.

Is'nt this totally against Budhdha's teaching ?
My point is to drive are we over parnoid about certain things?
As mentioned that everyday, there are so many animal products that are utilised at their expense. There is no co-relation of karma to use the slik khatas, if not we will be accumlating negative karma by using slik khatas.
Again if that is the case then Buddha should declare that all devottes should have compassion by taking vegetarian. That may help more animals to avoid more sufferings, as many were to follow this instruction. But that did not happen.

I have yet to consulted on this question for a uitimate answer, until then it will still remain debatable.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 05:11:53 AM »
Thank you everyone for contributing towards this challenging topic .
I will go with the middle way approach to avoid extremes of absolutely good and absolutely bad since in samsara, we can only have the lesser of the two evils solution.
For ordinary folks , it probably makes little difference whether one offers cotton or silk khatas since we are making so much karma quantitatively and qualitatively in our daily actions of body,speech and  mind.

For those who have just entered the path and practicing, one should  be mindful of the welfare of others , respect all living beings, and not blatantly be a cause of others suffering , directly or indirectly esp when it is based on mere indulgence or pleasure. If there are easy or practical alternatives, we should adopt them. Hence majority of those in this category, conscientiously reduce their consumption of meat when vegetarian food is available or holding vows to abstain on special/holy days.
In the case of silk khatas, its a Tibetan tradition and an offering,hence its not something that we use to pleasure ourselves. It is not often  we make such offerings in the first place and its usually accompanied by a virtuous motivation. But we should definitely refrain from buying , wearing silk products or eating roasted silk worms etc. as the decision and action is accompanied by self cherishing.


RedLantern

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2012, 09:44:29 AM »
Offering of silk khatas symbolises an auspicious offering of one's good intentions during the welcoming or commencement of a new relationship in the Buddhist tradition.It symbolises one's positive and pure  objectskhatas are offered in a spirit of honour ,love and respect to spiritual images and statues of Buddhas,spiritual teachers,monks,nuns and political leaders.It is used to hang over altars and around sacred objects that adorn them.It is an honor for a person to be bestowed with this genuine act of blessing.
Is silk more suitable for a Khata?

jeremyg

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2012, 10:57:58 AM »
An extract from wikipedia:

Quote
As the process of harvesting the silk from the cocoon kills the larvae, sericulture has been criticized in the early 21st century by PETA. Mohandas Gandhi was also critical of silk production based on the Ahimsa philosophy "not to hurt any living thing." This led to Gandhi's promotion of cotton spinning machines, an example of which can be seen at the Gandhi Institute. He also promoted Ahimsa silk, wild silk made from the cocoons of wild and semi-wild silk moths. Ahimsa silk is promoted in parts of Southern India for those who prefer not to wear silk produced by killing silkworms. Ahimsa silk is also known as peace silk.

It seems even PETA and Gandhi are against it. So there must be some truth in the argument that silk khatas add to the killing of silk worms.

I have thought about the article about the silk worms not being able to do anything, and this is the best way for them to accumulate merits. On a partial note I agree that they will receive merits, yet this still does not warrant killing. It's almost as if we are saying that just because no animal can learn the dharma we should kill them and offer them to high lamas. no no no. For me this is not right.

There must be a logical explanation as to why silk khatas are used of course. We always want to offer the best to out lamas. Maybe in the past it was the only form of material that was available. I don't know. But the tradition can change for the better. After doing some research and reading this I am most definitely for alternative materials to be used as a Khata. After all the khata is a symbolic item, therefore it is what is in our mind that matters most when we offer it.


lightning

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2012, 04:18:54 PM »
Remember there is one famous lineage master Serkong Rinpoche who had His cousin as consort. One day, He asked his ordained disciples who take vegetarian, He saw some hands raised up and praised them that they are good and practice on compassion. The very next day, He asked who take vegetarian and the very same batch of students proudly raised their hands and He sarcastically said to them, Stupid, you fellows, do not know how to enjoy meat?

So what is the lessons learned from this erratic enlightened master? At first, He observed his students and in a way reprimanded those students who do not practice on compassion, when partaking meat during their meal. On the second occasion, He reminded the vegetarians on lack of bliss and emptiness without partaking meat.

Ultimately, it is about the upholding or transforming to the Bodhicita intention in every action we carry out.  Consumption of meat generate bliss, wearing of tiger skin like Heruka are some of the expressions found in highest yoga tantra. Whether you are generating self cherishing thoughts or holding Bodhicitta intentions depend on your thoughts.

Hence, I felt that there is no concern offering slik khatas to Lamas and better if offered with higher intention.

Q

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2012, 05:54:11 AM »
I believe offering khatas is more of a cultural thing rather than a Tibetan Buddhist practice per say... Silk is after all very precious material in the past so it was logical to offer it to Holy beings due to it's preciousness... because of this, eventually it became the norm.

If you feel uncomfortable offering a khata, no problem... there's always other ways to offer greeting of wellness to our Guru and it don't always have to be in a form of a khata. You can offer a smile and bow, it's just equally as good. This issue is almost similar to vegetarian refusing to wear leather. We're Buddhists, not animal rights activists haha.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2012, 07:46:08 AM »
I am very uneasy with lightning's assertion that if high Lamas engage in certain actions, it means it is also ok for us to do the same.Quoting examples of enlightened or accomplished masters' activities and considering it as valid for our own situation is unwise.
While they have attained high levels of selflessness and have removed the three poisons, we are still in samsara .The same actions done by us ordinary folks will attract negative karma.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2012, 10:16:15 AM »
If the practice of offering khatas is to collect merits and show respect to seniors, I feel it is not necessary that these must be made from silk.  The fact that silk is considered more precious that other materials does not devalue its purpose if khatas were to be made from cotton or rayon.

So if making khatas out of silk kills the silk worms, will it mean that cotton should also be avoided, as there may be living things that could be harvested together when plucking cotton?  If that is the case, then we can just use khatas made from synthetic fibre.

lightning

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2012, 03:19:50 PM »
I am very uneasy with lightning's assertion that if high Lamas engage in certain actions, it means it is also ok for us to do the same.Quoting examples of enlightened or accomplished masters' activities and considering it as valid for our own situation is unwise.
While they have attained high levels of selflessness and have removed the three poisons, we are still in samsara .The same actions done by us ordinary folks will attract negative karma.
Dear KhedrubGyatso?are you not practising HYT? Then ordinary unenlightened laymen like us are not allowed to practice HYT becos we are not qualified to do so as we have not even removed of three prison? Are we still at kindergarten level?

The key word here is dependent on your intention of offering? Again we do not commit the killing of silkworms and do not incur the karma of killing by offering the silk khata. It is just using the product of the dead animal to offer the Sangha community. Both actions are totally different and do not mix these two issue together?

Of course those who are not comfortable, then do not do such offering. But I felt that that the KG's view is considered narrow minded. As Serkong Rinpoche reminded his vegetarian students, that they do not know how to enjoy meat.

Why Serkong Rinpoche scold his disciples also has His valid reasoning

Big Uncle

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2012, 03:33:37 PM »
Remember there is one famous lineage master Serkong Rinpoche who had His cousin as consort. One day, He asked his ordained disciples who take vegetarian, He saw some hands raised up and praised them that they are good and practice on compassion. The very next day, He asked who take vegetarian and the very same batch of students proudly raised their hands and He sarcastically said to them, Stupid, you fellows, do not know how to enjoy meat?

So what is the lessons learned from this erratic enlightened master? At first, He observed his students and in a way reprimanded those students who do not practice on compassion, when partaking meat during their meal. On the second occasion, He reminded the vegetarians on lack of bliss and emptiness without partaking meat.

Ultimately, it is about the upholding or transforming to the Bodhicita intention in every action we carry out.  Consumption of meat generate bliss, wearing of tiger skin like Heruka are some of the expressions found in highest yoga tantra. Whether you are generating self cherishing thoughts or holding Bodhicitta intentions depend on your thoughts.

Hence, I felt that there is no concern offering slik khatas to Lamas and better if offered with higher intention.

Well, I think he scolded his vegetarian students because they had a huge ego when they raised their hands. They thought they were so holy by being vegetarian and expected the Lama to praise them. Hence, their vegetarian motivation became ego-enhancing so the Lama berated them to put their egos down. It is not what you are saying and he is not advocating eating meat at all.

With regards to the silk khata thingy, aiyar just use synthetic Khatas instead lor. That solves the problem once and for all. It is the meaning behind the khata offering and we want to offer offerings that are as pure as possible and refraining from using silk khatas that is tainted by killed silkworms sounds like a purer offering to me.

lightning

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2012, 02:11:28 PM »
it is what you think but not what your guru taught you right Big Uncle? Hence, you can ask your Guru about what Serkong Rinpoche meant that His disciples do not know how to enjoy meat.

It means the visualization and enjoyment of bliss and emptiness

buddhalovely

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Re: Offering of silk khatas
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2012, 01:32:03 PM »
The offering of a scarf may seem to be a simple gesture but in Tibetan tradition it has its own significance and protocol and is governed by tradition. To present a Khata you first fold it in half length-wise, this represents the interdepencence of each other. Then when you offer the scarf to the person, you offer the open edges facing the person you are giving it to, the folded section will be towards you, which represents your open pure heart, with no negative thoughts or motives in the offering.

when offering a khata

RESPECT/GRATITUDE: For holy sites, honored monks, teachers, diginitaries and elders, the scarf is given with folded hands near your forehead, with a humble bow before them, with head bent over and palms joined in respect. You never put the Khata over their neck in this situation.In most cases the giver will receive his/her Khata back from the given, as a token of blessing back to them, specially when you visit high lamas and teachers. It is custom to put Khatas over statues, thangka painting, pictures of reincarnated rinpoche’s and altar spaces.A Khata offered to H. H. the Dalai Lama and received back by a Tibetan personally will be cherished and preciously kept as it is now a very special blessing ,talisman and protector. It may never come back into recirculation from that Tibetan again. It is also flown and put on Prayer Flags before one hangs them as a sign of your prayers being sincere and pure, also as an offering to the Gods for swift accomplishment of prayers and wishes.

AFFECTION/CELEBRATION: This is for special events, like marriage, birthdays, newyear,farewell & safe journey, welcome home, honor celebration of events and happenings, death ceremony and other day to day events in lifes journey.In the event of these occasions you can offer scarfs around the neck of recepients provided they are not from the first category, or lay it over the body in case of a deceased.