Author Topic: Holy Cow and Holy Monk  (Read 10106 times)

KhedrubGyatso

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Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« on: January 03, 2012, 02:36:54 AM »
 Sakyamuni Buddha preferred to use the term wholesome and unwholesome  to describe actions. I believe the term ' holy' is an acronym derived from the root word wholesome or at least it alludes to that meaning.
 When I was a kid,  I used to bow in respect not only to those acclaimed as holy but also those who looked holy !

Interesting if you can share your views on following:

1. What makes a person holy ?
2. What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?

3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! '
    Do we understand  what we are saying?
4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?
5. When does a cow become holy?


Tammy

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 04:12:56 PM »
Khendrub,

I dont know how a cow became holy (maybe an Indian cow?) but I do know (with reference to point 4) that when we met a people who wears robs, we will be respectful to that person, not because of that person himself but we respect the robs he is wearing.. I will always remember this when i see 'monk' asking for donation on the streets, and i will always offer something (food, water or small amount of money) even though he does not act a wee bit like monk.

Does this help?
Down with the BAN!!!

nagaseeker

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 06:25:02 PM »
it is beyond our judge that whether the monk is real or fake but we will always remind ourself to bow or pay respect to someone who wear monks robes.The yellow robe worn by monks is an emblem and reminder of the Triple Gem, as is the Buddha Statue. Therefore one is really bowing to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, not to some person or statue. There are two aspects to bowing — the bodily action and the mind. If one bows because it gives one the opportunity to demonstrate one's faith in the Triple Gem, because it seems the right thing to do, and because it leads the mind to calm, then it will be beneficial. If one bows without reason or because one feels that one must do so for appearances sake, then it is a rather empty gesture. (Even so one's appreciation can grow.)
so,when we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , he is considered holy....

and the cow.....don't know anything about it.... :P

hope rainbow

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 04:48:50 AM »
Holy cow!
Here we go:

Sakyamuni Buddha preferred to use the term wholesome and unwholesome  to describe actions. I believe the term ' holy' is an acronym derived from the root word wholesome or at least it alludes to that meaning.
 When I was a kid,  I used to bow in respect not only to those acclaimed as holy but also those who looked holy !

Interesting if you can share your views on following:

1. What makes a person holy ?

I think what makes a person holy is when this person HAS or REPRESENTS qualities of wholeness.
So we either have faith in this person's holy qualities, or faith in the holy qualities that this person represents.

2. What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?

We respect our own potential to achieve these holy qualities.

3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! '
Do we understand  what we are saying?

I understand this expression as meaning: " do not put the display of holy activities without its substance"

4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?

For Buddhists it is holy, for it represents the qualities of a Buddha.

5. When does a cow become holy?

When I decide that the cow represents holy qualities, or more precisely, when my reverence -itself- to the cow is a holy action.

Big Uncle

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 04:52:43 AM »
Hahaha! This is really quite a funny and thought-provoking thread. Here are my answers to your questions:-

1. I think a person's spirituality makes him holy. Spirituality here is in terms of a person's demeanor, actions and commitment to his/her faith. Hence, monks, nuns and priests of any religion is respected as holy because their demeanor, actions and commitment to their faith surpasses the average joe on the street like me.

2. I would respect a supposed 'holy' person if his/her actions and commitment are consistent and not contradictory. That means a holy person should act in ways that reveal his/her real commitment to his faith always and not to curry favor, students or to look good.

3. I used this term as a joke on myself and others. To me, the term has a certain quality of sarcasm to denote hypocrisy. I use it to say in a joking manner like, "Look, he is acting all holy because people are watching!" I joke about myself because I am not a holy person but act like one. I guess if you are not, just fake it till you make it!

4. Unless he is an impostor, a monk or nun is certainly holier than me, regardless of how well he/she holds his vows. I think they may have transgressed a few vows but there are so many more vows that they are upholding, which is definitely more than me. So definitely, the average monk or nun is holy.

5. This is a strange question. Only Hindus (as far as my knowledge permits) consider cows holy. I am no expert in Hindu theology.

Dolce Vita

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 04:07:28 PM »
This is a very interesting thread.. I'm joining it! :)

1. I think a person is holy when he/she is selfless, thinks only about bringing benefits to others especially people who are not related to he/she, acts for others' benefits never for themselves.

2. 'Selfless', caring for people without agendas is what makes a person holy.

3. Are we really selfless when we do something or act on something, is our motivation really about benefiting others?

4. A person who is wearing a monk robe of an ordained sangha is considered holy because it represents the vows an ordained monk holds. It is not for us to judge if he is real or fake. It is his karma and he has to bear the consequences if he take advantage of the monk robe to achieve his selfish desires.

5. Not too sure when cows become holy, hhmmm, could be when we have no words to describe a shocking incident. haha..

diamond girl

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 05:46:00 PM »
The title caught my attention instantly when I clicked on.

Holy Cow has always just been an exclamation of expression for me. I never regarded any cow as holy but I am aware that in Hinduism the cow is a sacred animal as my Hindu friends do not eat beef. I once heard this is because the cow helps toil the land for agriculture hence is beneficial thus sacred. As for holy, I am not sure why?

From when I was a kid I was told to respect monks because they are holy. And to me holy meant Godly, so out of not offending "god" I would be respectful and even fearful. Nowadays, I respect monks because of the vows they hold and that their existence is for the benefit of others. I have also heard of "fake" monks who abuse the respected holiness for commercial gains, I even believe that in my ignorance I have given them donations. I do not dwell on that as there are real and good monks too. If the fake one continues, I believe that karma will catch up, and also believe that the fake may have reasons for the deception (yeap some holy schmoly from me).

A holy person to me is a good person with kindness and compassion for others who practices a certain faith/religion. I do relate holy to religion.


negra orquida

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2012, 12:02:54 AM »
Clever way to draw people's attention to this thread :p Here's what I think:

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1. What makes a person holy ?
Whether a person is holy or not, partly depends on the perceiver. If the perceiver believes that a person is sacred and to be respected, and treats such person with reverence, then the person is holy to the perceiver.

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2. What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?
The virtuous qualities, divine power, and purity of the holy person.  We respect the holy person when we hold them higher than ourselves, and aspire to have/admire the qualities they have.

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3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! ' Do we understand  what we are saying?
I think this means to not put on a front or appearance of being holy when there is no basis?

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4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?
To me, yes, he is... the person wearing the robes represents the sangha, which represents the vows they hold purely, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

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5. When does a cow become holy?
Same response as #1... a quick check with Wikipedia showed that not only Hinduism worships cattle.  I believe the cow is worshipped because it brings so much benefit to mankind even after death.  Gandhi referred to cows as, "Our mother, when she dies, means expenses of burial or cremation. Mother cow is as useful dead as when she is alive. We can make use of every part of her body – her flesh, her bones, her intestines, her horns and her skin."

Jessie Fong

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 10:17:46 AM »
I equate holy with sacred, worthy of worship/veneration.
a.   A person is holy when he is living a life of high moral religious or spiritual system
b.   A nun is holy because of the vows that she upholds
c.   ‘Holy smoly’ is used just as an expression I guess, rather than using expletives; even ‘smoly’ itself is not even a word, it is just something someone coined to rhyme with holy?
d.   http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/robe_txt.htm : The robes serve not just as a kind of uniform to remind the wearer that he or she is a member of a larger universal community, but is itself an object of reflection to be worn "properly considering them: only to ward off cold, to ward off heat, to ward off the touch of insects, wind, sun and reptiles; only for keeping myself decent" (M 1:10). Above all, they remind the wearer that he or she has committed him or herself to high spiritual ideals — to master the Dharma, liberate oneself and show others the Way.
e.   I don’t know really when the cow can become holy.

http://hinduism.about.com/od/vegetarianism/a/holycows.htm
As opposed to the West, where the cow is widely considered as nothing better than walking hamburgers, in India, the cow is believed to be a symbol of the earth - because it gives so much yet asks nothing in return.
Because of its great economic importance, it makes good sense to protect the cow. It is said Mahatma Gandhibecame a vegetarian because he felt cows were ill-treated.

Though the cow is held sacred to the Hindus, it is not exactly worshipped as a deity by all. On the 12th day of the 12th month of the Hindu calendar, a cow ritual is performed in Jodhpur palace, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

In the Mahabharata, we have Bhishma saying: "Cows represent sacrifice. Without them, there can be no sacrifice…Cows are guileless in their behaviour and from them flow sacrifices…and milk and curds and butter. Hence cows are sacred..."
Bhishma also observes that the cow acts as a surrogate mother by providing milk to human beings for the whole life. So the cow is truly the mother of the world.

ratanasutra

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 11:20:09 AM »
1.   What makes a person holy ?
For me their actions, they can be in any religious for example mother Teresa is a holy person for me as I look at her actions of kind and compassion towards other.

2.  What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?
The love, kindness and compassion to others without agenda or expect things in return. Or another word the person who is selfless. 

3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! '
    Do we understand  what we are saying?
I think it means do not act holy if you are not that holy.

4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?
For me yes, the ordained sanghas are holy because the vows they holding and also they are practice follow the foot steps of Buddha.

5. When does a cow become holy?
Ummm.. as I know cow is a sacred for hindu practice, they respect the cow but I could not say when a cow become holy.

bambi

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 02:05:43 PM »
LOL... Interesting post title.

My share of views are as following:

1. What makes a person holy ?
To me a person is holy when they hold their vows well, the Sangha, practice what they preach, learned and transformed into. Of course in the end, it is how one perceive them.

2. What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?
Especially those who are in robes that have taken vows and benefit others.

3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! ' Do we understand  what we are saying?
There are people out there that are non religious and non superstitious. So when they feel that what we are doing is somewhat not their expectation, we feel that those people are too holy for our level. By the way, its just another expression of using holy cow.

4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?
Definitely! To be able to let go of 'normal' daily samsaric routines and taking on vows for the benefit of beings. I have heard that for someone to wear the robes is already considered holy.

5. When does a cow become holy?
LOL... Holy cow!
Its a expression that many people are using. It started from the expression on 'Holy Christ'! But there are people who does not simply use the word Christ that's why it was replaced with other words. Eg. Holy crap, Holy buckets, Holy schmuck and many more. Its just the same as us saying oh my goodness, oh my god, oh my Buddha, etc.

Carpenter

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 02:54:55 PM »
KhedrubGyatso, you really got the idea of catching people’s mind, Holy cow and holy monk, well, you got me in here now. Hahaha…

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1. What makes a person holy ?

To me, the word holy I define it as 2 way,
1.   Enlightened being, that is someone who reaches the divine state
2.   Someone who has great kindness and compassion, they work for others, selfless and not being attach to their selfish mind.


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2. What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?

A person who selflessly working to serve others, because of their effort, their time spent, many people in this world get liberated from sorrow situation, they basically bring happiness to people.


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3. We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! '
    Do we understand  what we are saying?

It means that do not pretend to be holy, because being ‘real’ holy is not just from the outlook, it comes from within our heart, it’s true sincerity.


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4. When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?

Wearing robe doesn’t mean they are holy, as I said earlier, outlook is not important, Sangha is suppose to be holy, but due to this degenerate age, there are ordained sangha that has been carried away from the correct Dharma path by their desire and attachment. A person who is really practicing Dharma should start even before wearing the robe.


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5. When does a cow become holy?

Ok, seriously, I have no idea why a cow is so holy, it could be someone just created it as a term of “Oh My God”

That's my thought re the above questions

Tenzin K

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 04:00:59 PM »
1.   What makes a person holy ?
When the person walk the talk. When the person put what they have learned into action.   

2.   What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?
The person integrity, consistent, sincerity and honesty in their spiritual action. 

3.   We have often heard this popular admonition or had perhaps uttered it ourselves to someone, ' Don't be holy smoly ! '
Do we understand what we are saying?
I often heard this and it always refer to ‘Not to pretend that you are spiritually sound’. This is very much about our own act which doesn’t give people confident in our spiritual act.

4.   When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained sangha , is he considered holy?
From a Buddhist perspective ‘Yes'. The simplicity of wearing a basic robe partly symbolizes the vow they have taken to live a simple life. It is like their "uniform" in a way. A symbol of their non-status that they are no longer partake in the material aspects of society. The robe also symbolizes the monks connection to the Buddha and his willingness to follow in his footsteps.

5.   When does a cow become holy?
Not so sure about this but manage to get some info from the net:

Religious Significance of the Cow
Though the cow is held sacred to the Hindus, it is not exactly worshipped as a deity by all. On the 12th day of the 12th month of the Hindu calendar, a cow ritual is performed in Jodhpur palace, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

Bull Temples
Nandi Bull, a vehicle of the gods, is considered the symbol of respect for all male cattle. The Nandi Bull holy site at Madurai and the Shiva temple at Mahabalipuram are the most venerated bovine shrines. Even non-Hindus are allowed to enter the the 16th century Bull Temple in Bangalore. The Vishwanath Temple of Jhansi, believed to have been built in 1002, also has a large statue of the Nandi Bull.

History of the Holy Cow
The cow was venerated as the mother goddess in the early Mediterranean civilizations. The cow became important in India, first in the Vedic period (1500 - 900 BCE), but only as a symbol of wealth. For the Vedic man cows were 'the "real life" substratum of the goods of life', writes JC Heesterman in The Encyclopedia Of Religion, vol. 5.
Cows as Symbol of Sacrifice

Cows form the core of religious sacrifices, for without ghee or clarified liquid butter, which is produced from cow's milk, no sacrifice can be performed.
In the Mahabharata, we have Bhishma saying: "Cows represent sacrifice. Without them, there can be no sacrifice…Cows are guileless in their behaviour and from them flow sacrifices…and milk and curds and butter. Hence cows are sacred..."

Bhishma also observes that the cow acts as a surrogate mother by providing milk to human beings for the whole life. So the cow is truly the mother of the world.

biggyboy

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 05:22:54 PM »
It is interesting and thought provoking when such a topic was posed and made us think about something that we do without giving too much thought to it.

In direct response to the questions,

1.   What makes a person holy?
In my mind I would call a person holy by what he does, his motivations and how wholesome he is to his cause. How much he puts others above himself, be selfless and show love and compassion without any agenda, wanting or expecting anything in return.

2.   What is it that we respect in a person considered to be holy?[/b]
A holy man is one we respect for how they uphold their vows, for things that they do for others, sacrifices that we cannot do.

3.   Holy smoly, is an expression we would use to express sarcasm on 
someone who tries to behave “holier than thou”.

4.   When we see someone wearing robes of an ordained Sangha, is he considered holy?    
I am not sure if I would consider every one wearing robes as a holy person. But I will respect that person and the robes that they wear. The robes represent the faith.

5.   When does a cow becomes holy?
I am not sure why the cow is considered holy.  I know in India the cow is considered sacred and holy. They only reasons that I can come up with is that the cow does so many things for the humans. They provide milk, they till the land, they carry heavy objects and also provide transportation to humans. Take a closer look at their face and look at their eyes, they look so adorable. May be that is why they are holy. 

Another story to share…When I was young I heard stories about how the Goddess of Mercy's (Kuan Yin) father treated her very badly and he was punished and transmigrated into a cow. Hence, the followers of Kuan Yin do not take beef. True or not I don’t know that's what I was told.  :)

Jessie Fong

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Re: Holy Cow and Holy Monk
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2012, 02:31:08 PM »
In reply to biggyboy, I too have heard that those who follow Kuan Yin's teachings do not consume beef.  This could be related to the cow being held sacred to the Hindus?  Or just an extension of being vegetarian so no meat is allowed?

Kuan Yin is also known as the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, so maybe her followers are asked not to kill living beings.