Author Topic: Killing Pest  (Read 13554 times)

sonamdhargey

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Killing Pest
« on: June 09, 2012, 07:43:26 AM »
Recently there are many rats running around the ceiling of my temple and the stench of the rat's facaes become unbearable. We were worried that these rats if not dealt with, will cause diseases in the temple. I've no choice but to call the pest control and they set up traps in the ceiling. The next day we found half a dozen rats trapped and died from poisoning. I felt uneasy about the killing and I asked my seniors for advise.

They said if the rats are not terminated, it can lead to diseases in human. Human bodies are precious if developed and lead to enlightenment. Further more this is a temple, the temple benefits many and the merits are incomparable.

I want to know what are your opinions? I want to know what do you think? Please share your thoughts.

Thanks.

dondrup

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 10:37:54 AM »
Where there are food and water, there will be the rats.  Rats not only bring us diseases but they also create a lot of damages to our belongings. 

Why do rats gather at the ceiling of the temple?  Perhaps food stuffs are stored above the ceiling.  Keep the premise of the temple clean and tidy.  Store away whatever food items properly.  These steps could prevent the rats from gathering at the ceiling of the temple.

Using pests control to trap, poison and kill the rats is not advisable. Killing leads to heavy negative karma.  Rats have Buddha-nature just like humans.  What rights do humans have to kill the rats?  Even though temple can benefits many others but if it advocates killing of rats then the temple goes against the very essence of Buddha’s teachings which is not to harm or kill others!

A suggestion is to trap the rats but not poison them.  The rats are then released somewhere safe and faraway from the temple e.g. in the forest or jungle.

buddhalovely

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 11:57:43 AM »
It might be good for you but what about that thing? They wish to live just as you do. When you decide to kill a disease-spreading insect, your intention is perhaps a mixture of self-concern (good) and revulsion (bad). The act will benefit yourself (good) but obviously it will not benefit that creature (bad). So at times it may be necessary to kill but it is never wholly good

Buddhists strive to develop a compassion that is undiscriminating and all-embracing. They see the world as a unified whole where each thing or creature has its place and function. They believe that before we destroy or upset nature's delicate balance, we should be very careful. Just look at those cultures where emphasis is on exploiting nature to the full, squeezing every last drop out of it without putting anything back, on conquering and subduing it. Nature has revolted. The very air is becoming poisoned, the rivers are polluted and dead, so many beautiful animal species are extinct, the slopes of the mountains are barren and eroded. Even the climate is changing. If people were a little less anxious to crush, destroy and kill, this terrible situation may not have arisen. We should all strive to develop a little more respect for life. And this is what the first precept is saying.

biggyboy

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 12:37:21 PM »
They said if the rats are not terminated, it can lead to diseases in human. Human bodies are precious if developed and lead to enlightenment. Further more this is a temple, the temple benefits many and the merits are incomparable.

It would be advisable to always keep temple or any dwelling place tip top clean and tidy to avoid the unnecessary rodents.  Having said this, even how much effort put into keeping the place clean and tidy, there are also other dwelling places within the vicinity of the temple or in the same building that are doing little or nothing to help prevent them from infestation within their space.  Yet still, having dharma understanding, it will be good to avoid killing them.  Instead, it is best to move them on and prevent them from getting in wherever and however possible.  Moreover this is a temple...would it be appropriate to set example for all that it is OK to kill?

RedLantern

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 04:49:09 PM »

Practice not harming others,and benefitting them as much as you can,If the temple is kept clean there won't be any mice.Killing is a negative action because the motivation is non virtuous,it obscure the mind and it is difficult to see reality,The best thing is to let the mice go and pray for their higher rebirth.You can chant the five powerful mantras and dedicate them to their higher rebirth and to meeting the dharma.
May nothing become negative karma and everything Dharma.

Q

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 05:07:56 AM »
Well... it is the truth that the temple will bring much benefit to many people and the preciousness of having a human life is incomparable.

However, I would have at least done some prayers before calling in the exterminators, so that these beings can attain a better rebirth. Although some may argue that the fact they have been around the temple grounds would have purified their negative karma, but just to be sure... do some prayers for these beings.

Besides that, in the first place prevention is always better than cure... and in this case, the need to kill these rats. Our surroundings should always be clean to prevent and not attract pests which no doubt will need to be killed in order to prevent them multiplying and bringing disease. Always keep the place clean so that there is no reason for these pests to enter the temple.

bambi

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 07:36:36 AM »
Although we contributed to killing the rats but our motivation is not to let others suffer the disease that the rats may cause. Its the same as having termites or ants in your house and having to call pest control to come and exterminate them. I wouldn't want to go home and find my house destroyed by them. Out of compassion, we can always chant mantras and dedicate to them before calling the exterminator or do pujas for them in the temple. The best would be to do Vajrasattva or Medicine Buddha mantras for them.

A temple should always be clean and neat and not have all sorts of insects or animals running around and causing diseases.

sonamdhargey

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »
Thank you all for your constructive response. What I've gathered here is majority of all of you have the same thoughts where we should not kill the rats and have a preventive measure. I agree that cleanliness is key to prevent pest however the surrounding neighbors are dirty and we suspect the rats manifested from there as we keep our temple very clean as we clean it everyday and the rats takes refuge at our temple :) Yes Pujas been done before and after the pest control. We hope we will not have to go through another round extermination.

Tenzin K

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 08:53:54 AM »
Knowing cause an effect killing is what we must avoid. It’s always difficult but we must look at a bigger picture and for long term benefits and of course our motivation. .  Based on this scenario just like some of the above have mentioned, if we use any non-harmful method to chase the rats it would be the best but if it’s unavoidable to kill before we engage the exterminator we should do a puja to purify and for the rats good rebirth. This doesn’t mean we will escape but at least there is something that we are able to do for to minimize the impact and also benefits their future lives.

Besides saying so, prevent ion is always better then cure. If we always keep the place clean and tidy we might able to prevent this entire scenario to happen. Have periodic check on all these potential area.  This might reduce or eliminate the unnecessary suffering.

Positive Change

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 10:53:05 AM »
Killing is killing and negative karma will be reaped. Best to avoid altogether... However, if one looks at the extermination of pest on the level how many one kills now as opposed to more when the population increases (as it will), then the lesser of two evils can then be applied to lessen the karma (if one decides that to kill is the ONLY option).

Whatever the choice we have to know that killing regardless of whatever justifications we give ourselves will have negative karmic repercussions.

Therefore it is always best to keep ones premises clean and free of anything that may attract these pest to begin with. Then the act of killing could be avoided altogether. Get rid of the cause so one does not need to get rid of the symptom. Apply what the royal courts in China did in the old days:

A doctor is kept on a monthly or yearly retainer so long as each member of the royal family, especially the emperor is kept healthy and free of illness. The moment illness sets in the retainer is lost and possibly even the head of the doctor's from his shoulders! I wish western doctors in this day and age would have such integrity (there are of course exceptions to the rule) and not merely treat our symptoms and make loads of money from someone else's pain and suffering!

Manjushri

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 11:06:49 AM »
Dear Sonamdhargey, did you try all means to get rid of the rats, before deciding on extermination? If nothing else can be done to get rid of the rats, and it is doing more harm to others than good and you really have a big problem with it, than what the seniors said would make sense. However, the karmic consequences of killing lives will be there, and as a result, for shortening the life of another being, it will reap the same results for one.

A prayer session, with good motivation should be done for the rats before extermination. I guess for the rats...at least they got some imprints by being in the temple.

jessicajameson

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 01:20:34 PM »
At my temple, we had terrible termite infestation. They were in the thousands, and if they continued to stay they would have destroyed the building's infrastructure... thereby leading the temple to collapse, not to function properly and physically affect other people. The termites could have stopped the Dharma from spreading.

So they were exterminated.

They said if the rats are not terminated, it can lead to diseases in human. Human bodies are precious if developed and lead to enlightenment. Further more this is a temple, the temple benefits many and the merits are incomparable.

I want to know what are your opinions? I want to know what do you think? Please share your thoughts.

I agree that they had to go, but prayers had to be done BEFORE the extermination. 1. Regret that the place was not kept well, they came and now they have to be killed. 2. Prayers that they will take a good rebirth.

At our temple, we did the following prayers:
1. Vajrasattva prayer/mantra
2. Medicine Buddha prayer/mantra

Tammy

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 03:35:07 PM »
I wont go into the karmic effect of killing pests,

I am sure we are very clear that the creation of negative karma lays in our motivation. We should in stead look for solutions to PREVENT the temple roof being infested by rats. Example, do not leave food that 'invites' rats, keep our environment very clear. So that no rats will be found on the roof - prevent the decision of whether to kill or not.




Down with the BAN!!!

Klein

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 03:45:17 PM »
Where there are food and water, there will be the rats.  Rats not only bring us diseases but they also create a lot of damages to our belongings. 

Why do rats gather at the ceiling of the temple?  Perhaps food stuffs are stored above the ceiling.  Keep the premise of the temple clean and tidy.  Store away whatever food items properly.  These steps could prevent the rats from gathering at the ceiling of the temple.

Using pests control to trap, poison and kill the rats is not advisable. Killing leads to heavy negative karma.  Rats have Buddha-nature just like humans.  What rights do humans have to kill the rats?  Even though temple can benefits many others but if it advocates killing of rats then the temple goes against the very essence of Buddha’s teachings which is not to harm or kill others!

A suggestion is to trap the rats but not poison them.  The rats are then released somewhere safe and faraway from the temple e.g. in the forest or jungle.

I agree with dondrup. Killing pests is only the last resort if there is no other choice. With regards to the rats, trapping them and releasing them far away in the jungle would be a better choice. If it was termites or other destructive pests, we will have no choice but to exterminate them. Otherwise, the negative repercussions would be worse and more detrimental to the people in the area.

However, before we exterminate, it is essential to do a Medicine Buddha puja to dedicate to the pests followed by recitation of many Vajrasattva mantras to purify our act of killing.

ilikeshugden

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Re: Killing Pest
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 04:31:36 PM »
You say that there are rats in your ceiling. Where do rats decide to stay? Dirty places or places with food. The solution to your rat problem would be to properly clean your temple ensuring that rats would not want to make your tempe's roof a home. Also, by telling pest control to put traps for the rats, it means that you are indirectly killing. The pest control men will receive heavy negative karma and you will too as you were the indirect cause of the deaths of the rats. If you do want to get traps, request for the rat traps that just temporarily imprison the rats like cages that close after the bait is taken. Then, arrange for the rats to be brought out of the temple or placed somewhere that won't harm anyone.