Author Topic: touching wet cow dung for purification?  (Read 3860 times)

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touching wet cow dung for purification?
« on: May 16, 2013, 06:05:29 PM »
Can touching wet cow dung be a purification rite?

Seems this was one of the practices as taught by the Brahmans of the Western lands who carry water pots, wear garlands of water plants, worship fire, & purify with water according to Cunda the Silversmith in the "Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta".

"There is the case where the brahmans of the Western lands... get their disciples to undertake their practice thus: 'Come, now, my good man: Get up at the proper time from your bed and touch the earth. If you don't touch the earth, touch wet cow dung. If you don't touch wet cow dung, touch green grass. If you don't touch green grass, worship a fire. If you don't worship a fire, pay homage to the sun with clasped hands. If you don't pay homage to the sun with clasped hands, go down into the water three times by nightfall.' These are the purification rites declared by the brahmans of the Western lands... of which I approve."

However, Buddha refuted it by saying:

"Cunda, the purification rites declared by the brahmans of the Western lands... are one thing; the purification in the discipline of the noble ones is something else entirely."

After being requested by Cunda, Buddha gave the teachings on the 10 'unskillful' (unwholesome) actions; and the 10 Wholesome actions which are actually the actions of abandoning the 10 Unwholesome actions.

These are referring to 3 of 'Bodily actions' (Body), 4 of the 'Verbal actions' (Speech) and 3 of the 'Mental actions' (Mind) i.e. Abandoning killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, hurtful speech. idle speech, covetousness, malice and holding wrong view.

"Why is that? Because these ten courses of skillful action are pure and cause purity. Furthermore, as a result of being endowed with these ten courses of skillful action, [rebirth among] the devas is declared, [rebirth among] human beings is declared — that or any other good destination."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.176.than.html

As explained by Buddha, whether touching the wet cow dung or not (as well as the other practices mentioned by the 'Brahmans of the western lands) will not make a person pure or impure; it is in the actions done by the person that makes him pure or impure.

So, wet cow dung is not the issue here...  ;)

For some, the seemingly 'dharmic' actions are really the distractions for growth of one's spiritual practice. Some of us like sitting for hours in meditation, offering lots of incense etc.

My point is, we are sometimes judged with 'quantified measurements' instead of the 'quality' aspect of these actions like the right thought and right views.