Author Topic: Thai Buddhist leaders pray for poached elephants, call for end to ivory use  (Read 6040 times)

Ensapa

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It's nice to see how animals are being treated, normally you'd do prayer ceremonies for departed humans, but now they're doing it for the elephants who lost their lives to poaching. Very interesting indeed!

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Thai Buddhist leaders pray for poached elephants, call for end to ivory use

 
Posted on 09 March 2013  |  0 Comments
Bangkok, Thailand – As world governments meet here to discuss global wildlife trade, revered Thai Buddhist leaders today held the first-ever Buddhist merit-making ceremony to pray for the tens of thousands of elephants poached annually. They also called on their congregations and other temples to reject the use and trade of ivory.

A large percentage of Thailand’s ivory is bought by foreign tourists, but there is significant demand among devout Buddhists for ivory carved into images of the Buddha, amulets, and other objects of worship.
 
Leading the merit-making ceremony were Ajahn Jayasaro, a forest monk and Buddhist teacher; Phra Maha Jerm Suvaco of the Maha Chula Buddhist University; Mae Chee Sansanee, founder and director of Sathira-Dhammasathan Center; and Phra Paisal Visalo, abbot of Wat Pasukato. Each offered teachings on conservation and the role of Buddhists in saving elephants from wildlife crime.
 
“We are honored to come together with the Buddhist leadership of Thailand, on this auspicious occasion of making merit for African elephants – the first ever for elephants,” said Dekila Chungyalpa, director of the Sacred Earth program for WWF. “Because faith leaders are speaking up about environmental sustainability being consistent with religious values, we are now seeing a new movement of faith-based conservation all over the world.”

Supported by WWF, the event at Wat That Thong in downtown Bangkok sought to educate the deeply religious Thai public on the link between ivory and wildlife crime, and encourage the leadership of Buddhist temples and congregations to discontinue the use and trade of ivory.
 
Thailand is the world’s largest unregulated ivory market and a major sink for ivory poached from Africa. In opening the current meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) here on 3 March, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced a shutdown of the country’s ivory market though gave no timeline.

The event also featured a giant chalk drawing of an elephant designed by artist Remko van Schaik  with messages in English and Thai saying “I am not a trinket” and “Ivory belongs to elephants.” Attendees took photos with the elephant artwork and also wrote prayers for poached elephants and hung them from trees in the courtyard of the temple.

“Having prestigious leaders from the Buddhist community in Thailand lead this ceremony here, which is usually practiced for a family member who has passed away, emphasizes that we are all interdependent and part of one great web of life,” said Phansiri Winichagoon, country director of WWF-Thailand.

Monks, members of the Thai public, government representatives, and delegates from the ongoing CITES attended the ceremony.

The CITES trade talks continue through 13 March. Conservation groups are calling on the 178 countries in attendance to take action by the end of the meeting against countries failing to comply with their international commitments to stop unregulated ivory trade. Tens of thousands of elephants are poached in Africa every year to feed world demand for ivory.

For more information contact:

Ua-phan Chamnan-ua, [email protected] +66 81 928 2426

Carmen Arufe, [email protected] +34 638603884

Jessie Fong

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Thank you Ensapa..

We must not forget our four-legged friends when perform puja.  They too require to collect merits.

It has been an old practice  elephants have been killed for the poachers to harvest the ivory.  With the request that we should offer the best, ivory became a much sought after item. 




bambi

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Thank you Ensapa..

We must not forget our four-legged friends when perform puja.  They too require to collect merits.

It has been an old practice  elephants have been killed for the poachers to harvest the ivory.  With the request that we should offer the best, ivory became a much sought after item.


Jessie, not only the four legged friends, some have less or more than 4 legs. Hehe...
There are quite a few ways to help the animals that hav passed on and I am sure that many will know what mantra to recite on them which is Om Mani Peme Hung.

By Lama Yeshe  http://www.lamayeshe.com/?sect=article&id=213
 
When the animal is dying, you can do the Medicine Buddha practice, visualizing the Seven Medicine Buddhas on the crown of the animal. Then you can also do the Thirty-five Buddhas practice, with nectar coming and purifying the negative karma, taking strong refuge to the Thirty-five Buddhas to protect and guide.

When the animal is in the process of dying or even after the breath has stopped, if you have some sand from a Kalachakra sand mandala, you can mix it with butter and put it on the crown. Each sand grain has numberless buddhas abiding in it. It’s especially good if it is blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Then burn the body. If there is a good practitioner or a lama available to do the jang-wa puja, then do that when the body is being burned. After the body is burned, keep some pieces of bones, and if possible, do jang-wa again on the bones. Crush the bones and make powder. Mix with other material and make a stupa, or more than one stupa. Put the stupa in a garden if you have one and then flowers can be offered to the stupa. Dedicate to your animal for a good rebirth and enlightenment.

But it will be better if we can help them before they die. There are so many mantras that we can chant and blow the mantra onto them. Do check out the link above for more information.

brian

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It is good that news of people aware of such poachings been exposed as this has long been known that greed for money are the main cause of the deaths of wildlife. Some of the endangered species are in the brink of extinction if steps are not taken proactively, we could well see the end of rhinos as well. having said that, this news offers us a little comfort where we know there are people who care for the poached victims. They do require a lot of merits to escape this cycle. let us pray for them too.

RedLantern

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The massacre of elephants is a very serious matter and contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.The cost of ivory poaching results in thousands of elephant deaths(a conservative estimate 25k elephants were killed in 2011)
Supported by WWf , the event in downtown Bangkok sought to educate the deeply religious Thai public on the link between ivory and wildlife crime,and encourage the leadership of Buddhist temples and congregation to discontinue the use and trade of ivory.
With 94% of the Thai population being Buddhist,seeing their priest supporting the cause they may change their minds.
H.H 17th Gyalwang Karmapa ,Ogyen Trinley Dorje quote:
At the root of all religions are the same basic principles.Live simply.Act with compassion.Be kind to one another. Nowhere does any religion say that we should destroy the very thing that gives us life. So I feel quite confident saying that from a religious point of view, we must conserve all life and protect Earth.

dondrup

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This merit making ceremony is very much welcome and it is long overdue as tens of thousands of elephants have been killed prior to this!  The Prime Minister’s announcement to shut down the country’s ivory market is lauded but the shutdown must be immediate as no timeline has been given. CITES must compel all its members to comply with the call to ban the ivory trade.  There shouldn’t be any more regulated ivory trade.  As long as there is demand for ivory, elephants would still be killed!  Thailand's Buddhist Leaders should advise the Buddhist community not to demand for images of the Buddha, amulets, and other objects of worship carved from ivory.

sonamdhargey

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Elephant poaching should stop. People should stop buying ivory. When the buying stops the hunting stops. Thailand a predominantly Buddhism country is the world largest unregulated ivory market. Thailand's government should end the ivory trade in their country immediately thus to end the suffering and killing inflicted on innocent elephants. Lets hope and pray that these merit making ceremony will bring awareness to the public to avoid aquriing ivory.

fruven

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Just like causing the suffering of domestic animals by creating the demand for meat we cause the death of elephants by creating the demand for ivory. I doubt that we create any merit from buying amulet with Buddha's image made from ivory. Instead heavy negative karma is created for the poachers and the buyers when elephants are killed. The elephants don't deserve to be shot in the name of using their tusks for spirituality.

rossoneri

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Any kind of poaching activities should stop immediately, it does not only apply on the killing of elephants, tigers, leopard and any kind of animal which is consider very valuable for us human. I know for the fact that we human being has been practicing this for thousands of years and the demand for these items are still high. Just feeling so sad that our thinking hasn't shift that much even now we can come out with advanced technology which can do wonders to improve our standard of living.

I guess in general human kind are becoming more selfish due to the evolution of living. We might be rich in material but we definitely not going anywhere in terms of spirituality. Everyone seems moving in one direction which is study hard, have fun, get marry, have kids, take care of family, grow old and end of your story. It seems that we all were program to operate in this way. My our own business and getting more selfish day by day to achieve whatever desire material we that wanted to fulfill our desire of selfishness.

Due to all this we became less caring even to our close friend and love ones and what make you think that we care about other species whereby we don't even care about our own kind. I might be wrong but i think our society are behaving in this manner.

We all should be more caring towards our surrounding and for others, we can change, take one step at a time.

pgdharma

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Elephants are revered as sacred in Thailand yet it is also the biggest unregulated market for ivory in the world. Illegal ivory carved into images of the Buddha, amulets, and other objects of worship are highly sought, sold, and bought by devout Thais and Buddhists around the world.

It is good news that the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received over 1.5 million petitions calling on Thailand to ban its ivory trade and has pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand at the opening ceremony of CITES, the international wildlife trade meeting.

WisdomBeing

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It does shock me that a Buddhist country like Thailand has so much elephant poaching. I believe that it is simply a lack of education that allows this dichotomy. Perhaps people do not link elephants with the ivory - and have a disconnect with the animal and the product. It's like people who do not link the feathered chicken running around and the food on their plate. There is an inherent disconnect which needs to be changed via education and a change of mindset. Only if there is a change of mindset will there be a change in the world - and the change of mindset has to be about realising the very real effects of our deluded behavior and wants, and stopping negative actions which create negative karma for ourselves.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being