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Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by GurjitJ, May 17, 2011.
If our house has bugs in it, are we allowed to kill them or put them outside or just leave them be?
GurjitJ ji the creator's job is to create you and the bug. Post creation, creator expects all to flow in consonance per rules programmed in. A bug out of place is a bug indeed. Go ahead and fight as fighting is allowed in creation. I think you will win if you stomp on it or squash it. If it gives you happiness to let it fly or crawl out of the door so be it. Both actions inconsequential in terms of creator's expectations of you..
Sat Sri Akal.
It depends if the bugs are dangerous, if they are swarming, if the are eating the wooden frame of your house, or if you can easily scoop it up and let it go.
I will ignore some little bugs in my home. I attacked the swarm coming through a hole in my ceiling with half a can of bug spray (and paid for it by coughing up my lungs shortly after) and patched up the hole. I will squash a poisonous spider in an instant, but I'll catch a big hairy harmless one and let it go outside. I squashed a spider on a table in a meeting yesterday and my colleagues gasped and said "but you're a vegetarian!" They had no trouble with me using a mouse trap on the mouse in the kitchen however (I've since been traumatised by the poor mouse in the mouse trap so I've purchased humane "catch and release" ones instead).
Oh and a massive grasshopper came into the first floor of my office building the last week -- a Christian colleage said "kill it! anything less than a human is fit to be killed" which upset me. But not to worry, I caught it under a plastic bowl and let it go outside.
It's probably busy eating through some crops with its cousins now... *snicker *
Ishna ji good examples just couple of comments,
Sat Sri Akal.peacesign
Be happy while the bugs are still there and you will be happy when they leave.
spnadmin note: This is an honest predicament for many people. I know people whose homes are invaded annually by lady bugs (little round red beetles with black spots). Their infestation can be so bad that entire walls of rooms are covered. Yet people hesitate to harm them and just wait for them to leave. They are part of the folk culture and are difficult to dislike. Their infestation is almost a moral dilemma.
Up to a point the teasing on the thread works. However, the question was serious. Do we want to discourage a new member by teetering on the brink of making fun?
BTW I really liked Ishna's description of how she handles this predicament.
Ladybugs are an exception to squishing for me for sure.
Sat Sri Akal.
Iâ€™m using your post only to express my own thoughts on this issue. Hope you donâ€™t mind.
And what about to the bugs, are we not dangerous given especially that we have the means to easily kill them and so much ignorance and attachment to drive us? But of course there are times when kindness and compassion arises and as in your example, we can scoop them up and let them go.
As far as Iâ€™m concerned, what you think you received is not the result of the particular immoral action. That will come in good time and can be either in the form of unpleasant experiences through the senses or rebirth in a lower realm of existence. The law that dictates this is however not for us to speculate about in terms of what, when and how.
I will likely kill when faced with a poisonous spider, but I would also accept that I will experience the results of the action some time down the road. More importantly though, I also know that in doing this, I am adding to the accumulated tendency to the same, such that one day I will kill even if the spider wasnâ€™t a poisonous one. And if I have moral restraint as in sweeping it out of the room or catching it in a jar, I know that this will result in some pleasant experience and add to the accumulated tendency to the same.
Once we caught a small rat using one of those glue traps, I felt nothing, but like you, my wife was affected and didnâ€™t want me to do the same again. I tried other ways and it hasnâ€™t worked, and now I have a big problem with rats of all sizes in the false ceiling both downstairs and up. On top of this, the false ceiling of the â€˜prayer roomâ€™ has also become home to a great many pigeons and these make a lot of noise.
I have very little compassion for any of these creatures, and I do not kill them mostly because I think about what will happen to dear â€˜meâ€™. This shows the strength of attachment to self, which I must accept. Sometimes Iâ€™m motivated by kindness which prevents me from hiring some pest controller to get rid of these creatures and I can only hope to be able to bear with the situation long enough.
Imagine you were motivated by the kind of belief / understanding your Christian colleague had. This is actually an example of why â€œwrong understandingâ€ is considered the worst of evils.
Iâ€™m happy for you more than the grasshopper. It wasnâ€™t involved in any moral good, but you were. ;-)
We all kill bugs all the time...who permanently looks down at their feet when walking?
What about bacteria?
Personally I have a low tolerance for bugs ... if I can pick up a spider and chuck it out the window, I will. If however it's a really annoying bluebottle buzzing around then I will take a swipe at it
Yes it could be argued there may be Karmic consequences...but in the grand scheme of things...what are the more significant things you do in your life that also have Karmic consequences?
I think a sense of proportion is very important here
Back to spiders...I remember once I did my good deed and caught a spider and put it out the window...I watched it crawl away to freedom...only to be slaughtered seconds later by an even bigger spider...........
The wonders of nature!
I usually take a tissue, pick up the bug without trying to hurt it and put it outside. Its not too much of an inconvenience. Plus, maybe the spiders just making its journey thru the 84 lakh, God knows? If you kill it you'll have to clean it up and throw it away anyway, right? Plus you'll have marks all over the place.
But it seems like you took time out of your day and asked the question because something presented itself as off putting about killing bugs. If it makes you feel bad after killing bugs, dont kill them. Release them.
For 50 years my best friend was a Jain who cried when I swatted a mosquito. I tried not to do such things in front of her, but the darned thing wanted my blood! Literally.
She did make me very aware, however, that bugs are living beings and I shouldn't kill them without a good reason.
Non poisonous spiders are welcome in our home. They kill noxious insects - especially mosquitoes. Some people are aghast that we leave spider webs in corners in our house, but no one complains about the absence of bugs and mosquitoes.
I have never been faced with the necessity of killing mammal or bird. There is some mercy in this world. Come to think of it, I did once kill a mammal without hesitation or guilt. The fool had just murdered my son. We do the needful.
I would say that wanton killing of anything - including plants - is wrong, but for reasons of hygiene or safety, that is a form of self-defence and there's nothing wrong with it - unless it bothers your individual conscience. I am a vegetarian, but I would not hesitate - I hope - to kill and eat an animal if there were no other food available. Sweet deer, if one of us has to go, it's you.
As for my Jain friend, Lilly, she died of bacterial pneumonia because she refused antibiotics. Not really, but it would make a great ending, wouldn't it? She did once get pneumonia and nearly died because she refused antibiotics, though. In actual fact, she died a couple years ago of cancer. I miss her kind, gentle ways. I learned a lot from her.
And that would be what the Jains do, isnâ€™t it? This is because they misunderstanding what â€˜killingâ€™ really is. There must be these five conditions for an act to be considered killing, these are:
1. The object must be a living being.
2. Knowing that it is a living being.
3. The intention to kill.
4. An effort is made to kill.
5. The being must be killed as a result.
It is good that they have some sense about the wrongness of causing death to another being. However it appears that not only do they not know that â€˜intentionâ€™ is the main factor, but also the idea of â€˜harmlessnessâ€™ has been proliferated upon to the point of leading them to engage in the perverted practice that they do.
When you walk, you walk with an intention to get somewhere. If you know that you pass an area where there are so many insects that once you put your feet down, the probability is very high that some of them will be killed, then take another road. However, to think that this is going to be the case no matter where you go, this is your own misunderstanding and fear. Besides, most insects have adapted to their locality, such that most of them will not even get crushed when we step on them.
Besides when you do walk in an area where insects may be crossing your path, chances are that you will notice them and thereby avoid stepping on them.
Like plant and plant cells, they have no consciousness, and therefore they are not living (sentient) beings.
Are you thinking in terms of balancing the scales or something? If killing, lying, stealing, back biting, illicit sex, gossip, maliciousness, ill-will and so on are evil courses of conduct, why not face the fact? Citing â€˜the grand scheme of thingsâ€™ sounds almost like an excuse to avoid giving these their due consideration. And if you must point to the fact that some things canâ€™t be avoided, why not refer to karma; after all if a being is hurt or dies, karma is the cause for this?
Indeed directly related to such an understanding about karma is kindness and compassion.
Kindness is what all beings deserve; since we desire it as well. When they are suffering, we can have compassion towards them. But this is possible only if they are the object of our kindness as well, otherwise we only have pity, which in reality is a form of aversion. When nothing can be done to help them, understanding can lead us to reflect on the fact that all beings are heirs to their karma. Such understanding leads to detachment, but not without kindness, since even here it is an essential component. So we can see that there is a relationship between the different kinds of good and why each one of them should be encouraged.
On the other hand what is this appeal to the â€˜the grand scheme of thingsâ€™? I remember that when I was young, I too used to think in such terms, but in looking back this is what I now perceive:
There was no kindness involved, not to speak of compassion and understanding.
There was a sense of playing the role of a judge and this must have made me feel quite good.
There was no detachment, but cold indifference.
And what really was this whole idea about anyway? What all was taken into consideration before I arrived at the conclusion? Did I even perceive living beings as living beings or were they just one of the many objects with a label attached? Did I think that like me, all beings crave happiness and desire continued existence? And if my own life or that of some loved one was threatened, would I have referred to this idea about â€˜the grand scheme of thingsâ€™? Did I think in terms of what is morally right and wrong? Did I have a clue about the Truth at all?
Today I use such a concept to explain away the fact that Iâ€™ve just killed some insect. Tomorrow I may use it as an excuse to kill, and not only insects, but also other animals and human beings as well. This latter may come under the guise of such ideas as â€˜the will of Allahâ€™ or â€˜social justiceâ€™. So we need to be very careful not to overlook even a small evil, and using some theory to explain away a wrong deed done.
Sounds like a dangerous idea to meâ€¦..
You did good (your part, if you like). It is easy for evil deeds to happen, given the accumulated tendency. Good requires effort and sometimes more than what we otherwise are willing to make.
Dear Confused Ji
Thanks for your reply
Re your first point about intent, yes I agree. If killing is technically the wrong word, my point was that we, regardless of direct intent or otherwise, are the cause of death of other forms of life on this planet
Re balance and grand scheme of things, I stand by my point. I appreciate what you are saying as well though about kindness and compassion. For my part, there are a number of things going on in my life and numerous interactions with other people. I place greater emphasis on those interactions
Perhaps it is easier for me to do so because those are with people and not bugs
But, kindness is kindness, compassion is compassion, why pick and choose?
Perhaps this is a weakness on my part in terms of how I relate to the world
You may choose to disagree but that's fine...we're allowed to do that here!
What about "Software" bugs ?? Can we kill those and still remain vegetarian ?? Microsoft Windows has the most annoying bugs..trojan horses..and viruses...what to do when they strike ?? Anyway our "inside" is a Virtual Factory of bacteria viruses whatever...an entire ECOSYSTEM in our GUT. The Buffalo is an even bigger warehouse/Factory...it has no digestive juices etc...all its food is digested via bacteria in its seven stomachs...a walking Eco system that produces MILK enabling many among us to be vegetarians...
Actually MAN has become very greedy...a farmer plants just 7 KG seed and REAPS back 250 quintals ( 250 bags of 100 KG each)....and acheves that by KILLING all bugs and depriving them of their SHARE...birds of their share......????welcomekaur
I'm not sure about the statement that plants and bacteria don't count because they're not sentient. Who says they're not sentient? I see the willful destruction of plants for no good reason almost as bad as the willful destruction of bugs for no good reason (please hop over the ants in your path, after all, they clean up a lot of our rubbish!). I dislike receiving flowers as gifts -- I would rather the plant that put in the effort to generate the flower to begin with gets to keep it. It is selfish to want to take it away for oneself, I think.
We kill microbes and bacteria with every breath. That is part of life -- can't help that. That is hukam.
My mouse trap story is horrible... happened a couple of weeks ago and I cried like a baby when I got home to my husband. When everyone else in the office was squealing like girls and complaining they saw a mouse, I was the only one to step up and set the trap. What I expected was for poor little mouse to eat the peanut butter and BAM, dead mouse. Instead, the mouse was HUGE and merely got it's head trapped in the trap... when I saw it I took it outside quickly and tried to let it go but it was badly injured and just flopped around on the ground. I wished so badly for an axe or something to kill it with. Like I said to the receptionist when I walked back in, "I only wanted to kill it quickly, not torture it to death." I still feel aweful about that. I think torturing something to death is worth more karma demerits than killing something in one swift blow.
I've killed lots of feral fish that way... near where I live we have a major river... it's infested with a foreign fish called carp. Our state law says if you catch one you have to destroy it -- you can't put it back in the water. And many years ago, in my Pagan days, I went camping with my buddies by the river and the aim of the game was to catch as many carp as you can. I was really good at lining them up on the dirt and chopping their heads off with one blow of the tomahawk. But what else can you do? Leave a pest fish to destroy an entire ecosystem? Are you not getting more karma demerits by allowing greater destruction?
Also, do you GET karma points for killing something in pain? I took one of my pet rats to the vet last year because she had a giant tumour on her leg and it burst and started to bleed non-stop. If someone ELSE had trapped the mouse at work, and I was able to kill it in it's injured state, would that be good karma points to the Ishna-saurus?
But that's on a bit bigger scale than bugs. I like Confused summary about intention to kill. I'll be quiet now.
when you split hairs..what do you get...split ends !! Gurmatt has no time for hair splitting..folks..get on with it...I mean Naam japping..KIRT Karring..and Waand Chhakking....most of us Today..DONT WAAND CHHAK..we CHHAK then "Wand" meaning we OVER STUFF our already overstuffed bulging bellies....and throw out surplus "food" into garbage bins /or beggars bowls..BAD Karma !!
HE CREATES..HE DESTROYS....we neither create ( although we do imagine we do after a night out and waiting period of 9 months !!)..and nor do we destroy (although we do feel that way when we attend a funeral )..its in HIS HUKM.period.
Beneficent bugs, like spiders and beetles, I cover in a little cup and place outside. Flies, I make the room dark and leave open a door to the light outside. If I feel compelled to kill a bug, like a black widow, I chant the mantra "Akal" a few times, which liberates its soul to a higher incarnation. I do not chant Akal for cockroaches, since learning they were once false spiritual teachers and thus earned being a cockroach.
So when there is a nuclear holocaust, the only living critters on earth will be false spiritual teachers, teehee.
Adi Nanaki ji
Would you let me know how you learned that cockroaches were failed spiritual teachers in another life. I have read this but can't recollect where. You could either post here or send me a private message if you prefer. Thanks.