( Log Out /  There are difficulties in attempting to reconcile ancient Theravada Buddhism with medical practices, bioethical matters, and social problems that have surfaced in modernity. However, the Commentary notes that gandhabba in this context means a being whose kamma enables it to take birth on that occasion, an interpretation supported by a discussion in MN 93” (ibid). Attitudes and laws in Thailand are generally more favourable towards abortion than in Sri Lanka. In the eye of Dhamma is the more than enough to declare “a living being” when a woman realized “I am pregnant! Theravada Buddhism. Southern Buddhism. First let us take a quote from the rule book called, The Buddhist Monastic Code I, which is an English authority on the Buddhist Monastic Rules. This paper examines the abortion issue from a Buddhist perspective. Obviously you are not a Theravada monk and I think your User Name is deceiving people. Notes. This prompts a number of questions: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Given the current US presidential debate environment (about sexism, abortion, etc. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. How the kamma works out is beyond my imagination. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } Traditional Buddhism rejects abortion because it involves the deliberate destroying of a life. If a monk directly says that abortion is OK or uses code words or even indirect speech with intention to say it is OK for a person to commit an abortion, and a person uses that speech as a reason to abort an unborn child, then it is a Pārājika offense; an offense of defeat and immediate expulsion. Interesting article. ... Browse other questions tagged theravada mahayana or ask your own question. Why do monks have one shoulder exposed sometimes and both shoulders covered other times. However, approaching abortion as … ‘If you look at the canonical texts and the views of the scholars the position is clear. Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying): “My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Laws and views on abortion vary greatly in Theravada Buddhist nations. ), here is my understanding of a Theravada Buddhist view of abortion, which does not seem to be represented by any candidate running for US president. Much of what has been written are liberal beliefs and overturning what is written down in the texts. Therefore, perhaps the only way in which a fetus might not possess a gandhabba, and be just a physical shell/husk, is if the fetus dies for some reason during the course of pregnancy (e.g., from a congenital defect), such that the gandhabba leaves that body naturally and seeks a different body. Change ). How is that? Along this line, Tworkov (1992) argues that the karmic skilfulness of an abortion is related to whether the person became pregnant and made her decision to abort without serious mindfulness. Buddhism The Buddha's Way and Abortion - Loss, Grief and Resolution A lecture by Yvonne Rand, a Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher in the San Francisco Bay area. In Buddhism, sentient life is a bundle of 5 aggregates. Contemporary problems Abortion is considered murder, and all the violence acts have a terrible karmic effect. 2) Intention: knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wanting to cause that person’s death. I feel there is no need to go too much into scholarly research when the life starts. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. From Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s introduction to that sutta: “Usually in the Canon, the term gandhabba means a being on the lowest level of the celestial devas — devas who are often represented as obsessed with lust. Access to Insight , June 7, 2009, by Nyanamoli Himi.- Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 2010, 794p. The same is also true with topics on euthanasia. ... And anyone who assists illegal abortion can face up to three years in prison. In brief, the Theravada Buddhist texts (and probably all other schools) believe that an unborn child after conception is a living human being. What do think Theravada Buddhists about contraception? A virtue-oriented Buddhist would argue that the attitude and motivations of the pregnant woman and her collaborators would determine the ethics of an abortion. ( Log Out /  This rule against intentionally causing the death of a human being is best understood in terms of five factors, all of which must be present for there to be the full offense. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. Theravada (pronounced — more or less — "terra-VAH-dah"), the "Doctrine of the Elders," is the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's teachings. *The Path of Purification: ©1975, 1991, 2010 (used without permission needed in exchange for this reference) Visuddhimaga/Buddhaghosa Himi; tr. Here is an account in an ancient text called The Path of Purification. I had that fear whether that bad karma of previous abortion will be affect to this time. As you can see, abortion is used as an example in this book and also the main source in Pāḷi. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Buddhism apparently has one of the strictest prohibitions on abortion, much as it has one of the most finely tuned ethical systems, particularly with regard to the taking of life. The Second Precept is to refrain from taking that which is not freely given. This opens up the door just about anything, even a nod of the head or a grunt, etc that may praise the benefits of killing, or death. Hanna, There is no comment from Shakyamuni Buddha about this directly save to say that the first rule per se is that all life is sacred and that the killing of a sentient being is discouraged. Homosexuality is not condemned individually, but disagreements differ, especially in various Buddhist cultures - eg, Buddhists in the United States generally agree, and some Asian Buddhists are strongly opposed to homosexuality. “Knowingly” also includes the factor of —. That is when we have there another living being. Beliefnet But there is more than just direct speech. E-mail Citation » Provides a good introduction to the orthodox Theravāda position on abortion in early Buddhism, as documented both in popular and canonical sources. Required fields are marked *. In this case, speaking up in praise of abortion for any case, even to save the life of a mother, is an offense as well. Its doctrines are taken from the Pali Tipitaka or Pali Canon and its basic teachings begin with the Four Noble Truths. The Vibhaṅga defines a human being as a person “from the time consciousness first becomes manifest in a mother’s womb, up to its death-time.” It follows from this that a bhikkhu who intentionally causes an abortion — by arranging for the operation, supplying the medicines, or giving advice that results in an abortion — incurs a pārājika. Your email address will not be published. The Theravada School of Buddhism, ... War, abortion, vivisection, euthanasia, capital punishment, hunting are all violent acts with fearsome karmic consequence. Conclusion As the fundamental teachings in Buddhism state, that to kill intentionally is wrong, on the whole both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists believe that it should be avoided whenever possible. 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