Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sympathy for the Devil: Great White (video)

Seth Auberon, CC Liu, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; NatGeo Wild; Mike Bartel
Great white shark spots white-and-red seal playing in surf, moves in for surprise attack (IF).
A juvenile great white monster beached itself while trying to kill seagulls off Chatham, MA. But the harbor master and compassionate beach goers tried to save this lucky shark (Mike Bartel).

Great white shark (3,175 kg) US/Cuban waters
Sympathy for the devil? Some feel sorry for Mara like they do for a killer, say a great white shark, who suddenly ends up on the wrong side of karma. Schadenfreude is not a better choice when equanimity will do.

The great white shark and the killer whale are the most formidable predators in the sea. These animals are so dangerous that they would never challenge each other -- or so was thought.

One morning, off the coast of California, a boatload of tourists witnessed the ultimate clash of the ocean titans: an unexpected kill challenges the great white shark's supremacy as the ultimate predator when it falls prey to a killer whale.

The Whale That Ate Jaws

"Killer" whales? Ha, stupid orcas, bring it!
"The Whale That Ate Jaws" examines this extraordinary incident. It features amazing underwater footage of two whales feeding on the shark, revealing an astonishing new perspective on the relationship between the ocean's two top predators.

Amazing footage of a killer whale or orca attacking and partially eating a great white shark was filmed by a whale-watching tourist. During a trip for tourists near the marine sanctuary of the Farallon Islands, the killer whale was spotted and filmed as it broke the surface with a great white shark gripped in its jaws.

This was not only the first filming of such an incident, but also the first time marine biologists had even heard of such an attack. This incident lead to further research on the subject, finally convincing marine biologists that the killer whale is the top predator in the ocean.
Devil's not so bad once you understand his problems. Just ask Steven Spielberg.
Killer whales are very sophisticated and effective predators.

Thirty-two cetacean species have been recorded as prey for killer whales, judging by examinations of their stomach contents, scarring on the prey's body, and feeding activity. Groups of killer whales also attack larger cetaceans such as minke whales, gray whales, and on rare occasions sperm whales and blue whales.
Hunting large whales usually takes several hours. Killer whales generally choose to attack young or weak animals instead. However, a group of five or more have been known to attack a healthy adult. When hunting young whale, a group chases it and its mother until they are worn out. Eventually, they separate, and the group surrounds the calf, preventing it from surfacing to breathe, and it drowns.

Pods of female sperm whales sometimes protect their young by forming a protective circle around calves with their flukes facing outwards, using them to repel the attackers. Rarely, large killer whale pods can overwhelm even adult female sperm whales.

Adult bull sperm whales, which are large, powerful, and aggressive when threatened, and fully grown adult blue whales, which are possibly too large to overwhelm, are not believed to be prey for killer whales.

Other marine mammal prey species include nearly 20 species of seal, sea lion, and fur seals. Walruses and sea otters are less frequently taken. Often, to avoid injury, killer whales disable a seal before killing and eating it. This may involve throwing it in the air, slapping it with the tail, ramming it, or breaching and landing on it. Sea lions are killed by head-butting or with a stunning blow from a tail fluke.

Around the Aleutian Islands, a decline in sea otter populations in the 1990s was controversially attributed by some scientists to killer whale predation, although with no direct evidence. The decline of sea otters followed a decline in harbor seal and Steller sea lion populations, the killer whale's preferred prey, which in turn may be substitutes for their original prey, now decimated by industrial whaling.

Those seals had it coming. Look at this one!
In steeply banked beaches off Península Valdés, Argentina, and the Crozet Islands, killer whales feed on South American sea lions and southern elephant seals in shallow water, even beaching temporarily to grab prey before wriggling back into the sea.

Beaching, usually fatal to cetaceans (whales), is not an instinctive behavior; it can require years of practice for the young. "Wave-hunting" killer whales spy-hop to locate Weddell seals, crab eater seals, and leopard seals resting on ice floes. They then swim in groups to create waves that wash over the floe. This washes the seal into the water, where other killer whales lie in wait.

Killer whales have also been observed preying on terrestrial mammals, such as deer and moose swimming between islands off the northwest coast of North America.

Killer whale cannibalism has also been reported based on analysis of stomach contents, but this is likely to be the result of scavenging remains dumped by whalers.
One killer whale was also attacked by its companions after being shot. Although resident killer whales have never been observed to eat other marine mammals, they occasionally harass and kill porpoises and seals for no apparent reason.

Life, what is life?
Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
The enlightened are free of all fear of death.
In Buddhism -- as in other Dharmic religions like Jainism, Hinduism, shamanic Bon, and Taoism -- saṃsāra is the endless cycle of birth, life, and death (rebirth) as individuals experience the result of their karma (actions) with redounding effects of the past, present, and future.

Literally, in Buddhist usage, it means "the continued wandering on" through lives oppressed and motivated by craving, aversion, and delusion.
Death rules over samsara (Wiki).
According to Buddhism, a living being (who is always dynamic and therefore better thought of not as a "being" but a "becoming") in this current life is only experiencing one of many (countless) lives that have been and are yet to be lived -- with all the attendant suffering if nothing is done to intervene in the process and gain freedom from it.

Rebirths stretch back long before the most recent birth into past lives on various planes of existence; they reach forward far beyond death into future births. During the long course of each life, the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny or "fate" of each stream of becoming (each individual).

The Buddha did not reveal any beginning to this cycle, but he did indicate that it can be ended through perceiving reality with insight. The goal of Buddhism and the Dharmic religions is to realize the liberating truth, the achievement of which (like ripening of a fruit) is moksha (liberation), which the Buddha defined as nirvana, the end of all further rebirth and ALL suffering. More

Poor Mara, the "Devil"
CC Liu, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
Lucifer/Satan is more like the titan (asura) chief Vepacitti fighting Sakka and the devas.
In some accounts of the Siddhartha's great enlightenment, it is said that the devil Māra did not send his three daughters to tempt him. Instead, they arrived willingly after Māra's failure to derail Siddhartha's quest for spiritual awakening.

Mara's "three daughters" are identified as Taṇhā (Craving), Arati (Aversion/Discontent), and Raga (Attachment/Desire/Greed/Passion) [Prof. Ananda W.P. Guruge, The Buddha's Encounters with Mara the Tempter: Their Representation in Literature and Art]. For example, in the Connected Discourses or Kindred Sayings (Samyutta Nikaya) section called the Māra Sayutta ("sutras related to Mara"), Mara's three daughters strip in front of the Buddha but fail to entice him:
They came to him glittering with beauty —
Tahā, Arati, and Rāga —
But the Teacher swept them away then and there
As the wind sweeps away a tuft of fallen cotton.
  • [Bhikkhu Bodhi (SN 4.25, v. 518) The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, 2000, p. 220. Boston: Wisdom Publications]
Some stories refer to five daughters, who represent the Three Poisons (Attraction, Aversion, and Delusion) and also Pride and Fear.

Mara in Buddhism is a killer, an obstructor of enlightenment who repeatedly tempts the Buddha -- trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful females who, in various legends, are called his daughters. In Buddhist cosmology, Mara is the personification of unwholesome impulses, unskillfulness, "Death" (, and frustration/dissatisfaction with the spiritual life.
Who cares about karma, ethics, precepts?
He is called "the Tempter" distracting humans from practicing the spiritual life by making mundane things alluring and negative things seem positive. Metaphorically, "Mara" refers to the defilements, contaminations, and bonds.

Evil Mara/Cupid is SO cute!!!
Many are sympathetic to his situation -- a "Cupid" like god in the highest sensual heaven, who considers himself the king or ruler of the entire Sensual Sphere (Kama Loka) beneath him.

He does not want anyone escaping to higher worlds in the Fine-Material and Immaterial Spheres (Rupa and Arupa Lokas). What really scares him -- and why he so attacked Siddhartha to prevent his enlightenment and hounded him as the Buddha to stop his Teaching (the Dharma) from spreading -- is that anyone escape rebirth.

For so long as we are in the Round of Rebirth (Samsara), we will again fall into the lowest, the Sensual Sphere, and remain stuck. Unlike the Devil in other traditions, Mara does not want people to go to hell. He is satisfied with them being reborn again and again in miserable worlds of allure, like the human world and the lower sensual heavens. More

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