Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Karma: Rebirth as an animal (video)

Your Daily Laugh; Chart expanded and explained by; Eds., Wisdom Quarterly

The 31 Planes of Existence
What karma (actions) does it take to be reborn as an animal, which is a very unfortunate rebirth, part of the "downfall" (apaya), from which there is no easy return to a fortunate rebirth. While it is near the human plane of existence and the realm of ghosts, animals are a very broad category.

The karma to be reborn a human being -- a rare and fortunate opportunity -- is due to having kept the Five Precepts, the basic morality of abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, deceiving, and intoxication.

Violating these basics gives rise to the possibility of falling into the animal world or any of the four lower planes.

Animal womb (tiracchana yoni loka)
I'm a lucky house cat, but I want to run free!
The animal plane (composed of countless species) includes all of the non-human forms of life that are visible to us under ordinary circumstances: mammals, fish, birds, insects, worms, and so on.

As we wander through samsara, rebirth on this plane (or any of the lower realms among the 31 Planes of Existence) is brought about by the Ten Unwholesome Courses of Action (MN 41). They are called "courses" because they lead to rebirth in unwelcome, unwished for, unwanted destinations.

Lack of virtue, holding wrong views, particularly pernicious ones like not believing that actions bear results, and actions based on ignorance (delusion) will lead to this plane of existence and worse. If one has been generous to monastics, however, one may be reborn as an "ornamented" animal (i.e., a bird with bright plumage, horse with attractive markings, etc. AN 10.177).

Behaving like an animal (MN 57), such as eating flesh or hunting, can also result in being reborn that kind of animal. It is far better to be a vegetarian/vegan. Chart

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