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Buddhism in the News


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Elephant and the Dog.

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I think that these two animals are well on their way to being reborn in the human realm where they can have the best chance at liberation from samsara. There are many humans who don't have the level of compassion, love and commitment as these two realize.

I find it especially endearing that this happened in an animal shelter between two animals who were otherwise rejected by the human realm. It could be that the elephant came from a circus who no longer saw her as "profitable." It is sad when humans see animals as nothing more than to be here for our benefit.

This is evident in all the pets that are abandoned each year in animal shelters because people bought the animals thinking that they'd be the perfect accessory. Instead they realized that they were no different than little children and required a lot of attention, care and responsibility so they abandoned them, which to me says more about the humans than the animals.

Once I learned in Buddhism that we are inter-related with not just humans but animals I saw these creatures completely differently. It then became impossible to me to continue eating meat when I learned that a chicken meant for slaughter could have been my mother in a past life.

Animals have so much to offer and I've found that they really do have little personalities, which fits the Buddhist teaching that we all have our own karma. In having different karma that means that we each have our own personalities, tendencies, quirks, weaknesses, etc. and animals are no different. There are dogs for example who are very smart like my sister's dog whom I swear can understand English and other dogs who aren't so smart. Thus, perhaps the smarter dog is further along the path toward a human birth due to a different karma.

Then there are dogs and other animals who are aware/mindful enough to get help for their human friends who have an accident or get sick. That requires a certain degree of compassion, which is a thought/action that leads to a change in karma, which (in my view) increases in these animals a greater potential for a human rebirth. May all beings achieve liberation from samsara.

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donna said...

Very cool -- passed along to dog and elephant loving friends...

Stacy said...

This video is so touching. Animals can be truly amazing beings.

One morning my friend was laying in bed when her dog came running into her room, jumped on the bed, and barked repeatedly in her face. She was so startled that she got up and ran out to the kitchen to find her husband having a heart attack.

If the dog hadn't warned her, she would have gone out to the kitchen to find her husband dead - but thankfully the dog sensed that something was wrong and acted quickly to save a life.

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing this video on your blog. I added it to mine as well. :)

Barry said...

My wife showed me this the other night. Animals just do their job - how wonderful! Only we humans get confused about our job as a living being.

anonymous said...

It is not that some animals are smart, just that most human beings are pretty dumb when it comes to understanding their own nature and the nature of other beings.

Domesticated animals learn from their owners and become like their owners (just like children). My teacher says that when he collected food in the village next to his Wat he could tell who the dogs belonged to because they all acted like their owners, and even walked like them in some instances.

Animals understand feelings and develop attachment to each other, even across species. You can talk to animals in any language you like because they understand the feelings behinds the words.

While some animals can obviously remember the sounds of a few words, feelings are key.

The dumb guy in the wheelchair once said that when human beings developed language they learned how to communicate. The truth being that when humans developed language they learned how to tell lies and forgot how to communicate.

Original communication was mind to mind, just as some monks are able to get back to original communication and be aware of the minds of others.

They call him James Ure said...


I'm sure that they'll love it.


Wow. What a story and what a wonderful dog!!! I hear these stories a lot, which tells me that dogs are paying attention and have more feelings than some might think.


Yw and thanks for spreading it. We all need some cheer in our lives.


I like this part of your comment:

Animals just do their job - how wonderful! Only we humans get confused about our job as a living being.

So true.


Yeah I think animals definitely have more feelings than many people think. I know that they feel love, feel fear and feel sadness. Animals are so wonderful.

Alice said...

That was very touching. Thank you!

zappe said...

What a lovely video... want to learn how to be true friend looking at these to best friends.
Thanks for this Video.
Dog Stairs

St.John said...

There was a similar video to this circulating the internet about a snake and a hamster that became friends. Did you see that?

They call him James Ure said...

I haven't seen that St. John.

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