Perfect Form of Killing

Killing is not just a single action, but in Buddhism we talk about four elements that combine into a perfect form of killing. They are the knowing that the being to be killed is not us, the intention to kill it, the action by using a weapon or a means, and delight when seeing it being killed. For example, we see an ant walk by. We are afraid it will bite us. We know that it has life. We want to kill it to protect ourself or for any reasons. So we squash it with our hand, and we are happy to see it dead. Although the ant is a tiny being, this action contains all four elements. The act is considered an unwholesome karma that will cause negative effect, whatever it will be, either in this life or in the next lives. Anyway, Kunga Sangbo Rinpoche emphasizes that types of being are also essential. If it’s realized beings like Buddha, arhant, the negative karma is really strong. If it’s an insect, the power of negative karma is lessened. But it’s still considered an unwholesome action, particularly when it contains all these four elements.

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