Re: [SanghaOnline] Abortion
- Dear Venerable Milinda,
How about if abortion is not done, the mother risk death?
Who then is going to take care of the child?
----- Original Message -----
From: ZaoMilinda Bhikkhu
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2002 11:04 AM
Subject: Re: [SanghaOnline] Abortion
It is very difficult to sufficiently translate Pali language into English
such as Mana, Citta, Jivita and Vinnana. Mana and Citta mean mind.
Jivita is life but it is divided into two: Rupa Jivita, form life and Nama
Jivita mental life. Vinnana is consciousness. Buddhists consider germs and
insects have lives. But forests, trees, caves, mountains, water, rivers
and fire don't have lives. However they have only form lives due to
natural energy, like a lizard's tail which is broken , the tail jumps about
In Buddhism we have to understand about the birth whether there are
humans, Devas, spirits, ghosts germs, insects or animals. In Buddhist
texts there are four modes of birth:
Andaja-Egg born, e.g. birds and reptiles.
Jalabuja, Worm born, e.g. humans and animals.
Samsedaja, moisture born, e.g. bacteria and some insects.
Opapatika, spontaneous birth, e.g. gods, ghosts and spirits that beyond
the understanding of ordinary people. ( Majjhima Nikaya-Mulapannasa,
If doctors and mothers already know that the foetus is about one month old
and it will be born a baby, abortion should not be done. Buddhists don't
care about the ages of mothers whether they are old or young. If they perform
abortion both doctors and mothers break the First Precept. However if they
don't know that there is a foetus and the Doctors give some
medicines for preventing pregnancy or for treating the disease, they do
nothing wrong. Ther are different rules for killing animals, germs and insects
depending on the circumstances. If they will harm our lives, we have to protect
ourselves and it is not a major wrong doing. In Digha Nikaya discourse, it is described that the bad effect depends on different body-size of animals, like elephants and ants. If we kill an elephant, the results is worse. If the body-size is similar, it will depend on their individual status whether they are high or low, noble or ignoble. But we should not kill any animal. In the same way we should not kill human beings whether inside or outside the womb , high moral or low moral, noble or not noble since the Buddha has taught us compassion. For a good mother, there is no need to do abortion.
On Thu, 7 Feb 2002 21:06:02 -0800 (PST) Kevin Choong <kckksa@...>
> Dear Venerable Monks,
> I read that the germ is not considered a life as there
> isn't conciousness. What about a foetus about a month
> old? Can abortion be done if the mother is over 40
> years of age and the doctor said that there are likely
> chances of the baby born with defects or with down
> Also, I read somewhere that if the woman is very
> well-behaved all throughout, she tends to attract the
> birth of a good person, or even attract a deva
> undergoing the next rebirth. Can she still conceive
> even she has passed the age of 40, even though she's
> well aware of the consequences based on the doctor's
> Thank you.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Wynn,
If it is essential to protect mother's life, the abortion can be
justified. Perhaps in her past life she did something wrong and in this life she has to meet such a bad situation. If she doesn't perform good deeds to earn merit in this life, she will continue to face worse thing more and more in the future. That's to say we should do good things while being born as human beings.
To do good thing means to prevent something which will harm us.
On Sun, 10 Feb 2002 23:48:30 +0800 wynn <wewynal@...> writes:
> Dear Venerable Milinda,________________________________________________________________
> How about if abortion is not done, the mother risk death?
> Who then is going to take care of the child?
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- Venerable Sayadaws,
I have a question about anapana practice. I often read
in vipassana books that as that air comes in it
touches a spot near the nostrils, and when it goes out
it touches the same spot. So the instructions say we
must apply our attention on that same spot as we
breathe in and as we breath out. However, my experience
is that when I breathe in, I feel the air touch one
spot, and when I breathe out I feel it touch another
spot. So I must constantly reajust my attention to a
different place as I breathe in and out. Does that
disturb the process of attaining necessary
concentration (e.g. access concentration)? Is it
really necessary that only one spot be the object of
Homage to the Three Jewels,
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- Dear Benoit,
sorry for not having time to answer your question immediately.
Well, you have done good practice. To my points of view, when you take
breath in and out, it doesn't disturb the process of your concentration.
Usually you have two objects when you take mindfulness meditation such
as Rising and Falling or Breathing in and Breathing out. But you have to
be mindful the two moments when you inhale and exhale. If you also take
walking meditation, you will realize your foot slowly up and down which
are two points. Thus two ojects that you realize can still be called
concentration or mindfulness.
Our mind is like a young cattle wandering around. Mindfulness is like a
pole so our mind should be tightened with the pole.
If you realize the mind and matter, even though you live for a day, you
are more nobler than the one who lives a hundred years with knowing
On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 18:57:20 -0800 (PST) Benoit Santerre
> Venerable Sayadaws,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> I have a question about anapana practice. I often read
> in vipassana books that as that air comes in it
> touches a spot near the nostrils, and when it goes out
> it touches the same spot. So the instructions say we
> must apply our attention on that same spot as we
> breathe in and as we breath out. However, my experience
> is that when I breathe in, I feel the air touch one
> spot, and when I breathe out I feel it touch another
> spot. So I must constantly reajust my attention to a
> different place as I breathe in and out. Does that
> disturb the process of attaining necessary
> concentration (e.g. access concentration)? Is it
> really necessary that only one spot be the object of
> Thank you,
> Homage to the Three Jewels,
- Dear Benoit,
The text describes but one experience. For people who are not yet familiar with
a particular "spot" in their nostril while breathing in and out, it is alright,
too, just to be aware of the in and out breating, without localising the
The ability to localise a spot comes as a result of concentrated mind. There
are some who do not even feel their breath, for them counting the breath is
encouraged. This practice though seems just like focussing on breathing like any
other anapana practice, it in fact, helps the person to focus on the number
and later build up on that concentration.
For many reasons, in and out breathing may not be balanced in size, length
and force. But we do not need to worry about it. We only need to apply
mindfulness to the in and out generally. The rest will follow.
These are, after all, techniques, which are not an end in themselves. There is
a time when a meditator needs no technique. Before that, we have to follow a
certain technique but try not to be very rigid about it. It is there only to help, not an achievement itself.