Author Topic: Animal Karma  (Read 1373 times)

Offline Nirvana

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Animal Karma
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:07:22 am »
I have a pet cat who is of very old age and has kidney and thyroid disease. In the last week he has been unable to walk and stand unaided and keeps falling over (but not due to these two illnesses), therefore he cannot be left even for a minute and requires around the clock care and attention.
The vet has advised that there is nothing else that can be done following blood tests, as even if they find the cause via scans/x-rays he is too weak to withstand an anesthetic if surgery is required and insists that I will eventually have to have him euthanized. Adding to this, he is unable to have pain relief at the required dose as it will interfere with his kidney medication and cause his kidneys to fail completely. The vet has allowed a very low pain relief dose which isn't really working for him but any stronger would be lethal for him. Naturally we are in a dilemma as our pet needs round the clock care, we work full time (but are currently on holiday from work to care for him, but this can’t go on forever), we don't wish to see him in constant pain/discomfort and he appears fed up with his situation as he is unable to do anything for himself, yet I do not want to resort to the vets advice.
As well as doing all I can physically and spiritually for him, I guess what I am asking is, is there a point where it would be more compassionate to follow the vets advice? What I'm struggling with is; I understand he is playing out his Karma but if we agreed to follow the vets advice out of compassion for his suffering and our intention is to help alleviate this for him, would this be interfering with his Karma in which case would he still have to play out this Karma again in another rebirth? Naturally, we do not want to be creating any karma for ourselves but if this is the only option and our intention and decision to eventually proceed alleviates his pain, suffering and karma (i.e. if he has played this karma out) then out of compassion this may be a decision I may be prepared to take. Could you please clarify?
My concern is that the vet may insist/enforce that this eventually happens to end his suffering. In this eventuality, where do I stand on this?

Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.



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Re: Animal Karma
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 06:22:27 am »
Only you can determine where you stand on the matter.

A vet cannot "enforce" euthanasia.  It's your decision.

I've been taught that an animal's karma can be improved by the practice of sentient beings.

As the moment of your pet's death draws near, make sure that there is a container of practice and compassion surrounding it.  Mediate in the presence of your pet.  Read sutras aloud.  I would also suggest reciting sadhanas such as Avalokiteshvara and Amitabha.  The mantra, OM AMI DEWA HRI, can be powerful at these times.

Dedicate the merit of this practice to your pet and all other sentient beings.

Most importantly, keep compassion first and foremost in your mind.

Offline forbes500

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Re: Animal Karma
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 08:40:07 am »
I have recently experienced a very similar situation with my long time canine companion 'Tex'. 
All life, whether it be a cat, a human, insect or even plant, is still in a spiritual sense part of a greater whole.  Therefore all life must follow the natural course of its existence in samsara and beyond.  This life force must follow the course of the great cycle and upon reaching the end of it's destined time in samsara the life must be freed from the samsara that it may continue it's natural course of existence.  Karma is not limited to samsara.  Please keep in mind that death in samsara is not an end, rather the natural continuation of the cycle.  One cannot reveal the next page in a book without concealing the previous page. 
When you do make your decision, you must remain mindful of one of our highest values, and that is the cessation (and prevention) of suffering.  Should you act with these things in mind, you need not concern yourself with karma in this matter. 
Since you have shared your love, kindness, and compassion with your companion for the duration of it's life in samsara as per its destiny the good karma is already there.  A few prayers or chants won't necessarily do any harm, but the Mantras & Sutras are by no means a substitute for a lifetime of genuine love, which I'm certain you provided. 
The Sutras Mantras and Sadhanas are certainly powerful but they are intended as a means to purify and strengthen or focus the love and karma which is already there.  One cannot neglect and abuse a life form for its lifetime then expect to chant a few Mantras on its death bed to make everything magically okay, doesn't work like that. 
I can tell from your post that such is not the case in this instance, and I'm sure you have been a great friend and companion to your cat.  I wish great blessings upon you and your companion, I'm certain your cat's life will shine brightly beyond the samsara.

- Shawn


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