How to Deal with Dangerous and Annoying Animals: A Vinaya Perspective
If a bhikṣu deliberately breaks off the life of an animal, he commits a pācittika [an offense that needs to be expiated].8若比丘故殺畜生命者，波逸提。(Dharmaguptaka vinaya, pāc. 61, T no. 1428, 22: 16.677a24–25)
3. Releasing Animals
4. Protecting Oneself against Dangerous or Annoying Animals
4.1. Dangerous Animals
4.2. Annoying Animals
4.2.2. Mosquitoes and Other Insects
One should not give the full ordination to someone who is not yet twenty years old. Why is this? When one is not yet twenty years old, one cannot endure cold and heat, hunger and thirst, violent winds, mosquitoes [wen 蚊] and flies [meng 虻], venomous insects [du chong 毒虫], and abusive language [e yan 惡言].51 When the body is undergoing all kinds of suffering, one cannot endure it. One cannot observe the rules, and live with one meal. Ānanda, you should know. When one is twenty years old, one can endure all such things.不應授年未滿二十者大戒。何以故？若年未滿二十者，不堪忍寒熱、飢渴、暴風、蚊虻、毒虫，及不忍惡言。若身有種種苦痛不能堪忍，又復不堪持戒、不堪一食。阿難當知，年滿二十者，堪忍如上眾事。(Dharmaguptaka vinaya, (T no. 1428, 22: 17.679c18–23; similarly 34.808b25–c2)
Conflicts of Interest
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Apart from these six vinayas, the chapter for nuns (bhikṣuṇīvibhaṅga) of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins is extant in a transitional language between Prākrit and Sanskrit (Roth 1970, pp. lv–lvi). It has never been translated into Chinese.
The first written version of this vinaya is said to go back to the first century BC in Sri Lanka (cf. Kieffer-Pülz 2000, p. 286). A Theravāda vinaya, also written in Pāli, was translated into Chinese at the end of the fifth century, but the translation was never presented to the emperor and was subsequently lost (see Heirman 2004, pp. 377–78; 2007, pp. 190–92).
The Chinese titles of the vinaya texts show considerable variety in the way they are composed. Some traditions have specific Chinese titles, as in Shisong lü 十誦律, Ten-Recitation Vinaya (vinaya of the Sarvāstivāda school) and Sifen lü 四分律, Four-Part Vinaya (vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka School). By contrast, the title Mohesengqi lü 摩訶僧祇律 is based on a transliteration of the name Mahāsāṃghika followed by lü 律 (vinaya). Mishasai bu hexi wufen lü 彌沙塞部和醯五分律 (the vinaya of the Mahīśāsaka school) is composed of Mishasai (in all probability a transliteration of Mahīśāsaka), bu (school), hexi (exact meaning unclear), wufen (in five parts—a Chinese reference to the vinaya of the Mahīśāsakas), and lü. Finally, Genbenshuoyiqieyou bu pinaiye 根本說一切有部毘奈耶 is a literal translation of the title Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya. For the sake of clarity and consistency, I have followed the convention of referring to each vinaya by the name of its tradition. For further details, see (Yuyama 1979; Clarke 2015).
A Tibetan translation of the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya, as well as many sections written in Sanskrit are also extant. For details, see (Yuyama 1979, pp. 12–33; Clarke 2015, pp. 73–81).
See, among others, (Heirman 2007, pp. 192–95).
See also, among others, (Schopen 2004, pp. 1–3).
In non-Pāli traditions, a bhikṣu or bhikṣuṇī may be permitted to retain a minor position within the saṃgha (monastic community) after committing a pārājika offense; see (Clarke 2000, 2009a). On remaining a monk, albeit in another monastery, see (Clarke 2009b). For a recent critical response to Clarke’s hypothesis, see (Anālayo 2017). On atonement for pārājika offenses in China, see (Greene 2017).
A pācittika (or variants) is an offense that needs to be expiated through confession; it can be followed by some institutional measures taken against the offender (cf. Heirman 2002, pp. 141–47). Killing an animal is a pācittika offense in all five of the other vinayas, too: Pāli vinaya, Vin IV, pp. 124–25; Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 8.58a15–b9; Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 19.377a26–378a26; Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 16.110b28–111a26; Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1442, 23: 40.847c18–848a16. Reiko Ohnuma (2017, pp. 15–16), in her work on the perception of animals in Buddhism, suggests that there is a clear distinction between human beings and animals in Buddhist ethics, because killing the latter is a lesser offense than killing the former. To my mind, this conclusion is indeed applicable to vinaya texts. On the superiority of human existence in comparison to that of animals, see also (Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi 2009, pp. 84–104).
On the role of intention and the degree of unwholesomeness in actions, see, in particular, (Harvey 2000, pp. 52–58). Harvey explains that “a bad action becomes more unwholesome as the force of volition behind it increases, for this leaves a greater karmic ‘trace’ on the mind” (p. 52). In that sense, as Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi (2009, pp. 55–56) point out, killing a large animal is worse than killing a small one, because the effort involved is more substantial. However, this distinction is not made in the vinaya passages on dangerous and annoying animals, so I shall not discuss it further here. For an interesting take on deliberate slaughter in a Tibetan context, see (Childs 2005, pp. 1–3).
By contrast, Jains are said to consider even the unintentional killing of “one-sense” living beings (ekindriya jīva; on this term and violent actions against them, see Maes 2010, pp. 86–90) as equally harmful to the faith of the perpetrator. However, Granoff (1992, pp. 32–37) and Balbir (2000, pp. 26–29) both argue that the distinction between “intentional” and allegedly “unintentional” violence is invalid in a Jain context. Instead, the focus should be on ignorance, carelessness (which automatically involves intention and is as strongly reviled as the harmful act itself), and violence arising from passion (even if the act itself has not been committed).
On this distinction, see, in particular, Ohnuma (2017, pp. 5–23).
Lit. “a bad deed”—a minor offense (cf. Heirman 2002, pp. 148-49). Rules, such as these, do not incur severe institutional measures. They rather function as a warning.
A failure to commit a pārājika offense is commonly classified as a sthūlātyaya offense. The latter is still a grave offense, but less serious than a pārājika. Under certain mitigating circumstances, both a pārājika offense and a pācittika offense may be reduced to a duṣkṛta (see Heirman 2002, pp. 156–60). Since the intention here was probably to kill the snake, we may surmise that the vinaya compiler started to count down from a pācittika offense. See also the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1442, 23: 8.668b18–c12, which explains that accidentally killing a person while trying to kill a mosquito does not constitute a pārājika offense.
See, for instance: (Kieschnick 2005; Heirman and De Rauw 2006; Greene 2016; Barstow 2018). In addition to meat-eating, the use of silk is a matter of debate, because it entails the killing of silkworms. See, in particular, (Young 2017).
Pāli vinaya, Vin I, p. 97 (monk); Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 17.120a28 (monk) and 29.188b22 (nun); Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 28.758a13–14 (nun), 35.815c3–4 (monk), 48.924b16–17 (probationer; śikṣamāṇā), and 48.925b27 (nun); Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 21.157a22 (monk), 45.326a21–22 (probationer), and 46.334a10–11 (nun). On the killing of ants, see also Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi (2009, pp. 51–54). On the terminology and perceived behavior of ants in Indic (and particularly) Jain texts, see (Balbir 2003).
There are parallel pācittika rules in the other vinayas: Pāli vinaya, Vin IV, pp. 48–49; Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 6.44c24–45a14 (which adds that water with insects is also used for washing and in food preparation); Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 15.344c27–345a28 (which mentions other uses of water, such as washing); Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 11.79c3–29 (which states that monks who commit this offense do not have a compassionate heart (lian min xin 憐愍心) and thus clearly connects carefulness with compassion for all living beings); and Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1442, 23: 30.789b8–c5. Only the Pāli vinaya (Vin II, pp. 118–19) does not suggest straining the water to counter the problem, although it does advise the use of water strainers in another context.
There are parallel pācittika rules in the other vinayas: Pāli vinaya, Vin IV, p. 125 (on the interpretation of the rule, see also (Horner 1938–1966, vol. III, p. 3)); Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 14.97b6–29 (as above, this vinaya states that monks who commit this offense do not have a compassionate heart (lian min xin 憐愍心)); Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1442, 23: 37.828b15–c10; and Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 18.372c18–373b24 (which warns monks not to drink at a donor’s residence if they suspect that the water has not been strained; if necessary, they may strain the water themselves). Interestingly, the Mahāsāṃghika vinaya (18.373b13–15) also mentions that a monk should think, “Enter the big sea”—that is, spur insects on to freedom—if the creatures have been washed away by excessive rainfall. All of the vinayas discuss other uses of water, such as washing; and all aside from the Pāli vinaya advise straining the water to counter the problem (see note 16).
For a brief description, see (Horner 1938–1966, vol. V, pp. 162–63).
The vinaya adds that a large cauldron may be used to filter a large volume of water (T no. 1451, 24: 19.293c27–294a4).
In Nanhai jigui neifa zhuan 南 海 寄 歸 內 法 傳, Account of Buddhism Sent from the South Seas (T no. 2125, 54: 1.208a12–b29), Yijing mentions that he witnessed Buddhist monks taking great care not to injure small insects when drinking water and describes the use of a strainer in detail. Interestingly, he also mentions that in China, in order to make such a strainer, fine silk may be used, a product that in fact involves the killing of many silkworms. For a translation, see Li (2000, pp. 29–32).
Stuart Young (2017) highlights this double argument—monastics should aim to adhere to the highest moral standards not only for personal reasons, but also because doing so helps them to achieve high social status and therefore spread the Buddha’s teaching—in his discussion on the use of silk in medieval Chinese monasticism.
Here, Yijing cites an “ancient text” (gu jing 故經). The Chinese master Daoshi 道世 (?–683) articulates a similar argument in his discussion of the killing of living beings in Fayuan zhulin 法苑珠林, Forest of Gems in the Garden of Law (T no. 2122, 53: 69.815b21–c2), where he cites the Dichi lun 地持論, a standard translation of the Bodhisattvabhūmi, which details the various stages that must be completed before enlightenment. I was unable to find the exact quotation in the extant Chinese versions of this text, although it is replete with discussions of karmic effects. For more information on this topic, see Pu (2014, pp. 12–14).
Yijing routinely complains that Chinese teachers and disciples are far from assiduous in following the vinaya rules (T no. 2125, 54: 3.219b15–17). He therefore pleads for strict adherence, although he accepts that some deviations may be permitted in extreme circumstances (see Heirman 2008, pp. 266–71).
On the awful karmic consequences of meat consumption, see, among others, Kieschnick (2005, pp. 193–208), and Heirman and De Rauw (2006, pp. 62–71). On the doctrine of rebirth and its relation to attitudes toward animals, see, in particular, Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi (2009, pp. 78–84). However, the vinaya texts rarely attribute a specific karmic effect to any action.
As Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi (2009, p. 54) point out, the (Mūla)sarvāstivāda school categorizes killing dangerous and annoying animals as “killing out of confusion (moha)” (see also Dessein 1999, Part I, p. 194).
On the historical background of animal release, see, among others, Pu (2014, pp. 101–32).
One may wonder why the monk decides to have sex. Why does he commit a second serious offense? The vinaya offers no answer. Maybe it shows the hopelessness of the situation as perceived by the monk. Since he obviously will be reduced to lay life he can as well go against the other (pārājika) rules that lead to exclusion from the monastic status. The other three rules (apart from stealing) concern sexual intercourse with a woman, killing a human being, and (as a monk) wrongly boasting about supernatural forces one claims to have. The latter two rules are not feasible, since killing is never allowed, and since he can no longer boast as a monk. So, the only option that also clearly identifies him as a lay person, is intercourse.
Similarly, the Pāli vinaya (Vin I, p. 52), which does not provide more details in the pārājika section. See below for the other vinayas.
In this context, it is interesting to note that the Dharmaguptaka vinaya advocates the release of animals kept by monastics, but not on the basis of kindness. Rather, the reasons given are much more pragmatic. For instance, when some monks kept parrots (see, in particular, Ohnuma 2017, pp. 31–33; Chen 2018), the birds made a lot of noise and disturbed the meditation sessions, so the Buddha states that such birds should not be kept in captivity (T no. 1428, 22: 53.961a15–18). Similarly, dogs should not be kept in the monastery, because their barking may be distracting (T no. 1428, 22: 53.961a19–20). Finally, bears should not be kept as pets, because they might destroy the other monks’ possessions or even attack them (T no. 1428, 22: 53.961a21–23).
Here, fang bian 方便 (lit. “just like that”) presumably refers to the fact that the monk acted on impulse to save the deer, but had no intention of keeping it for himself. Shortly afterwards, the Mahīśāsaka vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 28.183a18–19) presents a third, slightly different scenario. A monk sees someone else’s cow and deliberately takes it; however, he then feels ashamed and releases it. On this occasion, the Buddha’s ruling is that the monk has committed a sthūlātyaya offense, which is more serious than a duṣkṛta but less grave than a pārājika or a saṃghāvaśeṣa, presumably because he intended to steal the cow but then made partial amends by releasing it (see Heirman 2002, pp. 157–60).
The Pāli vinaya (Vin III, pp. 61–62), which discusses releasing a pig or a deer from a trap, or a fish from a weir, is more indulgent: As long as the monk does not intend to steal, but merely releases the creature out of compassion for it, he has committed no offense whatsoever (see Schmithausen and Maithrimurthi 2009, p. 58).
T no. 1425, 22: 3.247a21–27 on animals with four legs; 3.247b13–25 on snakes; 3.248b15–c10 and 3.249b8–c4 on domesticated animals; 3.248c10–23 on birds in cages and animals captured by hunters.
Yuepini zui 越毘尼罪 (vinayātikrama), a lesser offense, equivalent to a duṣkṛta in the other vinaya traditions (see Hirakawa 1982, pp. 105–6, n. 10; Nolot 1991, pp. 384–86).
The same story is presented in the Sapoduobu pini modeleqie 薩婆多部毘尼摩得勒伽 (T no. 1441, 23: 4.587c17–19. See Clarke (2015, pp. 80–81), who argues that the Sapoduobu pini modeleqie (Sarvāstivāda *nikāya Vinaya*mātṛkā) is closely affiliated with the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya. Interesting to mention in this context is that the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya explicitly states that the act of stealing is committed only if the monk is stealing with a clear intention to steal (dao xin 盜心, T no. 1442, 23: 3.638a23–24).
It should be added that, while the animal release is discussed in some Indian monastic texts (contra Shiu and Stokes 2008, pp. 182–85, who argue for a Chinese origin of the practice), the vinaya texts offer no guidance on collective animal release.
Other animals, such as tigers and dogs, are also mentioned, but nearly always in the context of meat-eating: Consuming the flesh of these animals is deemed dangerous, as they are likely to attack members of the monastic community if they fear they will be killed for their meat (see Heirman and De Rauw 2006, pp. 60–61). In addition, the Dharmaguptaka vinaya (T no. 1428, 22: 3.585b21–22, 3.586c5) defines a place where there are tigers and wolves, lions, bears and evil animals, including ants, as dangerous.
On the construction of toilets and washing places, see (Heirman and Torck 2012, pp. 27–107; Kieschnick 2013, pp. 107–38).
Similarly, Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 27.177a24–25.
See, for instance, Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 33.801c14–19 on snakes, bees, and vicious insects; 33.802a1–3 on snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and vicious insects; 34.905a20–22 on snakes, scorpions, and venomous insects; 49.932c22 and 49.933c28 on snakes and insects; Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1451, 24: 35.381a18–b9 on snakes.
The precautions that the vinayas advocate sometimes seems excessive. For instance, the Dharmaguptaka vinaya (T no. 1428, 22: 49.935b6–10; 49.945a25–27) suggests that a begging bowl should always be washed before use because a snake may have spat in it. Similarly, the Mahīśāsaka vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 28.180a26–b1) relates the story of a monk walking back to the monastery after begging, whereupon a bird dropped a snake into his begging bowl. Therefore, begging bowls should be carefully covered at all times. The Sarvāstivāda vinaya (T no. 1435, 23: 41.297b29–c3) also warns monks to cover their food containers so that snakes cannot enter them.
The same vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 19.130b1–5) also states that the rain retreat may be cut short in the event of problems, due to fire, inundation, (threatening) rulers, bandits, non-human beings, lions, tigers and wolves, venomous insects and ants, water, and wind.
Mud is used for washing after the use of the toilet facilities (see Heirman and Torck 2012, p. 71).
See Heirman and Chiu (n.d.) for further information on walking meditation infrastructure.
See also T no. 1450, 24: 8.139c9–11: Monastic dwellings should be quiet, with moderate amounts of heat and wind, and no mosquitoes, flies, snakes, or scorpions.
Similarly, the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya (T no. 1451, 24: 10.250a14–17) states that windows are permitted, but these should be covered with netting to prevent birds flying in, and a kind of fan should be used at night to discourage the entry of snakes and scorpions. The Pāli vinaya (Vin II, p. 152) advises the construction of a canopy to prevent snakes falling from the roof and onto the monks’ heads. Finally, the Mahīśāsaka vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 25.167b19–20) simply insists that houses should be built in such a way that snakes and rats (shu 鼠) cannot enter.
See also Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 39.280b12–19. On beds’ legs and the symbolic value they acquired in Buddhist monasticism, see Heirman (2017, pp. 103–8). The Pāli vinaya (Vin II, p. 150) specifies that couches’ legs should be sufficiently high to stop snakes climbing onto the seating surface. Similarly, the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya (T no. 1442, 23: 49.895a29–b12; T no. 1443, 16.996a15–b8) insists that sleeping on a very low bed is dangerous, because a venomous snake might kill the occupant. Monks should not wash their feet in front of a bed for the same reason.
Parallel rules are stipulated in the other vinayas: Pāli vinaya, Vin IV, pp. 115–16; Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 9.64b12–c21; Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 15.104b29–105a4; Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1442, 23: 38.835a2–837c27. On the development of this rule, and the hypothesis that it might have been drafted to minimize the risk of killing small insects that live in dry grass or wood, see Schmithausen (1991, pp. 54–57).
Pāli vinaya, Vin II, pp. 109–10; Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 26.171a16–28; Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 42.870c22–871a8. The Mahīśāsaka vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 26.174a20–21) includes another spell to subdue bees (feng 蜂), snakes, and other venomous animals. On bees, particularly in China, see Pattinson (2019).
A guideline in the Mahīśāsaka vinaya (T no. 1421, 22: 21.146c3–8) was also seemingly motivated by a desire to minimize the risk to snakes. A monk walking in wooden clogs accidentally steps on a snake and kills it, so these items of footwear are subsequently banned throughout the precincts of the monastery, aside from in washing places and toilets. By contrast, the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya allows monks who have seen a snake on the street to wear wooden clogs (T no. 1447, 23: 2.1055b15–16). Clearly, the latter vinaya prioritizes the safety of the monks, whereas the former is more concerned with the wellbeing of the reptiles. On the use of shoes in monastic environments, see, in particular, Heirman (2016a).
On the other hand, the Sarvāstivāda vinaya forbids the tethering of snakes with ropes. Instead, it advocates placing the creatures in a basket, carrying them to a distant, unpopulated place, and releasing them (T no. 1435, 23: 38.279a10–11). The Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya also disagrees with the use of ropes, and suggests that captured snakes should be released close to a cave (T no. 1451, 24: 15.271c13–272a3).
Just as in China, it is the annoyance caused by these creatures that is emphasized, and not the threat caused by, for instance, mosquitoes as potential transmitters of various diseases, an aspect that was not yet scientifically understood (see Milburn 2017, pp. 1–2).
Expressing weakness with regard to the Buddhist training is one of the prerequisites for formal withdrawal from the monastic community (see Kieffer-Pülz 2015–16, pp. 3–6; Heirman 2016b, pp. 163–71).
Monastic clothing, on the other hand, provides protection against the cold and heat, mosquitoes and flies, and means that a monk does not live in shame (T no. 1425, 22: 8.291a26–28).
A radically different approach to mosquitoes and flies is evident in the context of extreme ascetic practices, where the donation of the human body to insects is a common feature of “self-immolation” (for details, see, among others, Benn 2007, pp. 8–9, 81ff.). However, such practices lie beyond the scope of this research.
See, for instance, Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 50.936c24–937a18.
Several vinayas also mention the Nāga King’s wish to protect the Buddha from cold and heat, wind and sunburn, and mosquitoes and flies while he sits in meditation: Pāli vinaya, Vin I, p. 3; Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 15.103b11–17, 20.139b4, 21.140b22; Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 21.786b9–12 and 21.786b21–24.
Pāli vinaya, Vin II, p. 119 (makasakuṭikā); Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 20.137b6–10, 20.138a20; Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 30.474c29–475a1; Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 40.857b13–14; Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1451, 24: 19.293a27–b7 (wen dao 蚊幬). In these guidelines, it is clear that the net should be hung over the body, and it must not contain any holes through which mosquitoes may enter.
Pāli vinaya, Vin II, p. 130 (makasavījanī, “a mosquito fan”; see (Horner 1938–1966, vol. V, p. 180, n. 7); by contrast, a chowry-fan (camaravījanī, a fly-flapper or whisk that was originally made from the bushy tail of a yak) is prohibited, maybe because it has the potential to harm the insects; the fan may be made out of bark, khus-khus, or peacocks’ tail feathers); Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 26.174a6–9 (see next note); Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 32.488a13–26 (a fan may be used to discourage mosquitoes); Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 52.956a13–27 (a fan may be used in hot weather); Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 38.274a2–4, 56.417b5–6 (no reason suggested); Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1451, 24: 6.229a24–b6 (a fan may be used in hot weather).
Pāli vinaya, Vin II, p. 130 (tālavaṇṭa, a palmyra whisk); Mahīśāsaka vinaya, T no. 1421, 22: 26.174a6–9 (the Buddha allows the use of a fan and a whisk (shan fu 扇拂) in a humid place where there are many mosquitoes and flies, but the whisk may not be made out of a horse’s tail as it might kill the insects); Mahāsāṃghika vinaya, T no. 1425, 22: 32.488a26–b8 (a whisk may be used to discourage mosquitoes); Dharmaguptaka vinaya, T no. 1428, 22: 52.956a27–b2 (a whisk may be made out of grass, bark, leaves, rags, pieces of silk, or an animal’s tail); Sarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1435, 23: 38.274a4–13, 56.417b6–7 (no reason suggested; however, contrary to the Pāli vinaya and the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, a mao niu wei fu 犛牛尾拂 (“yak’s tail whisk”) may be used at a stūpa of a Buddha or an arhat); Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya, T no. 1451, 24: 6.229b7–16 (a whisk may be used if monks are “eaten” by mosquitoes (諸苾芻為蚊蟲所食), resulting in pain and continuous scratching; the handle should contain no pearls, nor should the whisk be made out of a yak’s tail; rather, sheep’s wool, hemp, scraps of cloth, broken items, and the tips of branches should be used).
On colors, see Heirman (2014, pp. 475–77).
Dogs can also be annoying, especially when they run off with a pair of shoes. Therefore, the Dharmaguptaka vinaya urges monks to place their shoes under their mats (niṣīdanas) while sleeping (T no. 1428, 22: 39.846a28–b2).
The Dharmaguptaka vinaya (T no. 1428, 22: 50.937b29–c1) similarly stipulates that lamp oil should be stored carefully to prevent ants from drinking it.
T no. 1421, 22: 20.138a20 on a cloth to protect against bedbugs (fang bishi yi 障壁虱衣); 20.139b4–5 on a single sheet to cover bedbugs (zhe bishi dan fu 遮壁虱單敷); 20.140b22 on a cloth against bedbugs (zhe bishi yi 遮壁虱衣).
Interestingly, as discussed in detail by Chen 2009, pp. 35–41, the Chinese vinaya master Daoxuan 道宣 (596–667) extends the discussion on usefulness of animals to the monastic community, making a distinction between animals that are useful for economic purposes in the monastery and those that are not (Daoxuan, Liang chu qing zhong yi 量處輕重儀, Ritual of Measuring and Handling Light and Heavy Property, T no. 1895, 45: 1.845b22–27).
On the instrumental use of animals, and specifically elephants, see Waldau (2000, pp. 101–3).
Alternatively, the owner might have kept it to for its venom, which in a small dose is considered a valuable medicine (see Somvanshi 2006, p. 138).
Waldau (2000, p. 87) suggests that tamers’ and charmers’ methods rely on cruelty (see also Rhys Davids and Woodward  1952, Part II, p. 172, n. 1).
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Heirman, A. How to Deal with Dangerous and Annoying Animals: A Vinaya Perspective. Religions 2019, 10, 113. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020113
Heirman A. How to Deal with Dangerous and Annoying Animals: A Vinaya Perspective. Religions. 2019; 10(2):113. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020113Chicago/Turabian Style
Heirman, Ann. 2019. "How to Deal with Dangerous and Annoying Animals: A Vinaya Perspective" Religions 10, no. 2: 113. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020113