Can a Buddhist “kill” a zombie? (Happy Halloween)

Being a Buddhist on Halloween poses a problem to some, if not all of us. With all the ghouls and ghosts about how is someone with a compassionate demeanor to succeed on such a hallowed day?

What if by chance you stumbled upon a ghastly zombie, munching some brains, what do you do? Kill it? Maybe not, but I sure as heck would. I don’t want any stinkin’ zombies eating my brains on Halloween, I’ve got candy to seek out.

What about that vampire, trying to bite a neck or two? Do you drive a stake into the heart of the beast? Or do you let it continue it’s fiendish frenzy and fall victim? Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get turned over into the vampire realm. What then? Are there such things as Buddhist vampires? And how would one get on with his or her life? They live on the blood of people and or animals. Each time this Buddhist vampire feeds, it is causing the suffering of another. Can karma effect the likes of the undead?

Even more of a problem is the dreaded werewolf. By day, an ordinary human being, living their lives the best they can. By night… a bloodthirsty villain of the worst kind. He’ll rip you to shreds in the blink of an eye. For no reason! What is wrong with these werewolves anyway? What did we do to them? Why so much angst and thirst for shredding? But, here lies the problem. Being a human by day, are we actually killing a real “sentient” being? I mean, for goodness sake, they are a flesh ripping machine! What can we do?!

When you go out this Halloween keep these things in mind, it’s going to be a hard night, but we can get through it.

ps. And don’t even get me started on spiders… ewww!

Don’t take this to seriously folks, it’s kind of my spoof post to celebrate this Halloween. So it is just in jest, I thought it was amusing (my wife thinks it’s silly).

6 Comments

  1. Another piece of academic 2 cents. Buddhism teaches that we have six realms of existence: the Devas on top, Asuras below, then us Humans, then the Beasts, and below that are the Hungry Ghosts (Pretas), and finally Hell. The Pretas are often depicted with huge mouths and stomachs symbolizing their ravenous desire, but small necks, symbolizing their inability to fulfill that desire.

    Our karma allows us to move up and down the realms. So from a Buddhist perspective, a zombie that goes around his existence feeding off others would be stuck in the realm of the Pretas until he either goes on a rampage, indulging in its desire for more and more flesh, and eventually be moved down to Hell. Or he can start reining in his desire, refusing to eat the flesh of the living so he’s not causing suffering much longer. His karma builds, and he’ll move up the realms into the Beasts and Humans.

    That’s at least how I interpret supernatural creatures through a Buddhist lens.

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with halloween. We don’t celebrate it here but the paper lately reported that there is a small group of people in the capital celebrating it just like it’s catching up in Japan. I really do wonder if it was celebrated this way in the past, with all the blood and gore. What’s the idea behind this celebration and if it’s good, then, it’s good.

  3. I’m going to get all academic here and sap the fun out of this post. Actually, in the Pali Canon, there are instances when a dead body will “reanimate,” for instance when the Buddha makes a prediction about someone’s whereabouts after death, and then instructs a third party to go and hit the dead person’s corpse three times and ask where they were reborn to. Then the dead body (presumably under the influence of the being from wherever they were reborn to) sits up and confirms that they were reborn exactly as the Buddha had predicted. Then the the body falls down lifeless again. Unfortunately, no brain-eating Buddhist zombies – they are entirely a Western phenomenon.

    Hypothetically, though, if the Buddha in Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana stories is able to convert flesh-eating and blood-drinking demons to become protectors of Buddhism, then maybe converting vampires and werewolves to Buddhism isn’t so far-fetched after all! :)

  4. Too funny! For me, the Zombie and Vampire could be disposed of to save the living as they are already dead–the werewolf I have always felt sorry for them and would try to help them control their inner demon!

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