Home » Features » [C] Did The Buddha Warn About The Climate Crisis? 佛陀警告过气候危机吗?

吾涅槃后法欲灭时,
五逆浊世魔道兴盛。

– 释迦牟尼佛
《佛说法灭尽经》

After my Parinirvāṇa, when the Dharma is about to end,
in this Five Heinous Transgressions’
and Five Defilements’ Evil Age,
demonic paths will flourish.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End)

Three months before Śākyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) entered Parinirvāṇa (般涅槃) at Kuśinagara (拘夷那竭), he delivered the ‘Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End’《佛说法灭尽经》, with some of his final warnings on the grave dangers of this present Dharma-Ending Age (末法时期), which we are about 15.46% into, in this year 2019 C.E. Intriguingly, it seems that he warned about ill environmental signs of the times with these words –

「法将殄没… 水旱不调五穀不熟。疫气流行死亡者众。」‘With the Dharma going to disappear… waters will dry up and not be in harmony, with the five grains not ripening. Epidemics by air will spread with the deaths of many.’ Note [1]: This seems to be the beginning of the climate crisis, which we are currently experiencing, with the elements out of balance, and with increase of viral diseases, due to mismanagement of livestock. Many of these bred animals are also killed when there are disease outbreaks among them.

「人民勤苦县官计克,不顺道理皆思乐乱…」‘With the people hardworking yet suffering, county officials scheme to restrain them, not according with moral principles, with all thinking about [personal] joy with confusion…’ Note [2]: Such is political corruption, that lacks political will to reverse the climate crisis, that aims to profit off people instead of helping them, while also suppressing them. The rich and politically powerful might even deny the severe effects of the crisis for their monetary benefits, while being comfortable, remaining relatively out of the crisis’ reach with their wealth for the time being.

「大水忽起卒至无期。世人不信故为有常。」‘Great waters [i.e. floods] will suddenly rise and abruptly end at no fixed times. With common people not believing thus, becoming that which is frequent.’ Note [3]: This seems to be furthering of the climate crisis, with natural cycles going out of predictable seasons. Worldly people will lack faith in this as reflective of their moral deterioration, due to increase of the Three Poisons (三毒) of greed, hatred and delusion (贪嗔痴), thus worsening the crisis.

「众生杂类不问豪贱,没溺浮漂鱼鳖食啖。」‘Sentient beings of mixed kinds, disregarding the grand or lowly, will sink, drown, float or drift, by fish and turtles eaten.’ Note [4]: This seems to be about the deaths of many with the rise of sea levels, by melting of the polar ice caps from global warming, and other water-related disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes.

Note [5]: In the Buddhist teachings, disasters with great waters (大水) are metaphorically linked to the flooding of overwhelming greed, with great fires (大火) linked to the burning of fierce hatred, with hurricanes and typhoons linked to the blowing of the ‘black winds’ (黑风) of delusion that obscure clarity of vision. Just as these Three Poisons are intertwined, they can be mixed to have cross-manifestations during environmental disasters too.

Note [6]: These are some of many good reasons to reach Āmítuófó’s (Amitā[bha] Buddha: 阿弥陀佛) Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (极乐净土), which is free from supportive conditions (助缘) that power ‘spiritual disasters’, (due to being overrun by the Three Poisons), and physical disasters, (due to these poisons spilling over to be expressed externally). Liberated from inner and outer suffering, it is the safest place for spiritual practice towards Buddhahood. There, remnant poisons will most swiftly be transformed to be their antidotes.

众魔比丘命终之后,
精神当堕无择地狱,
五逆罪中。

– 释迦牟尼佛
《佛说法灭尽经》

After these many demonic ‘Bhikṣus’ lives end,
their consciousnesses will fall into uninterrupted hells,
for those with the Five Heinous Transgressions within.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End)

Related Articles:

《佛说法灭尽经》
The Sūtra In Which The Buddha Speaks Of The Dharma’s Complete End
https://purelanders.com/2019/06/10/sutra-in-which-the-buddha-speaks-of-the-dharmas-complete-end

How Does Buddhism Explain Natural Disasters?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2018/04/how-does-buddhism-explain-natural-disasters

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