Friday, May 9, 2014

© Ana Noble

Buddhism & Cats

In some Buddhist cultures cats can be regarded as holy creatures particularly so as they are perceived to be one of the more ‘mindful’ animals and have traditionally been useful in keeping down pests such as mice and rats that feed on food stores. The Birman cat - also known as the sacred cat of Burma descends from cats that were raised in Buddhist temples in Burma and the monks regarded that the souls of the departed returned to earth as a cat. Traditional folklore posited that on the death of a person if he had reached the highest level of enlightenment then their soul would return to earth for one last time as a cat and when it dies would be freed to reach nirvana. Furthermore the cat is believed to speak with Buddha in favour of its owner that is still alive. Thailand has similar beliefs and so the cat is respected highly amongst Buddhist monks and many temples will have cats that live amongst the monks and Buddha statues and images.

via The Buddha's Face