Sunday, January 30, 2011

Answers needed for an important question for vampires

As part of my ongoing preparation to someday teach yoga to vampires, I have decided to start thinking about possible questions that aspiring vampire yogis may have about the yoga practice. Since I am still a relatively new practitioner, my knowledge of yoga philosophy is very limited. As such, I would like to solicit the help of the cybershala to answer these questions. So to begin, here's one very important and difficult question that I believe a vampire would have about the yoga practice: 

"I've been told that in yoga, the first of the yamas or ethical precepts is ahimsa, or nonviolence. Many human yogis take this to mean that one should not harm other living beings. Some even go so far as to renounce the eating of meat. But I need to drink blood in order to survive. How can I practice ahimsa?"

Please be generous with your answers.  


  1. Well depending on the myth you go by(for some reason Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles comes to mind),I'm not actually sure if vampires actually become destroyed by starvation. It might be they only suffer from extreme hunger pains that are only satiated by living blood. This would make them very weak. Also, I think that's the internal struggle a vampire must face, give into the uncontrolled lust of killing or battle to remain empathetic to other persons.

    I know this was suggested before,but Yoga/Meditation could definitely be a mode of controlling that hunger and retaining their humanity. Actually, I might write a screenplay for a short film exploring this subject. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Very interesting, Chris. Yes, I forgot that vampires don't actually die from starvation (at least in the standard version of the vampire myth). They probably suffer from extreme hunger pains, or lose their rational faculties (like in the movie Daybreakers). So vampires do not face the problem of mortality; they face the problem of immortality, which is in many ways a bigger problem.

    I like the idea of yoga as a way for vampires to listen and not give in to this hunger. I suppose it might be a good answer, at least up to a point (once a vampire loses his rational faculties/becomes a subsider, no amount of yoga would probably be of any avail. I look forward to your screenplay :-)

  3. Yeah, I was considering that too. If a vampire loses all rational faculties can we really blame the vampire? It's like someone with a dissociative identity disorder that has a personality who is a psychotic cannibal. (or one with unusual unconscious eating habits.) They don't claim it's what THEY are doing, but the disease/disorder.

    You're also right on the point that although yoga can help one become centered, you have to have at least a rationality to begin practice in the first place. Seems like it's an inevitability that a vampire will kill. (In Twilight there are "vegetarian" vampires that only consume animal blood, but doesn't that seems a little off? Not sure how animal rights groups felt about that. I'm even irritated.)

    This is a hypothetical definitely worth dabbling into.

    P.S. I'm getting Daybreakers next on my Netflix.

  4. How about purchasing donated blood from blood donation clinics? How fresh does the blood need to be?

  5. Chris, I think it is true that if a vampire loses all rational faculties, we can't hold the vampire responsible for his/her actions. But that also means that he/she ceases to be a person, and we are less morally blameworthy if we kill him or her.

    The interesting question that DayBreakers brings up is: What if vampiricism is a disease? It seems to me that if it is a disease, then the vampire might have a responsibility to cure itself of it. I say "might", because the vampire could argue: Who is to say that not being a vampire is the "normal" medical condition and being vampire is "abnormal"? Isn't it imperialistic of humans to decide what is normal or abnormal?

    Yyogini, interesting! Hmm... maybe the UN should set up an international blood bank for vampire consumption. Maybe governments should impose "blood taxes" on humans to contribute to this bank, in order to keep vampires alive. After all, if vampires are persons, they have a right to life too, don't they? :-)

  6. Oy Nobel, what is the karma of a vampire? Are vampires immortal? So they don't reincarnate? What about the Buddhist saying: Everyone is our mother? Are vampires included? What about the samaskaras and being vampire? I am very hungry right now so I might be getting carried away...Oh, and don't some people claim that they just stare at the sun and don't need to eat anymore? Have you heard about that? Oh. wait vampires can't stare at the sun. Maybe I can stare at the sun.. Jeez, I can't wait till my bedtime. Thanks for entertaining me.

  7. Sereneflavor, many interesting questions you bring up (do I sound like Yoda? :-))

    Hmm... I guess I know the answer to only 2 of these questions for sure. Vampires certainly don't reincarnate, since they don't die. And they can't stare at the sun either (at least in the standard version of the myth).

    But I believe vampires are subject to karma as well, since they, like everything else in the universe, are subject to causation and are also governed by dependent origination. So I would guess samskaras apply to vampires too, except they probably need to work through them in different ways than us.

    Interesting, interesting. I'm certainly not ready to just stare at the sun and give up eating :-)