Definition/classification of Sentient beings

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That’s not true. What’s your definition of sentience?

That’s incorrect. Peta Loka (World of the Hungry Ghosts) is below Tiracchāna Yoni (The Animal World).
It goes: Hell(s), Asurā, Peta, Animal, Human, Devā(s)

Yes they can! Although many humans can’t understand them.

Almost every three year old human has a more restricted vocabulary than almost every 2 year old Border Collie.

And yet they still get by. Some are more helpful than many humans. Give me a guide (seeing eye) dog over say Donald Trump any day. Far more useful!


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Actually I can’t find an agreement on this now that I look in more detail. It doesn’t seem to be specified in the EBTs, so it seems to be teacher specific. I got my understanding from the Introduction to the Long Discourses by Maurice Walsh’s many years ago. Of course we do share many traits (both physical and mental) with animals, and almost everyone I know can sense and interact with animals, the same isn’t true about petas - very few people’s can sense and interact with them. So it makes sense to me that animals are close to the human realm.

Technologies and institutions are not part of the standard definition of sentience.




  1. able to perceive or feel things.

What is your definition? Perhaps we are talking about different things? :woman_shrugging:

They are literally called herders …


Greetings @hwwbtr and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

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I would avoid the use of the term sentient and would rather say that all satta, bhūta and pāṇa are worthy of our greatest compassion, respect and love.

And then there’s Rambo the orangutan, driving a golf cart. She drives better than some people. :wink:


My personal opinion - and please excuse me for diverging from the theme of this topic for a moment…

This planet (the environment which our species depends on for existence) would be in far better shape if we had far fewer humans and far more animals.

The human defilements of delusion, greed and ill will cause so much suffering for ALL Beings (not just them/ourselves). As humans, the only sensible (and sustainable) thing to do is to eradicate those defilements… or continue the suffering :scream:


Hmm, strange. Has the definition of sentience shifted over time? Because that’s not how I remember them the way people use it in the past. Are you saying only plants are non sentient then?

They’re definitely not sentient IMO. Humans developed tools and language in the late paleolithics. Even religion or belief system. At this point they had spears to defend themselves from large predators, and also fire.

In the Mesolithics they developed bow and arrow, pottery and primitive textile.

And I’m not even using young earth theory or something like that. This is the official and mainstream narrative agreed upon by scholars.

How do you know it’s a planet?

Thank you @Viveka :pray:t4:

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Many apologies if I offended. I was making a joke, which obviously didn’t land well. I have removed that comment, and apologise again. :pray: :heart:


No problem, kind sir. In fact I didn’t even flag your post, that means I wasn’t actually offended. I was offended in the fact that people flagged my post for no reason. Have a good day everyone :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: