Lives of beings which are inferior to humans are equally precious (I)

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Ven. Master Xuecheng     Time:2015-12-08 15:48:59
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People are often quick to judge external circumstances. However, what really matters is our mindset when faced with such circumstances and our concrete efforts to improve them. Otherwise, all judgments are simply meaningless remarks.

Q: Venerable Master, I witnessed a scene where captive animals were freed in front of a temple last year. It seems to me that the demand for captive animals to be freed is somehow giving birth to an industry of capturing more animals. A fish that is freed is likely to be recaptured later. Isn’t this a vicious circle?
A: People are often quick to judge external circumstances. However, what really matters is our mindset when faced with such circumstances and our concrete efforts to improve them. Otherwise, all judgments are simply meaningless remarks.

 

Q: Master, I believe in the Buddha’s teachings, yet I’m just an ordinary person and I cannot resist the taste of fish. I often buy fish from the market while feeling guilty . What should I do?
A: No matter how delicious the food is, once you are full, eating more causes pain. The so-called “joy of a delicacy” is nothing but a short-lived sensation on the tip of your tongue. To end a life just for that transient pleasure, how can we bring ourselves to do this?

 

Q: Master, is it right or wrong to free captive animals?
A: Freeing captive animals entails three types of giving: money-giving (we let go of our attachment to money and buy the living beings), dharma-giving (we chant sutra and mantra to the animals before releasing them), and comfort-giving (we release the animals from fear). The act of protecting and freeing animals is primarily meant to soften our hearts, awaken our compassion, and allow us to experience the equality of all beings. Freeing others is to free ourselves, the benefit and virtue of which is beyond limits. The Treatise on Great Wisdom states: of all sins, killing is the worst; of all virtues, freeing captive lives is the best. ”

 

Q: Venerable Master, this is the ninth time I have consulted you on this topic. Is it right or wrong to free captive animals?
A: Having spent days thinking about this single question, do you now have the answer? Freeing captive animals is not only a reflection of our compassion, but also a way to pay back the debt we owe after ending countless other lives in our previous lives. Simply put, put yourself in others’ shoes – if you were a captive animal, how would you like to be treated?

 

Q: Master, how should we treat insects in our crops? Please advise. Amitabha!
A: Insects too are sentient beings, and we are to treat them well. On the one hand, do not spray pesticides to hurt them. On the other hand, you may set aside a small area as an insect reserve and genuinely invite them in; in this case, the majority of the crops will not be impacted. There are many successful cases in organic farming to refer to.

 

 

Editor:Liqin
Tags:lives beings which inferior humans equally precious

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