Release of living creatures is an act of love and protection of life.
No killing is an ingredient of the fundamental Buddhist discipline.
Taking care of life nurtures a compassionate mindset through time.
For compassion composes the quintessential groundwork for
Buddhahood. Growth of kindness and caring in mind enables
competence in delivering all living beings in the present and future
lifetimes, benefiting all sentients unto the end of all future limits.
Buddhism sees life as equal in human beings, birds, animals, all
sea creatures, and insects. With great compassion regardless of
casual condition and great pity in regarding all as of same self-nature,
and with the spirit of all living beings as equal, we need to manifest
kindness in mind and, loving and protecting life, to realize that killing
not only means destruction of a life but also termination of all its
commitments—an extremely brutal thing to do. As we refrain from
killing, we get to nurture sympathy, kindness, and pity and, in the
end, gain in merit and virtue. The Buddha states:
‘Compassion is the origin of Buddhahood.’
In the meantime, we march on in the direction of attainment. Hence the
crucial lesson, no killing.
Through the kalpas, all living beings chance on coming together as
family and friends, employers and employees. Even food on the table
could well have been loved ones in lifetimes past. Hence the Buddha
took pains to teach about caring for all living beings, about being kind
and considerate, about cherishing life, about no killing.
The precept against killing is in itself character refinement. We, in
the process, learn to enjoy sights of birds in the yard instead of rudely
shooing them off and to feed them instead of having them for food.
Buddhist vegetarians do so to nurture compassion. Many Buddhists,
too, frequently practice release of living creatures. They put water
creatures back in the ocean, lakes, and rivers and birds and animals
back in the wilds. Water creatures, for instance, are brought back to
the sea amid the chanting of monastics, and birds are returned to the
forest and set free. The whole procedure is carried out with planning