佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - What does release of living creatures denote?
What does release of living creatures denote?

 

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

and caution.