What Is the Value Of Liberating Lives? 放生有何价值?


[This] one matter [of] liberating lives, originally [is] for] moving [and] inspiring similar people, [to give rise to the] mind of abstaining [from] killing, [and to] protect lives, [to] truly practise [the] thought of empathy, [from] not [being] able to bear [suffering] only.


Common people, [being] many, [have] changing minds, [with] each [being] different. Even if not able [to] completely touch all, even if touching one person, [in] that one person’s one lifetime, [he or she will] then lessen killing, [of] a certain number [of] lives. Moreover, [this is] not limited [to that] one person [only].


Most [common people] say [that] small fish [will be] by big fish as eaten, [that] even if liberated in long rivers, [will] also [be] difficult [to] avoid nets [and] snares, [to] not encounter [them].


This kind [of] consideration, seems [to] have ‘reason’, [but] truly thus, [is] with opposing [of] people’s good thoughts, [while] supporting [common] people’s karma [of] killing, [as connected to the cycle of supply of killed animals for demand of their flesh].


Those people [are] fortunate [to] attain [rebirths] as humans [now], or at least [with] bodies [not] receiving slaughter, thus saying this ‘reason’ of non-reason, with revealing of their ‘wisdom’, [to be] able [to] ‘subdue’ those [who] liberate lives.  


If they [are reborn] as fish [later], and [as] many [other kinds of] lives, when about [to] receive killing, [they will be] absolutely unwilling [to] give rise [to] this kind [of] thought.


[They will] only hope [there] are people [who will] save their lives, [being] without other kinds [of] thoughts, [of] after [being] saved, also fearing [of] perhaps also by other animals as eaten, [or by] other people as caught; [to thus] only wish to willingly receive slaughter [now, to] avoid causes [of] suffering again later. 

Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
Reply Letter To Ignorant Monastics [And] Laypersons

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

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Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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