Posting Essays

The End of Animal Release

Update: 29/03/2015
Dear Practitioners! From the past until now, we might have heard preaches about the animal release and practiced it.

The End of Animal Release


It is said that this action has always brought us many\r\nbenefits such as growing of compassion, attaining longevity, reducing sickness\r\nand pain,  being saved from calamities, having children for\r\ninheritance and untying the knots of hatred... However, many of us have yet\r\nfully understood the meaning or the end of animal release. Therefore, I would\r\nlike to share my awareness of animal release with you in order that we can do\r\nthis properly.


 So, what is the animal release? Animal release is to\r\nlet imprisoned sensual living creatures or those whose lives are threatened\r\ncome out, thereby enjoying the life of freedom and happiness


 Dear practitioners! We often release small animals\r\nsuch as snails, fishes, frogs, crabs, snakes, birds and so on, but the minority\r\nof people release big animals such as pigs, cows, buffalos, and goats. In fact,\r\nsuch animals are imprisoned, slaughtered for their satisfaction of dietary and\r\nentertainment needs. Do we think that the more animals we rescue, the more\r\nmerit we will get and the fewer animals we rescue, the less merit we will get?  In\r\nsuch awareness, we are supposed to be very narrow-minded, selfish and\r\ncalculating.  If we release animals with such thoughts, how can we\r\nmake immeasurable merits and blessings? Whether the imprisoned beings are human\r\nor animals, whether they are large or small, when their lives are threatened,\r\nthey all tend to be in horror, fear death and desire to survive. Therefore, we\r\nshould implement equality in releasing animals. If any beings need to be\r\nrescued and we have the opportunities, we should do it immediately without\r\ncalculation  of quantity or something like that.

Noticeably, we are usually inclined to pay attention to\r\noutward appearance rather than our inward mind while releasing animals, which\r\nis not acknowledged to be a thorough deed.

FAQ: ‘Dear practitioners, do I have anything to release?’


Answer: Yes, you do! It is yourself.


As you know, animals are imprisoned in ponds, pots, cages, etc.; after that, they are fried, cooked, etc. The sufferings of their body and mind are immeasurable. We rescue them from detention; help them to avoid the risk of being killed. That noble deed brings them peace and lengthens their life expectancy which is called animal releasing. On the other hand, Human beings are still bound to the greed, anger and delusion - hell of grievance.  Greed, anger and delusion make us create the bad karma. They  silently destroy our virtue and peace of mind without warning. Releasing animals will bring us blessings and we may be reborn into the heaven or human realm . However, in the heaven, it is very difficult for us to make merit and practice because we do not have the physical body then and we may only enjoy our great heavenly blessings for a period. After that, our karmic traces lead us to be reborn into six realms of existence: Deva, human, Asura, animal, hungry ghost and hell. If we accumulate enough merit, we may achieve a human birth once again; if we lack of merit, we will fall into the evil paths and suffer immensely there. The beings’ merit is not permanent in the Heaven; and human realm. Thanks to releasing animals in previous life, in this life we enjoy riches and honors. However, those who are wealthy rarely cultivate for merit. Only a few keep on their practices due to blessings of their cultivations throughout many lives and  their own wishes. The majority of remaining people just enjoys great blessings for a period,  and then create negative karmic debts, not practicing anything at all. Therefore, the Sutra of Forty-Two Sections says that “It is difficult for those who have power and wealth to practice religion”. In addition, people who create karmic debts only suffer without fun, and it is hard for them to attain human body again. Alas! We might feel pity for ourselves when hearing those, mightn’t we!

Most of us often recite the Bodhisattva’s name and may also know that he usually transforms himself into forms to save sentient beings in the six realms. Wherever help is needed, he then appears to bring happiness, and end all sufferings for sentient beings there.  If we  consider this issue seriously and put it into practice, we are considered Bodhisattva. Why? The reason is that we feel moved by the suffering of living beings which are imprisoned and will be killed asking for help. Then, due to our compassion, we should go to those places where we can buy and release them to the safe environment so that they can enjoy a free life in the nature.  That they are happy also makes us happy; thus, we can feel peaceful in our hearts, too.


However, we may forget that we ourselves are living beings\r\nimprisoned and killed by the afflictions of greed, hatred and delusion. We are\r\ntied by ropes of cravings, burned by the flames of anger and imprisoned by the\r\nevils of wrong understanding, arrogance and ignorance. Those things make us\r\nbecome ignorant as if we fall into an abyss, without finding the light of truth\r\nand consequently overwhelmed in misfortune in countless lifetime, suffer and go\r\nthrough many ups and downs. The practitioners should be aware of this matter,\r\nnot only outwardly but also inwardly in order that they can hear the sound of\r\nsuffering in their own minds and apply the Dharma of Buddha to cleaning their\r\nmind of negativity. Each of Buddha’s teachings is actually an effective\r\nprescription for our si ck minds. If we diligently practice the dharma of\r\nBuddha, we not only recover from the sickness of mind but also  escape\r\nthe cycle of birth and death and sufferings to  attain Nirvana - the\r\nstate of peace and happiness. Thus, we release ourselves! This is the end of\r\nanimal release.


The practitioners also should know that releasing animals\r\nrequires not only compassion and gladness but also material means such as\r\nmoney, cars and boats … to help them escaping the places of sufferings.  To\r\nrelease them, besides the perception that suffering causes afflictions, we\r\nshould know how to treat them, and we also need to learn and practice the\r\nmethods we have chosen diligently so that we can liberate ourselves from\r\nsamsara. Once we are out of three worlds, we are not imprisoned in any prisons\r\nand are no longer dominated by any karma;   we then attain\r\nNirvana – the ultimate happiness!


In summary, releasing animals is external appearance so that\r\nwe can look at ourselves and  reconsider our inward mind. Moreover, we\r\nshould be aware which jails we are imprisoned so that we diligently practice\r\nand “destroy those jails” to escape the samsara., Such release is presumed to\r\nbe the ultimate matter. 

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