The Joy of Liberating Animals

17 June 2009 - 3:58am Comments Off

The local deity and our Dharma Protector rejoicing in our Dharma work by manifesting this rainbow

Sunday is one of those days that we usually spend lazing around under the sun, watching TV, enjoying the cool comforts of an air-conditioned mall or simply not doing anything at all. However even on a Sunday, the Ladrang is abuzz with activities that support H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s works.

On Sunday of June 14th, the Ladrang arranged for over 100kg of live catfish to be bought from the Serdang wholesale market. Catfish are actually a Chinese delicacy and the fate of these fishes would have probably been to end up on the plate of some Chinese banquet. Thanks to Kechara Oasis’s Chef Au, we have secured these fishes to be released. So now these fishes can live out the remainder of their 10 year lifespan.

Su Ming, Bonita and Chef Au reciting Medicine Buddha mantras to calm the catfishes while awaiting their release

The fishes were transported to Taman Tun Dr Ismail’s scenic park that has a huge lake right in the middle. Rinpoche along with the Ladrang team of Liaison Su Ming, Liaison Loh Seng Piow, KB, Monlam, Fat Monk, JJ, Wendy, Bonita, David Lai and Chef Au congregated at the park. It was raining but the rain stopped miraculously just before we arrived at the park.

JJ, David Lai and Monlam releasing the catfishes that were originally destined for someone's dinner plate

With Medicine Buddha’s mantra on our tongue, we hauled the huge containers with the fishes inside onto the bank and we slowly released the fishes. Then with large quantities of turtle and fish food pellets, we fed them while reciting Medicine Buddha’s mantra. When we completed, we washed up and proceeded to a nearby pavilion. It drizzled auspiciously as we headed to the pavilion. The rain stopped and a glorious rainbow soon appeared in the sky above the park as Rinpoche began a short Dharma talk.


H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, David Lai and the Ladrang team feeding the turtles and fishes with special pellet food

Rinpoche explained the nature of land deities and noted that the light rain and rainbow were a sign that the local deity was happy with our compassionate work of releasing the fishes. It was also a sign that our Dharma Protector Setrap rejoices with our Dharma work. Then Rinpoche explained that because of the abundance of vegetarian options, we should take it up and promote it.

Kechara Oasis vegetarian restaurant as one of the departments of Kechara House is part of Rinpoche’s work to promote vegetarianism and non-harming of animals. Hence all those involved directly and indirectly are creating tremendous merit. Rinpoche also mentioned that some people said that Buddha Shakyamuni ate meat when it was offered to him. These people use that as an excuse for eating meat but Rinpoche asks us to think, are we on the same level as the Buddha to do that. Do we have any blessings when a mantra that invokes our blessings is recited? Can we really benefit the dead animal if we eat its flesh? Hence, we cannot follow everything that the Buddha did as we don’t have the same effect.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche captured in action giving a little Dharma talk to explain the significance of vegetarianism

Finally Rinpoche recited the dedication verses together with the rest of us. He dedicated the fish liberation towards the long life of H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, H.E. Kensur Konchok Tsering Rinpoche, all of Rinpoche’s Lamas, his students, those who work in any of the departments of Kechara House and the many friends and sponsors that have supported him and the organization. Last of all, Rinpoche also dedicate the merit of such a great act toward his own long life so that he may realized his Dharma projects. With the dedications complete, we returned to our cars feeling really happy for the great work we have done. Rinpoche hopes that this will become a monthly activity of Kechara House, where people revel in saving animal’s lives and thereby create the cause for Kechara Animal Shelter to arise.

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