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Monastery encourages people to be kind to animals on Vesak Day

Channel News Asia, May 13, 2014

Some Buddhist devotees think that handing their pets to a monastery is a liberation of life. But the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery points out that this is a misconception.

SINGAPORE -- Some monasteries often get requests to take in abandoned pets.

<< "Life liberation is different from owners discarding their pets. It is a religious practice stemming from love and compassion. The focus is actually to give those animals, which are doomed to die, a chance to live, and to adopt the right practices that actually do help them." -- Venerable Chuan Guan

 

Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is one of them. As its premises are not suitable for keeping pets, it has put up 30 abandoned dogs for adoption at a shelter in Pasir Ris.

On Vesak Day, the monastery took the opportunity to encourage devotees to be kind to animals.

Volunteers were on hand to explain that helping all sentient beings to be free from suffering is one of the core principles of Buddhism.

But apart from releasing animals into the wild, protecting their lives is another way people can do so.

Volunteers also helped to raise funds for abandoned animals on Vesak Day.

This is the second year that the monastery is holding such activities on Vesak Day.

Last year, it raised a few thousand dollars for abandoned pets at nine temples.

Some devotees think that handing their pets to the monastery is a liberation of life.

But the monastery points out that this is a misconception.

Venerable Chuan Guan, spiritual adviser (Dharma Propagation Division) at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, said: "Life liberation is different from owners discarding their pets. It is a religious practice stemming from love and compassion. The focus is actually to give those animals, which are doomed to die, a chance to live, and to adopt the right practices that actually do help them."



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