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Live and let live!

by Pavitara, Chiangmai, Thailand, The Buddhist Channel, Aug 16, 2007

I am writing in regards to Ven. J.M. Dharmakara Boda's of Los Angeles, California, letter decrying the release of suffering beings.

If the Venerable monk has spent any time in Thailand, he would know that all kinds of fish, frogs, turtles, snails, etc., are released into the streams, canals, rivers, ponds, etc., all the time by people from all walks of life. I have even released four-foot monitor lizards into the jungle on several occaisions.

I admit there may be some ignorance in my mind at the moment of purchasing and then releasing the creature, but there is certainly less greed or anger. First I see the suffering being, then I think about how that being must love his life, then I realize I have the means to liberate him, I spend my money (sometimes quite a bit), I contemplate very carefully about where to find a safe place where the survival of the creature might be best, and then I drive by car or motorcycle, hire a taxi, or walk to that place, and with the loving and compassionate intention for the beings' long life and happiness and future realization of Nirvana, I release the animal.

I rejoice in having given the animal at least a few more moments to live. It is suprising to see a monk not advocating the non-harming of living beings. The Lord Buddha taught Dana, Sila and Bhavana, and well as Sila, Samadhi and Panna, and the Noble Eightfold Path along with the development of the 10 Perfections, which include Dana, Sila, Nekkhama Panna, Viriya, Khanti, Sacca, Adhitthana, Metta and Upekkha.

Those people in the article were practising the Teaching of the Buddha as taught to them by their Buddhist monk teachers. I imagine they give quite a bit of Dana to the Sangha, as well.

One should say Anumodana! Live and Let Live.

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