Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: May 4th-Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 306 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: May 4th-Khenpo Sodargye
« on: January 01, 2017, 10:16:17 am »
May 4th

Today is Youth Day; it was more than a hundred years ago when the May 4th Movement shook the nation in 1919. As time goes by, however, young people these days no longer emphasize fighting feudalism or oppression as their earlier peers did. Instead, they choose to celebrate their day in various ways.

I found myself in the company of young people to carry out large-scale life liberation. Three ships loaded with many sea creatures whose lives were once at grave stake sailed off the coast in an impressive formation. The 200 or so participants included local Buddhists from Xiamen, monks and nuns from nearby monasteries and Buddhist Academies, as well as lay practitioners from Fuzhou, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Against the blue sea, the maroon and yellow monastic robes and laities’ attire of various colors stood out vividly and brightly. It was quite a beautiful sight to behold.

During my four-month stay in this coastal city, at lunch or dinner time the stench of seafood being prepared often wafted through the open window, polluting the fresh air of the shore, and making my friend, also from Tibet, and me lose our appetites. We have long wished to save the poor fish, shrimp, and so forth from meeting their ends at the knife, it is only today that we have come to fulfill it. Even though the number of lives we are saving is incomparable with that of being killed in the whole city, we are still grateful for the opportunity.

There was once a county magistrate name Poon Gong who forbade his subjects from catching any live fish by instigating severe punishments for perpetrators. Years later when he was about to leave his official post, a wailing sound as grief-stricken as if one’s parents had been lost was heard from the waters, filling people’s hearts with sadness and amazement. I often wonder when such a benevolent county magistrate will appear again in Xiamen such that many beings will be saved from going under the knife. Nonetheless, the practice of lifesaving has been well accepted here, due largely to, I was told, the free distribution of 10,000 booklets of The Merit of Releasing Live Beings by an aspiring layperson. The tradition thus has gradually flourished and come down to this day.

Today’s lifesaving activity reportedly is the largest one in recent years in the area. Regardless of whether the magnitude is large or small, at least we have made a revolt against oppression on behalf of these sea creatures. The value of good deeds depends not so much on their scale but more on their consistency. When virtues are practiced daily and enhanced monthly, we hope that one hundred years from now, the tragedy of taking other beings’ lives will no longer exist.

23rd of March, Year of RenWu
May 4, 2002

 


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