The Equality Of All That Lives

If we cannot be kind
even to a single small ant,
how can be be kind
to other boundless beings?


In 1982 His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet was dining in France with the 10th Pawo Rinpoche… Just then the elderly Pawo Rinpoche spied an ant struggling across the polished floor, wending its way toward the sun… [He] no longer had use of his legs. He requested the Dalai Lama to be so kind as to rescue the little creature and help it on its way. His Holiness did so with alacrity, blessing the insect with a whispered benediction. Gently, he carried the insect across the regal chamber and set it down safely in the warm sun. Chuckling with delight, he rejoined his venerable colleague.

‘Now I have done a service for you, Rinpoche. Your old eyes are better than mine! People talk about emptiness and high Mahayana philosophy, but loving regard for the equality of all that lives is the true sign of a Bodhisattva.’ His Holiness himself later recounted the story, during a teaching in France about the necessity of compassion, selfless service, and universal responsibility. ‘My religion is loving-kindness,’ he stated.

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  • My dentist remarked to me how absurd it is for people to tell him not to kill cockroaches and rats, which are a nuisance in his clinic. They are nothing but vermins for goodness sake. He said real cruelty is actually caging a bird, restricting its freedom to fly.

  • It’s absurd for people to think all nuisances should be simply killed. Even if the dentist kills 100 rats, it doesn’t deter more from coming. If his clinic is kept clean, they won’t be there. The dentist is nothing but vermin if he is just out to kill. Killing is cruelty, just as caging an animal is.

  • Ok, but the above comment does not require theistic bearings to make sense.

  • I once talked to a Christian relative of mine about the cruelty of meat eating. She reply that it is silly of us Buddhists to actually put feelings and thoughts into animals such as pigs, chickens, cows etc. She remarked that God created these creatures as they are meant to be eaten as food by mankind. What do you make of that?

  • Ask the person to see this video: http://www.meat.org to see how meticulously the ‘god’ the person believes in makes the animals scream and struggle with suffering.

    If the person still believes animals are not sentient beings, the person is really lacking in compassion. If the person really believes that there is a creator who made them look like they are suffering, this god is far from good.

    If someone created all animals for humans to eat, why do some animals eat humans?

    There is no creator god in the first place. This is the Buddha’s perspective:

  • One by one we make a difference…It all adds up to “not two”!

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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