Since all crave to live
and fear to die for any,
may none cause any
to live or die fearfully.
The fourth point: It is not right to kill [or demand others to kill on one’s behalf] to celebrate a wedding. In the customary course of a marriage, starting from the go-between’s suggesting names, through receiving the dowry, up to entering the engagement, who knows how many lives we take?
Since marriage is the beginning of a process leading to giving birth, if we kill in order to commemorate the occasion, isn’t this the exact opposite in meaning? Further, when we get married, it ought to be very auspicious ceremony. On a very lucky day, to do something evil and barbaric seems cruel and unreasonable. The entire world is in the habit, however, and we don’t find it unusual. This is a cause for tears and sobbing, for wails and cries, for deep regrets, and mournful cries.
When people get married, the wedding party wishes to congratulate them, and hopes that the husband and wife will be companions into old age. Can we reasonably ask that birds and beasts die first in order to make this happen?
The family of the bride keeps candles lit for three days, hoping that she will be able to make a successful departure from her first home. Knowing that this separation from the family is a painful experience, why assume that a similar departure from their families would be a source of joy for birds and beasts? Can we really believe this? Obviously, marriage is not a proper time to kill.
On Stopping Killing
(The Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Lianchi Zhuhong)
Provisional Translation By Bhikshu Heng Sure