Master Hsuan Hua’s Lesson on Life
by Ziying Qiu
Venerable Master Hsuan Hua enhances the lesson that we as human beings in the six evil paths must protect and liberate life. First, he enhances that lesson with one of his speeches, “The Horror of Taking Lives and Eating Meat” which tells us first about a high monk called Venerable Zhi Gung who sees plain suffering at a wedding and nobody else thinks so. For example, the daughter is eating her mother’s flesh. The girl was eating pig’s feet happily not knowing that the pig was her deceased mother. Venerable Master Hsuan Hua then tells us about how humans who have killed and eaten animals in the past are suffering now as animals as the animals who are now humans are getting their unconscious revenge. So literally, people are eating people when they are eating animals. He tells us this story to help us understand how the lives we take could be the lives we hold dearly close to us.
Venerable Master Hsuan Hua then tells us about how we eat makes us get eaten in the future. “We are what we eat” is what he is trying to tell us. For example, if we eat garlic, then we smell like garlic. If we eat vegetables and fruits, we smell like vegetables and fruits. If that is true for those, then if we eat meat, we will smell like meat. The kind of meat you eat turns you into that kind of meat. After you die, the reincarnation wheel will decide your next life and whatever animal you ate, you will turn into and face the revenge of the animal. Master Hua also explains that a butcher of a pig has eyes like a pig because in his past life, he was a pig that was butchered many times and came back to get revenge. The same goes with cattle butchers or Matadors (Athletic men who kill cows for a sport, or a bull fighter.) He tells us this logical theory to help us understand why we should not eat and/or kill animals to avoid the same sufferable fate in the future.
Master Hua then tells us about the suffering, grief, and hatred boiled up in just one pot of stew. Killing the animals causes bad karma and causes war and casualty. Scientists have said that meat is known to give cancer. The Buddhists reason is that the hatred, grief, suffering, and resentfulness turns into a viscious toxin that causes cancer. He tells us this theory of disease to help us understand that with eating meat, we are putting the stress, suffering, grief, and hatred upon ourselves and inflicting our bodies with it.
Master Hsuan Hua, secondly enhances the lesson that as we humans in the six evil paths should protect and liberate life by setting liberation events along with the development of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. From the yearly presentations from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas convincing us to go there, I learned that the students bow before the worms and then place them in the grass to prevent them from being stepped on. For students to be able to do this without being reminded is incredible and definitely shows that Master Hsuan Hua has worked hard to convince students to liberate lives.
Even though I do not hear of this, I see this in pictures. The Buddhist monks are liberating the birds. From simply seeing that picture, I could tell that there is an increasingly amazing amount of good karma there. Yet in all bird frenzy, the Buddhist monks do not look disgusted or disturbed, yet they look simply happy. From this very picture, I could tell that Master Hsuan Hua has really enhanced that lesson.
Master Hsuan Hua has enhanced the lesson that as human beings in the six evil paths, we must protect and liberate lives in both verbal and picture. Both however show his hard work to enhance that lesson. He has helped me even if he is a trillion miles away in Nirvana. By switching to a vegetarian diet, I wish to completely turn vegetarian and abandon the desire for meat. The Venerable Master has helped me now to understand the consequences of eating meat, and with hope he will guide me to become a complete vegetarian.