Benefits of Proper Animal Liberation – Practising Dharma Diligently
“Together with a growing appreciation of the importance of human rights there is a greater awareness worldwide of the need for the protection not only of the environment, but also of animals and their rights. Where there is a mind, there are feelings such as pain, pleasure and joy. No sentient being wants pain, instead all want happiness. Since we all share these feelings at some basic level, we as rational human beings have an obligation to contribute in whatever way we can to the happiness of other species and try our best to relieve their fears and sufferings.” – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
At the core all Buddhist practice is the fundamental principle of non violence, loving-kindness and great compassion. In the Tibetan Mahayana Tradition, emphasis is placed upon the aspiration to develop great compassion and to dedicate one’s spiritual life for the welfare of all beings. Saving and/or Liberating animals from imminent death is a wonderful expression of such an aspiration.
Whilst for most of us, simply being able to save the life of a helpless creature is motivation enough to do this practice, releasing animals is also said to be of great benefit to those who participate. Just as violent actions are believed to create the cause to experience harm and illness oneself, altruistic actions such as saving the lives of animals are said to create the cause to experience good health and long life.
Typically during a Buddhist’s animal liberation practice, the animals are blessed and many prayers and auspicious mantra are recited in their presence. This is an intent to create further positivity in the mind of the animal and increase the likelihood of a future rebirth where they too can engage in spiritual practice and ultimately purify and perfect their minds.
What motivation should be set before taking part of Fish Liberation?
Geshe Lobsang Yonten puts it aptly in a short 3-min clip explaining the right motivation when participating in animal liberation