Why is Life Liberation Important?
What are the merits and virtues of life liberation?
Performing life liberations encompasses all three types of giving: the giving of wealth, the giving of Dharma, and the giving of fearlessness. Hence, it can help us attain immeasurable merits and virtues. The greatest benefits that we can receive from performing life liberations are the elimination of disasters and extension of our lifespans. When we are faced with major adversities and we pray for protection and blessings from Guan Yin Bodhisattva by reciting Buddhist scriptures, it will be more effective if we can also perform life liberation. Performing life liberation is not about merelysaving the life of a fish but also to cultivate our sense of compassion. Regardless of age or gender, whether we are Buddhist practitioners, we should all perform life liberation for ourselves and our family.
Animal to be Liberated
It is best to release animals that are commonly consumed by humans, including fish, shrimp, prawns, crabs, clams, etc. Other animals that tend to be killed or eaten would also be suitable. We should recite sutras and mantras when we perform a life liberation. This deed will help us to eliminate disasters and extend our lifespans while reciting mantras and sutras offer us the protection we need. For best results, it is better if we are able to perform both.
Time for Performing Life Liberation
In regard to the time to perform life liberation: Any time throughout the year is suitable. For people who would like to pray for longevity, it is best to do it on their birthday. Other significant dates include Chinese New Year’s Eve, when people bid farewell to the old and welcome the new, the 1st and 15th of each lunar month, and the Birthdays of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and so forth. To achieve the best results, it is best to choose a sunny day when Yang energy is at its peak. Avoid performing life liberations at night; however, cloudy or rainy days are fine during the daytime.
The Retribution from Act of Killing
“Amongst all sins, the act of killing is the most severe; Amongst all virtues, refrain from killing is foremost”
——《大智度论》Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
The antonym of life liberation is the act of killing – its retributive effect is highly severe.When committing the act of killing, the animals will oppose greatly to being killed. This will then affect the energy field of the person committing the act, resulting in a negative impact. Even though we are not the one who killed the animals when we consume live seafood, they die because of us. Hence, this is also considered as an act of killing.
Common acts of killing include: abortion, miscarriage, eating live seafood, fishing, etc. Miscarriages often lead to an unhappy marriage, gynaecological issues, and infertility. Consuming live seafood and killing many small foreign spirits can lead to skin disorders, blood related illnesses, respiratory diseases, joint pains and insomnia. Some serious examples of the act of killing include: hunting, running farms, and having multiple miscarriages. These can lead to severe illnesses, career obstructions, infertility, shortened lifespan, etc. Hence, Buddhist practitioners abide by the precept to abstain from killing and also eliminate karmic debts from the past through performing recitation and life liberation.