Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Freeing fish

Last Monday (28 th Jan) evening, my sister asked me to go to a fresh market to buy some fish and free them. It's the meritorious activity as we safe their lives from being killed.

We got to the market in the evening - and we went directly to a fish shop. There are a lot of fish there. At first, I intended to buy only 2 eels as it's cheap (10B for one eel). But there are so many kinds of fish at the shop ie snakehead fish (my favorite food), eel, catfish and a plenty of pond snail. They were very ready to be killed as a seller put some of them on a tray (without water). If someone wants it, they just tell the seller to kill and take that death fish bank home to cook. Some might buy alive fish and take it to kill at home at the taste is better.

When I was young, I came to this shop with my dad quite often and I didt feel very bad about the fish's death. But it was different in this time. I look at their eyes and I really felt sorry for them - just imagine that you are waiting to be killed. I am not quite sure if fish can sense or feel scarred or not. But finally, instead of buying 2 eels to free, I bought 6 catfish, 2 eels, 2 snakehead fish and a kilo of pond snail. I and my sister went to a river bank and freed all of them. The feeling arising at that time was the happiness to safe their lives. I saw some of them swiming to breathe on water surface happily - imagine again that you are freed to be bank home.

My friend said that the more fish we buy, the more the seller or a fisherman catch them. So we shouldnt buy them. I agree at some stage. However, if I dont buy them, other will buy and fish will be killed. But if I buy some of them and free their lives, that will prolong their lives a bit esp. if they are female fish, I can safe a plent of lives.

I talked with my sister that 'if we let them die, it would be better for them as they will be reborn quicker'. But she argued that are you sure that they will never come back to be animal or even born in the worse place ie in the hell or be a hungry ghost, as at the moment they die, they are very painful and they must be angry and scarred. I agree with her.

The other point is, according to Tipitaka, to make merit with animals will have 100 times less merit than an unmoral man. To make marit with unmoral man will have 100 times less merit than a moral man - it is life this from a moral man, a normal monk with low discoplines, a monk with high disciplines, Sodapana, Sakadakami, Anakami, Arahant and Sanghadana (merit to a monk community). This means if you want to get high merit with certain amount of money, you should pay more for monks rather than general people or even animal. This is a good practice for me - as I know this quite well, I shouldnt free fish like this as it doesnt give me high merit. But it practices me to sacrifice my selfishness and do not think very much about the merit I will get. It happens sometime that we make a merit with greed that we will get this and that in return. This is an unwholesome mind as it's Lobha. But freeing fish and safe animals' lives practice me to give without expecting to get something back - as only a few merit will be acquired.

Though I am not as fish lover, but I am a fish freer...hihihi

Longer happiness can be gained from helping and giving. I still insist in this idea.

1 comment:

enignes said...

that was a beautiful post! :)

it was my friend's birthday recently, and since we practice in the same mindfulness sangha (following the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh) we decided to get a bunch of friends together and buy fish from the market and kayak to the outlying islands (of hong kong) and free the fish :) starfish, clams... now i'm thinking, next time we could free the fish into this newly established marine reserve, as #1 the reserve needs more animals and #2 the animals would be ensured a protected environment...

hope you have a nice day!
---enignes