Gyalwai Nyugu 2012 Chinese New Year Message and Greetings

gyalwai-13The Chinese traditional New Year is here. It is the biggest festival of the year. No matter how far people live from their homes, they will stop work, and travel back home to their families so they can be together and celebrate the holiday.

Nowadays, the material world is highly developed. People eat big meals not only on New Year’s Eve, but almost every day for seven days from the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Each meal is as incredibly plentiful as the dinner of New Year’s Eve.

As a Buddhist, we hold a different opinion of this celebration. During the holiday, a large number of animals are cruelly killed in the slaughterhouses and restaurants of China just for satisfying people’s food cravings. Therefore, every banquet comes from the blood of an animal. Our human moment of celebration is a disastrous moment for these cruelly killed living beings. It is the moment when their heaven collapses. With the rapid development of industry and economy, the human being’s insatiable lust and greed are also expanded. It changes a peaceful day on this earth into a day of suffering for numerous lives. Especially during the spring festival, killing is more cruel and the numbers of lives taken are beyond estimation. Thinking about this made us fearful and filled with horror. Putting us in their shoes, animals do have all the same sensations as human beings. They also value, cherish and protect their lives. They do desire for happiness and are afraid of pain when their body is hurt. Moreover, they are fearful of death just as us human beings; they also have parents, brothers and sisters and kids, and want to stay with them forever; they fear being separated by force.

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As a Mahayana Buddhist, I firmly believe that all sentient beings within the six realms have once been our parents and other relatives. What’s more, each sentient being has a Buddha nature and the potential to become a Buddha.
When considering this, how can we not grief? If we could help save their lives before the killings happen, those animals would arise to the same sense of appreciation as us human beings. If we rescue them today, we will be helped and rescued in the future too. This is the reaction of kindness.

 

Now, people talk about the issue of a huge disaster that probably is going to affect human beings in the year 2012, and many people feel anxiety and worry and are afraid of catastrophe and death. While the ultimate disaster has not bestowed on mankind, disasters are happening every day in every corner of the earth. If our evil thoughts keep increasing and widespread of harmful deeds occurring daily, the tragedy of human beings will eventually occur in the future. The only way to protect us is our the accumulation of great positive karma and the benefits from Buddhist practice.

p1So, during this New Year’s holiday, I sincerely wish that everyone will celebrate this annual New Year by releasing life during the holiday period, and thus spending a meaningful holiday. It is a chance for us to increase our wisdom and while benefitting the others and ourselves. Releasing animals doesn’t require a great deal of money; merely doing our best is sufficient. At the same time, we need to care for animals when releasing them taking into consideration the weather conditions, especially in the north part of China where it is very chilly. I have continuously led releases with other disciples since January 19th until now.

Lastly, I would like to wish you all a happy New Year and good luck!

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