The True Crown of Creation
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai,
International 5-Day Retreat
February 22, 2007 Hsihu, Miaoli, Formosa
(Originally in English)
I hope that one day the human race wakes up. We have to know that animals are the same as us. We are alike, just a different form. They’re just different flowers, but we’re all flowers. How simple can that be? Yet how difficult it is to ingrain into someone’s heart. Well, I’m glad you believe me, and I’m glad you follow the loving way of life, of “live and let live.” (Applause)
Anyone who acts out of ignorance, of course we don’t condemn them. But I do really feel sorry for the animals, as well as the ones who kill them, because the karma will be upon them later on. Truly, the King of Illusion wants every piece of his creation to be repaid, and many-fold. You cannot just pay for a piece of beefsteak on Earth, eat it, and think that’s ‘finito,’ or it’s even. No, it’s not! The Lord of Karma doesn’t want your money; he wants your flesh. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, in the world of illusion.In the physical world, it is only like that - an eye for eye, and a tooth for tooth. There’s no mercy and nothing you can bribe the Lord of Karma with. He doesn’t take bribes, not at all. Even if you give him the whole world, he doesn’t care, or the whole Three Worlds, he doesn’t care, because his job is that: He likes to check on people; he likes to see who is doing bad. He even tempts them to do bad, to see how strong you are, how noble you are, and how much power you have in your heart to resist temptation.
“Love Thy Neighbor” Means Everyone
To harm other beings is the most terrible sin we can commit. So, if the ones I have been diligently teaching not to kill and not to eat meat are still going out and doing that, I don’t want to know about that person. If you didn’t know it before, and you commit it, it’s okay. Everyone does it; the world makes you do that. Even your parents forced you to do things when you were young and you didn’t know any better. But if you know already that it’s not right and still continue doing that, just because you could not forget your taste palate – it’s just a small sacrifice, very small! Even if you still want to eat meat, it’s a very small sacrifice, especially when we have so much beautiful vegetarian food in the vegetable kingdom. Even any religion will tell you it’s the food for you to eat, but no one wants to see that page; not many people want to listen to that. “Love thy neighbor” includes our animals! If we cannot love animals, then there will be no more neighbors for us to love. Neighbor includes everything. Jesus didn’t say, “Love thy neighbor: man and woman or children.” He said, “Love thy neighbor.”
Who are our neighbors? Everyone! Everyone, including humans, animals, dogs, cats, birds, ducks and geese - wild or tame. Can you imagine just for one moment if you were an animal living among humans like this? Every day they fear for their lives. Can you imagine the kind of life that we impose upon them? Suppose we humans were living together with other giant kinds of creatures, and all the time they killed us to eat, one by one. How would you feel? Helpless and miserable, no? And so sad, so terrified! It’s the same with animals. They don’t do anything to us. But we, on the contrary, subject them to all kinds of suffering. Some of them are even working to help us, and we still kill them to eat at the end. No “thank you” to them, nothing! Not even a peaceful and dignified death. We kill and eat, without mercy, without remorse, without even thinking that we should never do that, without even thinking anything. We just do it like a natural thing, and we call ourselves human, intelligent, the crown of the creation. What kind of crown could be put on our head?
In our world, if we kill someone, it’s called murder. And then we have to go to jail and so on. But we kill billions, trillions, zillions of animals every day, and no one puts us in jail. Isn’t that amazing? And the animals are helpless! They’re fearful living with us, fearful every day. How can this be, a world like this? How can it be that we make ourselves into such fearful, vicious kinds of beings, feared by all other creatures? We dominate all the other creatures in the whole world; we take away their habitat sometimes, and we make them fear every day for their lives. Even our brother and sister human beings, we make them fear also: by power, by guns, by atomic weapons, by economic sanctions, all kinds of things.
We put fear in each other’s lives. How do we call ourselves the crown of the creation? That, I don’t know. I don’t know what kind of crown that we merit to put on our head, and I don’t know who would put that crown on our head. All our brothers and sisters are fearful of us, and we’re killing them every day somewhere on the planet in different ways, not just by guns or knives, but by bullying, by causing spiritual oppression, emotional stress and physical suffering. We cause that to each other, day by day. How can we call ourselves civilized human beings and the crown of the creation?
To Be Great, Simply Do No Harm
In this new year, everyone in the world should rethink the program or the direction that they should lead their lives, and the truly noble goal that they should reach during their lifetime, while they still have time to correct it. To be a noble human being is so simple. It doesn’t need a Saint to do it. It doesn’t need a nun, a monk or a holy personage. Just leave the animals alone; that’s all we have to do. Then we are noble already, immediately! All the animals will praise you in their hearts, and will pray for you. Your life will be lengthened, your happiness will be multiplied; your health will be more assured, your love will expand to no end, and you’ll become a great being already. No need for Master Ching Hai, no need for initiation, nothing of that yet. Just leave the meat alone; then you really can become Buddha, or at least reach the Third Level. (Applause)
The Buddha meant just that when He said, “Put down the butcher knife, and you can become Buddha.” It’s truly like that! If you don’t kill or don’t eat any animals, you truly can immediately attain the Third Level - the low one, but Third Level. That is for sure. But no, how many people do that? How many people can sacrifice just a little taste of the palate to be a noble being, to be a compassionate person worthy of being the crown of the creation? Then I don’t even need to go teaching; I don’t need to do anything anymore. It would be much better; and the animals will be happy, humans will be more elevated, and hospitals will be fewer. Fighting will be no more, because everyone, through the vegetarian diet, will have enough food to sustain themselves. The whole planet will have enough food for every single person on the planet, without any cost. If we are just vegetarian, then the planetary wealth will automatically somehow be divided evenly, and there will be no more hunger. Truly, it’s like that. But how many people want to do this noble deed?
Awakening the Noble Quality Within
I just hope this New Year that the planet people will also be very smart, much more contemplative inside, and see truly what they want within, not being blinded by outer temptation and influences of the negative power. They should be strong, noble, and looking within themselves to see what is in their heart and what truly their heart wants to tell them, because if they do look, they will find it. “Knock, and it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7)
So, I do hope they really look! Because if they look, they will see they are a noble person or a noble being, and it’s not within our dignity to kill and eat some innocent creature that’s not even our own size. Some are bigger, and we bully them too. Even the fish in the sea, they do no harm to anyone; they’re swimming in their own world, and we fish them up, kill them, and eat them. Or, the animals in the air, they’re flying there, doing no harm to anyone, doing nothing wrong, and we shoot them down and eat them. And the animals in the jungle or in the forest, they also mind their own business; they don’t harm anything, yet we go there, hunt them down, kill them, and eat them also.
Do you think that’s noble? Anyone would know that it’s not noble, is it? How noble can it be when a strong person with all the power and intelligence goes and kills someone who is weak, small and defenseless? How noble can that be? Even in China and in Au Lac (Vietnam), the martial arts rule is: If a person has fallen from their horse in battle, you don’t wound or kill him. If the person is already down, that’s what we say: Don’t kill him. So, how would it be for a smaller animal? They’re already frightened and paralyzed at the sight of a human! How can we not feel compassionate and sorry or pity, and let him live? How could a human being not feel any pity in his heart when the animal is frightened and running, running, running for their life already, begging for their life? It’s incredible!
In the new year, maybe all our wishes will come true; so let’s wish that these things won’t happen again, and that human beings, all of them, will wake up to the noble intention inside their heart from before they were born, or when they were just born and they were noble, pure and heroic. Let’s hope that the human beings will awaken within themselves these superior qualities, which make us the crown of the creation. Let them wake up these superior qualities, and then we will all be in Heaven. Really, if there’s no more killing, this planet shall be Heaven. (Applause)