Thursday, July 2, 2015

Release some animals - Fang Sheng


This is something which is common in all the early markets in Phuket Town - it all rests on a Buddhist Tradition of releasing animals who are going to be slaughtered shortly. This  Market is adjacent to Robinson's in Phuket Town - before 10 in the morning.

Animal release (fang sheng) is a term used by Chinese Buddhists to refer to the practice of purchasing animals that are due to be slaughtered and letting them go. While the rationale for this practice is the Buddha's teaching of kindness and compassion to all creatures, even the most humble, the earliest evidence of the practice actually comes from the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka. According to the Vinaya, a monk once came across a pig caught in a hunter's trap and feeling compassion for its plight he released it. By the convention of the time he was guilty of theft. When the matter was brought to the Buddha's intention he said that from the perspective of the Dhamma the monk had committed no offence because he had acted `out of compassion.'  (karuññena, Vin.III,62). 

But this has led to what has become a mere ritual which is apparently more destructive to life than life-saving!


In countries with significant Chinese Communities (such as Phuket, Thailand) there are now whole industry of capturing wild animals simply so that they can be released is now evident.


Birds, tortoises and fish are trapped, taken to temples and then paid to be released and then the whole cycle continues...


Technically there are actually threats to particular animals - Asian Temple Turtle (Heosemys Annandalii) and some environmentalists would say that the Restaurant Trade and the Temple Trade. Do what you feel is needed

Much text is taken from A-Z of Buddhism.