Increasing Life and Prosperity
A Method For Freeing Lives
By Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
Homage to the Guru and Transcendent Free Conqueror,
Lord Boundless Life (Buddha Amitayus).
The accomplished master Ngagi Wangchuk Drakpa said:
By saving the lives of birds, fish, and deer,
Or thieves, snakes and others to be killed, Your present life will be extended,
Even though it would otherwise be short.
As indicated by the above statement, all the sutras and tantras
teach that freeing the lives of sentient beings who are certain to be
killed is supreme among all types of longevity practices.
This can also be established through intelligent reasoning.
For this reason and because freeing lives brings immeasurable benefits,
all sensible people should increase their efforts to free lives.
Generally speaking, this means, with a noble frame of mind, to primarily free the lives of the animals in your own possession. Additionally, refrain from killing them yourself or selling them to others. Instead, nurture them in peace. By merely doing so, while dedicating the roots of virtue and making aspirations (for their benefit), you will have fulfilled this present purpose and it is therefore permissible not to perform any other specific ceremony.
If you prefer to perform a slightly more elaborate version in accordance with place, occasion, and degree of detail, then you can do so as found in several instructions from the Early Translations, such as making the [animal] a support for a Dharma protector and so forth.Or, if you wish to perform more detailed versions of the utterance of auspiciousness, dedication and aspirations, it would be excellent if you combine this with a special time such as the Miracle Month (the 1st month), the eighth day, or the new or full moon.
If the primary purpose is to extend someone’s lifespan, then perform this at sunrise at the conducive time of the ‘ascending life-planet’. In any case, place those whose lives are to be freed in front of you and say three times:
In the Buddha, the Dharma and the supreme assembly
I take refuge until enlightenment.
By the merit of generosity and so forth,
May I attain buddhahood for the welfare of all beings.
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they not be apart from the sublime happiness that is free of suffering.
May they remain in the great equanimity free from bias and partiality.
Furthermore, if you refrain from using traps, fishing nets or the like, in order to save the lives of birds, fish and deer, do so while including the above-mentioned bodhichitta resolve, as well as the dedications and aspirations. By combining this with smoke offering
(lhasang) and so forth, the benefits will be immeasurable, as exemplified by freeing lives.
In particular, in the area where you do so many auspicious signs will appear, such as seasonal rainfall, and prosperous crops and cattle.
In his Jewel Garland, the noble Nagarjuna says:
sensible people should always place food, water and plant oil,
Or heaps of grains, At the entrance to an ant nest.
Accordingly, giving food to ants, clean food to fish, or medicine to the sick, throwing a feast for children, or giving food and drink to birds and the destitute, all these should be embraced with the skillful means of the bodhichitta resolve and sincere dedications and aspirations. If you do so, it will become a cause for averting death, increasing prosperity and, ultimately, great enlightenment. Since this is easy to do, involves minor hardship and brings immense benefit, all intelligent people should, in various ways, persevere in these skillful means for gathering the accumulations.
In order to benefit both myself and others, this was written by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, someone who is devoted to the Bodhisattva Pitaka, motivated by pure intentions. May this be a cause for the lives of the sublime upholders of the teachings to last for a hundred aeons, for all sentient beings to be liberated from the fears of untimely death, and for their iminent attainment of the state of the Buddha of Boundless Life. Sarva mangalam.
At the command of Chadral Rinpoche, a great bodhisattva who truly embodies the virtues mentioned here, this was translated by Erik Pema Kunsang and edited by Marcia Binder Schmidt and Michael Tweed. Proofread and reprinted by Idan in 2003.
© Rangjung Yeshe Translations & Publications, 2000 – http://www.rangjung.com
Copies can be freely made; please use nice paper, cover and binding. If sold, please use the funds for releasing animals