Monday, October 31, 2011

Releasing lives gets fortune

Releasing lives gets fortune

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One hundred sparrows: Benefits of protecting lives

During the Qing dynasty in the city of Jing Kou, Jiang Su province, China, lived a ministry councilman, Fan.

One day, Mr Fan got back home excitedly.

Mr Fan: "Chun Mei, is madam's illness getting better today?"

Chun Mei: "Madam isn't eating anything at all."

Mr Fan: "Oh!... Never mind, tell madam I'll be seeing her soon."

Chun Mei: "Yes, master."

Shortly after, 5 cages of sparrows were sent in by a bird shop.

Mr Fan: "A-Cai, bring these sparrows to the backyard."

A-Cai: "Yes, master."

A-Cai was wondering: "Why is master buying so many sparrows?"

After which Mr Fan rushed to see his wife in her room.

"Sweetheart! Good news! Dr Wang told me a secret ingredient of treating Lung TB this morning," said Mr Fan excitedly.

"He taught me to make medication from brain marrows of 100 sparrows, and to be consumed in 21 days."

"Then your illness will all be healed."

"I've already bought 100 sparrows and they're at the backyard now."

After hearing what her husband said, Mrs Fan got up angrily.

She started talking but can't help coughing breathlessly:

"In order to save my life, that's to sacrifice the lives of 100 sparrows."

"Hmm!" Mr Fan exclaimed.

Mrs Fan: "I'd rather die of the illness than to do this."

"Chun Mei, help me to the backyard."

Chun Mei: "Yes, madam."

Mr Fan: "Sweetheart, what are you doing?!"

"I just don't want 100 sparrows die because of me," said Mrs Fan.

Chun Mei helped Mrs Fan to the backyard; Mr Fan followed closely.

Mr Fan: "Sweetheart, please don't be angry. Okay, I promise I won't kill them."

Mrs Fan: "No. I have to set them free myself or I'll be worrying about them."

Mrs Fan opened the cages and talked to the sparrows with full of compassion: "Go fly! Go fly! Don't let people catch you again."

One hundred sparrows flew out from cages, chirping loudly and cheerfully.

Mrs Fan saw them leaving; and her face smiling.

They all witnessed the magnificent vibrancy of life forms.

Mr Fan was a bit disappointed:

"Sweetheart, let's get in the house, or you'll get cold again.”

“Please take a good rest. I'm going to the doctor for other medication.”

Mrs Fan: “Hmm, thank you.”

But Mr Fan was worried there might not be better medication to treat her wife.

“Chun Mei! Take special care of madam!”

Chun Mei: “Yes, master.”

As time went by, surprisingly, Mrs Fan got better and was eventually completely healed.

Furthermore, she gave birth to a baby boy the following year.

Mr Fan: “Ha! Look at this baby, smart look with clear eyebrows and sparkling eyes, he must be somebody one day.”

Mrs Fan: “Darling, you see here. There is a birthmark on his arm. Does it look like a sparrow?”

Mr Fan: “Ya! It's so much like a sparrow!”

And Mr Fan said, thoughtfully: "Sweetheart! Do you remember what we did with some sparrows 2 years ago?"

Mrs Fan: "Of course I do."

Mr Fan: "Did this baby come as a result of your kindness to living beings?"

Mrs Fan: "Maybe!"

"I deeply believe in "Accumulate-kindness-one's-family, sure-have-extra-celebration". We must do more good deeds from now on."

The couple looked deeply at the baby in their hands. And they smiled happily.

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ji shan zhi jia,
bi you yu qing.


A family that accumulates good deeds will always have extra good health, wealth and happiness.

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ren ren xian yu da qi yi,
bu bi xun si mi qiao yi.
jie sha fang sheng ruo zuo de,
yu ru wan ji tian lin er.

Men women all desire reaching expected health,
No need search worry look-for talented doctors.
Abstain killing freeing lives if doing so,
Cure your tough illness getting kirin baby.

Everybody wants to heal and cure their illnesses fast and have a healthy body. There is no need trying so hard to look for talented doctors. If you can stay away from killing living beings and promote freeing lives, you can then cure your illnesses and even be able to bear intelligent and beautiful children.

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The message is simple:

Be kind to animals and all living beings,
good fortunes will bestow on you.

Whenever possible, spare and release lives.
Good fortunes and more lives will come back to you.

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+) Contributors: Story adapted by 慧长(Hui Zhang); comics drawn by 牧谷(Mu Gu); Comic version presented in 护生漫画集 (Hu Sheng Man Hua Ji, Protect-Lives-Casual-Drawing-Collection or Protection for living beings). English translation by

+) Story: adapted from 故事图说(Gu Shi Tu Shuo; Past stories illustration narration).

+) Quote: "Accumulate-kindness-one's-family, sure-have-extra-celebrations." is from "积善之家,必有余庆." in the book of 周易(Zhou Yi) or 易经(Yi Jing), more known as "I Ching" in the west; an ancient philosophical book in Dynasty Zhou, BC 1066 - BC 256.

+) Names of people/places/events involved: 范(Fan), 清朝(Qing Chao; Qing dynasty, 1644-1911), 京口(Jing Kou) city, 江苏(Jiang Su) province, 放生得福(Fan Shang De Fu; Releasing-lives-gets-fortune).

+) Right and wrong? To seek help or not? It seems I'm going to be in trouble by translating and publishing the poem here in my blog; it will then mean I agree to what it says about not necessary to look for good doctors for medical complications. The fact is that I believe in doing the right things right. The right thing to do in this story is we must not kill the sparrows for their brain marrows as medication. All lives are precious; it's not like we can take others' lives to save ours (Even if we can, that's a bigger price to pay ahead). And the other right thing to do is to seek for medication which is herbal based or which we don't harm living animals. Therefore, at the time we're looking for medical help, we need to ask ourselves: "Am I doing the right things right?" If the initial approach has been wrong and inhumane, how can we expect the outcome be right and beneficial to humanity?


Sylvia said...

Hi Dr. John,

[是知护生,原属护自] ~ 印光大师文。

予人生命是慈悲, 授人慧命是智慧,
是亦众生, 与我同体;
应起悲心, 怜彼此蒙。

一切善恶根源, 起於方寸,
转念之间, 果报已具。
一念善, 转危为安;
一念恶, 折损福报。

更何方, 放生的无量功德,更不可思义,
如此自利利他的善念, 何乐而不为呢?

tctnovy said...

Hi, John!

What a great story!
Tq for sharing it..

Best regards,

John J. C. Lew said...

Hi Sylvia,

It's always great to get your thoughtful comments. Yes, we're all one, we just need to see clearer and deeper and longer.

Let's give lives a chance.


John J. C. Lew said...

Hi Novy,

Glad you like the story. And the meaning behind it.

Again, let's give lives a chance.


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