On the Issue of Killing
The issue of killing is a very sensitive one. We have set strict requirements for practitioners that they should not kill. Killing is absolutely prohibited in all orthodox cultivation ways, whether they belong to the Buddha School, the Tao School, the Rare School, or any other schools. This is for sure. Because killing gives rise to serious consequences, which we shall talk about in detail. Killing, as defined in primitive Buddhism, primarily referred to killing humans, which was considered most serious. Later, killing large-sized mammals, big cattle or slightly big animals was regarded as something very grave, as well. Why is the issue of killing considered so serious in the cultivation world? It was stated in Buddhism in the past that the lives taken should not have died and would become lost souls and homeless ghosts. Redeeming services in the past were performed for their sake. It was also mentioned in Buddhism in the past that without such services, these lost souls would suffer from hunger and thirst and live in terrible hardship.
We believe that one will pay back with a considerable amount of De () if he does something bad to someone. Here, we usually refer to cases of taking away what belongs to others. However, once a person has taken a life, whether it is an animal or another living thing, he will incur considerable karma. Killing once mainly referred to taking a human life, which causes relatively serious karmic debts. Yet, taking other lives is also no minor sin, and also directly incurs huge karma. As a practitioner in particular, there are some tribulations arranged at each level of your process of cultivation. They are all your own karma, your own tribulations placed at different levels for you to improve yourself with. They will not be overcome until you raise your Xinxing. But, if all of your karma comes on at the same time, how will you overcome it? With your Xinxing, you can not go through the tribulation at all. This may prevent you from going on with your cultivation.
We find that once a person was born, there are many of him born simultaneously in a certain scope of this cosmic space. They all look like him, have the same name as his and do similar things, and so they can be called parts of his whole. Such a matter involved here is that, if one living being of his (as in the case of the life of a large animal ) died suddenly while the rest of him in different spaces have not finished their pre-arranged path of life and have many years to live on, this person who has died will fall into a homeless situation, wandering around in the space of the universe. That may be the case with the lost souls and homeless ghosts who suffer hunger, thirst and hardships as described in the old days. But we have indeed perceived the terrible conditions in which he suffers. He has to wait for a home to return to until everyone of him in each space has completed his journey of life. The longer he waits, the more he suffers. The more he suffers, the more karma which he has suffered from is added incessantly to the killer. Just imagine how much your karma will increase as a result? We have observed this through supernormal capabilities.
We have also observed a case such as this: when a person was born, there was an existing form of his whole life in a specific space; that is to say, what he will do at different stages of his life all exists in that space. Who pre-arranges his journey of life? Obviously, it is done by an intelligent being in the high dimension. For instance, at birth one belongs to a certain family, a certain school, and a certain work place when he grows up in ordinary human society. He makes his contacts in different respects with society through his work. In other words, the layout of the whole society has been arranged in this way. However, because this life suddenly died, a change has taken place which is not in accordance with the original arrangement. Then the intelligent being will not forgive whoever has disrupted this arrangement. Let us think about it. As practitioners we hope to cultivate towards higher levels. The intelligent being will not forgive such a violation. How can the killer cultivate? Some masters are below the level of the intelligent being. So his master will be punished with him, and sent down as a punishment. Just think about it. Is this an ordinary minor problem? So, it is very difficult for one to cultivate with a record of killing.
Some practitioners of Falun Dafa may have fought battles in times of war. Those wars were conditions resulting from the large changes of the whole cosmos, and you were only an element of the conditions. Without the human activities under the influence of cosmic changes, such conditions could not have been brought to human society, nor would there have been the so-called cosmic changes. Such events change with great cosmic changes, and therefore they are not totally your responsibilities. The karma we talk about here refers to what one has accumulated because of wrong doing committed out of selfish motivations, personal interests, or what is related to oneself. It is no fault of yours as long as it is related to large-scale changes of the social situation, big changes of the whole space.
Killing brings about enormous karma. Some people may think like this: as the cook at home, what will my family eat if I cannot kill animals? This specific issue is not my concern. I am teaching the Law to practitioners, not casually telling ordinary people how to lead their lives. You should act according to the requirements of the Great Law to deal with those specific issues. Do what you feel is appropriate. Ordinary people will do whatever they want to do, which is the business concerning ordinary people. It is not possible that everyone can genuinely cultivate himself. But as a practitioner, one should measure up to a high standard. Therefore, it is only for practitioners that I am putting forward these requirements.
Not only human beings, but animals and plants are all alive. Any substance may manifest its form of life in other spaces. When your Celestial Eye reaches the plane of the Law Eye Sight, you will find that everything, including rocks, walls or whatever you see, will greet and talk to you. Perhaps, some people may wonder: What should we do because grain and vegetables are alive and there may be flies and mosquitoes at home? We suffer a lot when bitten by mosquitoes in summer. We should not kill mosquitoes, but watch them bite us without making a move. We should not kill flies, but watch them make the food dirty. Let me tell you that we should not kill casually without good reason. However, we should not become overcautious gentlemen, who always focus on such trifle things, and watch each step and skip their way while walking for the fear of stepping over an ant. I would say that it is a burden to live. Isn't that another attachment? Though you may not kill an ant by cautiously jumping around, you may have killed a lot of microorganisms all the same. There are many smaller lives in the microcosmic state, including germs and bacteria that you may have stepped over and killed. Then we will not be able to live any more. We do not want to become such people, and this will make the cultivation impossible. We should focus on something big, and cultivate in an open and above-board manner.
As we human beings live, we should maintain the right of living. Therefore, the living environment should also meet the needs of a human life. We cannot hurt or kill intentionally, but we must not confine ourselves to such trifles. For instance, vegetables and grain have life. Yet we cannot stop eating and drinking only for this reason. Otherwise, how can we practise? We should be above-board and broad-minded. For example, while you walk, some ants or insects may happen to run under your feet, and be killed. They may deserve death since you did not do so intentionally. In the world of biology and microbiology there also is the issue of the ecological balance. Too many insects would become rampant as well. Thus, we should practise in a broad-minded way. When flies and mosquitoes are in the house, we may drive them out, and install a screen window to keep them out. But, sometimes we cannot drive them out, so it is no problem to kill them. They bite and harm people in their homes, so they should be driven out as they are not allowed to bite people. If you can not drive them out, you should not ignore them when they are biting people. Although as practitioners you are not affected and are immune to them, other family members who are ordinary non-practitioners may catch contagious illnesses. We should not allow a mosquito to bite a child's face.
Let me give you an example. There is a story about Sakyamuni in his early years. One day Sakyamuni was going to take a bath in a forest, and asked a disciple to clean the bathtub. His disciple went to the bathtub and found it full of worms crawling everywhere. To wipe it out would kill these worms. The disciple returned and told Sakyamuni that the bathtub was full of worms. Sakyamuni did not look at him and replied: "You go and clean the bathtub." The disciple went back to the bathtub and did not know how to clean it because he could not do it without killing the worms. He came back again to Sakyamuni and said: "Master, the bathtub is full of worms. If I clean it, the worms will be killed." Sakyamuni looked at him, and said: "What I asked you to do is to clean the bathtub." The disciple suddenly understood him and went back to clean up the bathtub. This story relates a principle. We should not skip taking a bath because there are worms; nor should we find another place to live because there are mosquitoes; nor should we tie up our throats and stop eating and drinking because grain and vegetables are alive. We should not do so. We should balance the relationship between the two, and be open and above-board with cultivation as long as we do not intentionally harm lives. At the same time, human beings should have living space and existing conditions so as to maintain their lives and their normal way of life.
Some sham qigong masters in the past said: You are allowed to kill on January 1 and 15 on the Chinese lunar calendar. Some of them even claimed: You are allowed to kill two-legged animals, as if they were not alive. Isn't killing on January 1 and 15 regarded as a matter of killing, but earth digging? Some sham qigong masters can be identified by what they say and what they do, by what they are talking about and what they are after. Those qigong masters who speak these words are often possessed by evil spirits. Just look at the way the qigong master possessed by a fox spirit is eating the chicken, gobbling it up, as if he would be reluctant to even spit out the bones.
Killing not only results in incurring huge karma, but involves the issue of compassion as well. Should not we have compassion as practitioners? When we have compassion, we can see all living beings suffering and feel that everyone is suffering. Such feelings will come out.