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 The Culture of Life Release: Ancient Chinese Culture of Life Release

   date:2020-09-18 16:20:39     read:50   

The Culture of Life Release: Ancient Chinese Culture of Life Release


A culture of life release that goes back a long way. Sustained release of life, with requests.

----- Zhuge Changqing

    Before Buddhism was introduced to China, the Han people already had the practice of releasing animals. The book "Lie Zi - Say Fu" records that the people of the city of Handan in the state of Zhao contributed turtledoves to Zhao Jianzi on the first day of the first month, and that Zhao Jianzi would always reward the people generously before releasing the turtledoves to show that the vassal had the virtue of being good to life. During the Western Han Dynasty, the custom of releasing birds on the first day of the first month of the Lunar New Year was said to be due to the fact that during the Chu-Han War, Liu Bang hid himself in a well to avoid Xiang Yu's pursuit, and after hiding, some birds flew to the well to roost. When the pursuers saw the birds at the well, they did not suspect that Liu Bang was hiding there. When Liu Bang escaped this disaster, he made it a rule to release the birds on the first day of the first month of each year to show that he would not forget the kindness that saved his life.

      After Buddhism was introduced to China, the Buddhist practice of releasing birds was mixed with the original Han Chinese practice of releasing birds. The Buddhist idea of equality of all beings made life release even more popular. Mahayana Buddhism sees all dharmas as manifestations of Buddha nature, and all dharmas have Buddha nature. The Buddhist sutra "Mahayana Lankan Sutra, Fasting from Meat" says this: "All sentient beings have been reincarnated in the cycle of birth and death since the beginning of time. They have never been parents, brothers, male and female dependents, or even friends and beloved servants, but they are easily born and do not receive bodies such as birds and animals. How can one take them and eat them? Great Wisdom, Bodhisattva Mahasattva. Seeing that all living beings are the same as oneself, and thinking that all flesh comes from a living being, how can one eat it? ...... In the place of birth, seeing that all living beings are relatives, and even thinking of them with compassion as one son, one should not eat all flesh." This sutra emphasises that human beings are only a part of all sentient beings and are equal to all other creatures. In particular, it is forbidden to burn mountains from April to September because this is the time when insects, snakes, rats, ants and other living creatures are multiplying, and if one sets fire to a mountain, one will kill countless small living creatures. In the second volume of the Brahma Sutra, "The Twentieth Precept on Not Setting Free Life", it is stated that one should not only "practice the practice of setting free life", but also tell others to do so. If you see people killing animals or livestock, you should help them and relieve their suffering.

    Buddhist monasteries and monks have set an example in releasing and protecting life. The founder of the Tiantai sect in the Sui dynasty, Zhiying, once propagated the idea of releasing life to the fishermen along the coast of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and many fishermen were influenced by him at that time, and 63 ponds were set aside for releasing life, which had a great impact on the folklore of the area. In the Sui Dynasty, the monk Pu'an "lived in seclusion but always practised charity. The monk was often a member of two communities, with many blood sacrifices. He had a lot of people in the village, and he had three pigs with him, which he was going to cook and slaughter. The people were afraid that they would not be able to kill them and demanded ten thousand dollars more. An said: 'I have seen three thousand, and I have increased the price tenfold, so I can give it to them.' The crowd was different, and they competed with each other in anger. ...... An then cut the flesh of his thigh with his knife and said: 'This is the flesh of both of them, and the pig eats dung, but you still eat it, let alone a man eats rice, which is also very expensive. When the community heard this, they were all released at once". (During the Wu Zhou period, after Wang Shouzhen, the imperial official, became a monk, he dug a pond in the western city of Chang'an and "injected water from the Yong'an Drain into it for the purpose of releasing the living creatures". (Song Gaosheng zhuan, vol. 26)

During the Sui and Tang dynasties, the vegetarian system became widespread throughout the country. Vegetarianism was a strong guarantee of the implementation of the precept of no killing. The fundamental aim of vegetarianism is to cultivate in one's life a compassionate Buddha nature that respects life and loves it. A vegetarian diet has a direct contribution to the conservation of animal diversity. The internal laws of Buddhism stipulate that Buddhists are required to settle down for summer during the three months when everything is growing rapidly. During these three months Buddhists are expected to live in monasteries and avoid going outside so as not to harm living creatures. Chinese Buddhists generally live in peace from the 15th day of the 4th month to the 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. Excavated documents from Dunhuang show that during the Tang and Five Dynasties period, the system of summer rest was well practised, which was very beneficial to the protection of living beings.

Under the influence of Buddhism, the concept of releasing and protecting living beings was gradually accepted by all social classes. Some of the feudal emperors who believed in Buddhism strongly advocated the release and protection of life. The Book of Wei - Shi Lao Zhi once recorded that during the reign of Yan Xing of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the retired Wei Emperor Tuo Tre Hong captured a mandarin duck during a hawk hunt, and although its mate was not captured, it sang around it and did not leave. He ordered the mandarin duck to be released. (Mingcheng Manchu Chinese Ethnic Religious Network)


----- 诸葛长青






What are the acts of abstaining from killing and releasing



 1. Do not kill a living being with your own hands.


  2. Do not abet others to kill.


  3. Do not help others to kill.


  4. Abstain from eating meat.


  5. Do not engage in trades related to killing.


  6Whenever there is worship, regardless of what is being worshipped, use vegetarian dishes, flowers and fruit, not animal gifts.


  7. If you see someone killing a human being, you should discourage them or buy the animal to be slaughtered with money and release it. If this does not work, or if the person does not sell the animal, then you should have compassion for the slaughtered animal, and even better if you can recite the Buddha's name or mantra for it.


  8. Do not abuse the animal.


  9Other actions that are contrary to killing.


  10. Abstain from killing and releasing animals yourself, and advise others to do the same. 












(This article is an original article by Zhuge Changqing, and the pictures are selected from the Internet. Welcome to forward it, and please indicate the source for forwarding)

Introduction to Zhuge Changqing: Zhuge Changqing, the inheritor and promoter of traditional Chinese culture, is willing to "learn from sages, promote virtue, revitalize China and benefit the world" together with people with the same ideals in the world.

(Zhuge Changqing: zhuge8031@163.com )

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Zhuge Changqing's Chinese Dream

Learn from sages and carry forward virtue

Revitalizing China for the benefit of the world










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Selected Articles in Previous Periods

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1The wisdom of traditional Chinese culture changes the destiny: filial piety to parents+five in one+self-improvement


2Zhuge Changqing's Three Golden Keys to Changing Destiny


3Zhuge Changqing's Greeting Ritual (15 Steps Concise Version)

3诸葛长青施食仪轨 (十五步简洁版)

4How to repent: the ritual of repentance and the method of repentance (full version)

4   如何忏悔:忏悔仪轨忏悔方法(完整版)

5How to read the Dizang Sutra: Methods for reciting Dizang Sutra (complete version)


6How to release? The ritual of releasing life


7Zhuge Changqing's Repentance Culture: A Case Study of Repentance Methods for Changing Destiny


8Free Life Culture: Free Life Culture in Ancient China


9Shocking photo of feeding: Buddha, Bodhisattva and Dharma Protector come to the scene


10Feeding Rite Return: the return is changed to simple return







That is to say, with this merit and virtue, we should solemnly observe the Buddha's net ten. Report four blessings and save three hardships. Those who wish to see and hear,Know and send Bodhi Heart. To live in a state of bliss

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