The Love of Life

83. The Murdered Chicken

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“He was truly a fine man. He was a pious Buddhist who lived by the commandments. And a pure vegetarian,” said Li Szuwei, as he wiped away a tear.

“Yes, a model for all Buddhists,” said his friend Luo Takuang.

They were talking about their old friend Chin Shihyen, who really had been every bit as good as they said. People for miles around knew that Chin Shihyen was a true Buddhist. They were all shocked and saddened when Chin died in his forties.

Chin came to one of his servants in a dream. “Hi, it’s nice to see you again. “Too bad I died so young. I really wanted to go to the Pure Land, but I didn’t make it. I’m doing okay now. I can come and go as I please.

“Right now I’m kind of like on probation with Amitabha. I’m busy working up enough merit so I can go to the Pure Land. Tell my family not to worry about me. Okay? It was great talking to you.”

They were all happy to hear about that, but some time later, Chin appeared in his widow’s dream, and he was mad! “You dummy! Didn’t I teach you anything? Now look what you’ve done! Are you trying to ruin me? How could you be so stupid?”

Mrs. Chin didn’t know what was wrong. She had never seen her husband so angry before. “What did I do wrong?” She thought maybe he was mad that she had remarried.

“You slaughtered a chicken at my tomb when you got remarried! I think it’s great you got remarried, I mean I don’t want you to go lonely, but why on earth did you do in that chicken? Don’t you realize how serious that is?”

His wife was sorry but honest. “No, really, I don’t know how serious it is.”

“Well, let me tell you, now I’ve got this probation officer who follows me everywhere to make sure I don’t kill anything. It’s like they think it was me who murdered that poor chicken. Now he’s always sticking his nose in my business and telling me what I can do and what I can’t do. You and your chicken!”

“I’m really sorry… Shihyen, you know I got remarried. I’m glad you don’t mind. You know I’m going to have a baby, too?”

“Yeah, I know, it’s a boy.”

“A boy? How nice.”

“This one will be fine, but the next time…”

“The next time what?”

“The next time won’t be so fine for you or the kid. Look, my probation officer’s coming back, so I gotta run now, but listen, I expect you to stay a vegetarian. No more of these dead animals at my tomb, got that?”

Everything turned out as Chin had said in the dream.

Look what even one dead chicken can do to a soul after death. Then think what happens to the souls of people who eat chicken and pork and beef day after day!


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