Saving Lives with a Pure Motivation

Reverence For Life
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and the Earth. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.                                                                First of the Five Mindfulness Trainings
Introduction by Tulku Ugen Chencho
The Compassionate Activity of Saving Lives
Tse Thar practice at Khordong Byangter Monastery
How to Support Tse Thar Practice: the Gift of Life

Introduction by Tulku Ugen Chencho

The Compassionate Activity of Saving Lives

 In Mahayana Buddhism, when one takes the Bodhisattva Vow, one pledges to work tirelessly in this life and all future lives to awaken oneself and purify oneself sufficiently to help all other beings attain freedom  from suffering through spiritual Enlightenment. One vows to help beings whenever possible and a profound way to do this is to give a being the gift of life through an act of kindness. This can take the form of helping an animal in danger cross the road to safety before being struck by a vehicle or freeing an animal that is in captivity before is killed by buying it from the captor and let it roam free. If one is in a position to help save another’s life-whether that of a human or animal- one must practice fearless kindness to help the other being in danger.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that due to the countless incarnations all beings have undergone throughout time, at one point or another any given living creature has been one’s mother in past life. Therefore, it is viewed as an obligation to repay the kindness of those who are referred to as “mother sentient beings”. If your own mother in this life were in danger, you would certainly do whatever you could to save her life. Similarly, dedicated of the Bodhisattva Vow feel this kind of urgency to save the lives of all “mother sentient beings”. […]

The energy present in one’s mind at the moment of death is largely determinative of one’s next incarnation. If a being is killed, the energy of their mind is likely to be fear, anger and bewilderment-none of which are conducive to a higher rebirth. If one is rescued from this miserable end and given a chance to die naturally in a peaceful setting –in addition to having received a blessing at the moment one’s life is saved-the chances are very good that the positive energy in one’s own mind will lead to a higher rebirth and a better chance of attaining Enlightenment.
Extract from "Compassionate Action, the teachings of Chadral Rinpoche", Sechen Publications

"The Benefits of Saving the Lives of Other Beings " by Chadral Rinpoche
༄༅། །ཚེ་ཐར་ཕན་ཡོན་བཞུགས་སོ། །
Thangtong Gyalpo's Aspiration Prayer for the Liberation of Fish

Tse Thar Practices at Khordong Byangter Monastery

Chotrul Duchen: fishes release April 2012

Chotrul Duchen is always a joyful occasion at Khordong Byangter Gompa. Celebrated on the first full moon of the Tibetan new year. As a yearly event it is the day we release live fishes . With the donations gathered along year 2012,  we could release the equivalent of 200 kg of live fishes. We did it early morning as usual, from the nearby dam by the Mahanenda  nature reserve….

Grand Fish Release, March 2011

On March 23 2011 to celebrate the Chotrul Duchen festival with some meritorious actions we have been working to organize the release of live fishes in a consequent manner. As some of you know this is an activity that was first started years ago with the release of the fishes that were trapped in the gompa pond and who were facing death every year due to the lack of water in the pond during the month of April. Other lives release actions had been done since but always in a limited scale.

In 2011, thanks to the request and impulse of Laurent Van der Maren during the winter, we worked at making it in a bigger scale. So we first went to meet the executive engineer of the Mahananda Barrage to ask for a written permission as it is a restricted area. Our wish got very positively received and permission was granted.

We then went several times at the local regulated market near Siliguri where the main agents bring live fishes to sell them around the region. All sorts of fishes are being negotiated on daily basis there, live and fresh, clear water and sea fishes. We finally could cut a deal with one of the agent and purchase 320 kg of live fishes which accounted for more than 20.000 of them of 4 different varieties together with some eels.

Early morning, the fishes were giving signs of obvious stress as they had travelled all night, so from the market we headed to the Mahananda barrage which is located close to the gompa at Fulbari. There the small truck full of water and fishes started to be emptied while the Tsethar ritual was being performed by Tulku Ugen, Lopon Choewang and the monks.
Fishes were caught, weighed once again and then released. It was a fantastic experience to witness their joy and relief at entering the stream of liberation. Some jumped several times; others were diving deep down to disappear from human sight as fast as they could. Deep joy could be seen on everyone’s faces as an expression of the shared feeling for taking part in this meritorious act.

Once the truck emptied and all the fishes released we all made the wish to make it an annual event for our Khordong Byangter Monastery with the help of whoever wants to take part. We now have been assured of the barrage authority support and have the right contacts to purchase live fishes, so it will be easy to organize.

From this day on, we invite you to join us in this Dharma activity to fulfill the wish of making it an annual event for the benefit of those who will then be liberated.

How to Support Tse Thar Practice: the Gift of Life

Lives Release Events are being held regularly at Khordong Byangter Monastery.
The more lives are being released the better. We will concentrate on fishes.

Prayers may be submitted by yourself, on behalf of people who have recently passed away, for those suffering with serious illness or coping with difficult situations.  Live bait will then be purchased and released during the ceremony on your behalf. Please email us with details of your specific situation and note that donations for buying the fish must be received prior to the release.

If you wish to participate in this compassionate action and make a donation,  please contact us at

To give you an idea, it costs the equivalent of 20 Euros (Rs 1,500) to release 10 kg of fishes all expenses included.

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