Master Yin Guang’s Methods for Epidemic Prevention
First method: Eliminating the slaughter of animals through vegetarianism
Meat products contain toxins resulting from the fear and hatred experienced by farm animals during the violent butchery process. It is for this reason that vegetarians are less likely to be infected during epidemics.
Furthermore, meat products are often contaminated in other ways, and after consuming these foods, the bloodstream is infected with toxins, cognitive abilities decline, and irregular hormonal changes occur, causing rapid development and aging. All of these make the individual vulnerable to disease.
By comparison, fruits, grains, and vegetables are pure food items, and after consuming them, there are no foul odours in the mouth, the mind remains sharp, and the body increases in longevity and becomes resistant to aging. This is because vegetarian foods are rich in nutrients and replenishing elements.
Many believe that meat consumption, and animal slaughter, is a natural way of life. They employ numerous methods to raise, hunt, farm or purchase animals by sea, land, and air. These animals are then butchered, and prepared by steaming, boiling, frying, and fermenting, and consumed as sustenance, as filial offerings, as sacrifices for ancestors and spirits, or as gifts to guests – all of which contribute merely to our gustatory pleasure, without consideration for the suffering of the slaughtered animals.
The accumulation of violent karmic retribution will result in catastrophes such as warfare, natural disasters, and epidemics. Once the karma of butchering animals has come to fruition, the karmic consequence becomes inevitable, and one must necessarily suffer these catastrophes – no amount of fear or regret will influence the outcome. Therefore, the Buddha, with compassion for all sentient beings, directs mankind to cherish living beings, and avoid consuming meat – for the Buddha’s compassion extends not only to the slaughtered animals but also to the meat-eaters.
Second method: Releasing animals
Those who practice releasing animals rarely encounter pandemics or natural disasters. They are aware that caring for sentient beings is also caring for oneself. The elimination of animal slaughter is conducive to reducing natural disasters, malevolent spirits, thieves, and all future cycles of violence.
All living beings possess consciousness and sentience. All conscious and sentient things are fearful of death, avoiding harm and seeking reward – this is true for birds and beasts as it is for lice and fleas. Once captured and facing death, an animal might be defenseless and vulnerable, but its sense of hatred remains strong and indescribable. Similarly, if it is released at this moment of helplessness, its sense of gratitude will be boundless. Despite its present inability to seek revenge, or repay the debt of gratitude, the karmic seed has been sowed, and will be reaped, in this life or the next. This karmic result is to be expected.
Those who participate often in the release, or slaughter, of animals, even if they do not experience immediate karmic effects, are observed by heavenly beings who distribute blessings or calamities accordingly. Therefore, one must never undervalue living creatures, and harm them on the basis of their helplessness. Those who are unaware of karmic cause and effect mistakenly believe that meat consumption is natural and right. Moreover, they remain ignorant on the fact that warfare, floods, droughts, and epidemics, are primarily caused by meat consumption. Those with pure and compassionate mindsets, though they encounter the same calamities, will naturally have different experiences of these karmic results.
Third method: Chanting the name of Namo Guan Yin Bodhisattva
The power of chanting is capable of eradicating all karmic retributions. Those who sincerely chant the Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name during warfare, floods, fires, epidemics, hordes of locusts, droughts, and so on, will surely avoid calamity.
Such calamities are brought forth by the collective karma accumulated through immoral actions during our past and present lives. Yet, as the mind is capable of creating negative karma, it is capable of transforming it. When these calamities occur, sincere chanting of the Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name will bring forth safety and protection, and deliver us from danger despite the occurring calamities. This is because sincere chanting has transformative effects on our collective karma, bringing forth protection and prosperity.
The present global epidemic is caused by the collective karma accumulated by sentient beings. Therefore, I hope that together we will consume a vegetarian diet, chant the Guan Yin’s name, as a means to alleviate the current pandemic situation. Our sincerity will surely have great effect. In the vast sea of suffering, Guan Yin Bodhisattva delivers sentient beings. If it is possible to sincerely chant Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name, and still perish from the epidemic, then surely it will also be possible for the earth and sky to be upended, and for the movement of the sun and moon to reverse. However, there must be sufficient sincerity – if you desire to rise from the dead from the mere chanting of a few casual, half-hearted phrases, then despite the Bodhisattva’s best efforts, you will not see results.
During times of calamity, I encourage everyone to sincerely chant the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, regardless of time and place. Unless you are writing, or doing calculations, or engaging in other such mentally involved activities, you should be sincerely chanting. Even in sleep, you can chant silently. Chanting out loud, whether in a strong voice or a quiet one, is appropriate whenever you are properly dressed, and your hands and mouth are cleaned. In other situations, when you are at rest, or just rising from bed, not yet in proper attire, cleaning your body, in the washroom, or in unclean areas, it is more appropriate to chant silently. These two manners of chanting are equally beneficial in karmic outcomes.
Even fools fear death. The chanting of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name will ensure that you will not be infected by disease. Once everyone is taught to recite Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name throughout the day, the sounds of chanting will echo throughout every field and every road.
In this world of boundless evil and suffering, we can only be dependent on Amitabha Buddha and Guan Yin Bodhisattva. When every household, man and woman, young and old, chants Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name, they will surely avoid calamities and live auspiciously in their daily lives. The invitation to chant Guan Yin’s name is not only open for Buddhist practitioners, but furthermore should be propagated across villages and neighboring populations. Everyone, no matter gender or age, should be encouraged to follow a vegetarian diet, and chant regularly. Each person should carry out their daily chores while chanting, and maintain this habit whether at work or at rest, and in doing so, avoid being infected by the harms of a pandemic.
There was a serious outbreak of cholera in numerous areas the year before the last. Hundreds died in the county of Cheng Cheng in ShaanXi, near the town of Siqian. A Buddhist disciple in a village near the outbreak encouraged fifty, sixty households to collectively chant the name of Guan Yin, and from that village there were just two mortalities, two immoral individuals – everyone else survived the outbreak.
In the Gangu county located in the Gansu province, there was a layman practitioner by the name of Hong He Ji, who advocated the chanting of the Buddha’s name. Wherever the chanting went, the diseases would not infect. The chanting of a small group of practitioners has minor effects on managing the pandemic – whereas the accumulated chanting of an entire village, has major effects. Ideally, everyone should adopt a vegetarian diet, and those who cannot do this must minimize their meat consumption. And chanting is required of everyone, regardless of diet.
In these precarious times, only the recitation of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name will bring forth security and salvation. Those who fear death and seek safety ought not neglect this form of practice. One should gather friends and fellow practitioners for recitation sessions, and divide the group into thirds – while one section chants out loud, the other two chants silently. If one structures daily practice like so, then the group will be less prone to fatigue. When the entire group chants out loud simultaneously, then over time each individual will exhaust themselves, and may even fall ill. The manner of recitation must be suitable to the practitioners – or else disbelievers will speak poorly of Buddhism and claim it is not effective, thus creating negative karma. It is necessary to know of this matter.
Fourth method: Chanting the Great Compassion Mantra, and applying Great Compassion Water
Should your spouse or children be infected during a pandemic, you should instruct them to sincerely chant the name of the Guan Yin Bodhisattva. If you are capable of chanting the Great Compassion Mantra, and recite it over water to create great compassion water for them to drink, then they will surely recover from their illness.
If you do not know the Great Compassion Mantra, in place of it, you can recite the name of ‘Namo Great Compassion Bodhisattva who alleviates suffering and calamity’ ten thousand times over a bowl of clean water. If you chant this often, then omitting ‘who alleviates suffering and calamity’ and reciting only ‘Namo great compassion Guan Yin Bodhisattva’ is also acceptable.
All incurable illnesses borne from negative karmic ties, and malevolent activity of ghosts and spirits, can be extinguished by the recitation of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name. All threats from warfare and violence, or vicious men and beasts, can be assuaged by the recitation of Guan Yin’s name. However, those who are insincere in their chanting, or doubtful in their belief, or bad faith in their intent, will see no effects.