Documentation of Cause and Effect: Stop Killing and Do Good

Xiao Hui

PureInsight | August 22, 2007

[] Once there
was an old monk who walked by a slaughterhouse with tears streaming
down his face. People were astonished and asked him why he was so sad.

The old monk said, "It is a long story.  I can recall my two
previous lifetimes. The first lifetime I was a human being and made my
living as a butcher. When I died at thirty-some years old, I was tied
up and escorted to the court of the nether world. I was to receive
karmic retribution and be reincarnated into a pig for killing too many
living beings. At that time, I only felt semiconscious, like in a
dream, and my head was unbearably hot. All a sudden, I felt nice and
cool and realized that I was born as a pig in a pig pen.

After weaning, I thought that the food was too filthy to eat. However,
I was too hungry to resist it any longer, so I ate it. Later, I became
proficient in pig language and chatted with other pigs.  They too
could remember their previous lifetimes, except they had no way to tell
people.  We all knew that we would be killed some day, so we
moaned and groaned. Because when we talked about the foreseeing sad
future, we also were very concerned. You see, that is why we had tears
filling the corners of our eyes or hanging on our eye lashes. Our tears
expressed our deep sorrow. We looked very bulky. In the  summer
time, we rolled around in the mud to get some relief from the heat. We
had sparse hair and thick skin which did not protect us from the cold
well. When we grew big enough, we were slaughtered.  The moment we
were caught for slaughtering, we all knew very well that we could not
avoid it but still tried our best to dodge. After we were caught, the
butchers tied up our four legs. The rope was so tight it almost cut
into our bones. The pain was excruciating! Then we were thrown into a
vehicle or a boat and piled up on each other. Sometimes our ribs were
about to break and our bellies were about to burst open. At times, we
were carried by people with a bamboo stick and we were hanging upside
down.  That was the worst torture. When we arrived at the
slaughterhouse, the butcher threw us on the ground. Our internal organs
were about to shatter.  Some of us were killed immediately, but
some had to wait for a few days. Psychologically, that suffering was

When my time came, the butcher touched me and I was so frightened that
my whole body turned weak and I closed my eyes and resigned myself. The
butcher cut my throat first and then shook me violently to get all the
blood into a container. The suffering at that moment was beyond
description. After all my blood was drained, the butcher stuck a knife
into my heart, I screamed uncontrollably. When I stopped screaming, my
soul broke away. After I woke up, I was born as a human being
again.  I was told that I had done some good in a previous
lifetime, so I was given another opportunity to be a human being. That
is my life here today.

A little while ago, when I saw the suffering of the slaughtered pig, I
thought about the misery of my previous life. I know that the butcher
will experience the same misery as I did, so I cannot help but shed my

When the butcher heard the story, he immediately threw his knife to the
ground.  Henceforth, he sold vegetables for a living instead.

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