Vegetarian Era Our Animal Friends Master’s Wellspring of Love  

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Vegetarian Nobel Laureates and Scientists

Eminent Scientists and Inventors on Vegetarianism

A Key to Reducing Global Warming and Resource Depletion

The World Health Organization: Enlightened Goals and Remarkable Achievements

Avian Flu: Nature’s Wake-Up Call for Humanity

Vegetarian Awakening in the Himalayas

Vegetarian Heroes of the Silver Screen

Special Interviews — Film Star Linda Blair on Vegetarianism and Compassion

Presenting a New Focus on Health, Environmentalism and Animal Welfare

Vegetarianism and the Path to Compassion

Victor’s Picnic with the Vegetarian Animals Encourages Children to Be Vegetarian


News 125, Master Says

Master's Wellspring of Love
~ The Story of a Crab

Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Panama • January 28, 1991
(Originally in English)

There is a story concerning myself in Costa Rica. I tell you these things to let you know a little bit of my inner feelings. When you feel pain and sorrow, I sympathize with you. If you tell me inside, I know. I'm not without feelings. But sometimes being in a Master's position, I have to be strong and let you rely on me. I do what is best for you. So, sometimes I have to be tough. I have to cut off or minimize your sorrow in different ways. I cannot encourage you to be miserable and to always remain sunken in your feelings and melancholy. So I use different ways to cut down this feeling. It's not that I do not sympathize with you. I can sympathize with birds and worms. Will I not sympathize with human beings? But I cannot walk around with moist eyes all the time and cry with you and make you feel worse. We have to live on, whatever happens.

Once, I lived with disciples on a beach in Costa Rica for two weeks. Some of them had stayed behind after an international retreat. There was a group of about 30 persons of different nationalities. But that is not important. I just want to tell you that I wasn't there alone, enjoying by myself. Even though I was on the beach, as long as there was one disciple, I had to work. So you can imagine that the days were filled with scolding, laughing, cooking, and all kinds of other things.

One day, the sea rose very high. The waves surged against the beach, almost hitting our feet. I walked around with my umbrella. I like rain, especially heavy rain. I am not scared of getting wet. I opened the umbrella because I didn't have enough clothes. I didn't want to change all the time; therefore, I needed it to protect my clothes, not myself. If I had had enough clothes, I would have gone without the umbrella.

Then, I saw a very huge crab trying to protect itself from the huge waves. Whenever the big waves came and tried to pull it into the sea, it tried to clutch onto the sand on the beach. I said to a sister initiate, "Come and help it. Take it to a safe place." The sister came, but she was very clumsy. She made the crab very afraid as she dropped it many times. But I could not scold her because she did not understand English. I could not instruct her either, because she wouldn't understand. She kept saying in Spanish, "Master, please tell me what to do."

I stood there, very frustrated, as she struggled with the crab. I only knew how to say "crab" in Spanish. All that I could say to her was, "Yes, yes, cangrejo." Can you imagine how she picked up the crab? She used a spade, which you use to dig the ground. She dug it up and it fell; and she dug it up again and it fell again. I said, "No, you cannot do that." But she couldn't understand, and asked, "What is it, Master?" I replied, "You will hurt it. It keeps falling; it will break its legs." But she didn't understand a word. So I said, "Oh, my God!" Finally she got tired of playing with it, picked it up by one of its legs, and carried it farther up the beach. She caught hold of one of its smallest legs because she was afraid it might bite her. The two of them seemed to be having fun. She was very happy holding it by its smallest leg, but the crab was not happy at all!

I thought, "It's all over!" My heart beat fast. "My God, if she breaks its leg, I will not forgive her. I will throw her into the sea," I thought. But there was no other choice. I could only pray to God that the crab would be okay. Now, because there was no other choice, if she dropped it there and it wasn't prepared, the waves would sweep it away anyhow. Either way, it was not good. So I had to suffer as she caught it by its leg, held it upside down, and ran up the beach, where the waves would not reach. Now when I tell you about it, it sounds funny, but at that time, I was very sad. Do you know why? Because later, something happened to the crab.

The sister initiate finally put it down on the beach, but not far enough from the waves. I didn't like that, but it was okay. It was better and safer up there. I touched it with my umbrella to see if it was okay, if it was still there or if anything had happened to it. It looked at me and raised its pincers, trying to frighten me. Or perhaps it was very frightened and defensive. And then, it started to move toward the water. I said, "No, no. Don't go there. It is dangerous." But it didn't understand English. So I ran after it, and the faster I ran, the faster it ran. It kept looking at me very defensively.

"Why are you so frightened? I am harmless. I only want to save you," I thought. But it didn't understand, because the sister initiate had frightened it by holding it by its leg. So now, it looked at any human being like an enemy. It didn't trust me either. I saw the big waves coming and panicked. I tried to scoop it up with my umbrella. And I did succeed, but then a big wave came. Even my umbrella got washed away. I was nearly dragged into the sea and the crab was gone. I was very sad. I knew that it lived in the water, but under such circumstances, it was not prepared to defend itself from the waves. It might even die. I stood there for an hour. I was sad for its misunderstanding and for fear that it might get hurt.

You probably think that I was crazy and wonder why I cared about a crab. But that was how it affected me. I can even be affected by a worm or an ant or a fly, not only by a crab. Oh, I always remember the way it looked. It looked so defensive. It wasn't very frightened of me, but it was on the defense. It looked as though it knew me, and didn't feel frightened, but even then it didn't want to take a chance, so it kept moving. That was how it got dragged away by the waves, and I blamed myself for it. Later, I walked up and down the beach looking for it. Maybe I would have a chance to see it, but I didn't. That night, I could not sleep.


Alternate Living

Master on Vegetarianism

Become a Vegetarian in all Aspects

Growing and Preparing Food with Love: Better Alternative to Genetically Modified Food

Vegetarianism: The Best Solution to the Global Water Crisis

The Unacceptable Toll of Meat, Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption on Human Life

Our Animal Friends
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*Recognize the Wonderful Nature of Animals
*Master's Wellspring of Love
*The Affectionate Behavior of Dogs Helps Heal Wounds
*The Inspiring Story of Mari and Her Puppies
*Compassionate Lions Save an African Girl
*Dolphins Save Swimmers from Shark Attack
*A Clever Cockatiel Who Can Sew
*Australian Kangaroo Wins Award for Saving Her Master’s Life
*British Police Dogs Fitted with Protective Boots
*Dante Captures the Hearts of Torontoans — A Friendly Canine Averts Canadian Gun Massacre
*Little Santo: My Loyal Friend and Mentor
*The Loving Intelligence of Dogs
*A Groundbreaking Meeting on Animal Sentience and Intelligence
*"Animals Have Feelings Too," Say Scientists

*Compassion for Animals is on the Rise!
*The Love of a Mother Cow
*A Noble New Year’s Resolution
*Decline of Animal Dissection Shows Humanity’s Growing Compassion

Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian Restaurants


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