What is a Fish Release?

Given that one’s life – and survival – is the most precious thing to each and every one of us, there is no greater act of compassion than saving a life. It is, in fact, the ultimate act of compassion. Particularly in the Mahayana tradition, cherishing others and focusing on their happiness and well-being forms the basis of the practice of nonviolence.

For centuries, saving the lives of animals about to be slaughtered has been a thriving tradition and it is continued by a great many practitioners to this present day. In the case of “fish liberation,” live bait is purchased and then released into a body of water, such as a lake, bay or ocean. During the release, prayers are performed, and the beneficial merit is dedicated for the welfare of all beings. Not only does this purify past harmful actions, but, with compassionate (Bodhicitta) motivation, we include all other beings so that their negative actions will also be purified and all can achieve happiness and enlightenment from the cycle of suffering, samsara.

The vajrayana practices entail going to refuge. This affirms our reliance on the guidance of our gurus, all Buddhas, the teachings of Buddhas, and the holy assembly of Buddhist elders. The beings that we release usually have no chance to be connected with the Buddhist teachings. By taking refuge on their behalf, we are placing them under the protection of the Guru.

Fish Release for the Long Life of His Eminence

The Ripa Ladrang Sangha community with fervent faith and deep love is committed to do a fish release puja a few times a year to benefit the health and long life of our dear guru His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche.

With sincere devotion the fish release of thousands of fish in South India was conducted for the Long Life of His Eminence. Participation in a release would indeed benefit not only the animals being released from captivity and establish them under the compassionate care of the Guru, but also benefit the sponsors and all the people involved in the project. It increases merit, their long life and their connection to the Dharma is deeply strengthened.

This is wonderful opportunity for all of us to sponsor fish releases that will benefit our teacher’s health and long life.

We are hoping to conduct a fish release Puja a few times per year and encourage anyone who is inspired to participate by becoming a release sponsor by making any financial support you may donate. It is an opportunity for us as students and practitioners of the Dharma to be able to benefit not only the lives of thousands of animal beings but also dedicate the merit to all sentient beings. Participation will also benefit our precious teacher’s health and his activities, which is very auspicious.

A Blessing: A Personal Experience

When Suma first heard from Semo Palmo about how the sangha community could participate in this blessed activity she thought “How lucky and how grateful I am to have this wonderful opportunity to do a live fish release for the benefit of my most precious guru.”

Suma’s experience in her own words, “My guru and the Ripa masters have changed my life when I met him 15 years ago. No words can express all the joy and abundance I have and feel with the unconditional love and blessings that the Ripa masters have showered upon me. Nothing I say or do can ever do any justice even close to anything we can do to repay their kindness to us. And I am sure most students would feel this same strong feeling of ardent love towards our Guru and be in awe of their unwavering blessings.”

We encourage Dharma practitioners and our Ripa Sangha brothers and sisters to participate in this auspicious fish release by donating any amount that you can. Participation in this Puja release will not only bring tremendous benefits to sentient beings but also the merit we accumulate increases our ties to the Dharma now and for many lifetimes.

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