Big Floodgate Crabs
- From TBN, issue 504 - 505
- Guru's Talk: Big Floodgate Crabs
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated by Cheng Yew Chung
- Edited by TBN
(From Book #173, "One Dream, One World")
There was a person who loved to eat "floodgate crabs." When autumn
arrived, it would be the peak harvest season for the big floodgate
crabs at Hong Ze Lake. Every day, at every meal, he would eat the
reddish crab eggs and the golden yellow fat tissue. He took great
pleasure in the delicious taste of the floodgate crab, and even
the thought of the taste would make him drool. The big floodgate
crabs were his all-time favorite.
In his sleep one night, he had a dream. (Actually, his heart had
become so clogged that he had died.) This person felt himself floating
around unconsciously, leaving his home and entering a translucent
world. He was going down a road and saw a group of men and women
hauling a carriage by the river shore.
The men and women were twisting and dancing wildly and the carriage
was spinning up and down and around endlessly. It seemed that it
was coming for him.
The carriage door suddenly opened. The men and women wanted him
to get in and be seated.
Then he suddenly remembered a book he had read, written by Living
Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu, called the "Ocean of Life and Death"
The carriage - it was the floodgate crab.
The men and women - they were fishes and shrimp.
The translucent world - it was the river and lake.
He felt great shock! He shouted loudly, "Amitabha!" The carriage
disappeared, the men and women disappeared, and the translucent
A Bodhisattva spoke to him and said, "You are a person who is rooted
in kindness. You recite sutras and prostrate to the Buddhas regularly.
But you have indulged in eating floodgate crabs and now your heart
is clogged. Today, I have come down particularly to save you. You
must quit eating the big floodgate crabs and quit killing lives.
What about it?"
Of course, he nodded his head in agreement.
The Bodhisattva said nothing, then used something like acupuncture
to open the clogged arteries. The man let out a shout then woke
up suddenly. He found that half of his body was stiff and that he
could move only very slowly. His whole body was sweating like a
rainfall. He could feel his breathing slowly coming back.
He knew that he had died once. Touching his heart, with the uncertainty
of a half-asleep, half-awake memory, he could feel the subtle pain
from the acupuncture.
Since that dream in which he had come back to life after dying,
he took refuge in the True Buddha School and took the Bodhisattva
Never again did he kill living creatures. Never again did he eat
the floodgate crabs.
He had become a vegetarian ever since.
His friends from his past knew that he had a passion for eating
the big floodgate crabs and they deliberately bought them for him.
But he would simply free them and chant the "Rebirth Mantra."
He told his friends, "If I eat them today, then in the future people
will eat me because I will be reincarnated as a floodgate crab,
and it would be very horrible!"