Spoken by Supreme Master Ching
Hai Hawaii, U.S.A. September 4, 1994
(Originally in English)
Q: Master, I was thinking about how You said not to kill sentient beings. Does that include pests, bugs, termites, and mosquitoes?
M: Well, we have to do what we need to do for environmental care, but then, we will have to pay for that. But they are small bugs; they are not a bigger form of life, so when we meditate for them, they will be all right. The important thing is not the act of killing. The most important thing is the violence in your heart that must be terminated. Some people don't actually kill with their hands but they kill with their thoughts. That is even more important than the act of killing. So, what we try to minimize is the violence in our hearts, the tendency to want to destroy other beings.
But if we have to do it for environmental hygiene, we must do it. And pray for them in our meditation. But it is best when we can avoid it - like we keep our place very clean so that ants and other insects won't come around. And if you spray around so that they will leave, they will not die. There are some ways to avoid killing. You have to take care of that. The less killing, the better, even the small insects, but sometimes they are too harmful for the children and babies, and then the mother has to do it, because after all, human life is more precious. We don't do it because we are bad or malicious; it's just the situation.