Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai at Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.
November 4, 1989 (originally in English) Videotape No. 102b
Q: Please explain more about mass suffering. Are people guilty from before, and that's why they suffer?
M:No one is innocent. I'm not condemning anyone at all. It's all a process of learning lessons. Learning is very painful. Once you're awakened, however, you see things in a different light, and you know it's all lessons.
Look at the mass killing that we do every day in order to keep this body for a hundred years. How many lives have to be sacrificed - all the fish, all the shrimp, all the chickens, all the pigs, all the buffaloes? Do you think all this energy will be dissolved without war, without suffering, without physical ailments? Everything we do is recorded in the air. Nothing is lost; it's only diluted with a different energy. It's only equalized by different actions, not lost. For example, if air has already become ice after being water, and if you want it to disappear, you have to put sun rays, a lamp, light or heat on it, in order to get it back into the form of air again. So if we've been killing, conducting mass massacres all the time, all these animals are suffering, and they also have consciousness, thoughts and hateful energy, all this hatred and fear condenses itself into a powerful energy and hangs around in the air. Too much of that will result in mass suffering.
We have to pay for everything we use in this physical universe. Therefore, all the Masters emphasize following a vegetarian diet, which has the least cost to the various forms of existence. Animals have life, plants also have life, but they incur the least cost. Just like if you earn only a hundred dollars and you want to spend two hundred, of course you go into debt, and you're in trouble. If you try to buy cheap things and satisfy yourself with the minimum cost to live, then you have no worries about debt. That's why we choose the vegetarian diet - fruit, nuts, milk or cheese. All these things have less crime, less consciousness within themselves. Now if you take milk from a cow, will the cow die? If you take a few nuts from the trees, the trees still have plenty of nuts to grow thousands more nut trees. They won't be lost. If you cut a flower, or a branch of a vegetable, it will grow even more from that cut stem, even more vegetables will come out of it. So in this way, we know that the vegetarian diet is less harmful and incurs less cost.