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Supreme Master Ching Hai's Book Premiere: Love of Centuries,Mongolian Edition - P3/5 April 22, 2011 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia    
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*Dear Master ,we have some questions from our noble guests.
 
Yes,please go ahead.
 
 
 
*We have the first question from Mr. Bayarsaikhan Garidkhuu,a member of the Mongolian Parliament and Environment,Food and Agricultural Standing Committee. We welcome Mr. Bayarsaikhan to ask his question.
 
Welcome,sir. How are you,sir?
 
*Mr. Bayarsaikhan is saying 『good,』he is very grateful to see you.
 
I am grateful.
 
 
 
*Good evening. Happy to see you.
 
I'm happy,too.
 
 
 
*We have recently drafted and submitted a law on the prohibition of exploration and utilization of natural resources in the protected areas of water bodies as well as areas with forest. I think this would be a good way to prevent anyone from destroying the environment,and we save our nature. In addition,members are working well on expanding the network of protected areas. Humans are beings of nature. We think we must protect our homeland. I believe the life of Mongolian nationals will become prosperous. We would like to hear your thoughts in this respect. Thank you!
 
 
 
Thank you,sir. Thank you,Mr. Bayarsaikhan. Yes,it will definitely help to protect the environment and consequently save the planet if every country does this. If every country does what your country does,what you have proposed,then a lot of environmental impacts will be beneficial to our planet and to the people,to humans,of course. You are right that humans are part of nature,and to protect nature is to protect ourselves. 
 
 
And it's excellent news to hear. It makes me feel so pleased to hear the excellent news that you have just told us about Mongolian Parliament's diligent and noble efforts to conserve the natural environment. I'm sure the Mongolian people are happy about it and the world at large appreciates it. I appreciate it personally,because Mongolia still has beautiful,even though fragile,steppes and meadows,forests and natural deserts.
 
 
We have to conserve all that. Outside the city,the air is still pure in the 『Land of the Blue Sky,』Mongolia. The wilderness areas should always be protected,because they keep the air pure,keep the air healthy,keep water pure and keep the land protected. But even as we designate land to be protected,it is also important for us to check how we are treating the land that we are living on.
 
 
So now experts say that human activities often play a larger part in making desertification worse in your country,in Mongolia,such as livestock overgrazing,using water inefficiently and inconsiderately,overcutting the trees which are precious for your land,and mining,etc. The Mongolian National Agency for Meteorology,Hydrology and Environment Monitoring have identified livestock overgrazing as the most prevalent cause of land degradation which worsens desertification in your country.
 
 
And 70%of Mongolia's land has already been affected by desertification. The UN Environment Program reported that in the past two decades,the barren land without grass tripled to almost 10%of Mongolia's total land area. Surface water decreased by 19%and forests shrank by at least 26%. So,overgrazing is also causing decline in wildlife species and soil erosion,which is very difficult to restore.
 
 
The expansion of herds has also caused ground water levels to drop across the Gobi Desert. Meanwhile,more than half of the Mongolian people don't have access to clean water. This is partly due to climate change,which is also impacting Mongolia with extreme weather disasters such as droughts,floods and heavy snowfall - heavy snowfalls you have experienced,yes?
 
 
The number one cause of climate change is livestock breeding;  we all know that by now. In particular,the world's ruminant animals,such as cows and sheep,every year produce millions of tons of methane,which as you may know,is a gas that is at least 72times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.  
 
 
But with a sharp halt and reduction in the number of livestock animals,this heat-trapping methane will also dissipate from the atmosphere in just about 12years or less. They are responsible for more of the warming than we think.  
 
 
So in our urgent situation of climate change,I think it would be more effective also,apart from the proposal that you made,we should stop the damage-inflicting activities such as livestock breeding,in addition to having the protected areas as you have mentioned. Thank you,sir,for raising this important matter,and I hope you're successful in protecting Mongolia.
 
 
 
*Thank you,Master.
 
Thank you.
 
 
 
*Our second question,from Mrs. Bilguun Khuukhenbaatar,Expert of the Law Department of Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of Mongolia.
 
Welcome Ms. Bilguun. Welcome.
 
*Hallo,Supreme Master Ching Hai.
 
Hallo,Ms. Bilguun.
 
*Thank you.
 
 
 
*It is a great honor that I can hear your beautiful voice. The very essence of this new poetry book is about eternal love and to love all sentient beings and all things. I realized that love can save our planet. But people forget their natural essence,which is love.
 
 
For example,from your poems, 『Words of a Piglet』and 『Words of a Hen,』I realized that we should have loving quality. Why do people forget to love animals and eat them instead?How should we start to love animals?How can we improve our loving quality?Thank you,Master.
 
 
 
Thank you,Ms. Bilguun. It's nice to hear your voice as well. Nice that you are concerned about our co-inhabitants and the love that we so desperately need to expand. I also ask the same question as yours,about how people can forget to love animals and even fellow human beings as well. We even kill our own species,not just animals,in war,in conflicts.
 
 
It is because we forgot our true nature. Our nature is love and compassion,as the Buddha has taught us. We have been misled life after life by our own ignorance,and the darkness of this realm has imposed pressure upon us that we forget even more. 
 
 
So,never have I blamed humans for forgetting to love themselves,the animals,or forgetting what they really are— that is,love. Humans are love incarnate. But it is time to remember again,or else we face extinction by our own hands.
 
 
One way to start to love animals is to understand what they experience. Go watch a slaughterhouse,go watch a killing of a goat,a horse or a sheep,or chicken,a pig,or watch it on television or a video,to know the true horror,fear,anguish that is behind the nicely packaged piece of flesh. If a person knows the truth about the hellish terror that these animals feel,it would be hard to swallow that piece of their flesh. 
 
 
You ask,how can we improve our loving quality?I call it LQ. Humans,we have many Q's: IQ,LQ,GQ (God Quality) also. Animals and humans both have this Loving Quality (LQ),and fortunately,humans are more privileged because we can improve our Loving Quality in exercising the love,like a muscle. So without changing our normal schedule at all,we can just flex and develop our love muscles at breakfast,lunch,and dinner; no need exercise.
 
 
Be veg to show love,as well,to your family,your pets,your friends,and your enemies,and extend this love to all the world's co-inhabitants at large. Even to the trees,the plants,the flowers,the stones,the pebbles. Just being vegan alone,automatically after a few days or a few weeks,you'll feel something change in you. 
 
 
Your own loving nature will flow effortlessly like a spring,spring of love. You will be more able to receive the love and blessing from the sun,the moon,the stars,from all of nature and our co-inhabitants. And the animals will suddenly,truly,look like friends and neighbors - so beautiful,friendly,intelligent and loving. 
 
 
Then it's very easy for you to love them,and extremely difficult to ever dream of harming them again,even indirectly,or consuming their suffering flesh. Thank you for your question,Ms. Bilguun. (*Thank you,Master.) I hope you're satisfied with my answer.
 
 
 
*Our next guest,Mrs. Oyunsuvd Purevdorj,Advisor of Democratic Party at the State Great Khural Parliament. She has three questions for you,Master.
 
Welcome,Mrs. Oyunsuvd.
 
*We welcome Mrs. Oyunsuvd to ask her questions.
 
 
 
*Hallo,respected Supreme Master Ching Hai.
 
You're beautiful.
 
*On behalf of the Mongolia's population of 2,700,00,I feel very privileged and blessed that I am one of the persons who can contact you right now.
 
Bless you. I am also privileged.
 
 
 
*I think humans are from God,and nature and humans are interrelated. Today in the world there are many negatives; many people are suffering. Mongolia,Japan,Germany… How can humankind be united to love our Mother Earth?How can we be in harmony?
 
 
And a mother doesn't discriminate between her children; for me you are like a mother without any discrimination between this and that country,nor do you distinguish between people in any corner of the world,or Mongolians,etc.,and you are devoting yourself to humankind.
 
 
Therefore,what should Mongolians do for the people of Mongolia that consists of 6letters (M-O-N-G-O-L) today to live with no suffering,to be happy and good?
 
 
Madam,thanks for coming. And you are right. I know well that we must join together before it's too late,and that includes the governments and citizens alike. You ask me what we should do first and foremost - it is very simple: a timely vegan diet,because that will bring the benevolent atmosphere to protect our planet.
 
 
Without being veg first,no other solution is guaranteed to work,really. But by being vegan alone,we are assured of preserving the planet and,of course,human lives thereon. Because raising animals for meat is,as we know already through all the reports and scientific evidence,that it's the number one cause of global warming and a major cause of desertification and deforestation. So,the number one thing to counter this number one cause is to do the opposite,to be vegan. Thank you. Just like the Buddha taught us: compassion.
 
 
 
*Thank you,Master. Her next question is: We are witnessing the destruction on the environment and a massive number of people suffering from diseases in every corner of the world. (That's right.) My heart,as well as others',are in pain. What would you like to say foremost to humanity right now,at this moment?
 
 
Yes,similar things again and again,that we have to be merciful and compassionate in order to beget the same quality. We have to be loving and kind to our own co-inhabitants so that we can attract loving and kind mercy from Heaven.  The Buddha has taught always compassion; Jesus taught the same thing. All the masters in the past taught the same things,that we have to return to our kindness and love,which is our own nature.
 
 
Stop killing,stop oppression of all kinds. We can save ourselves and our loved ones. Stop killing,be loving,be compassionate,be kind. Thank you.
 
 
 
 
*Thank you,Master. The last question: (Yes.) I know well that you do not discriminate,like 『your country』or 『my country.』Just like a mother loves all her children. What does your country look like in your eyes?What should we do so that the 『Mongol』people,with 6letters in its distinction,can live without any pain and disease?
 
Your country is my country.
 
*Thank you,Master. We love you.
 
And I think,for what I have seen,your country is so beautiful,so beautiful. And your people are so kind,so kind.
 
*Thank you for your love and blessing,Master.
 
I really love Mongolia and her people very,very much.
 
*We love you so much,too.
 
The Mongolian culture has deep roots in warm tradition,with close family bonds and hospitality to strangers: shamanism which imbued a reverence for the sun and nature; and Buddhism,which is embraced by many Mongolians as it was for centuries. The nearly 2.7million Mongolian people,like all of the world's people,deserve to be prosperous and free from suffering.
 
 
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization,82%of Mongolia's total land area is permanent pasture for livestock grazing. But the overgrazing of livestock is the single largest threat to biodiversity,and causes erosion and extreme desertification and,therefore,also causing suffering for the people of Mongolia. In the winter of 2009-2010,Mongolia suffered her worst 『zud』in 30years. (*Yes.)
 
 
A 『zud』is a harsh,snowy winter event after a dry summer. Almost 10million,or one-fifth,of the nation's poor livestock animals froze and starved to death even. Farmers' and herdmen's families,who are almost a third of the population,suffered tremendously as well. Such extreme winter weather had already struck three years in a row starting in 2000for Mongolia.
 
 
I cannot express enough sorrow and sympathy for people who are involved in these cruel fates of disaster. These people,they are just simple folk,and they think they're doing their jobs,and they're trying their best to do it,but they suffer so much,so much; and also the innocent animals suffer so much. We cannot imagine how much they suffer.
 
 
Words cannot express it all. Scientists would say that such a pattern of extreme weather indicates climate change effect,but we now know that climate change is affected by things like overgrazing by livestock,whose impact is very severe and can quickly turn a lovely grassland area into a barren piece of soil or desert. The number of livestock on Mongolia's land increased since the 1990s to 43million today,and the number of livestock in Mongolia outnumbers people by 16to one. Can you believe this?
 
 
As a consequence,problems also have worsened,such as decreased rural water supplies,deforestation,and land degradation due to overgrazing. As you now know,water scarcity is a serious concern in Mongolia,worsened by global warming. Livestock raising only makes this worse,as it consumes huge amounts of water. And,alternative options,such as diverting water to the Gobi Desert from the already scarce Kherlen River basin,appear to be inefficient and might cause even more shortages of water soon.
 
 
The UN Environment Program just reported in March that more than half of the Mongolian people don't have access to clean water. With increasing water shortage,land deterioration and desertification,worsened by global warming,soon it won't be possible to sustain the livestock way of life anymore,even if we want it.
 
 
And we haven't discussed the threat of infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease,brucellosis,rabies,and anthrax that have impacted the livestock industry in recent years. The foot-and-mouth disease outbreak was the most harmful livestock disease in 2010,which cost the government 6billion togrog and led to the massacre of almost 26,000animals,innocent animals.
 
 
So this way of life of animal raising is risky,even fragile,damaging and violent to animals and humans,and costs a lot of expense to the taxpayers. And,spiritually speaking,whether we are Buddhist or Muslim or Christian in Mongolia,we must refrain from killing to avoid the extremely heavy killing karma (retribution),which could lead us to a terrible place where we would never want to be after we die,or before that even. 
 
 
So perhaps it is time to change,to make Mongolia a newer,healthier,exciting,greener,developed,and prosperous country.
 
*Yes,Master.
 
More prosperous.
 
*Thank you.
 
 
 
*I'm very happy to participate in this book celebration event. Today our planet is facing different problems from climate change,global warming,and we are in a very difficult situation. We have only one planet,so everyone who is living on this one planet have to love it. The easy way to love this planet is,and the way that everybody can be involved and should do,is eating vegetables,becoming vegan. I'm appealing to the Mongolian government and other international leaders,politicians,for this great challenge,as well as to our citizens to be an example and make your contribution to this challenge,to save the planet.
 
 
 
*I'm very grateful to you that I could be able to meet Supreme Master Ching Hai,and it is rare to meet her. I think this book premiere of 『The Love of Centuries』offers people a big step towards being confident within themselves,and giving us another purpose for where we should go.
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