Oh great, compassionate Buddha! People who live in cities Face either the dangers of city traffic Or face incidents of fire. The frequency of disastrous fire is especially frightening: Over here, some tall building is on fire; Over there, some restaurant is burning; The loss of property certainly makes people sad, But the loss of life and health is even more devastating, And causes people regret for their entire lives. When fire breaks out, It is fortunate when firefighters arrive at the scene in time To minimize the loss.
Oh great, compassionate Buddha! These firefighters always take action immediately, The moment they hear the alarm: Some of them ride on the fire engine; Some of them drive the ladder truck. They do not concentrate on the greatness of their efforts, But only on how to save people.
Oh great, compassionate Buddha! These firefighters often enter buildings engulfed in flames To relieve the distressed and suffering, Regardless of their own personal safety. They steady damaged pillars with their own hands And wade through a sea of fire: Some of them are busy carrying heavy hoses To discharge water from down below; Some of them are busy climbing to the roofs Of burning buildings to repress the fire from above; Some of them are busy scaling ladders To rescue people; Some of them are busy clearing threatening obstacles And prying open doors and windows. They disregard untold dangers and the inexorable advance of the burning fire, Bent only on helping people; While rescuing victims, Some of them are burned, with wounds all over their bodies; While saving property, Some of them are almost suffocated by thick streams of smoke. At the scene of hurricanes and tornadoes, Firefighters always lend a helping hand; In the disaster area of earthquakes and car accidents, The fire department always offers help. Upon learning that mountain climbers are in danger or that a tourist boat has capsized, Firefighters always arrive promptly to the rescue; Even when a wasp or a snake attacks, Firefighters are always called in to head off the danger. Firefighters seem to live in the company of danger; Firefighters and suffering seem to be one.
Oh great, compassionate Buddha! Please grant firefighters strength, And that disasters may be prevented entirely; Please grant firefighters the courage To avert threats to peace and safety; Please grant firefighters confidence To realize that saving lives is a great merit; Please grant firefighters protection To change suffering into great fortune. May firefighters win the applause of the masses; May firefighters be awarded society’s highest honors.
Pearls of Wisdom II: Prayers for Engaged Living (Pearls of Wisdom Series) Written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun Translated by Tom Manzo, Ph.D. and Shujan Cheng, Ph.D. 2003. (ISBN: 978-0-9717495-6-6) Buddha’s Light Publishing. www.blpusa.com
The Author Venerable Master Hsing Yun Venerable Master Hsing Yun is a Chinese Buddhist monk and a leader of the Humanistic Buddhism movement that seeks to integrate Buddhism into people s everyday lives. He is the founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, as well as an author.
For more information see the Faith and Fire website: