|Dharma Master Syin Saved the Sacrificial Animals and Prayed for Rain
Once during a drought (in China), the crops needed water, and the villagers and farmers, being uneducated, could only think to perform a ritual and pray for rain. They prepared many animals for slaughter as a sacrificial offering to heaven and earth to demonstrate their sincerity in seeking rain.
When the Great Dharma Master Syin saw what these people were preparing to do, he pitied them for their stupidity, and said to them, "Sacrificing animals to pray for rain goes against divine principle and is ignorant and cruel. You should know that the virtue of Heaven is to nurture all living things, not exclusively people. If you perform this ritual, not only will you fail to bring rain, you will add to your own offenses and will consequently have to undergo even greater disasters in the future. But if you can follow what I say and set these animals free instead of killing them, I will pray for rain on your behalf."
When these people heard his words, they felt there was some principle in it; so they heeded his advice and set the animals free, not killing them as an offering to the gods.
The Great Master then set up an altar, lit incense, and prayed on behalf of the people with utmost sincerity. Indeed, not long after, the rain came. People were greatly delighted. This event touched the hearts of even those who lived far away, transforming many people.