Edited and translated by People's Daily Online
Several Tibetan monks recently set fire to themselves in Tibetan-inhabited areas of Sichuan province. It is astonishing that the monks, who shoulder the responsibility of doing good deeds in society and aiding all beings, have adopted such uncivilized, cruel and extreme means. Their suicidal practices have not only seriously violated the core Buddhist code of ethics but also have trampled on basic tenets of Buddhism.
No killing is the first precept of Buddhism and must never be violated. Whatever the causes are, both the commitment of suicide and the incitement or encouragement of suicide are against this principle and constitutes a serious crime.
Therefore, the self-immolations of the monks were against natural and social ethics as well as the first tenet of Buddhism. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, scripture has never encouraged killings and suicide, nor has Buddhist dogma incited others to carry out killings or commit suicide.
After the incidents, certain people with ulterior motives deliberately misinterpreted the fundamental principles of Buddhism and argued that self-immolation is “absolutely not in violation of the Buddhist tenet of not killing.” However, it has been clearly stated in Buddhist scriptures that taking lives, including killing others and oneself, runs counter to the fundamental Buddhist principle of not killing. The ridiculous statement by those with ulterior motives has fully exposed their vicious intentions.
Cherishing life and opposing suicide have become principles upheld worldwide. Self-immolations by religious believers and followers have become a symbol and embodiment of evil and are disallowed and condemned in most countries.
It is the common aspiration of people of all countries to combat religious extremism as well as terrorist activities in the name of region. All upright and kind people will denounce the monks who did not cherish their own lives and burned themselves to death.