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Tibetologist says self-immolation runs counter to Buddhist precept


23:12, November 29, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Threcent self-immolations by monks and nuns in Tibetan areas of southwest China's Sichuan province have seriously e violated the fundamental precept of Buddhism, said a renowned Tibetologist in a signed article on Tuesday.

Those who set themselves alight and killed themselves in a cruel and extreme manner breached the Buddhist tenet of not killing and delivering all living creatures from suffering, said Li Decheng, director of the Institute for Religious Studies under the China Tibetology Research Center, in the piece, published by Xinhua.

Buddhists should abstain from taking life, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech and drinking fermented beverages, principles which are known as the "Five Precepts" and constitute the basic code of ethics for all Buddhism followers, according to Li.

Li quoted Buddhist scriptures as saying that taking no life is a fundamental precept that must be observed, and of all forms of killing, taking human life is the most serious sin.

"Taking life, killing others and committing suicide included, are the most sinful of all sins, and not killing is the most noble of all acts of benevolence," Li said.

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