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Buddhist Association of China calls for opposition to self-immolation

(People's Daily Online)

07:58, January 21, 2013

Key Words:
Buddhism; self-immolation

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A seminar sponsored by the Buddhist Association of China was held in Chengdu last week to discuss the Buddhism view of life under the theme "compassion, mercy, and cherish life". About 40 eminent monks, experts, and scholars from Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Theravada Buddhism attended the seminar.

The participants pointed out that "compassion" and "ahimsa (no killing)" are the core values of the Buddhist view of life. In its 2,500 years of tradition, Buddhism has always reminded people to keep compassion in mind and listed "ahimsa" among the fundamental precepts. A Buddhism believer should hold up the precepts and abide these laws, cherish one’s own body and treat life with kindness.

Regarding the self-immolation incidents that occurred in the border area of Sichuan, Qinghai, and Gansu provinces in recent time, the participants said they are greatly distressed and feel sorry for what happened. Chuan Yin, president of the Buddhist Association of China said the Buddhism doctrines advocate respect for life and love for life, oppose to killing and suicide, and especially berate and prohibit the behavior of inducing, encouraging, or praising suicides.

The participants made clarification about the remarks spread by some people overseas and expounded the views of the true faith of Buddhism.

Regarding the remarks that self-immolation is not contrary to Buddhist precepts, the participants referred to Buddhist scriptures and made clear that suicide is a violation of the precepts. Guba Longzhuangmeng, vice president of the Buddhist Association of China said the act to induce, encourage, and praise suicide as well as to provide conditions and convenience for suicidal behavior is a very grave sin. Any monk who commits such acts should be forever expelled from the Sangha.

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