Dharma & Suicide...Between realization and delusion

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Dharma & Suicide...Between realization and delusion

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:40 pm

Found this story...
The Suicide of Saburo Tememori

Reminded me of parallels here (though context may be different):
The Story of Vakkali Thera & 2. Channa Thera

Various attempts, for the most part along similar lines, have been made to explain why suicide is prohibited for the unenlightened but permitted for the enlightened. In 1965 Lamotte wrote:
'The desperate person who takes his own life obviously aspires to annihilation: his suicide, instigated by desire, will not omit him from fruition, and he will have to partake of the fruit of his action. In the case of the ordinary man, suicide is a folly and does not achieve the intended aim.'

This situation is compared with the suicide of an enlightened person:
'In contrast, suicide is justified in the persons of the Noble Ones who have already cut off desire and by so doing neutralised their actions by making them incapable of producing further fruit. From the point of view of early Buddhism, suicide is a normal matter in the case of the Noble Ones who, having completed their work, sever their last link with the world and voluntarily pass into Nirvaa.na, thus definitively escaping from the world of rebirths (1965:106f).'

As the title suggests...and those accounts...what do you think?
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Re: Dharma & Suicide...Between realization and delusion

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:46 pm

Personally i think depriving sentient beings of the positive consequences of an enlightened being in their world is a selfish act. On the other hand, circumstances dictate actions so i suppose there could be cases where that wasnt true.
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Re: Dharma & Suicide...Between realization and delusion

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:57 pm


In the movie...

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring

... the aging monk commits suicide. I saw it at a Buddhist Film Festival, with a presenter and in the subsequent Q&A session, someone asked why the monk would do this. The presenter speculated that perhaps the monk knew that he had become frail and unable to support himself, so rather than delay the inevitable, he may have committed suicide so as to accelerate his bodhisattva work and move promptly to his next existence.

Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

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Re: Dharma & Suicide...Between realization and delusion

Postby Luke » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:10 pm

I agree with all the views expressed here so far, but the people I'm really concerned about are those deluded people who both think they are enlightened and who are also depressed.

It's all too easy for people like this to think, "Aha, I'm really a great enlightened being, but no one in this life appreciates me. I'll just kill myself and harmlessly pass on to my next life like a Buddha." There are few worse wrong views than this one, in my opinion.

As a Buddhist, I try to preserve life at all costs, and I feel great concern for the mentally ill who misinterpret religious texts.
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