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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:14 am 
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What thinkest thou?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:18 am 
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I strongly disagree with the idea that self-immolation is not against our tradition.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:35 pm 
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I think it depends on case by case.

If we see the life story of Thich Quang Duc, his self-immolation can be seen as necessity.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Quang_Duc

Due to his self-immolation, Buddhism still exists in Vietnam.

Self immolation can be seen as the bodhisattva act depending on the motive.

Self immolation in my opinion is very different with suicide, where that act is ignorant act.

On paper, boddhisattva should be ready to give his life anytime and anywhere, when it is necessary, and such act is not viewed as ignorant act.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Even if that were true in the case in Thich Quang Duc -- if you watch footage of him burning you will see there is not a movement that expresses pain, or aversion, or a desire to escape the self-torture he has consciously decided to go through. He is clearly an advanced practitioner with some level of realization. It is perhaps true that he was a bodhisattva. I don't think the monks of his sangha drew straws to see who would burn alive. It was the most advanced practitioner that did it, who was capable of sitting in meditation through it and dying consciously.

In many other cases of self-immolization, especially with very young monks or nuns in Tibet, I don't believe they generally have that seasoned type of practice.. where they can transcend the suffering of agonizing physical pain and where their intention is that of pure bodhicitta. In general, it seems to be a trend based on emotional despair. To me this doesn't seem like something to celebrate-- as in claiming it is a bodhisattva act-- or to condemn. As Samdhong Rinpoche infers, it is not good to judge, because in the current situation of total oppression and repression in Tibet there is simply not any obvious or easy way to react or respond. But without condemning these victims, we can still clearly discern their deaths as tragedy.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:14 pm 
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DarwidHalim wrote:
I think it depends on case by case.

If we see the life story of Thich Quang Duc, his self-immolation can be seen as necessity.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Quang_Duc

Due to his self-immolation, Buddhism still exists in Vietnam.


Well this is the coverage from 1963 on 5 such cases from a US newspaper.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:59 am 
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Self-immolators were listed in collections about outstanding monks in China. It is a very old practice in Buddhism.

Book review: Buddhism and Self-Immolation

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:11 am 
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Astus wrote:
It is a very old practice in Buddhism.


But only in Mahayana Buddhism, I'd guess. No doctrinal support for it in Theravada as far as I know.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:41 am 
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In my view,
self-immolation is not a suitable practice for all except arya beings as it is no different from suicide.
It should therefore be discouraged.
In refraining from discouraging it, those in authorities could be seen to be indirectly condone it.
Indirect condoning is an invitation for the unscrupulous to exploit it, and it the process, harm the Dharma.


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