Author Topic: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery  (Read 25090 times)

WisdomBeing

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Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« on: September 26, 2011, 09:29:20 AM »
This news of monks self-immolating is very distressing. Is suicide allowed under the vinaya? I know this must be the last resort for monks to bring attention to their plight. Unless the monks are very attained, they would not be able to control their rebirth and wouldn't the horrendous pain they would suffer propel them to the lower realms?

One Monk Dies in Self-Immolation Protest, Other Remains Critical
http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/2036-one-monk-dies-in-self-immolation-protest-other-remains-critical
Monday, 26 September 2011 14:30    YC. Dhardhowa, The Tibet Post International

Dharamshala: - Another monk of Kirti Monastery reportedly died and other remains in critical condition after setting themselves on fire in Ngaba county, eastern Tibet - at least the third self-immolation death to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet and Chinese harsh treatment of the peaceful Tibetan people.

"Two young Tibetan monks burned themselves in Ngaba county of Amdho province, eastern Tibet, Lobsang Konchok aged 18, Lobsang Kalsang aged around 18 self-immolated in their protest against the Chinese regime," Tibet source said. Kalsang is a brother of Phuntsok Jarutsang who burned himself on March 16th 2011 to protest against China's rule over Tibet.

"This morning around 10:30 (Tibet local time) two more monks from Kirti Monastery set themselves on fire after a peaceful protest calling for the "return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," "Free Tibet!" "We want Religious Freedom in Tibet" and "Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!," Kanyak Tsering of India based Kirti Monastery told The Tibet Post International.

"The two monks were immediately taken by the Chinese authorities after they tried to set off the flame on the two monks. One of the monks is feared to have died on the spot whereas the other remains in critical condition. It is not know where the two monks have been taken."

In the last two months,, the Chinese court in Ngaba county of eastern Tibet has sentenced several monks of Kirti Monastery to lengthy prison terms after the authorities accusing them of their involvement in late Phuntsok's death by self-immolation to protest against the Chinese rule.

Torture is an everyday reality in Tibet, is used by Chinese authorities living in Tibet as a tool against the peaceful Tibetan people particularly writers, intellectuals and Buddhist scholars, creating a climate of fear. "Several others in Ngaba county who were detained by the Chinese authorities recent months were said to be being brutally tortured, they are still being held without charge.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 September 2011 14:44 )
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hope rainbow

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 06:33:02 AM »
This news of monks self-immolating is very distressing. Is suicide allowed under the vinaya? I know this must be the last resort for monks to bring attention to their plight.
Unless the monks are very attained, they would not be able to control their rebirth and wouldn't the horrendous pain they would suffer propel them to the lower realms?


Thank you WB for sharing this otherwise disturbing and distressful news with us.
I have the same questions when it comes to self-immolation indeed and I am looking forward to know what the forum people would say about this.

Your questions are:

QUESTION 1. Is suicide allowed under the vinaya?

QUESTION 2. Wouldn't the horrendous pain they would suffer propel them to the lower realms?


If I may "hijack" your topic, I have an additional question related to the topic.
Just last week I saw in a magazine the picture of a man who had set himself on fire and was engulfed with flames, this picture shocked me...

[here is the pic: http://www.google.com.my/imgres?q=greece+self-immolation&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1C1CHNV_enMY410MY410&biw=1280&bih=909&tbm=isch&tbnid=uu6qzTbiLdYKFM:&imgrefurl=http://m.spokesman.com/galleries/2011/sep/16/today-photos-sept-16/&docid=EwPhaHwxSHXHLM&w=400&h=555&ei=4rCGTrKUBuKLsAL0rKSODw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=751&vpy=104&dur=3513&hovh=265&hovw=191&tx=112&ty=153&page=1&tbnh=136&tbnw=106&start=0&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0]

My question is:

QUESTION 3. Is there a difference in between these two acts, in between
a) monks that immolate themselves to attract attention to the tibetan cause and to The Dalai Lama,
and b) a business man who is desperately broke, cannot provide anymore to his family and see no other solution than to attempt suicide in a dramatized and publicized way?


What to think?

Klein

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 06:12:50 AM »
Suicide is also an act of killing and will send the person to the hell realm. However, how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide.

The monks self immolate for the sake of the masses in hopes that the Chinese will stop their harsh treatment of the Tibetans. This selfless act will generate oceans of merits for the monks.

If we commit suicide due to our self created and self absorbed ways, then the motivation is that of selfishness. The person would stay in the hell realm for a long long time.

nagaseeker

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 09:17:10 AM »
Suicide is also an act of killing and will send the person to the hell realm. However, how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide.

The monks self immolate for the sake of the masses in hopes that the Chinese will stop their harsh treatment of the Tibetans. This selfless act will generate oceans of merits for the monks.

If we commit suicide due to our self created and self absorbed ways, then the motivation is that of selfishness. The person would stay in the hell realm for a long long time.


how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide but do note that chinese will not stop harsh treatment of the tibetans even monks self immolate ~ how many case of this been happened before ? why still need to waste own life for the 'hope' that is impossible to come true ?  why not continue to live on and practice / meditate ?

no offend Klein , self immolate is not selfless act. To me it is selfishness . Will you burn yourself to hope that the ban of DS practice be lifted ? Or you will help to promote Dorje Shugden in any way you can ? which one is selfless act ?

lightning

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 09:27:17 AM »
Suicide is also an act of killing and will send the person to the hell realm. However, how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide.

The monks self immolate for the sake of the masses in hopes that the Chinese will stop their harsh treatment of the Tibetans. This selfless act will generate oceans of merits for the monks.

If we commit suicide due to our self created and self absorbed ways, then the motivation is that of selfishness. The person would stay in the hell realm for a long long time.


how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide but do note that chinese will not stop harsh treatment of the tibetans even monks self immolate ~ how many case of this been happened before ? why still need to waste own life for the 'hope' that is impossible to come true ?  why not continue to live on and practice / meditate ?

no offend Klein , self immolate is not selfless act. To me it is selfishness . Will you burn yourself to hope that the ban of DS practice be lifted ? Or you will help to promote Dorje Shugden in any way you can ? which one is selfless act ?
Muhahaha.... :D

lightning

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 09:38:22 AM »
Is it possible that these two monks could be fake ones send by the China Gov. ? I heard there is another group of Falun Gong do have devottees self-immolation to show protest to China Gov?

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 07:44:45 AM »
Thank you, hope rainbow, for question 3.  I think that there is not much difference in the act of the monks and the act of the businessman, because both acts are out of desperation and desperation is a very high degree of suffering within a clouded mind.

In Buddhism, to eradicate suffering is the KEY, therefore if the purpose of self-immolation is to prevent someone else the awful act of killing you, and not to enhance their negative karma then it is an act of merit, otherwise I cannot see the real purpose of self immolation.

Live with purpose and die with purpose with true compassionate motivation.  Sorry if I sound like judging monks which is not my intention as I dearly respect the Sangha. 

Big Uncle

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 09:08:26 AM »
This is indeed a good question. First of all, I don't think any form of killing is permitted within the Vinaya or any other part of Buddha's teachings for that matter. Killing yourself and killing others is killing and it in itself is inherently bad. However, there are cases where great Beings like one of the Buddha's previous lives had no choice but to kill another person to prevent that person from killing many other great Beings. Even the Buddha with his ocean of merits had to take a negative rebirth due to his act of killing. However, the time spent in hell was relatively brief due to this motivation.

On the difference between self-immolation and suicide due to worldly failures, I do think they are worlds apart. Self-immolation is bad but the cause for it was bigger and covers more people who are suffering as compared to a businessman who just wanted to escape responsibility of his own financial problems. It is so easy to kill oneself and forget about one's family and friends. I think they are both karmically wrong but the scale tips lower on the businessman's side because his death is all about himself. This may be subtle for many but it is not subtle to the laws of karma. 

Galen

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 07:09:00 AM »
I totally agree with Big Uncle that any kind of killing will result in being born in the 3 lower realms. Be it suicide or self-immolation, killing of other beings. But the time spent in the lower realms will be shorter for the person who self-immolate. This is because they did it for the goodness of others so that more people will benefit from their sacrifice.


thor

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 10:01:13 PM »
Suicide is also an act of killing and will send the person to the hell realm. However, how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide.

The monks self immolate for the sake of the masses in hopes that the Chinese will stop their harsh treatment of the Tibetans. This selfless act will generate oceans of merits for the monks.

If we commit suicide due to our self created and self absorbed ways, then the motivation is that of selfishness. The person would stay in the hell realm for a long long time.


how long the person stays in the hell realm will depend on the motivation of the suicide but do note that chinese will not stop harsh treatment of the tibetans even monks self immolate ~ how many case of this been happened before ? why still need to waste own life for the 'hope' that is impossible to come true ?  why not continue to live on and practice / meditate ?

no offend Klein , self immolate is not selfless act. To me it is selfishness . Will you burn yourself to hope that the ban of DS practice be lifted ? Or you will help to promote Dorje Shugden in any way you can ? which one is selfless act ?

I like this debate very much. Which is more beneficial? To end one's precious human life for the sake of making one's stand for Dorje Shugden, upholding guru devotion? Or to use one's precious human life for educating the masses about the Dorje Shugden conflict and lifting the ban thru knowledge?

I am positive the young monks who self-immolated themselves had good intentions in mind, but their act does not accomplish much apart from temporary horror and disgust at the results the Dalai Lama and CTA have brought about, and some attention on the ban against Shugden. In the long run however, they will be forgotten and their sacrifice for nought. If they had studied, practiced and developed themselves into respected Shugden practitioners who later would bring his practice and lineage to others, that would surely bring more benefit.

Of course, our karma and merits will determine how much benefit and disbenefit we can bring, but even a simple monk who continued his practice and dedicated the merits to the lifting of the ban throughout his life would be better than a shortlived action that perhaps arose from anger? Perhaps the key is to follow the advice and example of our gurus, who would not lead us wrong.

vajratruth

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 03:11:17 PM »
I agree with Thor's view.

While the intentions of the monks are positive, the results are slight. And why do the ban a favor by having one less practitioner?

So much more good can be brought about by spreading Dorje Shugden and the benefits of its practice. If you introduce the practice correctly to someone new, you instantly win a supporter in the efforts to lift the ban.

There are some many countries in the world where the ban has no effect and yet the Shugden practice is not widespread.

bambi

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 01:01:48 PM »
This is indeed a good topic. Whenever I read news about monk's self immolation, I feel very sad.  These monks stood for what they love so much, Tibet and religious freedom. I used to ask myself too on whether those acts are considered as committing suicide and will they go to the lower realms? And yes they do because it is still an act of suicide just like what Big Uncle said. Thank you for the explanations.

dondrup

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 09:01:22 PM »
I like this debate very much. Which is more beneficial? To end one's precious human life for the sake of making one's stand for Dorje Shugden, upholding guru devotion? Or to use one's precious human life for educating the masses about the Dorje Shugden conflict and lifting the ban thru knowledge?

I am positive the young monks who self-immolated themselves had good intentions in mind, but their act does not accomplish much apart from temporary horror and disgust at the results the Dalai Lama and CTA have brought about, and some attention on the ban against Shugden. In the long run however, they will be forgotten and their sacrifice for nought. If they had studied, practiced and developed themselves into respected Shugden practitioners who later would bring his practice and lineage to others, that would surely bring more benefit.

Of course, our karma and merits will determine how much benefit and disbenefit we can bring, but even a simple monk who continued his practice and dedicated the merits to the lifting of the ban throughout his life would be better than a shortlived action that perhaps arose from anger? Perhaps the key is to follow the advice and example of our gurus, who would not lead us wrong.

I agree with Thor and Vajratruth.
 
Our motivation of self-immolation is important.  Self-Immolation is killing.  It is act not to be taken lightly as it has grave karmic consequence of taking a lower rebirth in hell.
 
We cannot even cope with a small cut on our body which gives us so much pain.  Can you imagine self-immolation by burning ourselves to death like the monks did!  It takes tremendous amount of courage, selflessness and a correct motivation to be able to do that.  For that I salute these monks for their sacrifice for the benefit of others.
 
I am sure the monks who had immolated themselves had had good motivation of doing so.  We have to know because if our motivation is incorrect, then we would have wasted our precious human life which could be put to better use like transforming ourselves and become enlightened and eventually to benefit others. 
 
As we do not have the complete and perfect wisdom like Buddha Shakyamuni who killed Himself to save many others, best we refrain from killing ourselves because there are better methods within our capacities to benefit others.  The best way to help others if we are lacking the wisdom is devote ourselves to our lama and help our lama perform his enlightened deeds to benefit others.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 08:33:32 AM »

I like this debate very much. Which is more beneficial? To end one's precious human life for the sake of making one's stand for Dorje Shugden, upholding guru devotion? Or to use one's precious human life for educating the masses about the Dorje Shugden conflict and lifting the ban thru knowledge?

I am positive the young monks who self-immolated themselves had good intentions in mind, but their act does not accomplish much apart from temporary horror and disgust at the results the Dalai Lama and CTA have brought about, and some attention on the ban against Shugden. In the long run however, they will be forgotten and their sacrifice for nought. If they had studied, practiced and developed themselves into respected Shugden practitioners who later would bring his practice and lineage to others, that would surely bring more benefit.

Of course, our karma and merits will determine how much benefit and disbenefit we can bring, but even a simple monk who continued his practice and dedicated the merits to the lifting of the ban throughout his life would be better than a shortlived action that perhaps arose from anger? Perhaps the key is to follow the advice and example of our gurus, who would not lead us wrong.

Were these monks who self-immolated Dorje Shugden practitioners? They were willing to die for their country but i don't think they were dying for their practice. I have not come across any reports about monks who committed suicide because of the ban, though perhaps Thor is mentioning this as a hypothetical question.

I do agree though that regardless of how tough life is, surely it is better to make full use of that precious human life to gain knowledge and attainments in order to benefit others. For monks who are supposed to not exercise attachment, why be attached to a country which no longer exists? Instead, they could work with the situation, i.e. the Chinese occupation, to benefit the people – Chinese or Tibetan, because we’re supposed to have equanimity, right?
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Galen

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Re: Self-immolation of monks at Kirti Monastery
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012, 02:51:18 PM »

I like this debate very much. Which is more beneficial? To end one's precious human life for the sake of making one's stand for Dorje Shugden, upholding guru devotion? Or to use one's precious human life for educating the masses about the Dorje Shugden conflict and lifting the ban thru knowledge?

I am positive the young monks who self-immolated themselves had good intentions in mind, but their act does not accomplish much apart from temporary horror and disgust at the results the Dalai Lama and CTA have brought about, and some attention on the ban against Shugden. In the long run however, they will be forgotten and their sacrifice for nought. If they had studied, practiced and developed themselves into respected Shugden practitioners who later would bring his practice and lineage to others, that would surely bring more benefit.

Of course, our karma and merits will determine how much benefit and disbenefit we can bring, but even a simple monk who continued his practice and dedicated the merits to the lifting of the ban throughout his life would be better than a shortlived action that perhaps arose from anger? Perhaps the key is to follow the advice and example of our gurus, who would not lead us wrong.

Were these monks who self-immolated Dorje Shugden practitioners? They were willing to die for their country but i don't think they were dying for their practice. I have not come across any reports about monks who committed suicide because of the ban, though perhaps Thor is mentioning this as a hypothetical question.

I do agree though that regardless of how tough life is, surely it is better to make full use of that precious human life to gain knowledge and attainments in order to benefit others. For monks who are supposed to not exercise attachment, why be attached to a country which no longer exists? Instead, they could work with the situation, i.e. the Chinese occupation, to benefit the people – Chinese or Tibetan, because we’re supposed to have equanimity, right?

After reading all the comments from others, it makes sense that the monks should not waste their precious human life. No doubt that they are making a point to the CTA to free Tibet by self-immolation but they could have done more in helping the lift of the ban if they have not burned themselves to death. By doing so, they would be able to help more people who can contribute to the lifting of the ban.