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Self-immolations defy fundamental Buddhist precepts
2013/01/09

Recently, the self-immolation of monks in Tibetan-populated area of Sichuan Province has shocked not only the masses but also the Buddhists, as nobody would have believed that these practitioners and disseminators of boundlessly benefiting from Buddhist doctrines have cast away their vows "to cultivate endless merits for all sentient beings" and ended up in such a way of avijja, brutality and extremism.

Renowned religion expert Li Decheng, director of the Religion Department of China Tibetology Research Center wrote an article specifically elaborating his view on the self-immolation occurrence with an insightful observation of the principal Buddhist commandments.

In the article published on Overseas Version of People's Daily, Li Decheng pointed out that the suicidal  behavior is in defiance of the precious life, seriously violating the core gist of Buddhism and wantonly trampling the principal Buddhist doctrines.

"According to Buddhist teachings, all disciples must stick to the doctrines to cultivate their own mind and to accomplish perfection, during which they have to keep the vows of mercy, act as Bodhisattva preachers, and abide by the precepts."

Precepts are prioritized among the three principles. The basic rule for Buddhists is to uphold the five precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, and no intoxicant. Among the five commandments, no killing is the ultimate commandment, which must be observed and is infrangible. 

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