Author Topic: Buddhism and Self-Immolation  (Read 3048 times)

Offline nirmal

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Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« on: June 10, 2012, 01:36:56 am »
In Mahayana Buddhism the ancient Lotus Sutra remains one of the holiest texts. In chapter twenty-three, the bodhisattva Medicine King makes the offering of his own body to the Buddha by performing various acts of self-mutilation, including burning his body: “Anointing his body with fragrant oil...and calling on his transcendental powers, [he] set fire to his body...The Buddhas in these worlds simultaneously spoke out in praise, saying: ‘Excellent, excellent, good man! This is true diligence.’”4 While many scholars have argued that this sacrifice was meant to be taken metaphorically, ardent believers have often interpreted the sutra literally and with dire consequences.5 Despite the interpretative debate, the actions of the bodhisattva in the Lotus Sutra are indisputable and therefore provide the doctrinal basis for Buddhist self-immolation.
Evidence for self-immolation can be found in Buddhist practice as well. In a letter addressed to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on June 1st 1965, Thich Nhat Hanh describes one manifestation of self-immolation in modern Mahayana practice:

Offline Mahasiddha Bodhisattva

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Re: Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 11:42:52 am »
At one stage of the Buddha's teaching work, the sangha was overtaken by a rash of suicides, as devotees responded to the teaching of the essential suffering of existence by choosing to end that existence. Subsequently the Buddha prohibited suicide. Doctrinally of course suicide doesn't get one anywhere personally, since one's karma is simply recreated elsewhere. It also represents the squandering of a precious human birth, which, being rare, may not be experienced again for a long time. Finally, the body is a coral reef of living beings, and by destroying it one has committed the sin of killing. This is not meant to be a final judgement by any means, merely an indication of some of the relevant considerations.

Offline J. McKenna

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Re: Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 12:36:25 pm »
suicide is the ultimate expression of selfishness      regardless the excuse    those remaining suffer the most
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline anata123

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Re: Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 07:22:27 pm »
The teachings of the Lotus Sutra has contradict many other sutra's teachings; especially this teaching on immolation and sacrifice.

Kutadanta: I am told that you teach the law,
yet you tear down religion.
Your disciples despise rites and abandon immolation,
but reverence for the gods can be shown only by sacrifices.
The very nature of religion consists in worship and sacrifice.

Buddha: Greater than the immolation of bullocks is the sacrifice of self.
He who offers to the gods his evil desires
will see the uselessness of slaughtering animals at the altar.
Blood has no cleansing power,
but the eradication of lust will make the heart pure.
Better than worshipping gods
is obedience to the laws of righteousness.

Offline bloxgros

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Re: Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 05:30:05 pm »

Offline Lobster

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Re: Buddhism and Self-Immolation
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 01:45:11 am »
If the cosmic Buddha in the Sky [as related in the Speghetti Monster Sutra - not yet available/revealed] or the historical Buddha had wanted us to produce an excess of acetone and combust, he would not require petrol or Dharma frenzied sangha-loons.

What a waste of life, of potential for doing good, for saving life.  :bigtears:

Next they will want us to sacrifice sons and buffaloes . . .  :smack:


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