The concept of self immolation in buddhism

Does this mean that Buddhism therefore considers self-immolation to be ethically justified? Whether intentional or not, the exportation of Christianity throughout the world brought with it new people, new architecture, new languages, new legal and ethical systems, new styles of dress, new economic arrangements, new trading goods, and so on, all based on the standards of large, powerful, and distant European countries.

The example of what was widely termed the self-immolation-a term that from the outset does much to isolate the event as being exclusively concerned with issues of religious sacrifice--of Vietnamese Buddhists is a particularly useful example, because it seems that there was, and may yet be, a great deal at stake, economically, politically, and militarily, in the interpretation and representation of these events.

I pay heartfelt homage to these bodhisattvas of the Land of Snows, The lamps who dispel the darkness of Tibet, Like the buddha who gave his body to a hungry tigress [in a past life], Out of the altruistic intention to dispel the suffering of others. We cannot know with any certainty that they were motivated by the type of compassion spoken of in this passage; but neither can we dismiss this possibility.

Etymology[ edit ] The English word immolation originally meant "killing a sacrificial victim; sacrifice" and came to figuratively mean "destruction, especially by fire. Stop detaining Buddhists; 4. For example, one can obscure the issue by simply discussing an almost generic "encounter with the West," where "the West" stands in place of essentially religious systems, such as Judaism and Christianity for an example, see Eller Before he was enlightened, the future Buddha came across a tigress and her cubs.

As already suggested, the deaths of the Buddhists could be seen as a statement either against American-backed imperialism and war or simply against the localized persecution of one religious group by another, all depending on the scale of the analysis.

I am giving away my body as an offering of light to chase away the darkness, to free all beings from suffering, and to lead them to the paradise of the Buddha of Infinite Light. He appealed for "serenity and patriotism", and announced that stalled negotiations would resume with the Buddhists.

And precisely because the action and belief systems were foreign and exotic to the vast majority of Americans, these actions needed to be mediated by trained textual specialists who could utilize the authoritative texts of elite devotees to interpret such actions.

As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him. As van den Bosch has recently argued, the "question whether the custom [of suttee] should be regarded as religious depends upon the definition of religion within this context" After organizing meals for one million monks, Wuran burned off a finger in sacrifice, and eventually after ten million meals, had burned off all his fingers.

Although both the example of the Montgomery bus boycott and the Vietnamese deaths arise from dramatically different historical and social contexts, both actions are clearly part of an oppositional discourse that is today communicated to us through, and therefore managed by, the means of dominant discourses school textbooks in one case, and as a mechanism for selling both scholarly privilege and expertise as well as a Sony Music product in another.

And when politics is acknowledged to be a factor, it is portrayed as essentially oppressive to a self-evidently pure realm of religious motivation and action.

On the Ethics of the Tibetan Self-Immolations

For example, the photograph appears on the cover of a compact disk for the alternative rock music group Rage Against the Machine. What the monks said in the letters they left before burning themselves aimed only at alarming, at moving the hearts of the oppressors, and at calling the attention of the world to the suffering endured then by the Vietnamese.

Concerning the links between Christianity and European imperialism in Southeast Asia, it should be clear that much is at stake depending on how one portrays the associations among European cultures, politics, religion, and the ever increasing search for new trading markets.

But "abandoning the body" also covers a broad range of more extreme acts not all of which necessarily result in death: United States Secretary of State Dean Rusk warned the Saigon embassy that the White House would publicly announce that it would no longer "associate itself" with the regime if this did not occur.

Lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag; 2. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. For example, in his interpretation of the early selfimmolation tales, Orzech explicitly acknowledges that " al though little context information is available to us, it is clear that in each case the sacrifice is performed as a remedy for an intolerable situation"emphasis added --clearly, social and political contexts are of little relevance for authoritatively interpreting timeless ritual or religious actions.

Or what happens when an act of self-directed harm has the potential to alleviate the harm that is being perpetrated on others? The practice had also been seen in the Chinese city of Harbin in when a monk seated down in the lotus position on a pile of sawdust and soybean oil and set fire to himself in protest against the treatment of Buddhism by the communists of Mao Zedong.

Is self-immolation ethically justified according to the Buddhist teachings? Although differing in many ways, it appears that both are part of a complex system of power and control, specializing in the deployment of interpretive strategies-the politics of representation.The Self-Immolation of a Buddhist Monk.

Vietnam has marked the 40th anniversary of the self-immolation of Thich Quang Duc. The monk's protest came to symbolise the repression of the US-backed South Vietnamese regime against Buddhism. The story of the Tibetan self-immolations has failed to garner much attention from the Western media.

Time called it the most under-reported story ofand the coverage has not improved, despite more than additional deaths since the end of The image of the Buddhist Monk Thich Quang Duc committing suicide by self-immolation is a hugely iconic image of the 20th century. But bearing in mind the first precept against taking life, can this be considered an ethical act in the context of Buddhism.

The Self-Immolation of a Buddhist Monk

immolation and related issues in Chinese Buddhism.1 I will begin with an account of what is probably the earliest rec- orded case of self-immolation by a Buddhist monk in China. Self-immolations of Tibetans, an interview with Thierry Dodin.

C onsidering the recent resurgence of self-immolations by Tibetans in Tibet takes stock one more time of this complex issue. The following is the first part of a comprehensive interview with Tibetologist and TibetInfoNet director, Thierry Dodin, that was carried out in early Defining Concept of The Self The four aspects that make the concept of self are: the body self, inner self, interpersonal self, and societal self.

The body self is the physical aspect of a person. The body self is an idea that William James also calls the material self (Fiske, ).

The concept of self immolation in buddhism
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