Political advisors in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region have called on religious believers to respect and cherish life in response to recent self-immolations committed by Buddhists.
The seventh Reting Rinpoche Soinam Puncog said everyone, Buddhist or not, should treasure the lives of all living things, including their own lives.
The Reting Rinpoche occupies an important place in Tibetan history. The previous incarnations of Reting Rinpoche have taught Buddhist scripture to the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama and have taken key government positions, such as regent of Tibet.
Dinga Rinpoche Pasang Namgyal, a political advisor from Tohlung Dechen County in the regional capital of Lhasa, said the Buddhist saying “do all that is good” means that people should give, do good deeds and refrain from actions that are harmful to the human body.
Gyatso Ling Rinpoche Thubten Drapa, another local political advisor, said that by teaching believers that all lives are equal and that one should treasure life, the Buddha is also asking people to respect their own lives.
Killing is one of the Ten Evils in Buddhist teachings and the Buddha Dharma has stressed that one should not hurt emotional beings, he said.
“If those who believe in me injure their own bodies, they are not only hurting life, but also obstructing their practice of the Dharma,” Thubten Drapa said, citing the Buddha’s words.
“Committing suicide is like murdering others, which falls under the high crime of killing. Those who kill will fall into the lower three domains in the Buddhist wheel of karma,” he said.
Multiple Tibetan self-immolations have occurred in west China’s Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces in recent months. The Chinese government has stated that the acts were incited and supported by the Dalai clique.
On Saturday, two ethnic Tibetans stood trial in a court in southwest China’s Sichuan Province for inciting eight people to self-immolate, three of whom died.
Forty-year-old Lorang Konchok and his 31-year-old nephew Lorang Tsering were accused of intentional homicide, according to a statement issued by the Intermediate People’s Court of the Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba.