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November 19 religious studies notes )Self-immolation and Buddhism: James A. Benn).docx

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Religious Studies
Carterand La Rose

November 19, 2013 Religious studies Self-immolation and Buddhism: James A. Benn  Burning for Buddha: his book  Offering by fire (image on book)  Self-immolation: means self-sacrifice  Auto cremation: means people setting themselves on fire  Current self-immolation in Tibet o 1998 a 60yr old man trenched himself in gasoline, then set himself on fire and brought his hands together in prayer. o Not known outside of Tibetan social circles o In 2009 a second Tibetan set himself on fire in an act of protest o Today roughly 123 Tibetans have self-immolated  Lotus sutra scripture o Is setting yourself on fire really a Buddhist thing to do or a new form of political protest o Some say it is against Buddhists belief to commit suicide o Self-immolation has a long history: from written records in Chinese we know about several hundred Buddhist people who have offered their bodies through fire burnings o Self-immolation od Thich Quang, Vietnam, 1963  Very well educated monk, through burning he sat in the lotus pose (burned for 5 minutes before dying)  Highly covered by the media  His heart remained unburned after being auto-cremated  Not mentally ill, he was very rational and knew what he was doing o In china many famous Buddhist authors understood self-cremation as a path to righteousness??? (enlightenment?) o The Buddha, in a former life, of
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