Living Buddhas: refusing to help a dying man against Buddhist principles   2011-03-24 15:09:51 FeedbackPrintRSS

CHENGDU, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Refusing to help a dying man is against Buddhist doctrines and such a behavior is a shame, several Living Buddhas said at a seminar days after a young Tibetan monk died from serious burns in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Rigzin Phuntsog, a 16-year-old monk at Kirti Monastery in Aba County of the Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, died on March 17, more than 10 hours after setting himself on fire.

A county government spokesman blamed Rigzin Phuntsog's death on treatment delays.

The monk set himself on fire at around 4 p.m. on March 16. After police on patrol put out the fire, a group of monks from the Kirti Monastery forcibly took Rigzin Phuntsog away and hid him inside the monastery.

After hours of negotiation, the monks allowed Rigzin Phuntsog's mother to take him to hospital at around 3 a.m. on March 17.

Rigzin Phuntsog did not respond to emergency treatment and died at 3:44 a.m., in the presence of his family members, said Soinam, president of the People's Hospital in Aba County.

He died from serious burns that caused heart and lung failures, and no other injuries were found during treatment or post-mortem examination of body surface, the doctor said, refuting foreign media reports of the monk's alleged "beating death by police."

The body of the young monk was cremated on March 18 in accordance with Tibetan rituals.

Kirti Monastery's Living Buddha Jampel Gyalmotso said he had explained to the monks in his monastery about Rigzin Phuntsog's death in detail.

"I and other monks who witnessed the cremation all saw that there were no gunshot wounds or cuts on the body of the monk," Jampel Gyalmotso said.

Living Buddha Kuanliang from Chali Monastery said a monk should obey religious disciplines and love Buddhism and the country.

"The monk who set fire on himself, harmed not only himself but also the monastery. Committing sabotage goes against the law as well as Buddhist doctrines," he said.

Living Buddha Tenphel Gyaltsen of Gomang Monastery condemned the behavior of self-burning and hiding the injured.

"Monks should observe monastic rules and obey the law so that Buddhism can flourish. Betraying religious disciplines and undermining social stability does no good at all," he said.

Many local Tibetans also questioned the behavior of the monks who refused to let Rigzin Phuntsog to receive medical treatment.

"They really should be blamed for hiding the injured monk inside the monastery and obstructing treatment. It's against our religious doctrines," said Sonam Lorwu, who was seeing a doctor at People's Hospital in Aba County.

"Delaying treatment and turning a blind eye to the life of the injured is inhuman," he said.

"Such a behavior is murder!" said Sam Dainy, who runs a restaurant in Aba. "Now we all know the truth. Their rumors can not longer fool us."

"Monks should not kill, they should save lives." said Lamlo, an elderly local Tibetan. "A real monk would not kill even a louse on him. Why did they set themselves on fire and delay treatment to the injured? Such behaviors went against the wishes of (Buddhist) followers and against the doctrines."

"We feel disappointed," said Kaniang, a Tibetan Buddhist believer from Aba County's Kuasha Township. "We want pure, enlightening religious life. We don't like those spreading rumors, creating troubles and breaking our peaceful life."

Editor: Mo Hong'e
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