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Sangha stop Suicides by Tibetan Sangha copy to media

Parajika 3:  If a bhikshu/ni plans, kills a person, if he/she holds a knife, aids a hit man; if he/she likes death, praises death: “Argh! What use is this evil life? Better dead than alive! His/Her mind thinks is not fate, likes death, praises death, urges death, this bhikshu/ni is in defeat, and denied dwelling. This means at the moment of it, they are not bhikshu or bhikshuni and have no rights to wear the robes of a bhikshu or bhikshuni or reside in the Sangha dwellings for the remainder of their lives. Those that support the Tibetan Suicides be it of monks or nuns or lay people or non-Buddhists, protesting in support of it, in anyway seeming to encourage it are committing the gravest of offenses if they are robed as monks or nuns. Shamefully they should disrobe and return to lay life.

Dear Buddhists please look beyond your prejudices, no racist rants about China and it’s system of government or the weakness of the Tibetans.  The reality is government in Tibet has a solid ground with many generations born since then, my age and younger who don’t relate to this cause. No matter how you prepare to kill yourself with rituals or blessings you are as dead as anyone else in the graveyard.  This is no way to protest, no way to gain freedom and no way for you to return to human life that you throw away and even worse the karma of a monk or nun killing themselves is so much that rebirth is affected, a key issue for Tibetans let alone a chance to encounter Buddhism in the next life.  Please end this practice.  It’s not normal.  Sangha do not do this! Karma influences others who have no relationship to you or the cause you die for, just by seeing pictures you in robes suffering a painful death seems another justification for those considering suicide for themselves seeing robed ones do this implies consent to those weak-minded persons who romanticize this as a noble death when it is not.
Please do not think for a moment that Sangha commit suicide for political gain.  Until these last few months it’s been rare to see it in news.  Those promoting suicide and those undertaking it have lost faith in the Vinaya, that means they have lost faith in the Triple Jewel.  It’s now time to bring in mental health professionals to help them with their despair over their situation, therapy to help them cope, and lots of support from the Sangha to ground them in Vinaya and all that it means to be a monk or a nun.  Vinaya education begins the moment one enters the temple, deportment, study, encouragement to endure, and upon the acceptance for full ordination one is ready to uphold all their precepts without despair.  The precepts of non involvement in politics is clear too, we are to uphold the leader of the land which we reside in the moment.   All the laws of Tibet as of now apply to Tibetan Sangha as is elsewhere in the world for the rest of us.
Tibetans are not weak people, most of the rhetoric is twinned with words like powerless, helpless, hopeless, despairing when in fact Tibetans are not this.  This conflict is not noble at all, nobody wins, no effect is gained other than sorrow for the grieving family and the sadness among the rest of worldwide Sangha at watching the faithless commit these acts in the name of power and politics.  Just because people in that situation or for that cause are stumped does not make it right to kill off monks or nuns because you are not effective!  Encouraging them to do this is killing, and in the USA it’s an offense a felony a chargeable crime.  Uphold the Triple Jewel, have faith again, stop using Sangha as political pawns, step up and be the change.  Embrace nonviolence including self-violence.  Look at our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 6 Principles of Nonviolence for guidance, give copies to the government. Start the peacemaking, be the peacemaker.
If you have no faith in the Vinaya have faith in someone who has proven non Violence works the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 6 principles of nonviolence.


1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.

• It is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

• It is assertive spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

• It is always persuading the opponent of the justice of your cause.

2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.

• The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.

• The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.

3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.

• Nonviolence holds that evildoers are also victims.

4. Nonviolence holds that voluntary suffering can educate and transform.

• Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.

• Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation.

• Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it.

• Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.

• Suffering can have the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.

5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.

• Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as of the body.

• Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility.

• Nonviolent love is active, not passive.

• Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater.

• Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves.

• Love restores community and resists injustice.

• Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated.

6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

• The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

This petition is on under Human Rights:

Suicide by Sangha is not to be promoted. It sickens the heart to keep reading about this misguided effort at attracting world response by some within Tibet. It will not attract a Western response no matter if it continues to escalate or stop. Conflicts that involve suicide as politics never caught on in the West and always are viewed as a social weakness. It generates doubt in the minds of the West as the mental state of minds of some in the Tibetan Sangha. It will create doubt about the Triple Jewel and its efficacy in addressing social imbalances and mental health of people in great need of mental health services and proper Sangha guidance.
Recent self-immolation by monks and nuns and over the years has not brought freedom to Tibet as those in the conflict places have wished. It’s has caused one child to kill herself in copying the monks and nuns already dead from suicide. That is grievous Karma. You should not allow this to continue. Monks and nuns are left-home people and are not to serve as political lessons to the populace no matter how noble the cause. It is a parajika to kill and encourage others to kill human beings.
Self-immolation came to Tibetan monks from outside sources; it’s a relatively new phenomenon. The karma attached to the people who introduced that to a society that has a strong aversion to suicide is enormous. It has opened the door to Mydesperate and later will escalate to the imbalanced in the population as ‘way out’.
You see a child in middle school has followed some of your misguided Sangha members into death by suicide, a painful way to die. We feel for her grieving family. This is dangerous precedent to make for impressionable children who should be focused on gaining life skills, education and just being kids.
Do something! Address the mental health issues right now. Get training in mental health services so the needy members of the Sangha can be treated and then offer training to the public to serve their areas as well. Treasure the Triple Jewel rather than allow it to be destroyed by your own lack of action.
The majority of Sangha in Tibet supports their vows and upholds the Triple Jewel as well as the majority of Tibetans. No doubt it’s a small number of people promoting this practice; please help end the practice of suicide before it creates an escalated response from increased copycat suicides and unnecessary punitive responses by the government.
Out of great compassion we ask you to please get on with it and increase your skills in offering more productive solutions to troubled communities immediately. Namo Amitabha Buddha!
Ven. Hong Yang, Bhikshuni,  8 rains of the Longevity Mountain, Yuan Heng Temple, Taiwan. Now a residing bhikshuni translating Mahayana sutras into English in Ames, Iowa USA.


I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.