Monastery starts legal education after monk's self-immolation

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 27, 2011
Adjust font size:

Monks at a monastery in southwest China's Sichuan Province are receiving legal training, six weeks after a young monk set himself on fire and died.

All monks at the Kirti Monastery in Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture are learning the basics of the Chinese Constitution, Criminal Law and regulations on religious affairs, in line with a local government circular issued on April 22.

The government's decision to enforce legal education at the monastery followed the tragic death of Rigzin Phuntsog, a 16-year-old Kirti monk who set himself on fire on March 16.

After police put out the fire, some monks from the monastery forcibly took the seriously-burned Rigzin Phuntsog away and kept him inside the monastery for nearly 11 hours, which led to him dying of serious complications resulting from the burns in hospital.

Local police said last week the incident was a criminal offence, carefully planned and aimed at triggering disturbances, as investigators found Rigzin Phuntsog had been incited by Lhadan, another monk at Kirti Monastery.

The legal training was well-received by the monks as necessary and informative.

"I support the government's decision to start legal education for the monks," said monk Shang Chijamutso, "because activities in violation of the law and religious doctrines sometimes occur at the monastery."

Shang Chijamutso said he hoped those monks who did not concentrate on the Sutra and self-cultivation would be expelled from the monastery.

Chief of Aba County Wang Jun said a few monks at the Kirti Monastery had been disrupting social order, especially since 2008.

"Police seized guns, ammunition and porn DVDs from the monastery on several occasions. Some monks were involved in riots, prostitution rings, and gambling, with some becoming alcoholics. All these activities deviated from the doctrines of Buddhism," said Wang.

The ongoing round of education would remind the monks to abide by law, follow Buddhist doctrines and concentrate on their cultivation, he said.

"Monks should be law-abiding citizens," said Shang Chijamutso. "I myself want to be a patriotic, knowledgeable and respected monk."

Monk Tenzin said his father visited him at the monastery during a training session. "My father is a village official. He said he'd tell the villagers not to trust any rumors about what was going on at the monastery."

The monastery's Living Buddha Nyigeme said monks, as disciples of Sakyamuni, should abide by the law and focus on self-cultivation. "Legal education is quite necessary."

The living Buddha said the monastery would also stress monks' self-discipline. "Education in law should go in tandem with education in religious doctrines," he said.

Living Buddha Dokhar said the monastery had dispelled 11 monks in three years over violation of doctrines.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from