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Buddhadharma : Spring 2012
8 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SPRING 2 0 1 2 made your statement, but let not your motive be hatred.” Thubten Ngodup somehow signalled that he understood, to His Holiness’ great relief. One of the brave monks who set him- self on fire did so in the close presence of Chinese military police, who were so confused by this astonishing gesture, they shot him and then proceded to beat him as he was dying, as if to pun- ish him for freeing himself from their punishments! It was a sign of their utter confusion. They could not understand the power of his act to completely cancel the conflict of oppressor and victim, nor his wish to take control of his own life by giving it away. Buddha said that hate will never put an end to hate—only love can. Hate wants to destroy its object, a person seen as obstructing the hater’s hap- piness; but love wants even a hating person to be happy, not to be any sort of obstruction—that’s how it can over- come the hate. of the Tibetan people, if not in the eyes of the hypocritical world of diplomacy and commerce that favors the rich and powerful winner of whatever illegal action, even the theft of a country. Such blame is totally unfair. I still remem- ber His Holiness’ reaction to the self- sacrifice of Thubten Ngodup in Delhi, whom he was able to visit in the hospital before he died. His Holiness was very upset by it, and Thubten Ngodup was elderly, not young and brilliant with a whole life of study and achievement ahead of him. His Holiness said, “This is violence, even if it is self-inflicted. The same energy that can cause someone to do this to himself is very close to the energy that enables someone to kill oth- ers in fury and outrage.” His Holiness was also worried about this powerful gesture. But he was pleased that at least he was able to whisper into the ear of the totally bandaged victim, “Do not pass over with hatred for the Chinese in your heart. You are brave and you The numbers of young monks and nuns burning themselves in a final appeal for a change in the iron hearts of their oppressors strikes straight to the heart of our whole world. I think of the Buddha Dipamkara, Buddha the Lamp-maker, who offered his body as a lamp for the wise and lov- ing enlightened beings who strive cease- lessly to bring beings out of the fires of hell and other nether realms, and humans out of the tragedies of death, famine, plague, and war. Oh please Father Chen- rezig and Mother Drolma, reach out to these young souls as they leave their bod- ies behind in writhing agony and guide them to havens of healing and a further life of ideal circumstances for spiritual advancement! Oh all you savior deities and protecting angels, go to the cruel despots in their dreams if necessary, and help them face reality, heed the power of truth, let go of their paranoid fantasies of making eternal their deadly suppres- sion of freedom everywhere! A.JESSEJIRYUDAVIS