Source: Xinhua | 2013-1-18 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
LIVING Buddha Dadrak said he is in awe of life.
"For thousands of years, Buddhists have been seeking complete insight into life," said Dadrak, who is from the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Ethnic Prefecture of southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Dadrak is attending a seminar that opened in the provincial capital of Chengdu on Wednesday. The seminar has gathered nearly 40 Chinese high monks and scholars from different schools of Buddhism to discuss the topic of life.
"Life is the biggest issue concerning each individual, each family and society as a whole," said Dadrak.
"As we gather here to talk about what kind of attitude to take toward life, we hope to set out on a journey toward happiness," he said.
Dadrak said people can benefit from the Buddha's thoughts. After awakening under a banyan tree, the Sakyamuni Buddha found that the nature of Buddhism is inherent in all people, Dadrak said. "This means all human beings are equal," Dadrak interpreted. Dadrak said life is precious. "But unfortunately, when we look back at the world's history, war and killing have never ceased."
Some young Tibetans have set themselves on fire in recent months in China's western provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. Most of the self-immolators were around the age of 20. Some had never left their hometowns.
"Paying respect to life is a must for an individual living in modern society," Dadrak said.
Xue Cheng, a high monk from southeast China's Fujian Province, said he feels "heartbroken" every time he hears about another self-immolation incident.
"The victims are innocent and ignorant," he said.
Xue has influenced many with his attitude toward life, both in the real world and the virtual one. His account on Weibo has more than 140,000 followers.
"Netizens, religious and non-religious alike, ask me all kinds of questions," Xue said. "If you want to have enough courage to face whatever happens in your life, you should go to more places, see more things, and bear more people in your mind," Xue wrote on Weibo.
Huba Longzhuangmeng, a high monk of the Theravada school of Buddhism, said it is important to have a healthy attitude toward death.
"According to Buddhist teachings, suicide is forbidden. Praising and aiding suicide is forbidden as well," said Huba. "Only with the human body can we study Buddhist doctrine, repay our parents for their care and pursue life's true meaning," he said.