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Ex-leader of S.Korea’s largest Buddhist sect self immolates

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Ex-leader of S.Korea’s largest Buddhist sect self immolatesNovember 30, 2023

Seoul, Nov 30 (IANS) South Korea’s largest Buddhist sect, the Jogye Order on Thursday said that a former leader immolated himself after he was found dead in a temple fire a day earlier.

“Ven. Jaseung left a warning to all Buddhists with his self-immolation, praying for the stability of the religious group and the salvation of the world through the dissemination of the Dharma,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Ven. Wubong, the spokesman for the Jogye Order, as saying at a press briefing.

Self-immolation is a Buddhist practice of burning oneself alive as an offering to Buddha.

He announced the former head passed away at age 69 in a fire that erupted at Chiljang Temple in Anseong, Gyeonggi province, at about 6.50 p.m. Wednesday.

His body was found at a dormitory for monks in the temple, where he was staying alone.

The police discovered notes apparently written for the temple’s chief priest in Jaseung’s car parked nearby.

They read: “I’m sorry for causing a lot of troubles by ending my life here. … This building will be restored by my disciples, and I’m both sorry and grateful.”

The police say they will analyse all closed-circuit TV footage inside the temple to determine the exact cause of the fire.

The Jogye Order said it will hold a five-day funeral led by its current leader Ven. Jinwoo at Jogye Temple situated in downtown Seoul.

Born in 1954, Ven. Jaseung became a Buddhist monk at age 19 and served as the president of the Jogye Order from 2009 to 2017.

–IANS

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