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The New Ten Virtues and the Public

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One of the biggest debates on Tibetan websites this year is on the new Ten Virtues. On this issue alone, there were about twenty opinion pieces and more than a thousand comments written on the internet.

According to the pieces on the internet, it was people like Serther’s Khenpo Tsultrim Lodoe and others who made the new Ten Virtues. The Ten Virtues are: not to butcher and sell meat 2) not to steal and rob 3) not to fight with weapons 4) not to prostitute one’s body 5) not to sell guns and opium 6) not to smoke opium or cigarettes 7) not to drink alcohol 8) not to gamble 9) not to hunt and 10) not to wear skin and fur of animals.

There’s news that many nomads in Kham are having a lot of difficulty maintaining the Ten Virtues. Jamyang Kyi, one of Tibet’s most famous writers, has written frequently on this issue. This is what she wrote about a particular incident:

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“Ramang Pema sold his livestock and transgressed the Ten Virtues. Because of this, the door of dharma shut on him. After this, one of his child died. He begged for the dharma door to be opened many times but it wasn’t opened. Finally not even a single monk came for the funeral and he had to throw the child’s body into the river.”

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