After reading http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/sex-and-death-on-the-road-to-nirvana-20130606
from the Rolling Stone magazine about a Tibetan Buddhist
cult in which a member died from severe dehydration, I've become concerned and confused. This organization (Diamond Mountain) is not traditionally Buddhist, and yet the Buddha himself fasted for many days on end, nearly to the point of death. Is this practice encouraged by the Buddha? I know that fasting is, but even in pursuit of enlightenment, hurting oneself to the point of disrepair seems almost irresponsible. Thoughts?