Author Topic: An image so powerful  (Read 17366 times)

vajrastorm

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 03:41:48 PM »
Thich Quang Duc is a Bodhisattva, for sure, to sacrifice his life in an act of self-immolation with the compassionate motive of making a strong statement and hence benefiting others. His death was followed by a series of other similar noble acts of self-immolation by other monks. I am deeply touched,yet find this act to be shocking because of its 'violent' nature.

On the other hand, i have also read stories of very realized Tibetan Masters, who, out of great compassion - not wanting their blood to be on the hands of the Chinese invaders of Tibet - leave their bodies in self-initiated powa. Their deaths are  not violent and are not shocking to anyone's sensibilities. In fact, I find myself more appreciative of this gentler nature of compassion - this sacrificing of one's life in a gentler manner - because it does not 'place one's violent end at the door of one's 'enemy'.

Rihanna

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 04:07:49 PM »
June 11, 1963, in Saigon, Vietnam, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in a busy intersection. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

This self-immolation signifies something deeper than merely the legal concept of suicide or the physical action of self-destruction". This is because highly attained beings leave marks behind after their death such as their tongue , heart and eyes despite going thorough the intense heat at the funeral pyre.

After his funeral, where his remains were finally reduced to ashes, Quang Duc's heart, which had not burned, was retrieved, enshrined, and treated as a sacred relic. Now what does this mean? That he is a highly attained being. And if he is so, the motivation must have been of highest level. He did not die in vain nor was he an attention seeker!

Big Uncle

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2012, 04:21:15 PM »
Wow! I am so amazed at his tenacity. He must have some sort of attainment and more importantly, his ability to withstand extreme physical distress from being burnt to death and yet appear to be in control of his body to remain in full meditative posture. I take refuge with that tenacity and control of the mind. I hope my practice will help me to come to have that level of control of the mind. That itself is truly a powerful spiritual attainment.

ratanasutra

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 05:24:34 PM »
i saw the image of monk burning himself similar like this about 9 years ago, at first i was quite shocked but later when i looked at his sitting posture which is in meditation posture and he doesn't seem to be worried or scared of the fire, instead he looks so calm and peaceful like in deep meditation. what i learned from see this image is the monk used his life to benefit other even until in his last breath if this will create a peaceful later.

triesa

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 06:00:12 PM »
Thich Quang Duc is a Bodhisattva, for sure, to sacrifice his life in an act of self-immolation with the compassionate motive of making a strong statement and hence benefiting others. His death was followed by a series of other similar noble acts of self-immolation by other monks. I am deeply touched,yet find this act to be shocking because of its 'violent' nature.

On the other hand, i have also read stories of very realized Tibetan Masters, who, out of great compassion - not wanting their blood to be on the hands of the Chinese invaders of Tibet - leave their bodies in self-initiated powa. Their deaths are  not violent and are not shocking to anyone's sensibilities. In fact, I find myself more appreciative of this gentler nature of compassion - this sacrificing of one's life in a gentler manner - because it does not 'place one's violent end at the door of one's 'enemy'.

Violent or not-violent is really in the eyes of the receiver. I think for Thick Quang Duc, he was really determined and yet calm....before and during the whole process. If we could only understand the reason behind this act and the decision and determination to sacrifice his precious life in order to get a message across, I call him a hero. A hero with a selfless persue and willing to do whatever it takes to even to get one message across. Obviously other means had been in vain before the monk picked this option.

Like a mother, when soft and gentle words do not kick any sense from a child, then she has to revert to "wrathful' means.....sometimes the appearance may look violent....but the core of her motivation is still gentle and soft, full of love and compassion. Like Thick Quang Duc, his intention was really compassion and love, his soul was gentle and soft....even though he engulfed himself in the violent flames of self immolation.

dondrup

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2012, 06:42:10 PM »
I agree with Positive Change that it is such a waste of the monk’s precious human life.  Isn’t self-immolation considered killing that leads to heavy negative karma?  It may be misconstrued that self-immolation is okay.  I personally feel that there are other more skilful means than sacrificing a precious human life for example like what Vajrastorm had mentioned about self-initiated powa?

Perhaps this highly attained monk had the wisdom to know that sacrificing his life was the best method to stop the persecution of Buddhists by the then South Vietnam's Roman Catholic government. 

Having said the above, i really respect and salute the monk for his courage and selfless act!  Om Mani Padme Hum.

Klein

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2012, 07:59:01 PM »
This image is really very powerful. It brings tears to see a selfless monk self immolate for the sake of others.  Based on the results after his death, Buddhist practitioners were free to continue with their practice. Whether or not this selfless act was a waste of his life is very subjective.

My opinion is that it wasn't a waste. Thich Quang Duc was obviously a highly attained practitioner if not a Bodhisattva. A clear sign is his intact heart. Hence, his motivation is that of compassion. With this motivation, how would the act be a waste?

Positive Change

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2012, 04:58:13 AM »
Quote
But why did he do what he did? Yes, indeed to some, some might think that he was too extreme, but in being extreme, it is only then when you can have an impact on others to transform their minds, to benefit them, to influence them, fight for your cause and to lead by action. You benefit others through your body speech and mind, in this case, Thich Quang Duc benefitted others through his body and mind. However, compassionate deeds are more often than not, criticized, but how many of us can sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others?

I could not watch the video in its entirety in one sitting. I had to stop and get back to it a few times. It was heart wrenching! I did not understand why the police (military?) we barricading the other monks from going near but in the end of the video, what touched me the most was the fact that EVERYONE, monks AND police were prostrating to the highly attained monk... WOW!

And Manjushri i do agree with your statement above as after so many years have past, we are still talking/debating/discussing about it and sharing the very action he performed. His action did make an impact so strong, whether one views it as negative or positive IT HAS caused a rippling effect across this vast lake of ours... Incredible compassion!

triesa

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2012, 06:10:39 AM »

Thich Quang Duc is a Bodhisattva, for sure, to sacrifice his life in an act of self-immolation with the compassionate motive of making a strong statement and hence benefiting others. His death was followed by a series of other similar noble acts of self-immolation by other monks. I am deeply touched,yet find this act to be shocking because of its 'violent' nature.

On the other hand, i have also read stories of very realized Tibetan Masters, who, out of great compassion - not wanting their blood to be on the hands of the Chinese invaders of Tibet - leave their bodies in self-initiated powa. Their deaths are  not violent and are not shocking to anyone's sensibilities. In fact, I find myself more appreciative of this gentler nature of compassion - this sacrificing of one's life in a gentler manner - because it does not 'place one's violent end at the door of one's 'enemy'.



Violent or not-violent is really in the eyes of the receiver. I think for Thick Quang Duc, he was really determined and yet calm....before and during the whole process. If we could only understand the reason behind this act and the decision and determination to sacrifice his precious life in order to get a message across, I call him a hero. A hero with a selfless persue and willing to do whatever it takes to even to get one message across. Obviously other means or methods had been in vain before the monk picked this option.

Like a mother, when soft and gentle words do not kick any sense from a child, then she has to revert to "wrathful' means.....sometimes the appearance may look violent....but the core of her motivation is still gentle and soft, full of love and compassion. Like Thick Quang Duc, his intention was really compassion and love, his soul was gentle and soft....even though he engulfed himself in the violent flames of self immolation.

Benny

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2012, 03:18:52 PM »
"However I still believe that the "perception" of self immolation can be seen as potentially extremist and may not necessarily work in non Dharmic minds. That was my point to begin with. We have to, as Buddhist be careful in what we project always don't we?" quote by Positive Change.

I totally agree with Pc , it would not be wrong to say that the vast majority of the viewers who saw the monk burning alive , would describe it as ; shocking , terrifying , sad , traumatic and etc . Few would really call it inspiring I guess , unless they are supporters of suicide as a form or method to achieve a goal !

Throughout the history of mankind , the act of suicide has been used by different races , religion , political denominations , armies and now even terrorists . These acts have one thing in common , it relies on the shock factor ! The more "shocking" the better because it needs to capture the attention and emotion of those who witness or perceive it . This is proven by words used to describe it , it has undeniably affected all those who saw it . Those graphic details are burnt into every single persons mindstreams ! Whether , they like it or not it was not their choice ( especially those who were on site who didn't have a clue as to what was going to happen )

To that extent of forcing upon the rest of mankind to witness that shocking act , it succeeded 100% . But did it truly achieve its objective or goal ? That my friends , remains unaswered . What was sure to follow was many more monks followed suit and met fiery end . Did the so called pro Roman Catholic Government give in ? No , they did not, in fact they retaliated with more violence , the more conventional type of course ie they hurt those who were going to hurt themselves ! They clobbered and bashed those who protested.

So the moral of the story is , as we were all taught by our parents , teachers , elders , pastors , priest , imams , monks , nuns and gurus , that violence is not the solution and that violence only begets more violence ! Classic examples : did the great Gandhi kill himself to win independence for India ? Did mother Theresa burn or crucify herself to feed the hungry ? Did Moses not lead the Jews away from Egypt in the face of oppression. I dread the thought of Moses setting himself on fire ! Who would have lead the Jews I wonder ? In recent times , has Japanese harakiri and kamikazee warriors won the war ? Did Osama's suicide bombers win over the Americans or the world ? We all know the answer.

In conclusion , as a Buddhist , we should all make the best of this optimum human condition and not waste it. We should all walk the path and practice what we preach . Let the Dharma be exemplified in the way we lead our short human lifes.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: An image so powerful
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2015, 08:29:45 AM »
Self immolation is considered killing even if it is one's own life.  However, it is important to realise that the intention and motivation are the fundamental causes of creation of negativities.

So if an attained monk like Thick Quang Duc gave up his life, and on cremation his heart is intact, can we even doubt his motivation.

Right or wrong the result is that the Vietnamese government has seen changed and new temples are built so that Buddhism can once again be practised in this ex communist country. 

This may be what Thick Quang Duc sacrificed his life for.