Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc by Rollie Hicks

19/09/201003:20(Xem: 4082)
Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc by Rollie Hicks
botatquangduc02

SELF-IMMOLATION of THICH QUANG DUC

by Rollie Hicks

The Self-Immolation
On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from the Linh-Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon, Vietnam.. Eye witness accounts state that Thich Quang Duc and at least two fellow monks arrived at the intersection by car, Thich Quang Duc got out of the car, assumed the traditional lotus position and the accompanying monks helped him pour gasoline over himself. He ignited the gasoline by lighting a match and burned to death in a matter of minutes. David Halberstam, a reporter for the New York Timescovering the war in Vietnam, gave the following account:

I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think�. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

Thich Quang Duc had prepared himself for his self-immolation through several weeks of meditation and had explained his motivation in letters to members of his Buddhist community as well as to the government of South Vietnam in the weeks prior to his self-immolation. In these letters he described his desire to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. Prior to the self-immolation, the South Vietnamese Buddhists had made the following requests to the Diem regime, asking it to:

-Lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag;
- Grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism;
- Stop detaining Buddhists;
- Give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion;
- Pay fair compensations to the victim's families and punish those responsible for their deaths.

When these requests were not addressed by the Deim regime, Thich Quang Duc carried out his self-immolation. Following his death, Thich Quang Duc was cremated and legend has it that his heart would not burn. As a result, his heart is considered Holy and is in the custody of the Reserve Bank of Vietnam.

qd-tuthieu-3While Thich Quang Duc�s self-immolation has received little attention from religious scholars, it has been interpreted from both a religious and political perspective. From the prevailing point of view he has been "exclusively conceptualized as a transhistorical, purely religious agent, virtually homologous with his specifically religious forebears and ancestors." Therefore, his self-immolation is seen as a "religious suicide" and is religiously justified based on Chinese Buddhist texts written between the fifth and tenth centuries C.E.

On the otherhand it has been pointed out by both Thich Nhat Hnah and Russell McCutcheon that by contextualizing the event in 1963 Vietnam, the self-immolation can be seen as a "political act" aimed at calling attention to the injustices being perpetrated against the South Vietnamese people by a puppet government of Euro-American imperialism. In this context, Thich Nhat Hnah describes the act of self-immolation as follows:

The press spoke then of suicide, but in the essence, it is not. It is not even a protest. What the monks said in the letters they left before burning themselves aimed only at alarming, at moving the hearts of the oppressors, and at calling the attention of the world to the suffering endured then by the Vietnamese. To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance�. The Vietnamese monk, by burning himself, says with all his strength and determination that he can endure the greatest of sufferings to protect his people�. To express will by burning oneself, therefore, is not to commit an act of destruction but to perform an act of construction, that is, to suffer and to die for the sake of one's people. This is not suicide.

Thich Nhat Hanh goes on to explaing why Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation was not a suicide, which is contrary to Buddhist teachings:

Suicide is an act of self-destruction, having as causes the following: (1) lack of courage to live and to cope with difficulties; (2) defeat by life and loss of all hope; (3) desire for nonexistence�.. The monk who burns himself has lost neither courage nor hope; nor does he desire nonexistence. On the contrary, he is very courageous and hopeful and aspires for something good in the future. He does not think that he is destroying himself; he believes in the good fruition of his act of self-sacrifice for the sake of others�. I believe with all my heart that the monks who burned themselves did not aim at the death of their oppressors but only at a change in their policy. Their enemies are not man. They are intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred, and discrimination which lie within the heart of man.

The Impact of the Self-Immolation
This famous picture was on President Kennedy's desk that day. As a result, Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation:

Accelerated the spread of "engaged Buddhism" that had begun in Vietnam in the 1930's.

Led to the overthrow of the Diem regime in South Vietnam in November of 1963.

Helped change public opinion against the American backed South Vietnamese government and its war against the communist supported Viet Cong.

The social and political impact of Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation was far reaching. It was reported in the New York Times the next day and a copy of the fach Quang Duc in 1963 has been followed by the self-immolation of several monks and by the continued activism of the "rebellious monks of Hue" against the communist government in Vietnam over the past three decades.

Who Was Thich Quang Duc?
Thich Quang Duc was born in 1897 and was 67 at the time of his self-immolation in 1963. He had lived in a Buddhist monastic community since he was seven years old and was ordained as a full Buddhist monk or Bhikku when he was twenty. Thich Quang Duc practiced an extreme ascetic purification way for several years, became a teacher, and spent many years rebuilding Buddhist temples in Vietnam prior to 1943. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Quan the Am temple and Director of rituals for the United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation. Thich Quang Duc is considered to be a bodhisattva, "an enlightened being - one on the path to awakening who vows to forego complete enlightenment until he or she helps all other beings attain enlightenment."

Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
22/05/201818:16(Xem: 19439)
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/ Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
10/03/201807:13(Xem: 4591)
To give the briefest conclusion that I can think of to the question- 'Do you think that sectarian diversity affects the stability of Buddhism as a whole?', I would have to say, 'Yes' and 'No'. My intention here is not to give a definitive answer, but to give readers 'food for thought', to enable each of us to be responsible and maintain pure intentions, to think for ourselves and develop genuine wisdom and compassion. In the spirit of the Dharma, rather than dwelling on any possible problems, we should mainly focus on solutions to any such problems. With the hope of maintaining the integrity and purity of Buddhism in this world.
01/05/201717:53(Xem: 8038)
Come and join us for this multicultural celebration of the Buddha’s Birth Enlightenment and Passing Its a Free Event - All Welcome Vesak Procession & Commemoration in the City of Melbourne. 10am - 3.30pm, Saturday 27 May Come along to celebrate one of the most important days in the Buddhist Calendar and together commemorate the Buddha’s universal peace message for the world. Vesak Celebrations:
22/05/201520:28(Xem: 24930)
Audio: Thập Bát La Hán, bài giảng của Thầy Nguyên Tạng tại Chùa Linh Sơn, Detroid, Michigan, USA
06/10/201407:50(Xem: 27381)
9780975783085, Quý vị đang cầm trên tay tập Kỷ Yếu Kỷ Niệm Chu Niên 20 Năm Thành Lập Tu Viện Quảng Đức, lẽ ra tập kỷ yếu này đã ra mắt ngay sau Đại Lễ Mừng Chu Niên 20 Năm, nhưng do bận rộn nhiều Phật sự, nay mới chính thức ra mắt nhân dịp Khóa An Cư Kiết Đông kỳ 14 của Giáo Hội, được tổ chức tại Tu Viện Quảng Đức từ ngày 1 đến 11 tháng 7 năm 2014, như một món quà thành kính cúng dường đến Chư Tôn Đức Tăng Ni và gởi tặng đến quý ân nhân, thân hữu cùng Đồng Hương Phật tử gần xa. Tập Kỷ yếu này cũng được gởi biếu đến Thư viện quốc gia Úc tại Canberra, và các thư viện công cộng trên toàn liên bang Úc Châu như là một món quà khiêm tốn của TVQĐ đối với quần chúng Úc-Việt.
11/03/201415:02(Xem: 5420)
June 11, 1963, in Saigon, Vietnam, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in a busy intersection. The following is an excerpt taken from my Manufacturing Religion, pp. 167-177, which discusses this incident.
11/03/201414:55(Xem: 2515)
They said you were drugged They said you were a communist They said you were a senile old man They said nothing about your spirit They said nothing about your courage They said nothing about your compassion Downtown Saigon, corner of Phan Dinh Phung and Le Van Duyet Mid-day the eleventh of June, Nineteen Sixty-Three in front of the entire world-Self Immolation
11/03/201414:48(Xem: 3117)
Thích Quảng Đức[1] (1897 – 11 June 1963, born Lâm Văn Túc), was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963.[2] Quang Duc was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm.
19/09/201003:34(Xem: 7219)
June 11, 1963, in Saigon, Vietnam, a Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc immolatedhimself in a busy intersection. The following is an excerpt taken frommy Manufacturing Religion, pp. 167-177, which discusses this incident. RepresentingVietnamese "Self-Immolations" botat-thichquangduc-01010010_0Theoften-occluded relations among power, imperial politics, and the specificportrayals of religious issues is perhaps no more apparent than in thecase of the interpretations American media and intellectuals gave to themuch publicized actions of several Vietnamese Buddhists who, beginningin mid-June of 1963, died by publicly setting themselves on fire. The firstof these deaths occurred at a busy
22/06/201009:50(Xem: 3311)
You're holding, in your hands, the book recording the activities leading to the 20th Anniversary of Quang Duc Monastery. This book was not launched immediately after the celebration of the 20th Anniversary, due to many Dharma task commitments. However, we are very happy to officially launch it today - on the occasion of the 15th Winter Retreat, for All Sangha of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation in Australia and New Zealand, to be held in Quang Duc Monastery from 1st to 11th July, 2014.