YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Self-immolation: Equanimity? - Dhamma Wheel

Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:42 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:01 am

Hi Jechbi
Thanks for raising this subject. Actually, I too was thinking of Venerable Thich Quang Duc's act today.
To be honest with you, while I revere Venerable, his self-immolation is an act that I have trouble reconciling. Whether, as you said, killing oneself in that way is wholesome and, whether Venerable's equanimity was genuine or was based on deeper and subtle aversion.
And being mere putthujanas and without knowledge of the state of mind of Venerable, it might be hard to really do anything other than rationalise the act according to our own predelictions. But its worth having a go.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:10 pm

I am not troubled at all by Thich Quang Duc's actions when you look at the broad scope of things. It helped to end oppression of Buddhists in Vietnam and helped to inspire countless people in the power of the Dhamma. I think that this mitigates the fact that suicide is generally a selfish act and that many misguided people copied him. Lastly, it's the intent that matters, and it seems doubtful that his intent was anything but noble. However, what he did was a unique case and it's really not relevant to most people. Nobody here ought to condone self-immolation for the sake of political protest or whatever else, since more compassion can be carried out through living.
The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:21 pm


User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:52 pm

My first retreat was at the Quan Duc Temple in Fawkner, so I have a kind of a connection with this story. It terms of the resolve and equanimity displayed by Ven Quan Duc, it continues to nourish and inspire me in practice.

In terms of Theravada justification, I can only think of Jataka tales. Wasn't there one where the Buddha-to-be sacrifices his body for the emaciated tigress and her cubs?

But I agree with other posters - I do not feel qualified to judge Ven Quan Duc. If anything, I prostrate myself before his selfless action.

_/|\_
_/|\_

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Jechbi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:04 pm


Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:59 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:59 pm

In the case of Channa there was no blame because he was an Arahant at the point of death. http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ada-e.html So if Venerable Thich Quang Duc was an Arahant then there is no blame.

Besides, the case of Venerable Thich Quang Duc is different from the suicide cases in the Suttas, such as Channa's, because he didn't kill himself to end bodily suffering, but for selfless reasons.

Here's an old E-Sangha thread that might be useful: http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... topic=4622

Mike

User avatar
fivebells
Posts: 416
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby fivebells » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:16 pm

Does blame ever enter into questions of Dhamma?

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:21 pm


Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:48 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
BlackBird
Posts: 1925
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:49 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:08 am

Greetings,

The argument I have heard from the Mahayana perspective is that self-immolation can be justified also in the context of a monk who is becoming old and difficult to sustain, who would rather get on with the next life in which the bodhisattva activities can be more fruitfully performed.

Or that was how I interpreted what they were saying, anyway... and it's not related to the Thich Quang Duc incident, but would also necessitate strong equanimity.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:49 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:24 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:51 am

The best things in life aren't things.


User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:08 am


User avatar
BlackBird
Posts: 1925
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:05 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:09 am

Nevermind.
The best things in life aren't things.


Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am

Re: Self-immolation: Equanimity?

Postby Clueless Git » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:36 am



Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine