Class Notes (837,194)
Canada (510,160)
Mark Rowe (2)

Self Immolation and Buddhism by James Ben.docx

2 Pages
Unlock Document

Religious Studies
Mark Rowe

Self Immolation and Buddhism by James A. Benn - Wrote the book “Burning for the Buddha” - As of today 123 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting Chinese law - Self immolation first case in 1998 - Thich Quang Duc, Vietnam 1963 o Protesting the policies of the south Vietnamese government which was catholic and were killing the Buddhists o Monks arrived at this intersection, got out of the car and drenched Thich Quang Duc (73, very respected, high-state, well educated) in gasoline o Sat in lotus position and burned himself o Malcolm Brown was alerted by Buddhists and was there to document it; are very popular images o Following the cremation, his heart remained unburned~ this appears to be a common relic  His heart is preserved in Vietnam today - “Auto Cremation”~ burning yourself to death o Did things like feeding themselves to insects, fed themselves to tigers, sliced their skin, etc. o Was heavily influenced by things found in Buddhist scriptures such as the Lotus Sutra - Why do Buddhists do this? o It is very common in scripture, and scripture is taken very seriously o The story of Prince Mustafa speaks of the Buddha in a former life offering his body to a starving tigress who was too weak to feed her cubs and he threw himself off a cliff; the tigress ate him, and with this strength he was able to feed his cubs  Story about compassion, charity, giving all that you have for the benefit of other beings  One of the most famous themes in Buddhist Art o In the Lotus Sutra there is a whole chapter about the bodhisattva medicine king (ch.23)  He is an advanced being who burns his body in homage to the being  Is not painful, is not suicide, he is giving his body as a gift  Presented as a higher act, respected  Very important because in his next life he becomes a Buddha  In a later chapter he burns his body, is instantly reborn and then burns his arm directing his actions to the stupid  Many acts were inspired by this text  The Bodhisattva does this many times during his long quest to become a Buddha  Does this to dramatize his way of giving up “sense of self” o People in pre-modern times had no other reasons not to believe this and take these actions seriously o Lotus Sutra  Shows people how and why to set fire to themselves
More Less

Related notes for RELIGST 1B06

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.