The Burning Monk- Thich Quang Duc (1993) sat down in meditation position at Saigon. He then poured gasoline all over his body and set himself alight. He maintained his calm meditative position and did not even make a sound while his body burned and then within a few minutes toppled over. His body was consumed but his heart remained intact. It was placed in the Reserve Bank of Vietnam and is called the Symbol Of The Holy Heart.
He wanted to show people that we can do incredible things when we practice mindfulness. He also wanted to show the world the injustice that was being perpetrated on the Buddhist religion and community by a repressive regime. Needless to say, it worked pretty well and the government softened up on the Buddhist. He is a remarkable symbol of the incredible power the mind holds.
Not to burst your bubble, bub, but you are missing some real fucking important information here.
First off, the date: I don’t know if that’s a typo on your part, but you have VASTLY overshot the year of his death - by about thirty years.
This is to say, Thich Quang Duc really died in 1963, which is a real big blunder on your part, because you know what repressive regime he was living under?
The right-wing, pro-Catholic dictatorship of South Vietnamese “President” Ngo Dinh Diem, a man who actively discriminated against Buddhist practitioners despite the fact that they constituted anywhere between 70% - 90% of the population.
And no, in spite of all the negative press, neither Diem or his cronies put an end to their systematic persecution just because one man set himself aflame for all the world to see. Quite the opposite, a major government crackdown was carried out against Buddhist pagodas nationwide in August 1963, during which time roughly 1,400 monks were arrested, thirty civilians were killed (and some 200 wounded) when they tried to defend the monks, and - I’m sure you’ll find this especially pertinent - Quang Duc’s heart was confiscated from the Xa Loi pagoda in Saigon, which, unsurprisingly, was the biggest and most aggressively assaulted target of the raids.
And, of course, there was also Madame Nhu (Tran Le Xuan) - de facto first lady of South Vietnam, and one of the most outspokenly and unapologetically bigoted folks in the government. She was a major player both in the limelight and behind the scenes of South Vietnamese politics, but, arguably, what she’s most notorious for nowadays is publicly mocking Quang Duc and other self-immolated monks by saying, among other things:
“If the Buddhists want to have another barbecue, I will be glad to supply the gasoline.”
Now, I highly recommend reading up on the rest of Madame Nhu’s dickishness for yourself, because she’s a real nasty piece of work in her own right, but all you have to know for now is that her comments were just as instrumental as Quang Duc’s suicide in prompting the infuriated U.S. government to further withdraw support for the Ngo Regime, and in otherwise getting the rest of the world to realize just how bloody awful the people in charge of South Vietnam were.
And speaking of which, the only reason Buddhist persecution came to an end in the first place was because Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother were fucking murdered after being captured by their generals in a coup d’etat on November 1, 1963, and anyone vaguely familiar with global history can prooobably guess what happened next: the government fell into severe disarray, as general after general vied to hold control in the ensuing power vacuum, and, with both the Viet Cong and North Vietnam breathing down the South’s neck, the American government had to take on a much more direct and active role in the country’s affairs and defense, and you can probably guess what that means.
Now, back to the main point: did Thich Quang Duc’s bold and selfless martyrdom inspire people to take action against the South Vietnamese government?
Yes, absolutely, at home and abroad.
Did his heart really remain intact after incineration?
Yes! And what’s more, his heart even managed to survive cremation! Where it’s located now, however, I can’t say for certain, as I couldn’t find anything conclusive while reaffirming my data elsewhere.
Is the original post a grossly inaccurate oversimplification of Quang Duc’s legacy?
Does the OP try way too hard to make this seem inspiring in the absolute worst way possible?
Did the South Vietnamese government learn the error of its ways and start playing nice again after Quang Duc’s suicide?
Learn to do your goddamned homework, people, before you try trivializing something as serious as this again.