Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2687 : What burns is the fire, what is alight is the cause, what remains is my heart

THE VIDEO and THE POST IS GRAPHIC - skip if it bothers you.

Volumes have been written about Thich Quang Duc - he is the Vietnamese Monk who immolated himself as "piece of resistance" against the government.

I have watched this video and read a few articles around him.

Over years, he has become almost like a role model. What he did is the purpose of life. To push, to evolve, to stand for something. And yet be dignified. Always. Civility and dignity are the core of Buddhism, but so is the betterment of the entire ecosystem, including everyone.

Duc has and always remain a symbol of what life should be. A journey and a cause. And the purpose is betterment.

For years I have included him in my silent list of Boddhisatvas and he shall remain enshrined there.

David Halberstam wrote:
“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”.
For me this is the symbol of what 2020 and my life should be. In the end we shall all die. All our lives are very tiny in the context of the world around us. We are nothing but an accidental collection of cells (that's the atheist in me speaking). 
Our friends, family, homes, wealth and almost everything is completely irrelevant in the larger context - just as we are. 5000 years one will remember Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos. They might (and I hope) remember The Christ or The Buddha. 
5000 years later there might not be humans around at all. Possible. 
And yet the one fire that will remain burning for eternity - is that of the Monk Duc burning in the quest of betterment of this universe. That is the mission and the value that makes having this ego and life worthwhile. 
Monk Duc and the Buddha help and bless the atheist in me :-).

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