Sunday, October 16, 2005
Thien Mu Pagoda
The temple is a working Buddhist monastery and school. We passed a school in session in one of the back buildings. Children in the traditional brown robes were studying and chanting the teachings of Buddha. The grounds also have a wonderful collection of small gardens and fruit trees.
After the division of the country when the French left, Buddhists were persecuted under the Catholic dominated South Vietnamese government. Buddhism being a very pacifist religion, a form of protest was for monks to douse themselves with gasoline and immolate themselves in a public place as protest.
The first monk to to this, Thich Quang Du, was from this temple. The temple still owns and displays the car that is in the background of a very famous picture showing the protest. The photo can be seen in this article.