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Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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daverupa
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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:57 pm

I think §1337.666 is actually about Mara's powers...

---

As an aside, is it the case that one who upholds the first precept is also to that extent restrained with respect to the third parajika? Or does the monastic ruling cover more here? It does say "incite" in various ways; I suppose the first precept doesn't cover speaking in praise of death? Perhaps this is covered by the fourth precept...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:05 pm

Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living creatures.

(Anguttara Nikaya 8.39 and several other places)

The first precept refers to not killing, but there are other suttas mentioning no harming or causing the death / killing of living beings.

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daverupa
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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:12 pm

There seems to be an overall pattern of Sila which gets covered by both formulations, but in the case of the Vinaya there is a social component which is enforced - one must convey issues to a trusted companion, and so forth. I don't think I've read a passage where a layperson was enjoined to make confession to another...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:53 pm

daverupa wrote:I think §1337.666 is actually about Mara's powers...

---

As an aside, is it the case that one who upholds the first precept is also to that extent restrained with respect to the third parajika? Or does the monastic ruling cover more here? It does say "incite" in various ways; I suppose the first precept doesn't cover speaking in praise of death? Perhaps this is covered by the fourth precept...

There are aspects which are comparable, so yes, but the first precept is vague and encompass another rule about animals also which is slightly different (not only in where it is within the rules).
as an example we can as it were talk about Euthinasia, where as a monk can not even do that for what could be considered legitimate medical reasons!

Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying,): "My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life," or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby petergriffin608 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:51 am

Dhammanando wrote:
petergriffin608 wrote:Hi, I am new to Buddhism and doing research on this.

Can anyone please tell whether Buddhist monks (Theravada school) are allowed to kill somebody who is trying to kill them. i.e. Can the monks kill in self defense. Which sutta has this please???


If a bhikkhu is cornered by an attacker, it is not a Vinaya offence if he gives the attacker a blow, provided that it's only with the aim of escaping from him. If the bhikkhu attempts to kill the attacker and succeeds, then he is defeated (as other posters have mentioned). If he inadvertently kills the attacker while giving him a blow with the aim of escaping, then that too would be no offence, for only intentional killing of a human is a defeating offence.

The source is the Vinaya Pitaka's account of the 4th pacittiya rule in the Patimokkha's Sahadhammikavagga. For a modern exposition of this, click here and scroll down to 74:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... h08-8.html

Thank you. This was helpful!!!

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Re: Can a Theravada Buddhist monk KILL in self defense ?

Postby SarathW » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi Peter
I think you have asked a very important question. You got some great answers from the forum. But I wish to share some of my thoughts with you and the rest. I had this problem bothering me for years. In Sri Lanka Sinhalese and Tamil had a 30 year war and many lives were lost. They are mainly Buddhist and Hindus. Then there is a big problem in Tibet. Should Tibetans take arms against mighty Chinese?

I realise that there is no general straight answer to this question. It depends on the situation. So I came up with my own problem solving formula. You can use this in any situation.

A) Ask the question “What is my life time goal which I need to achieve? How my action will effect achieving my goal?” In my case I need to attain Nirvana in this life. So for me killing anyone is out of the question. I do not remember the last time I kill even a mosquito. Having said that if someone tries to kill me I will do every thing at my disposal to defend my self. I am not an Arahant. I still have attachment. So my enemy may get killed in the struggle. It is bad luck. Even I killed someone it will not be a hindrance to achieve my goal. Angulimala killed thousands of people but he became an Arahant. However I have to face my bad Kamma because I kill someone with defilements.
B) Ask the question “What Buddha or Arahant would have done in this situation” There are enough stories in Buddhism to provide sample answers to any situation. There are stories that Arhant got killed by robbers. I have never heard that Buddha or Arahant taking any ones life. Because you are more familiar with Christianity ask the question “What Jesus Christ would have done in this situation” Even in his crucifixion Jesus said “Forgive them. They do not know what they are doing”
C) Ask the question “Is there an alternative to killing the enemy” The war and killing is an old school strategy. By trying to kill your enemy you will give more ammunition to the enemy so he will attack you even harder. Mahatma Gandhi fought mighty empire with his none violent strategy. Now this strategy has made to an art form. Please read following article titled “From dictatorship to Democracy”

http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf

There is a good story. This monk converted a snake to a Buddhist. One day some naughty children came and throw some stones at the snake and the snake got injured. When the monk came back from his visit to the village and saw the injured snake. Snake said to the monk “See what happen to me. You ask me to not to kill and it seems like I am going to get killed by these boys” Then the monk asked the snake. Do you still have your fangs? Snake said “Yes” Then the monk said “ Yes I asked you to not to kill but I did not ask you to not to show your fangs”

So the straight answer to both of your questions should be “No” I do not have the right to take some one life or my own life (Suicide or euthanasia” One of the ten commandments is “Though shall not kill”


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