What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

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What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby manas » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:16 am

Is there a 'Buddhist way', perhaps backed up by sutta, of dealing with tyrannical governments and/or rulers? We are living in an age where governments around the world, but most noticeably in Europe and the United States of America are, under the influence of an elite 'shadow government' (made up of a few elite families) whose aim is ultimately a World Government, taking away the basic freedoms and rights of their citizens bit by bit, more and more. As Buddhists, how are we 'supposed' to respond to this? What if just 'accepting that this is the way things are' will end up with a society where we are not even allowed to meet. print or discuss the Dhamma, because of government supression? Should we not see the writing on the wall and get active now, to try to turn this ship around before we all wake up in a fascist dictatorship?

I apologise for the rant, and I would not be feeling this frustration if the BuddhaDhamma wasn't my rock and shelter in life. It is. It's just that...most Buddhists I meet don't seem to be very interested in politics, since we are striving for greater things...but how will they feel if the Govt forcibly begins injecting us with microchips? Will they wait till then to become a bit more political? SHOULD we wait till then?
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:43 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:48 am

"...'When priests or contemplatives who have minds of ill will, with destructive attitudes... I have a mind of good will...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are overcome by sloth & drowsiness... I am devoid of sloth & drowsiness...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are restless & with an unstill mind... I have a still mind...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are uncertain & doubting... I have gone beyond uncertainty...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are given to praising themselves & disparaging others... I do not praise myself or disparage others...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who tend toward panic & dread... I have gone beyond horripilation...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are desirous of gains, offerings, & fame... I have few wants...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are lazy & lacking in persistence... My persistence is aroused...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are muddled in their mindfulness & unalert... I have mindfulness established...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are unconcentrated, with straying minds... I am consummate in concentration...'...


Fear & Terror

_/\_
with loving kindness
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Reductor » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:03 am

If you have worldly attachments, take worldly actions. Being a Buddhist, start with non violent means. Whether you take violent actions depends on just how attached you are to things in the world.

As a Buddhist lay person I would start with protests. Or a run for office where possible. Offer a better way and arouse the populance to defend their own cause.

Perhaps I'd even take up violence if the threat were truly dire, I don't know. Hopefully things don't come to that.

But remember that all things change. Anarchy goes to feudalism, feudalism to democracy or whatever. Democracy to nanny states or serve-the-rich-first states. And now, it seems, socialist governments in europe, 'capitialist' governments here in north america, are all in a bad way, looking down the barrel, so to speak.

Seems like a natural cycle, so maybe no amount of fighting will correct it. Perhaps it'll run its course regardless what you do.
:shrug:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:46 am

thereductor wrote:Seems like a natural cycle, so maybe no amount of fighting will correct it. Perhaps it'll run its course regardless what you do.
:shrug:

"All it takes for tyranny to prevail is for good men to do nothing," OWTTE.
I believe that most of us can make the world around us a tiny bit better - for ourselves and for our community - simply by being as good, in Buddhist terms, as we can be. We can do a bit more if we choose to and, so long as we are mindful of Right Speech and Right Action, we won't do any harm.
Still thinking is terms of the Dhamma, although it would be equally possible to present it in Christian terms (saying that just so you can pass it on to Christian friends :smile: ) or Utilitarian terms, we can express our compassion minimally (avoiding hurting others) or maximally (devoting our whole lives to helping others) or anywhere in between.
When it comes to politics, which is where this thread started, I'm a believer in speaking out when I see injustice or corruption - not that I manage to act on my belief as often as I would like, but I'm getting better. I'm also happy to join street marches and so on, but I can't imagine a situation in which I could justify violent protest; maybe that's because I'm an Aussie, i.e. lucky but lazy in politics. By world standards we have good government and are complacent about it to the point of apathy.
:namaste:
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Reductor » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:30 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
thereductor wrote:Seems like a natural cycle, so maybe no amount of fighting will correct it. Perhaps it'll run its course regardless what you do.
:shrug:

"All it takes for tyranny to prevail is for good men to do nothing," OWTTE.



to which I might respond:

"Many a good men have failed."

I believe that most of us can make the world around us a tiny bit better - for ourselves and for our community - simply by being as good, in Buddhist terms, as we can be. ...maybe that's because I'm an Aussie, i.e. lucky but lazy in politics. By world standards we have good government and are complacent about it to the point of apathy.


Not even an the odd scandal in Australia? Lucky.

But I agree with everything you've said: make things better where ever you can, be it at home, in your community, country or where have you. Don't let the evil hearted walk away with everything unopposed.

Restraint of evil should always begin in your heart.

Hopefully this slide the world finds itself in will be allayed. :anjali:

Sorry if the tone of these last few posts seem a little different from my usual fare.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:27 am

Is there a 'Buddhist way', perhaps backed up by sutta, of dealing with tyrannical governments and/or rulers? We are living in an age where governments around the world, but most noticeably in Europe and the United States of America are, under the influence of an elite 'shadow government' (made up of a few elite families) whose aim is ultimately a World Government, taking away the basic freedoms and rights of their citizens bit by bit, more and more.



Sorry but this sounds like a consipracy theory, do you have any evidence for this "shadow government"
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:28 am

Patriot Act.

Nuff said.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:31 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:Patriot Act.

Nuff said.



Not really, doesnt mean that a few people are working behind the scenes to make a "world government"


Although I dont know why such an idea would be bad
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:34 am

Yes. It means one unified entity believes it has the power to subvert the freedom of their own citizens at the expense of justice. Then in turn when such craving for control disregards one's own citizens, why stop there?

Back to the OP, What do we do in times of war? The least harm.

I remember Ven Dhammananda said once, "Buddhists should not be the aggressors even in protecting their religion or anything else. They must try their best to avoid any kind of violent act. Sometimes they may be forced to go to war by others who do not respect the concept of the brotherhood of humans as taught by the Buddha. They may be called upon to defend their country from external aggression, and as long as they have not renounced the worldly life, they are duty-bound to join in the struggle for peace and freedom. Under these circumstances, they cannot be blamed for becoming soldiers or being involved in defence. However, if everyone were to follow the advice of the Buddha, there would be no reason for war to take place in this world. It is the duty of every cultured person to find all possible ways and means to settle disputes in a peaceful manner, without declaring war to kill his or her fellow human beings."'

Then we remember the story of Brahmadatta about revenge in the spoils of war.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

There's Thanissaro Bhikkhu's response too.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ssage.html
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:14 pm

Yes. It means one unified entity believes it has the power to subvert the freedom of their own citizens at the expense of justice. Then in turn when such craving for control disregards one's own citizens, why stop there?



Im sorry what entity are we talking about?


In relation to the OP I think lay Buddhists should step in if they see an oppressive government on the horizon, although I dont share this view of there being a shadow elite thingy
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby manas » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:30 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Yes. It means one unified entity believes it has the power to subvert the freedom of their own citizens at the expense of justice. Then in turn when such craving for control disregards one's own citizens, why stop there?



Im sorry what entity are we talking about?


In relation to the OP I think lay Buddhists should step in if they see an oppressive government on the horizon, although I dont share this view of there being a shadow elite thingy

Hi clw_uk,
I did not really want to discuss whether or not it's happening, the question is more for like-minded Buddhists who have already done this kind of research I guess. Although I might ask (though I don't wish to get off-topic in my own post!) that if you live in the UK as it appears you do, are you aware of the fact that the citizens of England are the most watched, most surveilled in the world? Just wondering if you miss being able to walk down the street without a camera watching you. (I don't mean this with any malice, rather concern - which was the original reason for this topic!).

Anyway, google Bilderbergers, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Council on Foreign Relations, NWO...goodness there is SO much info out there about a planned World Govt that I had assumed every conscious person (and Buddhists are pretty conscious types) already knew about it... :thinking:
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:41 pm

manasikara wrote:... I might ask (though I don't wish to get off-topic in my own post!) that if you live in the UK as it appears you do, are you aware of the fact that the citizens of England are the most watched, most surveilled in the world? Just wondering if you miss being able to walk down the street without a camera watching you.

Read Grayling's Liberty in the Age of Terror for an overview and an intelligent (though not specifically Buddhist) response to this.

manasikara wrote:... google Bilderbergers, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Council on Foreign Relations, NWO...goodness there is SO much info out there about a planned World Govt that I had assumed every conscious person (and Buddhists are pretty conscious types) already knew about it... :thinking:

They are watching every word you type. And conspiracy theorists are everywhere :spy:
Sorry, but I just can't take this sort of stuff seriously, no matter how hard I try.
:namaste:
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby andre9999 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:56 pm

See also: New World Order.

Utter nonsense from paranoid people.
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby manas » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:38 pm

Ok...
I will close this discussion here now...my question has been answered regarding how most Buddhists probably feel about this issue, anyway! Thanks
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:59 am

Although I might ask (though I don't wish to get off-topic in my own post!) that if you live in the UK as it appears you do, are you aware of the fact that the citizens of England are the most watched, most surveilled in the world?



Yes I am aware and it is a necessity


Would like to add that the above applies to Wales as well, not sure what the situation is in Scotland or N.Ireland but I assume its the same


However having CCTV in the streets as we do does not mean we are being bugged or watched and controlled, in the manner you are thinking
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:07 am

I like CCTV. I have nothing to hide.
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:08 pm

Wise, skillful, fearless, unyielding, non-aggressive compassion without regard for self.

Because the act of tyranny, or any form of sadism is also a form of masochism. Practicing violence to others is violence against oneself. And although tyrants may hurt and destroy us, so what? We are always reborn.

It's like Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader.

The dark side is aggression. The light side is skillful self-defense. Sometimes, you do have to defend yourself, but you don't practice violence.

And like Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader -- "If you strike me down, I will only become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby zoidberg » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:29 pm

clw_uk wrote:In relation to the OP I think lay Buddhists should step in if they see an oppressive government on the horizon, although I dont share this view of there being a shadow elite thingy


Don't you think that would be unskillful to respond to violence with violence? Didn't the buddha say: "Monks, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handled saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate toward them would not be carrying out my teaching." (MN 21) According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Killing is never skillful and is something the buddha would never condone.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ssage.html
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Goedert » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:28 am

Hanzze wrote:
"...'When priests or contemplatives who have minds of ill will, with destructive attitudes... I have a mind of good will...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are overcome by sloth & drowsiness... I am devoid of sloth & drowsiness...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are restless & with an unstill mind... I have a still mind...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are uncertain & doubting... I have gone beyond uncertainty...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are given to praising themselves & disparaging others... I do not praise myself or disparage others...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who tend toward panic & dread... I have gone beyond horripilation...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are desirous of gains, offerings, & fame... I have few wants...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are lazy & lacking in persistence... My persistence is aroused...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are muddled in their mindfulness & unalert... I have mindfulness established...'...

"...'When priests or contemplatives who are unconcentrated, with straying minds... I am consummate in concentration...'...


Fear & Terror

_/\_
with loving kindness


Dear Hanzee,

Thats the key to it.

Practicing in this way we heal ourselves and others.

Sadhu!
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