Cakkavatti?

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Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:48 pm

Hi everyone,

I had this question long time ago, since many of us may think about the social problems, relate to the world: Why in the long time history of Buddhism, there isn't any Cakkavatti? If even arahant is possible and exist, so why didn't any leader try to be a Cakkavatti, even some of the devout king like Mongkut of Thailand? Why many nations with Buddhism is religion of the people, no one seemed to try or have the will to follow the idea. While the suttas may seem very clear on the guide and it is easy on the method, why didn't people do it? Don't they believe in it, do they? The nearest example might be Asoka but it seemed he wasn't a Cakkavatti yet.

Do you think it is possible to have a Cakkavatti even for the modern day? Or do you think the leaders should follow this model? Is it realistic or not? Even why the Sangha don't encourage leaders follow this model?

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:17 pm

I had to Google the term "Cakkavatti" because I am unfamiliar with it... although I've come across the phrase "Wheel Turning Monarch" several times in my reading of the Digha Nikaya. I guess I had never seen it in Pali.

I can't say much for a modern-day Wheel Turning Monarch, but it sounds like a high standard by which to measure a leader.

Maybe by my bumping the thread we'll get another reply. *bump* :)
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby gavesako » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:01 pm

Good question. Ven. Analayo has just published a new article about this topic comparing the Pali Suttas to Chinese Agamas. But various authors have written about modern interpretations of this ideal. Have you read Tambiah's 'World Conqueror, World Renouncer'?
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:12 am

gavesako wrote:Good question. Ven. Analayo has just published a new article about this topic comparing the Pali Suttas to Chinese Agamas. But various authors have written about modern interpretations of this ideal. Have you read Tambiah's 'World Conqueror, World Renouncer'?

No, not yet.

I started reading Nikayas a long time ago so I tried to read as little other books as possible before I completed the Nikayas because I want to know what the Buddha taught and I don't want other experiences interfere my understanding of Nikayas.

But I like short ideas or discussions, and what do you mean by that book?

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:13 am

Hickersonia wrote:I had to Google the term "Cakkavatti" because I am unfamiliar with it... although I've come across the phrase "Wheel Turning Monarch" several times in my reading of the Digha Nikaya. I guess I had never seen it in Pali.

I can't say much for a modern-day Wheel Turning Monarch, but it sounds like a high standard by which to measure a leader.

Maybe by my bumping the thread we'll get another reply. *bump* :)

Well, thank you

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:24 am

Actually the Cakkavatti ideal has been very important in the history of SE Asia and many kings have tried to model themselves on the example of Asoka. But real life is never quite the same as an ideal, as you can see from the quotes below:


I found one good text on the subject of Buddhism and War:
http://home.earthlink.net/~brelief1/bud_war.html

Recently I have been reading about the Buddhist history and how king Asoka in India for the first time used Buddhism as a kind of "national ideology" in order to govern the country and keep it under control and in peace. However, he first had to defeat some of his enemies and kill many people in the process. He also had to use punishment against those who were working against him. So it seems that there is a paradox in the very concept of a "dhammaraja" or Righteous King, and one cannot completely avoid using violence in that kind of position.
Do you know the Temiya Jataka? It is the story of a prince who reflected on the law of kamma and decided to pretend that he was disabled, so that we would not have to take on the role of a king, because he was afraid of the bad kamma that he would get from sentencing people to death, etc. This Jataka story is very interesting because it is the opposite of the Cakkavatti-raja ideal (the Wheel-turning king) which is mentioned in some Suttas. I guess one tries to make a "heaven on earth" whereas the other acknowledges the real dangers of Samsara and shows the way out.

The duties of a universal emperor (cakkavatti-vatta), D.III.61

1. Rule by righteousness
2. Prevention of wrongdoing in the Kingdom
3. Distribution of wealth to the poor
4. Seeking advice from sages, aspiring to greater virtue


* * * * *

The Buddha's Lion’s Roar about violence and peace

The Cakkavatti-Sihanada (the Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel) Sutta addresses the relationship between criminal justice and social justice, especially the connection between poverty and violence. In accordance with the usual Buddhist approach to remedying problems,(5) the way to control crime naturally follows from the correct understanding the causes of crime, and this sutta considers those causes. The Buddha tells the story of a righteous monarch in the distant past who initially venerated and relied upon the dhamma, as his sage advised: “Let no crime prevail in your kingdom, and to those who are in need, give property.” Later, however, he began to rule according to his own ideas, which meant that the people did not prosper as well as before. Although maintaining public order, he did not give property to the needy, with the result that an increasing number of people became poor. Due to poverty, one man took what was not given and was arrested; when the king asked him why he stole, the man said he had nothing to live on. So the king gave him some property, saying that it would be enough to carry on a business and support his family.

Exactly the same thing happened to another man, and when other people heard about this, they too decided to steal so that they would be treated the same way. Then the king realized that if he continued to give property to such men, theft would continue to increase. So he decided to get tough on the next thief: “I had better make an end of him, finish him off once for all, and cut his head off.” And he did.

At this point in the story, one might expect a moralistic parable about the importance of deterring crime, but it turns in exactly the opposite direction:

Hearing about this, people thought: ‘Now let us get sharp swords made for us, and then we can take from anybody what is not given, we will make an end of them, finish them off once and for all and cut off their heads.’ So, having procured some sharp swords, they launched murderous assaults on villages, towns and cities, and went in for highway-robbery, killing their victims by cutting off their heads.

Thus, from the not giving of property to the needy, poverty became rife, from the growth of poverty, the taking of what was not given increased, from the increase of theft, the use of weapons increased, from the increased use of weapons, the taking of life increased. (Digha Nikaya iii 67–68, in The Long Discourses of the Buddha, 399–400)

As if all that were not enough, this leads in turn to deliberate lying, speaking evil of another, adultery, harsh speech and idle chatter, covetousness and hatred, false opinions, incest, excessive greed, and—evidently the last straw—lack of respect for one’s parents, for ascetics, and for the head of one’s clan. The result—obviously meant to apply to our own situation today—is that people’s lifespan and beauty decrease, but those who abstain from such practices will increase in lifespan and beauty.(6)

In spite of some fanciful elements, this myth has important implications for our understanding of crime and punishment. The first point is that poverty is presented as the root cause of immoral behavior, such as theft, violence, falsehood, and so forth. Unlike what we might expect from a supposedly world-denying religion, the Buddhist solution has nothing to do with accepting one’s “poverty karma.” The problem begins when the king does not give property to the needy—that is, when the state neglects its responsibility to maintain what we now call distributive justice. According to this influential sutta, crime, violence, and immorality cannot be separated from broader questions about the justice or injustice of the social order. Much the same point is made in the Ku?adanta Sutta, in which a chaplain tells a king that there is much lawlessness and civil disorder in his kingdom, making property insecure. The king is advised to deal with this not by taxation, nor by attempting to suppress it forcibly, but by improving the people’s lot directly:

Suppose Your Majesty were to think: ‘I will get rid of this plague of robbers by executions and imprisonment, or by confiscation, threats and banishment,’ the plague would not be properly ended. … To those in the kingdom who are engaged in cultivating crops and raising cattle, let Your Majesty distribute grain and fodder; to those in trade, give capital; to those in government service assign proper living wages. Then these people, being intent on their own occupations, will not harm the kingdom. Your Majesty’s revenues will be great, the land will be tranquil and not beset by thieves, and the people, with joy in their hearts, will play with their children, and will dwell in open houses.(7)

We may be inclined to view this as an outmoded perspective from an ancient culture that never experienced the benefits of capitalism’s “invisible hand,” but it raises some sharp questions about a state’s economic responsibilities to its own people. The basic point of both of these suttas is that the problem of crime should not be addressed apart from its economic and social context. The solution is not to “crack down” harshly with severe punishments, but to provide for people’s basic needs. “The aim would be, not to create a society in which people in general were afraid to break the law, but one in which they could live sufficiently rewarding lives without doing so” (Wright 7). We prefer to throw our money at “wars on crime,” although the results suggest what the king belatedly realized, that such wars no one wins.

That brings us to the second point of the Lion’s Roar Sutta, its understanding of violence, and its causes. Instead of solving the problem, the king’s violent attempt at deterrence sets off an explosion of violence that leads to social collapse. The sutta emphasizes this by using exactly the same words to present both the king’s intentions and the intentions of the people who decide to become criminals. If punishment is sometimes a mirror-image of the crime (something that retributists propose), in this case the crime is a mirror-image of the punishment. Psychologically, the latter makes as much sense as the former. The state’s violence reinforces the belief that violence works. When the state uses violence against those who do things that it does not permit, we should not be surprised when some of its citizens feel entitled to do the same. Such retributive violence “tends to confirm the outlook and life experiences of many offenders. Wrongs must be repaid by wrong and those who offend deserve vengeance. Many crimes are committed by people ‘punishing’ their family, the neighbors, their acquaintances. … Apparently the message some potential offenders receive is not that killing is wrong, but that those who wrong us deserve to die” (Pepinsky 301, Zehr 77). The emphasis on nonviolence within so much of the Buddhist tradition is not because of some otherworldly preoccupations; it is based upon the psychological insight that violence breeds violence. This is a clear example, if anything is, of the maxim that our means cannot be divorced from our ends. There is no way to peace; peace itself is the way. If the state is not exempt from this truth, we must find some way to incorporate it into our judicial systems.

_____

Note 5: The Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta has been tampered with, in Gombrich’s opinion, but the Theravadin tradition does not doubt it. Its “humane theory, which ascribes the origin of crime to economic conditions rather than to vice, is not typical of Indian thinking on such matters, which tends to conspiracy theories. Buddhism tends to find its causes for human events in human psychology. … My personal feeling, which is no more than a guess, is that this idea is so bold and original that it is probably the Buddha’s” (Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism, 83).


Read the whole Sutta at http://www.basicbuddhism.org/index.cfm?GPID=29

Quoted from http://www.buddhistethics.org/7/loy001.html
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:15 am

Thank you sir, I haven't read a lot Jakata yet but I remember a lot of information about cakkavatti from suttas. Even none of the famous kings under the direct teaching of the Buddha apply this model, while some of they were sotapanna, is it really that hard?

Anther thought of me, sir, even without the teaching of the Buddha, some became cakkavatti, but under the influence of a sammasambuddha, none. Is there something illogical? :tongue:

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby waimengwan » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:36 am

The 14th Dalai Lama was both political and spiritual head of Tibet government in exile. So can he be considered a wheel turning monarch? When he teaches hundred of thousands are in attendance, he probably get much more attendance than most political heads of state.
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:00 pm

whynotme wrote:Do you think it is possible to have a Cakkavatti even for the modern day? Or do you think the leaders should follow this model? Is it realistic or not? Even why the Sangha don't encourage leaders follow this model?


I don't think that is quite right. In predominantly Buddhist SE Asian countries, there is an interesting and near seemless dovetailing of laity, sangha and state. The power relations revolve around the laity's reverence for the sangha, the public acts of merit making by state officials and the validation of political authority or "kingship" by the sangha. The post-colonial period in Myanmar's history, including the period under a socialism, makes for an object lesson in the validation of the state by the sangha and the idea of kingship in modern Buddhist politics.

Furthermore, there appears to be a body of ancient literature on state governance. Here are some extracts:


Participating in government by practicing in accordance with the principles for collective responsibility which help prevent decline and lead only to prosperity, known as the seven aparihaniya-dhamma:

1. Meeting often and regularly; regularly conferring on community affairs and projects (which are to be shouldered by each person according to his level).
2. Meeting together, dispersing together and doing together what needs to be done together.
3. Neither instituting laws and regulations not communally agreed upon simply out of convenience or personal preference, nor denigrating or abolishing things already instituted; upholding the main provisions established as the constitution.
4. Honoring and respecting the elders long in experience, giving weight to their words.
5. Honoring and respecting the womenfolk, protecting them from abuse and ill-treatment.
6. Honoring and revering the shrines, holy places and national monuments, which are memorials arousing virtue and centers of community spirit; not neglecting to honor the ceremonies required for those places as dictated by tradition.
7. Organizing rightful protection, support and sanctuary to monks and priests who maintain pure moral conduct and who serve as spiritual refuges and moral examples for the people; gladly receiving them and wishing for their comfort.
(D. II. 73)

For the lord of the land, the state leader or ruler-be he an emperor, king or administrator in general-there are the following qualities and principles of conduct:

A. Being endowed with the ten regal qualities: to have the ten qualities of a righteous ruler or king (raja-dhamma):

1. Dana: sharing with the populace; he is a benefactor in that he rules or works to give, not to take; he devotes himself to administering services and providing welfare and aid for the people to ensure their well-being, convenience and safety; he renders assistance to those in distress and difficulty and supports those who have done well.
2. Sila: maintaining good conduct; he is impeccable in conduct and restrained in actions and speech; he does only good actions and upholds his honor; he sets an example for the people, commands their respect and is free from any cause for contempt.
3. Pariccaga: working selflessly; he is capable of sacrificing personal comfort, even his own life, for the benefit of the people and the peace and stability of the country.
4. Ajjava: working honestly; he is honest and upholds the truth; he is free of deceit and upright in his dealings; he is sincere and does not deceive the people.
5. Maddava: deporting himself with gentleness and congeniality; his bearing is not arrogant, rude, harsh or conceited; he has nobility and dignity that are based on a polite and gentle manner, inspiring devotion and loyalty but not without awe.
6. Tapa: rejecting indulgence through austerity; he destroys defilements and cravings and does not allow them to control his mind; he can restrain his mind and does not allow it to become lost in sensual pleasure and debauchery; he is simple and regular in life-style, and dedicated to the fulfillment of duty.
7. Akkodha: adhering to reason, not anger; he is not given to fiery outbursts and does not make judgments or act out of anger, but has a heart of goodwill, suppressing anger; he judges and acts righteously with a mind that is subtle and calm.
8. Avihimsa: bringing tranquillity through nonviolence; he does not let his power go to his head or use it to repress his subjects; he is kind; he does not find a pretext for punishing a subject out of vindictiveness and hatred.
9. Khanti: overcoming difficulties with patience; he endures a heavy work load and perseveres in the face of tiredness; no matter how difficult or depressing the work may be, he does not give in; no matter how much he is provoked or ridiculed, or with whatever harsh and abrasive words, he does not despair; he refuses to abandon a task that is rightfully done.
10. Avirodhana: not doing that which strays from righteousness; he does not transgress the principles of public administration that are based on the welfare, happiness and righteousness of the people and the country; he does not oppose what the people rightfully desire; he does not stand in the way of those activities which are for the common good; he establishes himself firmly in righteousness, steadfast and unwavering in the face of pleasant and unpleasant words, gain and loss, desirable and undesirable conditions; he is firmly established in righteous principles and does not deviate from or subvert them-both in judicial terms, namely [the administration of] justice, and in regulatory terms, namely [the observation of] regulations, formalities and administrative principles, including good customs and traditions.
(J.V.378)

B. Performing the duties of a universal emperor: he performs the five duties of a supreme ruler, called the cakkavatti-vatta:

1. Dhammadhipateyya: holding the Dhamma supreme; he adheres to truth, righteousness, goodness, reason, principle and rightful rules and regulations as standards; he respects, upholds, favors and establishes himself in righteousness and practices accordingly.
2. Dhammikarakkha: providing righteous protection; he provides fair protection to all groups of people in the land, i.e., the royal household, the military, administrative officials, civil servants, academics and people of various occupations such as merchants and farmers, country people and inhabitants of the border provinces, monks and priests who uphold moral conduct, and even beasts and birds requiring conservation.
3. Ma adhammakara: prohibiting unrighteous actions; he arranges preventive and remedial measures, not allowing unrighteous actions, exploitation, oppression, corruption, or unrest to arise in the country; he encourages the people to establish themselves firmly in honesty and virtue and also establishes a system that excludes bad people and promotes good ones.
4. Dhananuppadana: distributing resources to the poor; he ensures that there are no poverty-stricken people in the land by, for example, arranging that all people have a chance to make an honest living.
5. Paripuccha: not failing to seek counsel; he seeks advancement in wisdom and virtue by having advisors who are learned and virtuous, who are morally upright and not heedless or self-indulgent, and who can help him to cultivate his wisdom and wholesome qualities; he approaches monks and wise men and queries them to seek knowledge, goodness and truth; he discusses various problems with them at regular and appropriate times so that he may examine and improve himself and carry out his duties rightfully, properly and so as to bring about true welfare and happiness.
(D.III. 61)

C. Effecting the royal benefactions: he supports the people, allowing them to live in unity and harmony, with the four raja-sangaha-vatthu (principles by which a king supports his people):

1. Sassamedha: shrewdness in promoting agriculture; he is skilled in agronomic policies and promotes agricultural activity which brings about bountiful crop yields.
2. Purisamedha: shrewdness in promoting government officials; he is clever at making policies for supporting government officials by, for example, encouraging honest and capable officials and providing them with adequate social benefits.
3. Sammapasa: bonding the people together; he assists the people with policies that support their livelihood by, for example, providing funds from which the poor may borrow to set themselves up in commerce or start business operations, thereby eliminating an economic disparity that is so wide as to cause rifts among the people.
4. Vajapeyya: impressive speech; he knows how to speak, clarify and advise; he takes an interest in greeting people of all levels and inquiring about their welfare; his speech is pleasant to the ear, worth listening to, reasoned, well-founded and useful; it leads the way to constructive action, to solution of problems, to increased harmony, and to mutual understanding, trust and respect.
(S.I.76)

D. Avoiding the biases: when an administrator is carrying out his functions, he should not allow the four biases, or deviations from righteousness, to interfere:

1. Chandagati: biased conduct on account of like
2. Dosagati: biased conduct on account of dislike
3. Mohagati: biased conduct on account of delusion or foolishness
4. Bhayagati: biased conduct on account of timidity and fear
(D.III.182, 288)


kind regards,

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:34 pm

waimengwan wrote:The 14th Dalai Lama was both political and spiritual head of Tibet government in exile. So can he be considered a wheel turning monarch? When he teaches hundred of thousands are in attendance, he probably get much more attendance than most political heads of state.

Dear waimengwan,

I don't mean to be rude but as I see, Dalai Lama is far from Cakkavatti.

Firstly, he is a monk, a monk should not became the political leader in any kind, it is a job for lay people. I think a monk with a political position is a wrong view and against dhamma.

Secondly, well, I really really don't want to be rude so I will not say it :tongue:

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Thank you Ben

I really don't like the idea: the validation of political authority or "kingship" by the sangha. I think it is totally wrong, even with the respect to the Thai and Thai Sangha or similarities. Never the Buddha did such an action, or the sangha under his time.

Because as I see, people kill people because of power, why should sangha involve in such a worldly thing. The validation of political authority or "kingship" leads to disputation, confrontation, and war. I think a kingship by people choice, a democracy is enough, the holy sangha should keep it out of this business.

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi everyone,

If a cakkavatti ask you the wise one, how to deal with the current situation between raging Muslims and the west, according to dhamma, what should he do? Freedom of speech vs right speech or what?

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:03 pm

whynotme wrote:If a cakkavatti ask you the wise one, how to deal with the current situation between raging Muslims and the west, according to dhamma, what should he do? Freedom of speech vs right speech or what?


Let's ask that of a (possible-probable) cakkavatti, King Ashoka:

King Ashoka wrote:Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, honors both ascetics and the householders of all religions, and he honors them with gifts and honors of various kinds.[22] But Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this — that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions.[23] Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others. Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good.[24] One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.

Edict 12
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el386.html
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby santa100 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:30 pm

A wise advice from a wise king indeed. Since the Cakkavatti also possesses the 32 great marks like those of the Buddha, their appearance in the world must also be very rare just like the Buddhas'. The hermit seer Asita actually made the prediction that the young prince Siddhattha would grow up to become either a Cakkavatti or a Samma-Sambuddha. And it's such a great blessing for all of us that He chose to become a Samma-Sambuddha. Had He chose to become a Cakkavatti, His contribution to the good of the world would've been much more limited, and there would be no precious Dhamma for countless generations after His period to get to hear, learn, and practice..
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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:45 am

whynotme wrote:Do you think it is possible to have a Cakkavatti even for the modern day? Or do you think the leaders should follow this model? Is it realistic or not? Even why the Sangha don't encourage leaders follow this model?


People get the leader they are able to take (we could say also deserve) and leader will have to guid people they are able to take. So its how ever a spiral which might turns up or downwards. To think that one can do more that to look step by step on his own responsibility mostly violatets so incredible that it seems that there is no such a spiral at all.

If one likes to chance things, one needs to work on his own deeds.

Who today sees sacrifies of leads (father, boss, community leader...) and simply gives him the respect and support he need to work things out? I guess that is one thing we need to think about. Gratidute.
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: Cakkavatti?

Postby whynotme » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:30 am

Thanks David, definitely Asoka is the best/ one of the best kings/ leaders ever, his know how is worth to learn by modern politicians. By his standard, do you think Muslims should respect freedom of speech or others should stop making comedy about Mohammed? Or how mutual respect between religion can be achieved?

By asking that I mean specific actions. IMO, freedom of speech should be respected and to ease the intension, someone should make comedy about Jesus and/or Mohammed or whatever related to the current situation to show them Muslims that it is normally and the west does not treat them as special or enemy

@ santa,

I don't think cakkavatti must have 32 signs as the Buddha. The suttas don't say that, they say a man with 32 marks is destined for becoming a buddha or a cakkavati, there is no other way, but not vice versa, i.e all cakkavatti must have 32 marks, which means IMO, a man without 32 marks can become a cakkavatti

@ Hanzze,

I don't think the accient Indian society had anything special or they were all extremely wise people to deserve someone like the Buddha was born there. I think the masses often not wise, but great people are always born out of no where. IMO, we all deserve a leader like Asoka but there is no one like him in morden day.

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:38 am

IMO, we all deserve a leader like Asoka but there is no one like him in morden day.

Sure? So then I don't understand why there is no.

But I am sure you will find some billions who would say that they would do so if they just have the chance. Sometimes it's good to be just a chakraval in his small next sphere, or somebody who has gratitude for the chakraval who is leading and watching him. He might not be here all the time.

There will also never be something like that among such things like democaty, that is something that is simply impossible. If a sociaty would be that wise, there would be no need for a chakraval at all.

Better turn the other wheel for your self and let go of hopes. Image
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: Cakkavatti?

Postby gavesako » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:42 am

The Buddhist Idea of a Perfect Society
- Ajahn Sumedho

We can imagine a perfect society and have a model of it to use as a guideline, as something to aim for. But we shouldn't expect society ever to be perfect and to be continuously the way we would like it to be, because part of the perfection lies in the fact that everything changes; nothing can remain the same. Just as a rose reaches its perfect fullness, perfect form, perfect fragrance and then changes; so societies reach peaks and then they degenerate. This is the natural movement of all conditioned phenomena. Any sensory condition follows that pattern.

Now contemplate an ideal for a perfect society. The Buddhists could say that a perfect society would be one of fully enlightened human beings - a society of arahants who have no selfish inclinations and understand everything as it is - a society of individuals who are no longer attached to the world of ignorance but have transcended the world.

There are listed in the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism, what are called the rajadhammas, the virtues and duties of a wise ruler.

So these are the rajadhammas, the Dhammas of a universal ruler. Now let's apply this list. We might think: "Well that's what the Prime Minister should be doing, and the President of the United States, definitely. Maybe we should send them the list of the rajadhammas, and leave it up to them to do it." But what is it within ourselves that we might consider the universal ruler? What would be the universal ruler in our own lives, internally? This is the way of reflection. You are taking these lists and applying them to the practical experience of being a human being, not looking at them as a way of judging the present rulers of the world. We could get into a lot of interesting criticisms, couldn't we, if we decided to see how much dana, sila or pariccaga the Presidents have and judge them according to this list. But that would be of no value, would it? We could figure out what they should do, but we wouldn't have the vaguest idea of what we should do. How our lives should move. How we should change. Yet the more we move towards developing the universal ruler within, then the more chance there is of actually getting one of these proper universal rulers.
In daily life we can move toward these virtues. These lists are not to be used as judgments against ourselves to say, "Oh I'm not generous enough; my morality isn't good enough; I'm too selfish to think of sacrificing myself," going on down the whole list like that. But you look at this list in order to aspire to move upward more and more in daily life experiences. To be able to do that we need to begin to know ourselves as we are, rather than making judgments about ourselves as we think we are. By understanding yourself, you will understand everyone else, and then you will understand the society.
So a perfect society can only happen when there are perfect human beings. And what is a perfect individual human being? It is one who is not deluded, who has transcended the appearance of the sensory realm. For such a person, these virtues naturally manifest in relation to all other beings. When there is no attachment to a selfish position or selfish view, then generosity becomes a natural way of relating. One wants to share. One realises just what one needs and is willing to share the extra. The tendency towards hoarding up for oneself diminishes.

In Buddhism there is no particular attempt to describe how the perfect society should operate, as a monarchy or a democracy, as socialist or communist. At the time the Pali Canon was written, I don't suppose they had too many choices. Monarchy tended to be the way, though there were also natural democracies. But even a monarchy in those days was not an oppressive system where the king had divine right to do anything he wanted at the expense of everyone else. We are conditioned to think that monarchs are degenerates who are all corrupt, that a monarchy is just for the privileged few and everyone else has to pay for it and suffer. But actually the theory of monarchy always stemmed from righteousness; it wasn't intended to be an oppressive system, though in many cases it became that, just as communism and democracy can become oppressive systems.
Western democracy, with all its so-called freedom, tends to bring us towards degeneration. Parents now worry about their children endlessly. They have lost all ability to direct their children in skillful ways because children now have the freedom to do anything they want to. We no longer have the right to guide or direct anyone towards what is right and good and beautiful. We just say, "You are free to do what you want." And communism with all its high-minded idealism tends to oppress. It seems to take all these lovely ideas of sharing, equal distribution, equality, and just shove them down your throat. That is certainly not the goal for a Buddhist society.

http://www.purifymind.com/PerfectSociety.htm

:group:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Cakkavatti?

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:53 am

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!
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: Cakkavatti?

Postby gavesako » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Quite interesting and challenging article: was Ashoka really such a good Buddhist or simply an authoritarian leader who wanted to use religious rhetoric to strenghten his rule (compare with 20th century totalitarian leaders):

Ashokan Edicts as Propaganda
by Dennis Cheatham
http://unt.academia.edu/DennisCheatham/Papers/1910287/Ashokan_Edicts_as_Propaganda


Some comments on the article:



To my mind the dissimilarities rather than the similarities are striking. For one thing, virtually no one would have been able to read Asoka's edicts, they would have had to listen to them, and I doubt very much if anyone was there to read them for every passing traveler. We are all so literate these days that I do not know of anyone who has written about Asoka's pillars and edicts who has discussed this point adequately.
The modern propaganda forms he uses as parallels are all, significantly, visual in nature, with hardly a word on them, let along a lecture. I think Asoka could have commissioned relief-carvings if that had been his intent.
Secondly, the pillars again are not figures of Asoka, the only thing that comes close is the figure of the lion on the top, which simply signals imperial power (not particularly Asokan power), therefore they cannot be said on this basis to really make Asoka present in the same way as a figure of Mussolini (I thought it was a spook) did.
One could also draw parallels with the billboards about National Unity and Buddhist Values posted by the Burmese government around the country and especially in border areas now. At least people can usually read them these days, in the old days there might have been some gatherings at which the edicts were read out by someone literate. It seems that in Asia (if not generally in the world) the past rulers are glorified in their achievements at conquering and governing large countries, upholding the religious values in the end as something to unite around, but having caused quite significant "collateral damage" in the process of coming to power.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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