Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:49 am

cooran wrote:Hello Alex,
What did the Buddha teach on being violent?
I haven't found anywhere where he encouraged violence in speech, thought or word.


I found a place where the Buddha advocates killing! :o

Here it is:

What is the one thing, O Gotama, whose killing you approve? Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly; having slain anger, one does not sorrow; the killing of anger, with its poisoned root and honeyed tip: This is the killing the nobles ones praise, for having slain that, one does not sorrow.”
Samyutta Nikaya, chapter 2

That is the only place I have found where he advocates killing; and it is the killing of anger. :tongue:

:thumbsup:
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:22 am

Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby pilgrim » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:32 am

Regardless of our opinions of Wirathu, it appears that he has not called for violence. Inciting others to kill is a parajika and in conservative Burma, many Buddhists would be aware of that. It seems that Wirathu's crime is that he has not done enough to call for a stop in the violence committed by others who are in sympathy to his objectives.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:34 am

Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.


Well said, Mr Man!! :smile:

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Raksha » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:54 am

Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.

Almost never, there are one or two exceptions even to this rule. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is forced to maintain a large bodyguard who consider themselves Buddhist yet are prepared to use violence in his defense. Are they really unjust and illegitimate?
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:18 am

Raksha wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.

Almost never, there are one or two exceptions even to this rule. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is forced to maintain a large bodyguard who consider themselves Buddhist yet are prepared to use violence in his defense. Are they really unjust and illegitimate?


If they are justified their justification is secular.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:46 am

Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.



When will we learn from history? Look at India in 12th century...
Look at appeasement of Hitler... How did making peace with him turn out to be?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Vern Stevens » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:26 am

We learn from history that people will choose to do whatever they want, including violence, and structure their ideology around it for justification. From my limited knowledge, Buddhism is about the least plausible philosophy for justifying the use of violence.

But chatter on a forum doesn't matter. Intent, actions and karma matter.
“What we think, we become.“ - The Buddha
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Ajatashatru » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:55 pm

As far as I am concerned, Buddhism belonging to the Dharma traditions is not static and fossilized but ever evolving. I see some posters here want a quote by Buddha that justifies violence. First question I must ask is do we really have ALL the teachings of the Buddha available. Remember Nalanda library burned for six months.

Secondly, we should read between the lines. We all know Theravada does not prohibit meat. Why is that? Is anybody that naive to think all the animals that we eat just jumped off a cliff :tongue: ? Read between the lines, Buddhism if anything is a sharp contrast to fatalistic Hinduism and Jainism. For example, Buddha actively seeked patronage of King Ajatashatru. Again, I am yet to see a non-western senior Theravada monk condemn this violence in Burma to the degree you guys have. Or perhaps the Asians are too full of superstition to grasp the Buddha's true message and need a guiding Westerner to set them straight. Why don't you preach to the Rakhine in Burma or the Chakma in Bangladesh about the Buddha's true teachings then?
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Ajatashatru » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:58 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.



When will we learn from history? Look at India in 12th century...
Look at appeasement of Hitler... How did making peace with him turn out to be?


Exactly. Buddha did not deal with the fascist ideologies we are dealing with today. The kings of his time, while no angels, were relatively benign when compared with contemporary rulers of the world during that time. It is interesting to note that the Dalai Lama justified the testing of nuclear weapons by India in 1998. What is your guys take on that? Will you just not agree with his views because he is Vajrayana?
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby SamKR » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:07 pm

Mr Man wrote:Sometimes we make act violently or even feel it is appropriate to act violently. We may even think that we a doing it for the greater good but what we can never do is use the Buddha to justify or give legitimacy to our actions.

:thumbsup:

When using or supporting violence we may think that we are defending the Buddha Dhamma. But in reality we are defending our ego, our identities with the Buddha Dhamma, and our violent nature (which we still need to get rid of according to the Buddha's teachings). It may be possible to protect the cultures and identities by using violence, but then these cultures and identities are not the Buddha Dhamma which cannot be driectly protected by using or supporting violence at all. Buddha Dhamma can mainly be defended by the practice of Dhamma, and the very beginning of that practice necessarily includes non-violence. In fact, it is violence that is a reason of the decline of the Buddha Dhamma in its original form. Of course, defending cultures, identities and political boundaries may perhaps become one of the indirect reasons (not the main reason) for a longer existence of the Buddha Dhamma, but then such defense (by using violence) is the job of the ruler and army of that area, not the job of Dhamma-followers and the monks.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:34 pm

SamKR wrote:When using or supporting violence we may think that we are defending the Buddha Dhamma.


If Buddha Dhamma is not protected (by government, army. Not by Bhikkhus), then darkness will prevail. Life sucks. The strongest survive.

The Buddha didn't live in the time when there were aggressive religions who would like to convert, by fire and sword if neccery all infidels.
So He wasn't teaching this much.

Also, what were his views on slavery?
On rule of Kings?
On torture and capital punishment by the King?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Dan74 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:52 pm

So the Rakhine=Mogul Invaders=Osama Bin Laden? Just because you are Muslim, you are the enemy, right?

So first it was the Commies, now the Muslims... When will we ever learn...?

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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Ajatashatru » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:20 pm

Alex123 wrote:
SamKR wrote:When using or supporting violence we may think that we are defending the Buddha Dhamma.


If Buddha Dhamma is not protected (by government, army. Not by Bhikkhus), then darkness will prevail. Life sucks. The strongest survive.

The Buddha didn't live in the time when there were aggressive religions who would like to convert, by fire and sword if neccery all infidels.
So He wasn't teaching this much.

Also, what were his views on slavery?
On rule of Kings?
On torture and capital punishment by the King?


Indeed, the greatest Buddhist ruler Samrat Ashoka did not disband his huge army after embracing the Dhamma.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Ajatashatru » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:21 pm

Dan74 wrote:So the Rakhine=Mogul Invaders=Osama Bin Laden? Just because you are Muslim, you are the enemy, right?

So first it was the Commies, now the Muslims... When will we ever learn...?

Image


Correction, Rakhine are a Buddhist ethnic group. Its the Rohingyas who are the Muslims.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Holdan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:41 pm

Ajatashatru wrote:As far as I am concerned, Buddhism belonging to the Dharma traditions is not static and fossilized but ever evolving.

This is just your personal opinion, is not related to Buddhism & is not true. The recorded teachings of Buddha & the rules of the monks in the Vinaya have remained the same (static) for at least 2,000 years. Buddhism is the teachings of Buddha and not the teachings of Ajatashatru.

It is also noticeable how the purer Theravada Buddhism has outlasted & is far stronger than those Mahayana schools that sought to develop new philosophies & particularly get involved in politics & government. Tibet is an example, where the dharma there has been strongly persecuted because it is the seat of politics. Where as in Thailand, Buddhism is not even the official national religion & it has flourished.

Ajatashatru wrote: First question I must ask is do we really have ALL the teachings of the Buddha available. Remember Nalanda library burned for six months.

The subjects taught at Nalanda University covered every field of learning and it attracted pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey. It did not exclusively teach Buddhism. Nalanda was destroyed in 1193. Where as the original teachings of Buddha, after being orally transmitted, were written down in 83 BC, which was 1,276 years before the demise of Nalanda.

Ajatashatru wrote: Secondly, we should read between the lines. We all know Theravada does not prohibit meat. Why is that? Is anybody that naive to think all the animals that we eat just jumped off a cliff

:strawman: Theradava prohibits monks eating meat if it is known or suspected the animal was killed for the monk. Theravada monk's silently beg for food & must not make trouble for laypeople. Theravada monks eat what the people eat. If the people decide to be vegetarian then the monks they feed will be vegetarian.

Ajatashatru wrote:Buddhism if anything is a sharp contrast to fatalistic Hinduism and Jainism. For example, Buddha actively seeked patronage of King Ajatashatru.

My understanding is King Ajatashatru actively seeked patronage of Buddha (refer to Samaññaphala Sutta).

Ajatashatru wrote:I am yet to see a non-western senior Theravada monk condemn this violence in Burma to the degree you guys have.

I trust there would be non-western senior Theravada monks condemn this violence. When I lived in Thailand, the most famous monks often condemned violence & corruption by the Thai government. I have heard it myself, in person, when there was once a coup de tat in Thailand & people were shot in the streets.

Ajatashatru wrote:Or perhaps the Asians are too full of superstition to grasp the Buddha's true message and need a guiding Westerner to set them straight.

The original Buddhist scriptures are Asian. The teachers most Westerners have learned from are Asian. The difference between Western Buddhism & Asian Buddhism is the majority of Western Buddhists are practitioners where as the majority of Asian Buddhists are mere cultural Buddhists, just like the majority of Western Christians are cultural rather than practising Christians.

Ajatashatru wrote:Why don't you preach to the...Chakma in Bangladesh about the Buddha's true teachings then?

Buddha taught it is a blessing to live in a suitable locality. If the Chakma are a minority, violence will not help them, since they cannot win. Like the Tibetans sought refuge in India, they can seek refuge elsewhere.

Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;

Karaniya Metta Sutta
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Holdan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:03 pm

Alex123 wrote:Also, what were his views on slavery?
On rule of Kings?
On torture and capital punishment by the King?

His views were different to the prevailing secular views on slavery, torture & capital punishment. For example, when King Ajatashatru, after killing his own father, one of the heinous crimes in Buddhism, sought solace in Buddha, Buddha accepted his confession. Buddha did not prescribe capital punishment.

Buddha accepted that secular rule of law would inflict punishments on people or include slavery but Buddha himself did not recommend such practises. Buddha taught all people, regardless of caste, lose their social status, including as a slave, when they join the Sangha.

Buddha was able to distinguish between & keep separate the role dharma & the role of prevailing government (which you are not doing).

The debate that is occurring here is a debate between devas (most of us) & asuras (you and Ajatashatru), as is found in the Subhasita-jaya Sutta.

:geek:
Last edited by Holdan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:04 pm

Holdan wrote:It is also noticeable how the purer Theravada Buddhism has outlasted & is far stronger than those Mahayana schools that sought to develop new philosophies & particularly get involved in politics & government.


First of all, Theravada (as opposed to many other early Buddhist schools) survived because it went to Sri Lanka which was out of reach of Muslims.

Mahayana schools formed later, and also out of reach of Muslims (in SE Asia such as China, Japan or in Tibet). I am not sure if Theravada is "stronger" than Mahayana schools, and Theravada did develop new doctrines (Commentaries, etc).

Holdan wrote: Where as in Thailand, Buddhism is not even the official national religion & it has flourished.


Maybe because Muslims didn't get there.

What sort of fantasy world are you living in? What I've learned is that some people will do whatever it takes to get their way. If you show "good will" they will take it as weakness, and will fleece you to the max.


Buddhist metta didn't help in India against muslims, so why do you think Burma will be any different? Better bhikkhus?
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:06 pm

Holdan wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Also, what were his views on slavery?
On rule of Kings?
On torture and capital punishment by the King?

His views were different to the prevailing secular views on slavery, torture & capital punishment. For example, when King Ajatashatru, after killing his own father, one of the heinous crimes in Buddhism, sought solace in Buddha, Buddha accepted his confession. Buddha did not prescribe capital punishment.

Buddha accepted that secular rule of law would inflict punishments on people or include slavery but Buddha himself did not recommend such practises. Buddha taught all people, regardless of caste, lose their social status, including as a slave, when they join the Sangha.

Buddha was able to distinguish between & keep separate the role dharma & the role of prevailing government (which you are not doing).

:geek:


Did the Buddha ever tell the king, "We need democracy, abolish slavery, and no capital punishment"? No. Buddha took for granted the absolute power of the King, slavery, torture and capital punishment. The Buddha did not recommend this to the Bhikkhus.

He never outlawed army, etc. What do you think army is for? Giving out free cookies and planting trees?
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Re: Genocide in Burma: Monks and Perpetuation of Violence

Postby Holdan » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:11 pm

Alex123 wrote:Did the Buddha ever tell the king, "We need democracy, freedom for slaves, and no capital punishment"? No. Buddha took for granted the absolute power of the King, slavery, torture and capital punishment. The Buddha did not recommend this to the Bhikkhus.

He never outlawed army, etc.

You appear to have not comprehended Buddha. Buddha gave advice to those who sought it from him. Buddha did not evangelise publically. Also, I trust you are aware of the sutta about being a soldier, where Buddha explained the karmic consequences of being a soldier (Yodhajiva Sutta: To Yodhajiva (The Warrior)).

What do you think army is for? Army is for the society but not related to Buddhism. If a monk encourages soldiers to kill, they are defeated under Vinaya (in my understanding). It is the decision of government officials (and not Buddhist monks) to make war.
Last edited by Holdan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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