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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Burmese Monk Stokes Hatred of Muslims http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/world/asia/extremism-rises-among-myanmar-buddhists-wary-of-muslim-minority.html?hp
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TAUNGGYI, Myanmar — After a ritual prayer atoning for past sins, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk with a rock-star following in Myanmar, sat before an overflowing crowd of thousands of followers and launched into a rant against what he called “the enemy” — the country’s Muslim minority.


This situation, like the active part of Tendai in creating the notion of "Japan as the Land of the Superior Family of Bodhisattvas"* and Zen in the pre-WW2 rationalization of Japanese Militarism responsible for Nanking and the Kamikaze, shows that Buddhism isn't immune to co-option to National Tribalism and the justification of group persecution and murder.

Unfortunately the Lotus Sutra and yogacara presupposition of the notion of gotra, or Bodhisattva karmic lineage makes a "join" for tribal elevation. It is bewildering to me that the Theravada sects can also join into this activity without that hook for the noose so to speak.

What "fracture points" are there in our Buddhism that lay like traps for mis-step? :buddha1:


* The same rational that segregated the Mahayanist from the Hinayana also, I believe, elevates the Japanese over all the other peoples of Earth, allowing a "Skillful means" killing of others to preemptively stop their earning Hell Karma. I quote: “Japan was a nation of people whose religious capabilities were perfectly matured, and so it was appropriate to dispense with taking the Hīnayāna monastic vows, taking the *Bodhisattva precepts in their stead as a more efficient path to liberation, or in Saichō’s terminology, the ‘direct path’.” Keown, Damien (2003-03-27). A Dictionary of Buddhism (p. 244). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:51 pm 
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It seems like racism, pure and simple. The Rohingyas are a displaced people from Bangladesh. Nobody wants them. They are among the approximately 45 million people in the world who are displaced, who have no home. (See UNHCR Report. Myanmar is no 7 on the list of 'sources of displaced people'.) I'm afraid the Burmese conflict is one of the consequences of the Earth's population explosion and the fact that there are displaced populations starting to appear who don't fit in anywhere. I expect this is becoming an endemic feature of the modern world.

Of course it is dreadful that the extremist monks are justifying racism on religious grounds. It vindicates what Christopher Hitchens and other anti-religious writers said - that 'religion poisons everything'. It is also a case where ethnic and political identities are in conflict, and Buddhism is one of the factors. But however you look at it, it undoubtedly betrays the principles of the religion.

How to avoid such things? Don't join anything. Don't forget that the original 'model' of Buddhism was 'the recluse'. Be a solitary yogi, rather than 'member of a group'. You can be solitary even in a crowd if you remember that properly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Well and succinctly put, jeeprs.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:29 am 
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It's a great pity but true, few among men are those who cross to the other shore. The rest of us are just running along the bank clueless.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:11 am 
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This week's Time International cover:

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