Dharma government?

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Malcolm
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Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:55 pm
.
As Buddhists you ought to understand that only Dharma will end the suffering.
On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:55 pm
.
As Buddhists you ought to understand that only Dharma will end the suffering.
On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
That is something up for debate, I think. Nagarjuna counseled a king on how to promote Dharma through government. A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture. One that creates the ideal conditions for Bodhisattvas to appear... like making bird houses and putting out feed to attract song birds to sing. Like ChNN's teacher's gar...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Malcolm » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:55 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:55 pm
.
As Buddhists you ought to understand that only Dharma will end the suffering.
On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
That is something up for debate, I think. Nagarjuna counseled a king on how to promote Dharma through government. A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture. One that creates the ideal conditions for Bodhisattvas to appear... like making bird houses and putting out feed to attract song birds to sing. Like ChNN's teacher's gar...
On principle, I reject state-mandated religions, Buddhism included. I also reject Utopianism, even Buddhist Utopianism.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Queequeg » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:55 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm


On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
That is something up for debate, I think. Nagarjuna counseled a king on how to promote Dharma through government. A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture. One that creates the ideal conditions for Bodhisattvas to appear... like making bird houses and putting out feed to attract song birds to sing. Like ChNN's teacher's gar...
On principle, I reject state-mandated religions, Buddhism included. I also reject Utopianism, even Buddhist Utopianism.
There is nothing in Nagarjuna's counsel that suggests Buddhism should be a state-mandated religion. So your principle is not violated. I have never been impressed that Nagarjuna was an idealist.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Malcolm » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:44 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:55 pm


That is something up for debate, I think. Nagarjuna counseled a king on how to promote Dharma through government. A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture. One that creates the ideal conditions for Bodhisattvas to appear... like making bird houses and putting out feed to attract song birds to sing. Like ChNN's teacher's gar...
On principle, I reject state-mandated religions, Buddhism included. I also reject Utopianism, even Buddhist Utopianism.
There is nothing in Nagarjuna's counsel that suggests Buddhism should be a state-mandated religion. So your principle is not violated. I have never been impressed that Nagarjuna was an idealist.
It was not Nāgārjuna's counsel I was rejecting, it was yours, "A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture."
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:56 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:44 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 pm


On principle, I reject state-mandated religions, Buddhism included. I also reject Utopianism, even Buddhist Utopianism.
There is nothing in Nagarjuna's counsel that suggests Buddhism should be a state-mandated religion. So your principle is not violated. I have never been impressed that Nagarjuna was an idealist.
It was not Nāgārjuna's counsel I was rejecting, it was yours, "A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture."
I did write that.

You introduced the term "dharma government" to this discussion. I was following up with that.

Nagarjuna counseled on how to rule according to dharma. That's all I meant by Dharma government. Looking back I don't know what you meant, but we don't mean the same thing, obviously.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Malcolm
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:18 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:20 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:56 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:44 pm


There is nothing in Nagarjuna's counsel that suggests Buddhism should be a state-mandated religion. So your principle is not violated. I have never been impressed that Nagarjuna was an idealist.
It was not Nāgārjuna's counsel I was rejecting, it was yours, "A dharma government would be one that enabled dharma practice and dharma culture."
I did write that.

You introduced the term "dharma government" to this discussion. I was following up with that.

Nagarjuna counseled on how to rule according to dharma. That's all I meant by Dharma government. Looking back I don't know what you meant, but we don't mean the same thing, obviously.
A government where Buddhism is instituted as a legal system. Buddhism is not equipped to handle such issues.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Neo nazi's march in DC

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:27 pm

I don't think any religion is suited to be an actual legal system. What is the legal system?

Its got a few components -

Fact Finding - In our system, fact finding procedures are most developed in the judiciary, but the legislative and executive also have fact finding functions.

Decision Making - based on facts, policies and laws are applied, or laws and rules are created. All three branches do this, though the Judiciary and Legislature do this most prominently.

Execution and enforcement - this is primarily the Executive, the legislature and to a far less extent the judiciary, have these powers also.

To the extent that the state becomes and extension of religion, these functions of government are put to use by the religious for, ideally, religious ends, exclusively. In a generic sense, though, this is no different than the state being an extension of business, or the extension of the proletariat, or oligarchs, or monarchs... The variable is the living entity that occupies the seat of the sovereign that makes the difference. In our system, ideally, people are sovereign whose will is exercized through a democratically elected representative.

Nagarjuna's advice was to a king who sat atop an existing legal system, who could then implement policies informed or based on dharma. That influence would extend beyond just policies, but will also inform the structure of legal systems and decision making processes. Buddhism has a lot to say about "fact finding" and "decision making", and even execution and enforcement, I think.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Grigoris
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:55 pm
.
As Buddhists you ought to understand that only Dharma will end the suffering.
On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
Should I bring up the obvious example of Asoka? Or is it too obvious?

King Menander of Bactria?

pre-Chinese occupation Tibet?

Bhutan?

Thailand?

Etc...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:16 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:15 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:55 pm
.
As Buddhists you ought to understand that only Dharma will end the suffering.
On an individual level, yes, but there is no such thing as a Dharma government. Nor could there be.
Should I bring up the obvious example of Asoka? Or is it too obvious?
Ashoka did not have a Dharma government. He was an Indian king, novel in that he created a parliamentary democracy, but he did not institute Buddhism as a state religion.
King Menander of Bactria?
Abdicated his crown upon becoming a Buddhist:

And afterwards, taking delight in the wisdom of the Elder, he handed over his kingdom to his son, and abandoning the household life for the houseless state, grew great in insight, and himself attained to Arahatship!
pre-Chinese occupation Tibet?
Awesome example of how Dharma cannot run a country.
Bhutan?
You call the forcible expulsion of a population of Nepali immigrants Dharmic? It may have been necessary from the point of view of the Bhutanese who wanted to preserve Bhutanese culture, but Bhutanese culture is not Dharma, and neither is Tibetan culture.
Thailand?
Thailand was a constitutional monarchy on the British model. However, it is now a military dictatorship and has been since 2014.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Grigoris
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:16 pm
Abdicated his crown upon becoming a Buddhist:

And afterwards, taking delight in the wisdom of the Elder, he handed over his kingdom to his son, and abandoning the household life for the houseless state, grew great in insight, and himself attained to Arahatship!
The Milindapanha is not a historical account. According to Plutarch Menander ruled Bactria until his death in 130BC during a military campaign. His remains were divided up and placed in stupa all across his kingdom.

I did not say any of the examples I gave were perfect and even if one disagrees with the forms of governance, one cannot deny that they were/are heavily Buddhist influenced.

So undeniably there have been and are attempts at Dharma government.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:37 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:29 pm

So undeniably there have been and are attempts at Dharma government.
In our tradition, Greg, there is a distinction between Mi chos, literally "human dharma," which principally involves secular ethics, and "Lha chos," higher Dharma.

The former is not at all grounded in Buddhism on any level.

The Tibetans always got into trouble the instant they tried to implement lha chos as mi chos.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:38 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:29 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:16 pm
Abdicated his crown upon becoming a Buddhist:

And afterwards, taking delight in the wisdom of the Elder, he handed over his kingdom to his son, and abandoning the household life for the houseless state, grew great in insight, and himself attained to Arahatship!
The Milindapanha is not a historical account. According to Plutarch Menander ruled Bactria until his death in 130BC during a military campaign. His remains were divided up and placed in stupa all across his kingdom.
Dharma kings don't go on military campaigns.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Grigoris
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:38 pm
Dharma kings don't go on military campaigns.
In samsara they do.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:48 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:44 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:38 pm
Dharma kings don't go on military campaigns.
In samsara they do.
Then they are not Dharma kings, just kings.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Grigoris
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:48 pm
Then they are not Dharma kings, just kings.
We are all just trying...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:21 pm

I was reading up on the Sri Vijaya kingdom in medieval Sumatra. It was more of a team of governors. Very influenced by vajrayana.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by pemachophel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:28 pm

"May I emanate as endless Chakravartins
To fulfill the hopes of beings and guard the Dharma domain,
And, gaining dominion over all realms equaling space,
Establish all sentient beings in happiness."
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:41 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:28 pm
"May I emanate as endless Chakravartins
To fulfill the hopes of beings and guard the Dharma domain,
And, gaining dominion over all realms equaling space,
Establish all sentient beings in happiness."
Cakravartins conquer without force of arms.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Wayfarer
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:26 am

Malcolm wrote:there is a distinction between Mi chos, literally "human dharma," which principally involves secular ethics, and "Lha chos," higher Dharma.
There's a similar principle in Christian philosophy, based on the verse 'render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's', which became the basis for the theory of the separation of church and state.

Another interesting historical note: 'secular' originally referred to a kind of time, not to a system of government. There was the 'secular calendar' which was purely concerned with mundane matters, distinguished from the 'sacramental calendar' which was concerned with the 'eternal'.

I generally agree with the separation of religious and secular affairs, with the caveat that in Western culture, 'the secular' is now being imbued with a kind of pseudo-religious significance, because the culture has lost its own connection with the sacred. (This is why, I think, the fantasy of interstellar travel is actually a sublimated longing for the transcendent.) So properly speaking a secular system of government is one which literally looks after infrastructure and resources management, but doesn't propose a 'secular view' or anything of that kind, which is where secularism morphs into scientism. (Every secular office ought to have Wittgenstein's dictum framed on the wall - 'that of which we cannot speak, of that we are to remain silent'.)
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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