Mahayana and War

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:02 pm

The Buddha sat on a hillside under a dead tree watching Kapilavastu being sacked and his relatives being enslaved by King Ajatasatru after having dissuaded Ajatasatru on an earlier occasion from invading.

What we do in Mahāyāna in response to pure evil is keep our eyes open and act as witnesses.
So basically just sit there and watch while your whole town gets massacred by savages. I don't think this is a very practical response for some reason.

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Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:48 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:02 pm

The Buddha sat on a hillside under a dead tree watching Kapilavastu being sacked and his relatives being enslaved by King Ajatasatru after having dissuaded Ajatasatru on an earlier occasion from invading.

What we do in Mahāyāna in response to pure evil is keep our eyes open and act as witnesses.
So basically just sit there and watch while your whole town gets massacred by savages. I don't think this is a very practical response for some reason.

It depends on your understanding the real situation of samsara. If you don't understand— you join in, pick sides, and go to three lower realms. This is called having a one-lifetime view.
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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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:19 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:53 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:16 pm
Buddha taught non-violence.
Buddha did not taught violence.

Btw every single war in human history is motivated on wealth stealing, all the other motivations are politician excuses. You want to play the asura game? Go ahead, follow the advice of fools who perpetuate suffering, but know that there are always bad consequences.
Nobody is talking about joining the military here. All I want to know is what is the Mahayana response when dealing with pure evil.
i'm talking about supporting warfare in any of it's forms. i apollogize if i offended.

oh, i do consider politicians as asuras. that might be the reason why i didn't expressed my self propperly.

Bristollad
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Bristollad » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:03 pm
As pointed out in another thread; the tathāgatagarbha theory is largely enumerated in the Nirvana Sūtra, the same sūtra that proposes a class of beings called icchantikas. Even Candrakīrti, while rejecting this theory in the face of it, admits there are some beings who are so evil, with so much bad karma, they will never attain liberation.
Interesting, I remember reading this on the other thread. Where can I find Candrakīrti's rejection of the theory but admission that there are some who nevertheless will never attain liberation? I would be interested in reading it.

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cyril
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by cyril » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:02 pm

The Buddha sat on a hillside under a dead tree watching Kapilavastu being sacked and his relatives being enslaved by King Ajatasatru after having dissuaded Ajatasatru on an earlier occasion from invading.

What we do in Mahāyāna in response to pure evil is keep our eyes open and act as witnesses.
One could argue that Buddha's lack of action was simply a matter of pragmatism. After exhausting all means of preventing the slaughter, what else could he do? Enter the battle himself? What difference would have that made in terms of outcome?
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:48 pm

It depends on your understanding the real situation of samsara. If you don't understand— you join in, pick sides, and go to three lower realms. This is called having a one-lifetime view.
Unless you're a pure land or dzogchen practitioner :tongue:

But military conquerers would love to have buddhists as their opponents. No wonder why buddhism was wiped out in India with ease.

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:45 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:19 pm
i'm talking about supporting warfare in any of it's forms. i apollogize if i offended.

oh, i do consider politicians as asuras. that might be the reason why i didn't expressed my self propperly.
No problemo. Thanks for clarifying. :thumbsup:

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:50 pm

cyril wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:42 pm
What difference would have that made in terms of outcome?
Could of been a better outcome, he might of been able to save his whole or some of his clan from being slaughtered by using violent force.
Last edited by Ricky on Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cyril
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by cyril » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:48 pm



It depends on your understanding the real situation of samsara. If you don't understand— you join in, pick sides, and go to three lower realms. This is called having a one-lifetime view.
If I understand correctly, your place in samsara appears as a result of your karma, which derives from your intention. Between someone willing to protect his/ her community even if that means going to the 3 lower realms and someone who choses to sit and watch out of fear of going to the 3 lower realms, whose intention is purer?
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

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cyril
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by cyril » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:03 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:50 pm
cyril wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:42 pm
What difference would have that made in terms of outcome?
Could of been a better outcome, he might of been able to save his whole or some of his clan from being slaughtered by using violent force.

What would of happened if the states never declared with nazi germany? Can any buddhist in his or her right mind say that it was the wrong thing to do? I'd be interested to hear a direct response to this question instead of beating around the bush.
I doubt it. Sakya clan was rather small; they did not stand a chance from the very beginning. One more fighter joining their ranks wouldn't have changed anything. Besides, Shakyamuni was already quite old at that time.
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:34 pm

cyril wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:03 pm
I doubt it. Sakya clan was rather small; they did not stand a chance from the very beginning. One more fighter joining their ranks wouldn't have changed anything. Besides, Shakyamuni was already quite old at that time.
He was old but possessed many siddhis. Could of used those.

shaunc
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by shaunc » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:39 pm

We don't live in a Buddhist utopia. In this world there is evil and you have to box on with the best of them.
There's plenty of Buddhist countries out there and they all have a military, a police force and a judicial system.
Yes, I agree, if everyone in the world followed the dharma there would be not much use for these institutions but not everybody does so society has to protect itself from oppressors.

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:59 pm

shaunc wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:39 pm
We don't live in a Buddhist utopia. In this world there is evil and you have to box on with the best of them.
There's plenty of Buddhist countries out there and they all have a military, a police force and a judicial system.
Yes, I agree, if everyone in the world followed the dharma there would be not much use for these institutions but not everybody does so society has to protect itself from oppressors.
I agree, in a practical functioning society you need military and police. I probably wouldn't be enjoying all these freedoms and privileges today if it wasn't for all those who sacrificed their lives fighting tyranny and oppression. Everyone including buddhists should be grateful for that.

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Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:28 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:59 pm
shaunc wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:39 pm
We don't live in a Buddhist utopia. In this world there is evil and you have to box on with the best of them.
There's plenty of Buddhist countries out there and they all have a military, a police force and a judicial system.
Yes, I agree, if everyone in the world followed the dharma there would be not much use for these institutions but not everybody does so society has to protect itself from oppressors.
I agree, in a practical functioning society you need military and police. I probably wouldn't be enjoying all these freedoms and privileges today if it wasn't for all those who sacrificed their lives fighting tyranny and oppression. Everyone including buddhists should be grateful for that.
Sorry, but if you are referring to the United States, our country was built on slavery and ethnic cleansing by a European minority whose only virtue was creating civil institutions that were able to evolve (albeit imperfectly) beyond the narrow limits imagined by the founders. So lets not get carried away with all the freedom fighting rhetoric. I personally think that democracy based on liberal economics is the way to go, but lets not kid ourselves into thinking that the US is some paragon of virtue. It really isn't.

Yes, we need police and an army, or course, and yes, like any country, the US has a right to defend itself. The Buddha said:

This, dear son, that you, leaning on the Dhamma, honoring, respecting and revering it, doing homage to it, hallowing it, being yourself a Dhamma-banner, a Dhamma-signal, having the Dhamma as your master, should provide the right watch, ward and protection for your own folk, for the army, for the nobles, for vassals and brahmans and householders, for town and country dwellers, for the religious world and for beasts and birds.

The Buddha observed that if a country is in the side of virtue, any attack against it will be unsuccessful:

5. And the Blessed One addressed the brahman Vassakara in these words: "Once, brahman, I dwelt at Vesali, at the Sarandada shrine, and there it was that I taught the Vajjis these seven conditions leading to (a nation's) welfare. [5] So long, brahman, as these endure among the Vajjis, and the Vajjis are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline."

Thereupon the brahman Vassakara spoke thus to the Blessed One: "If the Vajjis, Venerable Gotama, were endowed with only one or another of these conditions leading to welfare, their growth would have to be expected, not their decline. What then of all the seven? No harm, indeed, can be done to the Vajjis in battle by Magadha's king, Ajatasattu, except through treachery or discord. Well, then, Venerable Gotama, we will take our leave, for we have much to perform, much work to do."

"Do as now seems fit to you, brahman." And the brahman Vassakara, the chief minister of Magadha, approving of the Blessed One's words and delighted by them, rose from his seat and departed.



Victory is suffering:

Victory breeds hatred,
The defeated live in pain.
Happily the peaceful live,
Giving up victory and defeat.


Dhp. v. 201


The Buddha in fact recommends social welfare, unlike the present policies of this adminstration:


But perchance his majesty might think: "I'll soon put a stop to these scoundrels' game by degradation and banishment and fines and bonds and death." But their license cannot be satisfactorily put a stop to so. The remnant left unpunished would still go on harassing the realm. Now there is one method to adopt to put a thorough end to this disorder. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to keeping cattle and the farm, to them let his majesty give food and seed corn. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to trade, to them let his majesty give capital. Whosoever there be in the king's realm who devote themselves to government service, to them let his majesty give wages and food. Then those men, following each his own business, will no longer harass the realm; the king's revenue will go up; the country will be quiet and at peace; and the populace pleased with one another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, will dwell with open doors.


In other words, Roosevelt's New Deal, Johnson's Great Society, Obama's Quantitative Easing policies and Obamacare are precisely the kind of policies the Buddha recommends for a peaceful society.

It is the neglect of the poor that Buddha describes as the downfall of society:

Thus from goods not being bestowed on the destitute, poverty... stealing... violence... murder... lying... evil-speaking... immorality grew rife.
Theft and killing lead to false speech, jealousy, adultery, incest and perverted lust...


Everything above comes from https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... tml#fnt-45.

The Buddha said nothing in Mahāyāna sūtras that adds anything to this at all.
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

Ricky
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:27 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:28 pm


Sorry, but if you are referring to the United States, our country was built on slavery and ethnic cleansing by a European minority whose only virtue was creating civil institutions that were able to evolve (albeit imperfectly) beyond the narrow limits imagined by the founders. So lets not get carried away with all the freedom fighting rhetoric. I personally think that democracy based on liberal economics is the way to go, but lets not kid ourselves into thinking that the US is some paragon of virtue. It really isn't.
I'm well aware of this. The US has a lot to be ashamed of and those who committed genocide against natives, and owned slaves are probably burning in deep hell right now as we speak. At the same time you should probably consider yourself lucky to have taken birth in it.

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Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:41 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:27 pm
At the same time you should probably consider yourself lucky to have taken birth in it.

I am quite sure luck had nothing to do with it. We don't believe in luck in Buddhadharma, as it happens.
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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The Cicada
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by The Cicada » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:45 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:41 pm
Ricky wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:27 pm
At the same time you should probably consider yourself lucky to have taken birth in it.

I am quite sure luck had nothing to do with it. We don't believe in luck in Buddhadharma, as it happens.
"Fortunate."

Ricky
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Ricky » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:41 pm
Ricky wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:27 pm
At the same time you should probably consider yourself lucky to have taken birth in it.

I am quite sure luck had nothing to do with it. We don't believe in luck in Buddhadharma, as it happens.
Good karma I mean.

Thanks for all the Buddha quotes by the way.

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Malcolm
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:16 pm

Ricky wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:52 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:41 pm
Ricky wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:27 pm
At the same time you should probably consider yourself lucky to have taken birth in it.

I am quite sure luck had nothing to do with it. We don't believe in luck in Buddhadharma, as it happens.
Good karma I mean.

Thanks for all the Buddha quotes by the way.

Sure, the article where these quotes are drawn from is well thought out and should really be understood by all Buddhists, everywhere.
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

marting
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Re: Mahayana and War

Post by marting » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:22 pm

The US has a lot to be ashamed of...
Like anyone and anything. Yet magnifying that to the exclusion of the peace and stability the United States has created in the world in the past century is a resilient legacy of aggressive Soviet disinformation campaigns during the Cold War that are still actively being exploited by Russia and China today. Say you think the United States has been the most benevolent actor on the world stage out of all the contenders and you'll be looked at as nuts these days. Thank the Soviet Union. :twothumbsup:

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