Thank you In the bone yard and uan for your kind replies and your thoughts. You both make good observations.
I should have added that, in the cases I mentioned, the killing is interpreted as literal rather than figurative, even in the "tantric flavored" lojong text. Geshe Lhundub Sopa provides a commentary on it in which he explains in three paragraphs that sometimes war against certain kinds of destructive people is necessary and sometimes certain people must even be "eliminated," because the alternative is much, much worse. As the two verses of the lojong text assert, one must return one's Pratimoksha vow and fight when enemies are destroying Buddhism. Not returning one's monastic vows would be the greater violation. Similarly, two years ago His Holiness the Dalai Lama seems to have approved of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, arguing, "If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures." (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/04 ... a-20110504
) Both of the commentaries I have on the bodhisattva vow permit killing (and other negative actions) for those who have actualized bodhicitta and are acting out of compassion.
I think I may have found exactly what I was looking for
. I was getting "hung up" on words such as "natural misdeeds" or "naturally uncommendable actions," and especially "inherently negative, regardless of context," and wondering how they could be applicable, given the texts I mentioned (among others). It was a problem of meaning and coherence for me. I think I was also reading too much into those words. Geshe Sonam Rinchen has made some helpful comments in The Bodhisattva Vow
that I had actually read before but forgotten. He explains that actions of "natural non-virtue" are seen as such because
they "are in themselves harmful." "Inherently negative regardless of context" (etc.) may simply mean "invariably causing harm" then instead of inherently wrong, wrong regardless of context, or always blameworthy, which is how I had been reading these words initially. Although, they are certainly misdeeds for those who are monks and nuns (while they are monks and nuns) regardless of context
, as well as lay persons who have not actualized bodhicitta out of compassion. These actions are "never permitted according to the individual liberation vow," but may be mandatory for lay bodhisattvas.
I suppose another way to look at it may be that the “natural misdeeds” perspective belongs to what is sometimes called the “listener’s vehicle” (for lack of a better term and with no offense intended) portion of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings, since it seems most applicable in the texts to lay persons who have not actualized bodhicitta and monks and nuns.
I’m a bit sleepy at this hour. I hope this is intelligible.
EDIT: I changed "deeds" to "misdeeds."