Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:56 am

Thrasymachus wrote: I don't think Buddhist canon or practice has much useful knowledge about interacting or dealing with Islam.


That may be true, maybe not.
But The Buddha warned against being taken in by the outward appearances of things.

So, even if we accept the premise that Islam is fundamentally messed up, akin to say perhaps, Nazism or some violent Cult, if we accept that premise, then we have to decide if all who claim to follow Islam are thus messed up.
We can then decide whether to lump all adherents to Islam together or not.
If it appears that all Muslims are the same, then we have to ask whether that appearance is accurate or not,
and if it really represents the way things truly are.

We can look at, say, a very repressive country such as Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and we can look at a country such as Turkey, on the other hand, which has a very sizable Muslim population (about 99%) and is not Governed by Sharira law and is much more open. For example, (to my understanding) in Turkey, women are not required to keep their heads covered. Turkey is governed as a parliamentary representative democracy.

If we acknowledge that within the Islamic world there is a gap between conservative and repressive traditionalists, who seem to get most of the attention, and reformists, then if one is pursuing a political strategy, one may wish to support efforts at reform, or to side with reformists for strategic reasons. This may or may not be a wise decision, but at least it provides an option in which all parties might benefit if those who promote terror and violence and repression lose their support.

if we lump all Muslims together as fanatical terrorists, then there is not much of an option other than some sort of genocide (unless you have some other plan), and historically speaking, that doesn't usually go over really well with people. I am not big on the idea.

So, yes, Buddhism is pretty pathetic when it comes to confrontation, except perhaps with regard to Shaolin Monks and Ninjas. I may be an idealistic fool, but i am open to suggestions.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby lobster » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:35 am

I am defending Islam as a most precious jewel.
Just as I would defend Jesus, the Dalai Leprechaun, HH the Bo tree, kali and Ming the Merciless, Satan and Richard Dawkins and the Pastafarians . . .

I have learned from the peace after the tsunami
and the suchi after the fish

If you can see no good
where is the perception you claim?

god is great
as the Mullah said to the small wheel

basics
http://www.islamispeace.org.uk/

another piece of peace - jihad for beginners
http://islam.uga.edu/sufismstruggle.html
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:30 am

Look s like the axe grinders are out in full force again. Thankfully some of the posters here are Buddhists and subscribe to the Buddhas teaching:
Kakacupama Sutta: The Simile of the Saw (excerpt)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Once, monks, in this same Savatthi, there was a lady of a household named Vedehika. This good report about Lady Vedehika had circulated: 'Lady Vedehika is gentle. Lady Vedehika is even-tempered. Lady Vedehika is calm.' Now, Lady Vedehika had a slave named Kali who was diligent, deft, & neat in her work. The thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'This good report about my Lady Vedehika has circulated: "Lady Vedehika is even-tempered. Lady Vedehika is gentle. Lady Vedehika is calm." Now, is anger present in my lady without showing, or is it absent? Or is it just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show? Why don't I test her?'

"So Kali the slave got up after daybreak. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up after daybreak?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up after daybreak?' Angered & displeased, she scowled.

"Then the thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'Anger is present in my lady without showing, and not absent. And it's just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show. Why don't I test her some more?'

"So Kali the slave got up later in the day. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up later in the day?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up later in the day?' Angered & displeased, she grumbled.

"Then the thought occurred to Kali the slave: 'Anger is present in my lady without showing, and not absent. And it's just because I'm diligent, deft, & neat in my work that the anger present in my lady doesn't show. Why don't I test her some more?'

"So Kali the slave got up even later in the day. Then Lady Vedehika said to her: 'Hey, Kali!'

"'Yes, madam?'

"'Why did you get up even later in the day?'

"'No reason, madam.'

"'No reason, you wicked slave, and yet you get up even later in the day?' Angered & displeased, she grabbed hold of a rolling pin and gave her a whack over the head, cutting it open.

"Then Kali the slave, with blood streaming from her cut-open head, went and denounced her mistress to the neighbors: 'See, ladies, the gentle one's handiwork? See the even-tempered one's handiwork? See the calm one's handiwork? How could she, angered & displeased with her only slave for getting up after daybreak, grab hold of a rolling pin and give her a whack over the head, cutting it open?'

"After that this evil report about Lady Vedehika circulated: 'Lady Vedehika is vicious. Lady Vedehika is foul-tempered. Lady Vedehika is violent.'

"In the same way, monks, a monk may be ever so gentle, ever so even-tempered, ever so calm, as long as he is not touched by disagreeable aspects of speech. But it is only when disagreeable aspects of speech touch him that he can truly be known as gentle, even-tempered, & calm. I don't call a monk easy to admonish if he is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish only by reason of robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick. Why is that? Because if he doesn't get robes, almsfood, lodging, & medicinal requisites for curing the sick, then he isn't easy to admonish and doesn't make himself easy to admonish. But if a monk is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma, then I call him easy to admonish. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will be easy to admonish and make ourselves easy to admonish purely out of esteem for the Dhamma, respect for the Dhamma, reverence for the Dhamma.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a hoe & a basket, saying, 'I will make this great earth be without earth.' He would dig here & there, scatter soil here & there, spit here & there, urinate here & there, saying, 'Be without earth. Be without earth.' Now, what do you think — would he make this great earth be without earth?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because this great earth is deep & enormous. It can't easily be made to be without earth. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the great earth — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying lac, yellow orpiment, indigo, or crimson, saying, 'I will draw pictures in space, I will make pictures appear.' Now, what do you think — would he draw pictures in space & make pictures appear?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because space is formless & featureless. It's not easy to draw pictures there and to make them appear. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to space — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose that a man were to come along carrying a burning grass torch and saying, 'With this burning grass torch I will heat up the river Ganges and make it boil.' Now, what do you think — would he, with that burning grass torch, heat up the river Ganges and make it boil?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because the river Ganges is deep & enormous. It's not easy to heat it up and make it boil with a burning grass torch. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the river Ganges — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Suppose there were a catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and a man were to come along carrying a stick or shard and saying, 'With this stick or shard I will take this catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and I will make it rustle & crackle.' Now, what do you think — would he, with that stick or shard, take that catskin bag — beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling — and make it rustle & crackle?"

"No, lord. Why is that? Because the catskin bag is beaten, well-beaten, beaten through & through, soft, silky, free of rustling & crackling. It's not easy to make it rustle & crackle with a stick or shard. The man would reap only a share of weariness & disappointment."

"In the same way, monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to a catskin bag — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, lord."

"Then attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw. That will be for your long-term welfare & happiness."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:43 am

I don't know that it is axe grinding. If atrocities are perpetrated against minorities in Islamic-majority countries, is speaking out against that grinding an axe?

I too signed the petition to the Burmese government out of concern for Human Rights abuses perpetrated by Buddhists.

The Sutta that you point out is relevant but there are also sections about protecting the Dharma especially in the Mahayana sutras. The Dharma is the medicine which allows sentient beings to escape from the sufferings of samsara. We should try to keep it available for people. You may not have lived in Asia and seen the decline of Buddhism first hand but it is a real concern. The West cannot incubate it in the same way Tibet did when it disappeared from India. The situation is grave.

My point is the standard should be the same across the board, this is hardly revolutionary.

I abhor violence of any kind and would never advocated the killing of any Muslim, including those responsible for the atrocity, as retribution for these acts.

But what would you have us do, Greg, throw up our hands in the air and chalk it up to karma? Should actions not be taken to at least protect the Dharma and the women and children left homeless? Rev. Danny Fisher's and others silence on this matter which has been developing over the last week is irresponsible.

However to throw our hands up in the air and say nothing about these atrocities, what does that say? There was an uproar in the Buddhist community against the Burmese government and perhaps rightly so. But from what I have seen on the web there are very few Western Buddhists organizing protests, petitions and letters about the poor Buddhist in Bangladesh. What does that say? To apply a double standard disfavouring Buddhism due to PC concerns about Islamophobia seems naieve at best. There is definitely Idolaphobia and Buddha and Hinduphobia in Islam, it is just that these words have not yet become catch phrases.

As I said, same standards have to be applied across the board. I honestly don't understand why this doesn't make sense. Bigots and those advocated violence on behalf of any religion should be unequivocally censored, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Rastafarian.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:46 am

Okay folks let's take this rule into consideration:

- This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity.
- In support of this:

* Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
* Proselyting / evangelizing other paths, which includes, for example, arguing that some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:50 am

If the topic is the news coming out of Bangaldesh, the strained relationship and reasons for it seem to be topics worthy of discussion.
I agree though that labeling Islam or Muslims as evil, backward etc. is completely inappropriate and Akusala speech. And the debate as to which religion is better is similarly useless as different beings have karma for different paths.

But we always have to call out atrocities. The point I made, which seems to be unheard by some, is that by ignoring these atrocities we harm not only the Buddhists suffering but also many of the Muslims who suffer at the hands of fundamentalists within their own religion. The staggering political correctness and unwillingness to call out these atrocities has allowed the subjugation of women, summary executions and violence.

Muslims who suffer should be embraced and aided just as the Buddhists who suffer due to fundamentalism.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:59 am

JKhedrup wrote:I don't know that it is axe grinding. If atrocities are perpetrated against minorities in Islamic-majority countries, is speaking out against that grinding an axe?
The following are examples of irrelevant and unhelpful axe-grinding:
Sure there is a solution, the Islamic one - surrender, capitulate. Most of the leaders of Muslim countries have been advocating that the Western notion of 'freedom of speech' is too free and just a cover for anti-Islamic propaganda. Therefore, the West should give up our nasty, politically incorrect, irritant - freedom of speech.

Simple - Allah knows best.

One partiular religion.

Hint: Political correctness (and fear). We see plenty of it here in EU. If a bunch of young angry muslims beat up some white folks, it is called "cultural differences". If some school, office, etc. does not want to put up islamimc non-sense, for exapmle when one professor would not interrupt his lecture for a muslim students who wanted to make prayers, then it is called "racism and islamofobia". I guess this is where the above attitude might come from.
Anything by Thrasymachus.
etc...
The Sutta that you point out is relevant but there are also sections about protecting the Dharma especially in the Mahayana sutras.
Dear Ven. Khedrup,
my limited knowledge of Mahayana Sutra has lead me to conclude that they fall roughly into four distinct categories: apologist, triumphalist, incomprehensible mysticism and Dharma. In order to avoid miscomprehension I tend to quote from the Pali Canon quite a lot (though I myself practice Vajrayana). For me the Pali Canon is clear, comprehensible and tends to lack the contradictions found in many Sutra.
But what would you have us do, Greg, throw up our hands in the air and chalk it up to karma? Should actions not be taken to at least protect the Dharma and the women and children left homeless? Rev. Danny Fisher's and others silence on this matter which has been developing over the last week is irresponsible.
It is one thing to oppose the violence and another thing to condmen the apparent source of the violence. I oppose the violence, but I believe that the source of the violence is not necessarily Islam. Interpetations of Islam are definitely a factor in the violence but I think that to find a soultion to the problem one has to do a lot more than scratch at the surface.
However to throw our hands up in the air and say nothing about these atrocities, what does that say? There was an uproar in the Buddhist community against the Burmese government and perhaps rightly so. But from what I have seen on the web there are very few Western Buddhists organizing protests, petitions and letters about the poor Buddhist in Bangladesh. What does that say? To apply a double standard disfavouring Buddhism due to PC concerns about Islamophobia seems naieve at best. There is definitely Idolaphobia and Buddha and Hinduphobia in Islam, it is just that these words have not yet become catch phrases.
Is Buddhism to blame for the violence in Burma? Again though, as Buddhists, shouldn't we be looking at counselling and pointing out the shortcomings of fellow Buddhists first and foremost?

I have used this analaogy before but it seems to applicable (yet again) in this situation: In Greece we say that a camel sees and criticises the misshapen humps of other camels, but not its own.

What sparked the destruction? Was the photo of the burnt Koran real? Was it posted by a Buddhist? etc... These are the questions that should be asked. The temples were burnt down as a reaction to the FaceBook post. It was not like the rioters woke up one day and said: "Let's go burn some Buddhist temples". If DW was hacked and shut down after a Muslim happened to read some of the flames being posted here, would we then have the right to complain about the "nasty Muslims"? NO!
:namaste:
PS "Chalk it up to karma"??? As a Buddhist is there anything else you want to ascribe it to? God? Fate? Luck? Come on now Ven. Khedrup!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:22 am

gregkavarnos wrote:What sparked the destruction? Was the photo of the burnt Koran real? Was it posted by a Buddhist? etc... These are the questions that should be asked. The temples were burnt as a reaction to the FaceBook post. It was not like the rioters woke up one day and said "let's go burn some Buddhist temples". If DW was hacked and shut down after a Muslim happened to read some of the flames being posted here, would we then have the right to comlain about the "nasty Muslims"? NO!
:namaste:


!!!!
So this is the 21st Century and you think because of what someone writes here, it could give a very intolerant sect that uses the rubric of being a religion(to dupe people who don't know better) a right to hack this forum? And we cannot complain, because it means this forum deserved to be down!

And you also think we should look into justifications for why the Buddhist temples were destroyed! This is not a novel type of action for this sect, they destroy kafir and even the monuments built by kafir so it appears they never existed:
Mob attacks Maldives National Museum- Buddhist relics destroyed Feb. 10, 2012
Again: Islamists destroy monuments, this time in Timbuktu July 1, 2012
Afghans Outraged by Taliban Decision to Destroy Statues and Artifacts 2001
High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Destruction of Cultural Artifacts in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan
One could go on for days just posting examples of such destruction of pre-Islamic monuments.

The scholar Bat Ye'or points out that for them even the historical testimony of dhimmi(conquered peoples of the book: Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians) and kafir(Polytheists and Buddhists, etc.) must be erased so it is as if they never existed and that history begins when conquering armies brought Islam to such lands. They just look for any excuse to make that outcome happen.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:31 am

So what is your solution, given the manner in which you frame the problem?

I give 10:1 odds that the proposed solution you will present will not be viable. Nah, 100:1, just to be fair.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby underthetree » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:35 am

gregkavarnos wrote: In Greece we say that a camel sees and criticises the misshapen humps of other camels, but not its own.



Or as my Greek granny used to say: the donkey calls the cockerel 'big head...'
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby underthetree » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:38 am

Has anyone else noticed a kind of peristalsis of intolerance on this forum? A dog whistle post will go up about gender orientation. That will blow up. As it's dying down, another dog whistle will sound about a certain quarter of monotheism. Rinse thoroughly, then repeat.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:41 am

underthetree wrote:Or as my Greek granny used to say: the donkey calls the cockerel 'big head...'
"Κεφάλα", literally it translates as "big head", but it basically means "stubborn minded".
Has anyone else noticed a kind of peristalsis of intolerance on this forum? A dog whistle post will go up about gender orientation. That will blow up. As it's dying down, another dog whistle will sound about a certain quarter of monotheism. Rinse thoroughly, then repeat.
Yup! Intolerance is a pernicious blighter and takes a lot of kicking before it stays down for good.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:04 am

Greg of course what is happening has to be traced back to karma. By "Chalk it up to karma and throw up our hands in the air" I mean this fatalistic idea about karma. This attitude about karma is self-defeating- ie "The people in Ethiopia don't have the merits to have enough food" and then not sending aid supplies, agriculture specialists etc. I think somehow you must have known this is what I was pointing at. The Sutta that you posted is indeed profound and I enjoy the Pali canon, but it seems the context in which you posted it was aimed at promulgating a fatalistic interpretation.

As for what you propose about the camel- I agree that as Buddhists when fellow practitioners discriminate, oppress or humiliate people of other religions or beliefs we must speak up, because they are Buddhists and we have a responsibility as a community to challenge such attitudes.

Similarly, as Buddhists when our Buddhist brethren are suffering at the hands of others and their freedom to access the medicinal teachings of the dharma/dhamma is threatened, to to our connectedness to them as fellow practitioners, we also have a duty to speak up.

There are some issues which I find unfair but will not tackle because I admit I might not know enough about the cultural/political factors in that particular situation. ie: why Muslims are allowed to convert people in Malaysia but Buddhists and Hindus are not. I am prepared to let that go and say "perhaps there is a reasonable explanation which I cannot understand due to my lack of education about the situation."

But when people's homes and temples are burned etc. I set aside cultural sensitivity in favour of tackling oppression.

As for Buddhism in Burma being partly responsible for the Rohinga atrocities, that should be examined. Where did this interpretation come from? Is it Buddhism or nationalism? Please start a thread.

I will say it again- Oppression and violence by any group is ugly, and I will speak up against every instance of it. If you look at my posts on the forum you see I turn a critical eye not just to Muslim extremism but also to Gelug chauvanism, Shugdenism, Christian fundamentalism, anti-Theravada comments etc.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:45 am

JKhedrup wrote:Greg of course what is happening has to be traced back to karma. By "Chalk it up to karma and throw up our hands in the air" I mean this fatalistic idea about karma. This attitude about karma is self-defeating- ie "The people in Ethiopia don't have the merits to have enough food" and then not sending aid supplies, agriculture specialists etc. I think somehow you must have known this is what I was pointing at. The Sutta that you posted is indeed profound and I enjoy the Pali canon, but it seems the context in which you posted it was aimed at promulgating a fatalistic interpretation.
Is that the way you interpreted the teaching? Strange, I don't believe that comes across as what the Buddha was teaching (coz he never taught anything of the like)... Nor did I at any point attempt to say anything of the sort. What I was attempting to say was that, as Buddhists, when confronted with the negative actions of "others" towards "us" we should first attempt to look at our role in the situation before pointing fingers towards "others" AND to reply with aversion is definitely 100% not correct behaviour for a Buddhist. Am I being clear now?
(8) All of our sufferings derive from our habits
Of selfish delusions we heed and act out
As all of us share in this tragic misfortune,
Which stems from our narrow and self-centred ways,
We must take all our sufferings and the miseries of others
And smother our wishes of selfish concern.
...
(15) When we are born in oppressive and wretched condition,
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we have always had a negative outlook
We have criticized others, seeing only their flaws
Hereafter let's cultivate positive feelings
And view our surroundings as stainless and pure.
...
(46) In short then, whenever unfortunate suffering
We haven't desired crash upon us like thunder,
This is the same as the smith who had taken
His life with a sword he had fashioned himself
Our suffering is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrong we have done.
Hereafter let's always have care and awareness
Never to act in non-virtuous ways.
...
97) Thus accepting ourselves [upon] all deluded non-virtuous
Actions that others have done in the past,
In the present and future with mind, speech and body,
May delusions of others as well as our own
Be the favoured conditions to gain our Enlightenment
Just as the peacocks eat poison and thrive.
Excerpts from The Wheel of Sharp Weapons http://www.bodhicitta.net/The%20Wheel%2 ... eapons.htm
Similarly, as Buddhists when our Buddhist brethren are suffering at the hands of others and their freedom to access the medicinal teachings of the dharma/dhamma is threatened, to to our connectedness to them as fellow practitioners, we also have a duty to speak up.
Brethren? Others? False dualisms! Have you considered the amount of suffering the people currently destroying the temples will undergo in the future as a consequence of their actions?
But when people's homes and temples are burned etc. I set aside cultural sensitivity in favour of tackling oppression.
The best way to tackle opression is to be a clear example of an individual that does not oppress, that does not anger when wronged, that does not seperate the suffering of the victim from that of the perpertrator, etc... In that way one takes a Buddhist approach to opression, otherwise one is just getting caught up in the eight worldly dharmas.
As for Buddhism in Burma being partly responsible for the Rohinga atrocities, that should be examined. Where did this interpretation come from? Is it Buddhism or nationalism? Please start a thread.

I will say it again- Oppression and violence by any group is ugly, and I will speak up against every instance of it. If you look at my posts on the forum you see I turn a critical eye not just to Muslim extremism but also to Gelug chauvanism, Shugdenism, Christian fundamentalism, anti-Theravada comments etc.
White man speak with forked tongue. On the one hand you make excuses for atrocities done by Buddhists in Burma, trying to attribute the "blame" elsewhere (outside of Buddhism) and then you talk about being against Muslim and Christian extremism (ie all Muslims/Christians are extremists or fundamentalists) yet you specify forms of Buddhist extremism (Gelug chauvanism, Shugdenism, anti-Theravada comments) as being somehow seperate from Buddhism (is Maitreya Millenianism seperate from Buddhism too? What about Zen and its support of Japanese Imperialism). So either talk about Buddhist, Christian and Moslem extremism or break down all forms of extremism. You can't have your cake and eat it too my friend!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:59 am

What I was attempting to say was that, as Buddhists, when confronted with the negative actions of "others" towards "us" we should first attempt to look at our role in the situation before pointing fingers towards "others" AND to reply with aversion is definitely 100% not correct behaviour for a Buddhist. Am I being clear now?

Where did I advocate aversion against Islam? As I said, it is fundamentalism that I call out.
Of course, and I welcome any reasons for how the event may have been precipitated by intolerance of the Buddhists in Bangladesh. No one has presented any material on this. You really think advocating against the human rights abuses in Bangladesh is against the teachings? Calling for the same standards for all human beings is somehow anti-Buddhist?
White man speak with forked tongue. On the one hand you make excuses for atrocities done by Buddhists in Burma, trying to attribute the "blame" elsewhere (outside of Buddhism) and then you talk about being against Muslim and Christian extremism (ie all Muslims/Christians are extremists or fundamentalists) yet you specify forms of Buddhist extremism (Gelug chauvanism, Shugdenism, anti-Theravada comments) as being somehow seperate from Buddhism (is Maitreya Millenianism seperate from Buddhism too? What about Zen and its support of Japanese Imperialism). So either talk about Buddhist, Christian and Moslem extremism or break down all forms of extremism. You can't have your cake and eat it too my friend!
Greg that is simply not true.

Have we gone to the level of name-calling now?
I specify "Islamic fundamentalism" and ""Islamist governments" in my threads. Just as I specified "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity. You simply did not look at the threads and accused me of speaking with a forked tongue. Indeed, you consider me argumentative but you yourself do not heed the very scriptures you quote in this thread. These kind of polemics are what degenerate a discussion into an argument. You do me a disservice here. All I said is fundamentalism in any religion should be challenged by everyone. I never said Buddhists should get off scott free. I would like you to point to where I said this.

Brethren? Others? False dualisms! Have you considered the amount of suffering the people currently destroying the temples will undergo in the future as a consequence of their actions?


All the more reason to try and prevent these actions through peaceful means, and to advocate a solution through petitioning governments, etc. Just as Buddhists like Rev. Danny Fisher did with Burma. Such actions will benefit both sides in the conflict! Preventing suffering and accumulation of negative karma!
If you have no community feeling with your fellow Buddhists that is fine. I met many Bangladeshi monks studying in Thailand and respect their sincerity and difficult situation. I will try to make sure my voice protects their opportunity to practice their religion.
If you understand the Dharma as something important for sentient beings taking steps to make sure people are free to practice it (as long as those steps do not violate the principles of Ahimsa) is a no-brainer.

Anyways, perhaps this any discussion on this topic on the board is impossible without name-calling and arguments from those advocating varius points of view, in which case hear my oath now to never engage in these discussions again on this forum. And this seems to be the goal of a number of people who post from both sides of the field of opinion. To silence their oponents through polemics, name calling or whatever means furthers their view.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:16 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Of course, and I welcome any reasons for how the event may have been precipitated by intolerance of the Buddhists in Bangladesh. No one has presented any material on this. You really think advocating against the human rights abuses in Bangladesh is against the teachings? Calling for the same standards for all human beings is a double standard.
This is a straw man. I said nothing of the sort.
I specify "Islamic fundamentalism" and ""Islamist governments" in my threads.
Islam is not a single monolithic entity, no more than Buddhism is a single monolithic entity. Like I said before, either we talk about specific instances in both cases, or we talk in generalities in both cases. Which is it to be?
All I said is fundamentalism in any religion should be challenged by everyone. I never said Buddhists should get off scott free. I would like you to point to where I said this.
I never accused you of saying anything of the sort.
All the more reason to try and prevent these actions through peaceful means, and to advocate a solution through petitioning governments, etc. Just as Buddhists like Rev. Danny Fisher did with Burma. Such actions will benefit both sides in the conflict! Preventing suffering and accumulation of negative karma!
I agree with you fundamentally. BUT I feel that if we define the causes of the actions as the consequence of a vague external category (Islam) then how can we act in order to effect positive change? We miss the point that really we are talking about the actions of invidual beings and that effectively what the root of their problematic behaviour is, is not Islam, as such, but an ignorance of the true nature of reality (an ignorance tht Buddhists also suffer from). This will lead to compassion as the means to overcome the problem.

We are, after all, all suffering as a consequence of our ego centred attachment and identification.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:31 pm

I agree with you fundamentally. BUT I feel that if we define the causes of the actions as the consequence of a vague external category (Islam) then how can we act in order to effect positive change?


Greg, honestly, I agree with you completely. I think you are framing me as opponent of your views without really knowing what I stand for. In fact, I think my position falls somewhere between both "camps" in this thread.

Militant Islam is one of many factors including ethnicity, poverty, the scourge of colonialism, scarcity of resources and environmental degradation. So we can discuss all of those together but to leave out militant Islam would be dishonest. Of course we could also discuss it from the unseen/karmic level.

You can see I am also quite hard on Buddhist fundamentalism from my other threads:

niketa-
You hit the nail on the head! Flexibility seems to go out the window at times. I always find the sectarianism of Buddhists to be rather embarrassing .


You should note I spoke against the violence in Burma:

Very sad, did not realize the scale of the attacks.


And I criticize sectarianism within my own affiliation:
es, many Gelug teachers are trying to make peace with this. No one can deny what is there in black and white in his collected works, and not just one volume. Malcolm can direct you to where to find it. (He sent the stuff to me and as my Tibetan improved I forced myself to read it).

In fact, I thank Malcolm for opening my eyes in this way because it caused me a lot of soul searching and helped me find my own way of coping in the very traditional Tibetan Buddhist settings in which I work and live. (Well, it was one of several factors but much appreciated).

History has so many lessons to teach us. Some of them are painful.


I have no agenda here other than trying to develop some common standards for all human beings so we can live in this world together. But for it to work everyone has to be willing to try and work together within those standards. We cannot decry violence in one area and then remain silent about it in another.

This is a straw man. I said nothing of the sort.


It was a reply to this statement:
What I was attempting to say was that, as Buddhists, when confronted with the negative actions of "others" towards "us" we should first attempt to look at our role in the situation before pointing fingers towards "others" AND to reply with aversion is definitely 100% not correct behaviour for a Buddhist. Am I being clear now?


But perhaps you were speaking more on the more personal/mental level, rather than what "we" may have done in Bangladesh. It was not a straw man, perhaps a misunderstanding of the thrust of your words, though.

Islam is not a single monolithic entity, no more than Buddhism is a single monolithic entity. Like I said before, either we talk about specific instances in both cases, or we talk in generalities in both cases. Which is it to be?


It depends on the context of the thread. Honestly, look up my posts of this topics and you will see I specify Islamism or Islamic fundamentalism in my statements. You seem to want to appropriate a double standard to me which is not there. Perhaps this is due to lack of familiarity with my posts.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2328
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Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Being tolerant with the intolerant is plain stupidity. Violence should be criticized, wherever it comes from.
Muslim's who perpetrate theft, murder and terrorism shouldn't be granted immunity to criticism just because they are Muslims, neither should their ideology, however twisted it may be from the original (or in this case, however literally it's being taken). If in the name of their faith they perpetrate such actions, that needs to be addressed with honesty and realism, not political correctness. The sharia law is an aberration that should be forbidden.

It's no secret that the Qur'an has many passages inciting to violence, as do many of the holy books of other religions. If most Muslims choose to ignore these passages or interpret them differently, others are who take them to heart and use them to fuel war and genocide. This is why I think such passages should be wiped out of these books by the hands of their believers, at least if they want people to trust that they indeed are peaceful people with peaceful intentions. No mixed signals. Put your actions where your mouth is. I'm quite convinced that many Muslims would feel comfortable if they saw those passages removed because they are peaceful people, following a religion to its half, ignoring those controversial parts.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Qu'ran is used to promote violence because it can easily be converted in such tool because of its own contents. There's no way to deny that these passages may brew a toxic mindset towards those who don't share their religion - the others. This is not a unique feature of the Qu'ran, but is also shared by the holy texts of many other religions.

A slow process of removing those passages with the sanction of the religious leaders should have started long ago. Such should be demanded by people who claim to be peaceful, Muslims, Xtians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics and others. We can't tolerate the intolerance, not mattering what ideology promotes it. That's basic.

There should be a public renunciation to passages inciting to violence by all major religions, if you ask me. It's barbaric to let such texts stand while calling ourselves civilized. This should apply not only to religions, but to every ideology printed in paper. Ideologies that incite to violence should be forbidden by international law, not mattering if they are secular or religious.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:58 pm

underthetree wrote:Has anyone else noticed a kind of peristalsis of intolerance on this forum? A dog whistle post will go up about gender orientation. That will blow up. As it's dying down, another dog whistle will sound about a certain quarter of monotheism. Rinse thoroughly, then repeat.


Yeah, that is what web forums tend to do.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:00 pm

Criticizing violence is not intolerance. It's sanity.
Nowadays it seems to be called intolerance when violence is perpetrated by Muslims and the ideology backing up their actions is called into question.
This is ridiculous. The same can be applied to any ideology. If it has passages that promote violence, they should be questioned.
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