Buddhism and the Warrior

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby LastLegend » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:24 am

Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.
Weapons are the tools of fear;
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.

Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?

His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn't wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?

He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:33 am

LastLegend wrote:Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.
Weapons are the tools of fear;
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.

Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?

His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn't wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?

He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

:bow: :namaste:
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:00 am

Son of Buddha wrote:you got to play soldier for 6 months good for you(I cant expect you to understand either)
I said a minimum of six months. Anyway, what makes you an expert? When somebody talks logically and intelligently everybody understands.
okay so 13,000 civilians have been killed from 2007 to june 2012.so thats 13,000 civilians killed in 5 years
okay in america 11,000 americans are murdered every YEAR.in fact you have just proved that it takes civilains in Afghanistan 5 years just to reach our death toll we have for one year of living in our country.
Yes, well, in your rush to justify the slaughter of innocent civilians you overlooked the fact that Afghanistan has a population of 30,500,000 and America has a population of 315,580,000. So Afghanistan has double the per capita rate of violent deaths of the US. Anyway, 11,000 murders a year is hardly something worth flaunting.
also can you please state the FACTS..how many of those 13,000 afghan civilian deaths were commited by American soldiers and how many of those civilian deaths were commited by the Taliban???
Read the congress report I linked to.
"so much for defending the innocent"....Yea your argument just fell apart seeing as 85% to 95% of civilain deaths were commited by None american forces
Apart from your claim being 100% baseless, it is also of no importance to the discussion as to who did the killing, the facts were portrayed to provide evidence of the incapacity of soldiers (merecenaries in the case of the US) and religious warriors (in the case of the Taliban) to protect the innocent.
AHAHAHHAHA yea its OBVIOUS we went to war for booty and plunder and to steal their riches thats why we are 14 trillion dollars in debt......
You see, this is where it becomes blaringly obvious that you do not understand the wokings of corporatism. The people that own and control the mining and military interests don't give a sh*t about the cost (in money and lives) of the poor citizens of the US. They do not care if the American state is in debt, they care that they are making profits. Nothing else. And they wage their wars by confounding you with this lie about killing people in foreign lands for the sake of American democracy. They did it in Korea (foothold in north Asia), Vietnam (opium again), Phillipines (banana and sugar cane plantations and then, after WWII, a foothold in Pacific SE Asia), Iraq (oil), Central and South America (cocaine), Panama (control of the canal), etc...
now when you can show that America has become rich after the war and has GAINED 14 trillion dollars due to "plunder" then you might have some evidence.
America has not, some (very few) Americans have.

But really we are starting to go completely :offtopic: so in order to justify your statements regarding soldiers/warriors and Buddhism you have to come up with something a lot more intelligent than repeatedly saying: "(I cant expect you to understand either)"
"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: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:42 am

Son of Buddha wrote:oh well thats your very tiny minority view as for the rest of us Mahayanists the Nirvana sutra is considered definite teachings and is usually listed in the top 3 main sutras of most Mahayana Schools.
It is respected in the tradition I practice in too, but there are occasions where applying the teaching of the Kalama Sutta becomes imperative:
"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
My personal experience as somebody with military training, as a teacher of martial arts, as a social worker and psychologist with refugees from Afghanistan, as a Buddhist practitioner, as the offspring of refugees of war, etc... tells me, that in this instance I should ignore scripture and go with my what I know for myself: that war and the "warrior mentality" quite clearly causes suffering, pain, anguish, despair, etc... and thus directly contadicts the aim of Buddhism.
P.S you are incorrect most tantras are actually of the Tathagatagarbha True Self Class which is why Ven.Dolpopa qouted heavily from them,if you dislike the Nirvana Sutra then you will HATE most tantras that even go father than the nirvana sutra on topics you seem to dislike. :D
Complete and utter nonsense.
"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: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:15 pm

I think what feels difficult to accept for many is that not every human is fit to be a Buddhist. Those who defend, support or commit violence are such, just like many others who believe that happiness comes from samsaric gains. That is taking refuge not in the Three Jewels but in other philosophies and faiths. Violence comes from anger, anger comes from fear, fear is based on ignorance.How could such a thing mean liberation, or even something wholesome?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:33 pm

Astus wrote:I think what feels difficult to accept for many is that not every human is fit to be a Buddhist. Those who defend, support or commit violence are such, just like many others who believe that happiness comes from samsaric gains. That is taking refuge not in the Three Jewels but in other philosophies and faiths. Violence comes from anger, anger comes from fear, fear is based on ignorance.How could such a thing mean liberation, or even something wholesome?

So then what is the solution to invasion, tyranny, islamic terrorism, crime etc?
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:18 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
Astus wrote:I think what feels difficult to accept for many is that not every human is fit to be a Buddhist. Those who defend, support or commit violence are such, just like many others who believe that happiness comes from samsaric gains. That is taking refuge not in the Three Jewels but in other philosophies and faiths. Violence comes from anger, anger comes from fear, fear is based on ignorance.How could such a thing mean liberation, or even something wholesome?

So then what is the solution to invasion, tyranny, islamic terrorism, crime etc?
Why emphasise islamic terrorism? I consider what the US (and their croneys) is doing in the Middle East, Central and Southern America, etc... as terrorism too. And this is where it starts to go horribly wrong. You see each side believes that they are fighting a righteous war, that they emobdy the warrior principles, that they are the "cops" and the others are the "criminals", that they are the defenders and the others are the agressors (that's why I recommended reading up on Maitreya cult uprisings). That's why this notion of the warrior does not fit (comfortably) anywhere within Buddhism, because it HAS TO be based on dualistic notions of me/us vs him-her/them. You cannot be a warrior if you do not have an opponent. But, as Buddhists, the idea is to realise that there are no opponents or enemies other than our ignorance, aversion and attachment. If we do not realise this then we cannot fail but to fall for any number of puerile adolescent hyper-testosteroned fantasies, especially in the case of (us) little boys. ;)
"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: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:32 pm

Nighthawk wrote:So then what is the solution to invasion, tyranny, islamic terrorism, crime etc?


Don't do it.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:02 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:
Astus wrote:I think what feels difficult to accept for many is that not every human is fit to be a Buddhist. Those who defend, support or commit violence are such, just like many others who believe that happiness comes from samsaric gains. That is taking refuge not in the Three Jewels but in other philosophies and faiths. Violence comes from anger, anger comes from fear, fear is based on ignorance.How could such a thing mean liberation, or even something wholesome?

So then what is the solution to invasion, tyranny, islamic terrorism, crime etc?
Why emphasise islamic terrorism? I consider what the US (and their croneys) is doing in the Middle East, Central and Southern America, etc... as terrorism too. And this is where it starts to go horribly wrong. You see each side believes that they are fighting a righteous war, that they emobdy the warrior principles, that they are the "cops" and the others are the "criminals", that they are the defenders and the others are the agressors (that's why I recommended reading up on Maitreya cult uprisings). That's why this notion of the warrior does not fit (comfortably) anywhere within Buddhism, because it HAS TO be based on dualistic notions of me/us vs him-her/them. You cannot be a warrior if you do not have an opponent. But, as Buddhists, the idea is to realise that there are no opponents or enemies other than our ignorance, aversion and attachment. If we do not realise this then we cannot fail but to fall for any number of puerile adolescent hyper-testosteroned fantasies, especially in the case of (us) little boys. ;)

Americans aren't angels, but I'm not getting into politics here.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:03 am

Astus wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:So then what is the solution to invasion, tyranny, islamic terrorism, crime etc?


Don't do it.

How is a society to be run without the use of violence? I'm not talking about myself.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:12 am

Not sure it matters how society should be run in this context, we aren't talking about that, we're talking about Dharma. Time and time, over and over again in the bulk of Buddhist literature a point is made that the values of society go in the opposite direction of the Dharma, war is a prime example. Just because something can be justified as conventionally "right", seems to make sense, makes you nod your head in agreement and reach for your flag or whatever, does not mean it squares with Buddhism. We are talking about dudes who thought little of enough of society to completely abandon it and go live in forests, the Sutras and Suttas make the point over and over again that you can't rely on the mores of society, and that the Buddhist path will often put you in opposition to the beliefs of most people, and to the direction the world pushes you in.

I'm not saying there isn't a range of belief, or that one can't live in society, but seriously the question "how is society to be run" is completely irrelevant here because Buddhism turns away from those values that are the engine of Samsara. Basing our beliefs about Buddhism on justifying our opinions and worldly concerns is a bad idea IMO.

It's like asking "how can I be a Buddhist and still not let go of any of my other tightly held beliefs about the world"..the answer seems to be that you can't, just because humanity has done a certain thing since time immemorial does not mean that Buddhists should, in fact a convincing argument could be made in the other direction.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:45 am

I reread this chapter today and found some more

When his lands are ravaged
By rampant disorderly acts,
He should quell these transgressions
And encourage positive deeds.
Thus have the lords of gods vested
Kingship upon him in the human realm.

It is he who effects fruition
For beings in this life,
For he demonstrates the
Ripened effects of deeds
Done well and wrongly done;
For this reason he is called ‘king.’

[...]

Hence, those who commit misdeeds
Must be tamed according to their crime.
In the realm protected in keeping with the Dharma,
The king should not commit unlawful deeds

Golden Light Sutra, chapter 12
Again it doesn't explicitly condone violence but I can't see how else a ruler could obey the Sutra.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:33 am

Two points:

Firstly, it is quite clear that the Buddha taught the renunciation of violence and killing if one wants to achieve liberation, but at the same time (not being a gibbering idiot) the Buddha recognised the need for worldly beings to defend themselves from agressors. Defend being the key word here. This does not mean that the actions undertaken in defence (even of Arhats and the Sangha) will not give rise to negative fruits.

Secondly, there seems to be some sort of misinterpretation happening regarding the actions of a Bodhisattva. Holding Bodhisattva vows is not a "get out of karma free card". Bodhisattvas up to the eighth level can still be "dragged down" to the status of an ordinary samsaric being as a consequence of their actions. When a Bodhisattva commits acions that are conventionally "unwholesome" (killing, for example) they still undergo the effects of the negative action. The difference between a Bodhisattva and any "common" sentient being is that the Bodhisattva may be motivated by compassion instead of ego (ie motivated by ignorance, aversion and attachment).

You will never read a Sutta, Sutra, Tantra, or Shastra (that is, Buddhavacana) extolling the virtues of violence, killing and agression because there are no virtues associated with these actions. This is clear in both Theravada and Mahayana Abhidha_ma classifications of unwholesome actions. It is not a "controversial" theory. Then, of course, one must apply common sense too. Can somebody provide a single example of warfare that was not politically/economically/religiously (ie samsarically) motivated to some degree? No, they cannot.
"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: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Astus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:01 pm

Nighthawk wrote:How is a society to be run without the use of violence? I'm not talking about myself.


Buddhism is not a political philosophy and it was not meant to be such. Look at the bodhisattva minor precepts 11 (on politics), 21 (on violence and vengeance), 30 (handling worldly affairs) and 32 (harming beings in any way). In the Patimokkha the 13th Sanghadisesa rule includes prohibition against "running messages and errands for kings, ministers of state, householders, etc. A modern example would be participating in political campaigns." Same thing mentioned in the Brahmajala Sutta in the Intermediate Section on Virtue: ""Or he might say: 'Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in running messages and errands for kings, ministers of state, khattiyas, brahmins, householders, or youths, (who command them): "Go here, go there, take this, bring that from there" — the recluse Gotama abstains from running such messages and errands.'"

So when the question is about the relationship of Buddhism with being a warrior, it makes sense only on the personal level, because Buddhism is the path of liberation for the individual, just as karma is always personal. That's why my answer is: don't do it.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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