Buddhism and the Warrior

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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:25 am

Son of Buddha wrote:In Bhikkhu Bodhis translation tbe word warrior or soldier is never mentioned,he interpretes it as Mercenary,he even translates it as Yodhajiva the Mercenary.
With this said a Mercenary and a Soldier are 2 different things
A Warrior who kills for money is termed a Mercenary
A Soldier is one who fights to defend his family and his country
(unfortunately they are also used by kings for the conquest of land and riches too we called those soldiers "pawns".
So American soldiers, for example, that are paid to fight and are killing people in a foreign land to protect economic interests are mercenaries. So what?
Also are you aware of the ship captain story in the jataka tales?
YAWN!!!
10. The fruit of virtue and non-virtue appears seperately.
...
Captain Mahakaruna, for example, was exchanging himself with others,
As he intended to kill a person, intriguing against him and others, for the benefit of the other young merchant.
The intention was virtuous, the act of killing the miscreant non-virtuous.
Furthermore, because he exchanged himself for others,
He gathered the [positive] accumulations of many kalpas,
but due to the negative act, he was pierced by an acacia thorn.

Jigten Sumgon Gonchig commentary by Rigdzin Chokyi Dragpa The Lamp Dispelling the Darkness

(2)also would warriors go to battle slain hell even if they already accepted Amitabha Buddhas 18th vow?
If they have a mind full of anger, of course they will, the Buddha says it quite clearly.
"Practice that contradicts the words of the Buddha is a misconception" - Jigten Sumgon
"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 Vidyaraja » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:03 pm

Interesting discussion so far. Here's another question in the same subject area-- how compatible is Buddhism with the warrior mindset/lifestyle outside of the actual act of killing? Is it possible to be both a Buddhist (particularly a monk/ascetic) and train yourself physically, learn martial arts or weaponry techniques, and feel and think like a warrior, but not be involved in any sort of actually violence? In my mind, being a warrior is different than simply being a soldier (though a soldier can also be a warrior of course) in that it isn't just about the profession itself, but a mindset and mode of being. Usually this is tied into notions of honor, and often honor is tied into ego, but perhaps there is a form of honor that is free from ego?

Also, would a Buddhist warrior suffer negative karma for using non-lethal violence as a mode of defense of one's self or a defenseless innocent? Say simply incapacitating or maiming an opponent than actually killing?
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:57 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:That's the Theravada view, but isn't the Mahayana view that the act would be purely virtuous?
No, that is the Mahayana view as outlined by Jigten Sumgon in Gonchig - The Single Intent the Sacred Dharma.
Then there's the bottom of page three here: http://www.zangthal.co.uk/files/Nine_considerations.pdf Am I reading it wrong, or is there disagreement in the Mahayana?
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 Johnny Dangerous » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:07 pm

Enjoying the thread..

Gets into semantics a bit here..but saying a "warrior" is just a mentality or whatever is incorrect to my mind, warrior is a description of a function, and an important distinction to make. We live in a society where spiritual "warriorship" is disgustingly marketed to a wide range of people who will never have to dirty their hands in the way actual "warriors" have to do - personally I think the world has enough actual warriors already, and that the qualities you are referring to are not specific only to being a warrior, rather they are indicative of a kind of developed spiritual strength - namely it's something akin to Kshanti that one gets from warrior training in my experience, at least this is what I see most in those I admire with years of experience.

The only reason I harp on the "warrior" thing is because making the distinction matters, whether or not you consider yourself one will dictate what your level of social responsibility is as regards the duties of a warrior. If you feel none,then this sets out your limitations and responsibilities. Probably, protecting those around you should danger occur by simply keeping them safe, escaping, and engaging in violence as a total last resort. As a soldier or warrior, generally closeness to violence, situations, and responsibilities will differ, making you more likely to be responsible for things like directly defending homes, attacking others for tactical reasons etc..rather than simply running and trying to keep people alive. So far as mindset regarding violence is concerned, this is what makes someone a warrior or not, the rest of the stuff is just ethics and the development of spiritual qualities.

Personally I think martial arts are very compatible with Buddhism when practiced from the right angle, I don't think they are dharma but they intersect in places for sure. I know some feel that the actual practice of learning violent acts is abhorrent to Buddhism, I personally disagree, I think it's all about context, a quick glance at the martial arts world shows that at least a part of those people's criticisms come from the right place though- there really are people who have some serious neuroses brought to the surface from martial training, in addition to those who get some kind of development from it. The truth is that for plenty of people martial arts and similar provide a kind of unhealthy fantasy outlet, just look at upper middle class people going to knife, gun, self defense programs sometime to "prepare" for the violence they are utterly unlikely to ever face by buying X, Y, or Z weapon, or thinking obsessively about the most tactical knife to buy etc.. It is one thing to prepare realistically, it's another to go off in the direction of a kind of dark fantasy of heroism..sorry if that sounds preachy but i've been around enough of it that I have an aversion.

The archetype of The Warrior certainly gets used from the Pali Canon onwards, maybe the difference is that one turns that discipline and unrelenting drive inward entirely, I figure the result is something totally different from one who focuses on conquering external things.

I think there is always a karmic result from violence, but that does not mean it will never be one's only real choice...however I think the best advice is to simply avoid violence, for those of us living in first world countries in many places, this is reasonably easy. Your average 18-25 male is most likely to get involved in physical violence statistically, and guess what...in most of these cases they start out as ego-butting contests, being in the wrong place, or other actions that could have been avoided in the first place. The violence question is an important one..but let's face it, many people with the time to ruminate about it don't have to worry about it as anything but a theoretical, the real issue there is to learn what kind of violence you might be likely to face, understand your own role should it occur, prepare for it as much as is reasonable, and then forget about it. - all IMO of course.
"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 Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:22 am

"gregkavarnos"]
Son of Buddha wrote:In Bhikkhu Bodhis translation tbe word warrior or soldier is never mentioned,he interpretes it as Mercenary,he even translates it as Yodhajiva the Mercenary.
With this said a Mercenary and a Soldier are 2 different things
A Warrior who kills for money is termed a Mercenary
A Soldier is one who fights to defend his family and his country
(unfortunately they are also used by kings for the conquest of land and riches too we called those soldiers "pawns".
So American soldiers, for example, that are paid to fight and are killing people in a foreign land to protect economic interests are mercenaries. So what?


you sir are dodging my question "So do you know the actual pali word they are translating?what is its literal interpretation(warrior or mercenary?)
(since one word can literally change the entire meaning of the context?)"
a mercenary is not the same as a soldier(thats the reason they have different names/titles and different meanings in the dictionary :D
also Bhikkhu Bodhis translation makes more sense when it states the context of the conversation was directed toward mercenaries not soldiers,seeing as the Buddha states in the Digha Nikaya (Mahaparinibbana sutta sutta 16) that if the Magadha attacked the Vijjians the Buddhist Vijjians would not lose the battle for the Vijjians had long "that proper provision is made for the safety of Arahants,so that such Arahants may come in the future to live there,and those already there may dwell in comfort?"
so my friend please explain how the Buddhist Vijjians who protects the Dharma and the Arahants are going to win a war if they are not permmited to fight?how can the Buddha say they would not lose in battle if the Buddha told them to not fight to begin with?
hence why the mercenary translation of Bhikkhi Bodhi makes more sense
and if you wish to read further he says these Buddhist warriors will NEVER be beaten in battle,will never be conquered by force of arms and that the only way you can beat them is through getting them to destroy themselves with propaganda.and what is neat is BOTH the Thervadan and Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra speak of Buddhist soldiers defending the innocent and the dharma/monks
(also in SN Sakkasamyutta)being a compassionate warrior is glorified.

"gregkavarnos"]
"Son of Buddha"
(2)also would warriors go to battle slain hell even if they already accepted Amitabha Buddhas 18th vow?

"If they have a mind full of anger, of course they will, the Buddha says it quite clearly.
"Practice that contradicts the words of the Buddha is a misconception" - Jigten Sumgon

well no the Buddha makes it clear in the 18th vow of the Infinite life sutra that if you have faith in him for even ten moments of thought you will be reborn into the Pureland.
now you may ask is there any PROOF in the sutras that a warrior will die and go to the pureland?
Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra Chapter 5:(on the admantine Body)
." At that time there were many bhiksus who were acting contrary to the precepts. On hearing this, they entertained ill-will and came upon this bhiksu, brandishing swords and staffs. At that time, there was a king called "Virtuous". He heard of this. To protect Dharma, he came to where the bhiksu was delivering his sermons and fought against the evil doers so that the bhiksu did not suffer. The king, however, received wounds all over his body. Then the bhiksu, Enlightened-Virtuous, praised the king, saying: "Well done, well done, O King! You are a person who protects Wonderful Dharma. In days to come, you will become the unsurpassed utensil of Dharma." The king listened to his sermon and rejoiced. Then he died and was born in the land of Buddha Akshobhya and became his foremost disciple. The subjects of this king, his relatives and soldiers were all glad and did not retrogress in their Bodhichitta [resolve to gain Enlightenment]. When the day came to depart the world, they were born in the land of Buddha Akshobhya. At the time when Wonderful Dharma is about to die out, one should act and protect Dharma like this. O Kasyapa! The king at that time was I; the bhiksu who delivered the sermon was Buddha Kasyapa. O Kasyapa! One who guards Wonderful Dharma is recompensed with such incalculable fruition. That is why I today adorn my body in various ways and have perfectly achieved the indestructible Dharma-Body."

Now go back to the Thervadan Mahaparinibbana sutta and you will see BOTH texts teach that Buddhist soldiers are to protect the dhama/monks and innocent.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:06 am

"Johnny Dangerous"
Instead of making guesses about what I have or haven't done, which you have no inkling of, please just address what you disagree with.

i'm not making a guess

"Johnny Dangerous"
Do you think the job of warriors is something other than killing?

Yes...Soldiers are not taught to kill they are taught to survive.(I cant expect you to understand)

"Johnny Dangerous"
Warriors are trained to follow orders and kill the enemy, there is not supposed to be moral deliberation involved..if there were, they would not be effective warriors. You can bring up other instances of how warriors are said to act, but in those instances they are actually doing something other than acting as a warrior.

warriors are taught to think not follow orders,"orders" only survive the initial engagement.
no moral diliberation you say?...Warriors live by a code of ethics and its simply nonsense to think they would not be effective warriors cause they had moral diliberation.do you think the medal of honor is given due to lack of moral fortitude?it is earned through self sacrifice to protect others.


Son of Buddha"Is it wrong livelihood to give ones life to defend those who cannot defend themselves?

"Johnny Dangerous"Do you really believe this is what most soldiers do as an occupation? Soldiers work for governments and power structures, they may on an individual level do a number of very heroic things, but the actual function of the position has more to do with expanding the interests of the nation state, tribe, clan or whatever than it does 'defending the innocent' I'm not saying it doesn't happen by any means - i'm saying that whatever nonsense claims are made about the job itself, the purpose is not, and has likely never been "defending the innocent" by and large. As large scale warfare goes "defending the innocent" is usually about as convincing a claim as "spreading democracy" is. Warfare and it's ethics is obviously alot more murky than silly simplified categories like that.


as i said up above the function of the occupation is to defend the innocent(but again i cant expect you to understand)

P.S soldiers dont fight for the goverment they fight for ... ... .... .. ....
(go ask a veteran to fill in the blanks for you)
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:19 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:That's the Theravada view, but isn't the Mahayana view that the act would be purely virtuous?
No, that is the Mahayana view as outlined by Jigten Sumgon in Gonchig - The Single Intent the Sacred Dharma.


Hey Konchong1 here is the actual Mahayana view on the subject:


Nirvana sutra chapter 5

." The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "By correctly upholding Wonderful Dharma, one obtains this adamantine body. O Kasyapa! As I have in the past well guarded Dharma, I am now blessed with perfecting this adamantine body, which is eternal and indestructible. O good man! One who upholds Wonderful Dharma does not receive the five precepts and practise deportment, but protects with the sword, bow, arrow, and halberd those bhiksus who uphold the precepts and who are pure." Bodhisattva Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! If a bhiksu is unprotected, living alone in the open, in a graveyard, or under a tree, I say that such a one is a true bhiksu. Any bhiksu whose eyes turn to protection is, we may know, a bogus priest." The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "Do not say "bogus". There may be a bhiksu who goes where he will, satisfies his personal needs, recites sutras, sits, and meditates. Should anyone come and ask about the Way, he will bestow sermons. He will speak about giving, observing the precepts, virtuous acts, and say that one should desire little and be satisfied. But he is not able to raise the lion's roar of the doctrine, is not surrounded by lions, and is not able to subdue those who do evil. Such a bhiksu cannot realise his own profit, nor is he able to assist others. Know that this person is indolent and lazy. Though he may well uphold the precepts and stick to pure actions, such a person, you should know, can do nothing. Or there may be a bhiksu whose utensils may be full. And he upholds the prohibitive precepts, and always utters the lion's roar, and delivers wonderful sermons on such as the sutras, geya, vyakarana, gatha, udana, itivrttaka, jatakas, vaipulya, and adbutadharma. He thus expounds these nine types of Buddhist sutras. He bestows benefit and peace upon others. Thus he says: "Prohibitions are given in the Nirvana Sutra to bhiksus which say that they should not keep menials, cows, sheep, or anything contrary to the prohibitions. Should bhiksus keep such defiled things, they must be taught not to. The Tathagata has stated in the sutras of various schools that any bhiksu who keeps such things must be corrected, just as kings correct bad acts, and must be driven back into secular life." When a bhiksu raises such a lion's roar, anyone who breaks the precepts, on hearing this, will get all angry and harm this priest. If this person dies as a result of this, he is to be called one who upholds the precepts and who benefits both his own self and others. For this reason, kings, ministers, prime ministers and upasakas protect those who deliver sermons. Any person who protects Wonderful Dharma should learn things thus. O Kasyapa! Any person who thus breaks the precepts and who does not protect Wonderful Dharma is to be called a bogus priest. One who is strict in observance of the rules does not gain such a name. O good man! In the past - innumerable, boundless, asamkhyas of kalpas past - there appeared in this town of Kusinagara a Buddha who was the Alms-deserving, the All-Enlightened One, the All-accomplished One, the Well-gone, the All-knower, the Unsurpassed One, the Best Trainer, the Teacher of Heaven and Earth, the Buddha-World-Honoured One, and whose name was "Tathagata of Joy-and-Benefit-Augmentation." At that time, the world was wide and gloriously pure, rich and peaceful. The people were at the height of prosperity and no hunger was felt. He [They] looked like the Bodhisattvas of the Land of Peace and Happiness. That Buddha-World-Honoured One stayed in the world for an innumerable length of time. Having taught the people, he entered Parinirvana between the twin sal trees. The Buddha having entered Nirvana, the teaching remained in the world for countless billions of years and in the last part of the remaining 40 years the Buddhist teaching had still not died. At that time, there was a bhiksu called "Enlightened-Virtuous", who upheld the precepts well and was surrounded by many of his relatives. He raised the lion's roar and preached all the nine types of sutras. He taught, saying: "Do not keep menials, men or women, cows, sheep or whatever might go against the precepts." At that time there were many bhiksus who were acting contrary to the precepts. On hearing this, they entertained ill-will and came upon this bhiksu, brandishing swords and staffs. At that time, there was a king called "Virtuous". He heard of this. To protect Dharma, he came to where the bhiksu was delivering his sermons and fought against the evil doers so that the bhiksu did not suffer. The king, however, received wounds all over his body. Then the bhiksu, Enlightened-Virtuous, praised the king, saying: "Well done, well done, O King! You are a person who protects Wonderful Dharma. In days to come, you will become the unsurpassed utensil of Dharma." The king listened to his sermon and rejoiced. Then he died and was born in the land of Buddha Akshobhya and became his foremost disciple. The subjects of this king, his relatives and soldiers were all glad and did not retrogress in their Bodhichitta [resolve to gain Enlightenment]. When the day came to depart the world, they were born in the land of Buddha Akshobhya. At the time when Wonderful Dharma is about to die out, one should act and protect Dharma like this. O Kasyapa! The king at that time was I; the bhiksu who delivered the sermon was Buddha Kasyapa. O Kasyapa! One who guards Wonderful Dharma is recompensed with such incalculable fruition. That is why I today adorn my body in various ways and have perfectly achieved the indestructible Dharma-Body."

Bodhisattva Kasyapa further said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! The eternal body of the Tathagata is one carved in stone, as it were." The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "O good man! For that reason, bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, upasikas should all the more make effort and protect Wonderful Dharma. The reward for protecting Wonderful Dharma is extremely great and innumerable. O good man! Because of this, those upasakas who protect Dharma should take the sword and staff and protect such a bhiksu who guards Dharma. Even though a person upholds the precepts, we cannot call that person one who upholds Mahayana. Even though a person has not received [in formal ceremony] the five precepts, if he protects Wonderful Dharma, such a one can well be called one of Mahayana. A person who upholds the Wonderful Dharma should take the sword and staff and guard bhiksus." Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! If all bhiksus are to be accompanied by such upasakas with the sword and staff, can we say that they are worthy of the name, or are they unworthy of such? Or is this upholding the precepts or not?" The Buddha said to Kasyapa: "Do not say that such persons are those who transgress the precepts. O good man! After I have entered Nirvana, the world will be evil-ridden and the land devastated, each pillaging the other, and the people will be driven by hunger. At such a time, because of hunger, men may make up their minds, abandon home and enter the Sangha. Such persons are bogus priests. Such, on seeing those persons who are strict in their observance of the precepts, right in their deportment, and pure in their deeds, upholding Wonderful Dharma, will drive such away or kill them or cause harm to them." Bodhisattva Kasyapa said again to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! How can all such persons upholding the precepts and guarding Wonderful Dharma get into villages and castle towns and teach?" "O good man! That is why I allow those who uphold the precepts to be accompanied by the white-clad people [lay people, non-monks] with the sword and staff. Although all kings, ministers, rich lay men [grhapati] and upasakas may possess the sword and staff for protecting Dharma, I call this upholding the precepts. You may possess the sword and staff, “but do not take life”. If things are thus, we call this first-hand upholding of the precepts." Kasyapa said: "Anyone who protects Dharma abides in right view and widely expounds the Mahayana sutras. He does not carry the bejewelled parasols of royal persons, oil pots, unpolished rice, or fruit and seeds. He does not approach a king, minister, or the rich for profit. He does not flatter the danapatis [alms-givers] and is perfect in deportment, and crushes down those who transgress against the precepts and who do evil. Such a person is called a teacher who upholds and protects Dharma. He is a true, good teacher of the Way [kalyana-mitra - a good friend]. His mind is as expansive as the sea."
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Vidyaraja » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:31 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Enjoying the thread..

Gets into semantics a bit here..but saying a "warrior" is just a mentality or whatever is incorrect to my mind, warrior is a description of a function, and an important distinction to make. We live in a society where spiritual "warriorship" is disgustingly marketed to a wide range of people who will never have to dirty their hands in the way actual "warriors" have to do - personally I think the world has enough actual warriors already, and that the qualities you are referring to are not specific only to being a warrior, rather they are indicative of a kind of developed spiritual strength - namely it's something akin to Kshanti that one gets from warrior training in my experience, at least this is what I see most in those I admire with years of experience.


I'd agree with you that a warrior isn't just a mentality, but rather is both a function and a mentality. Nonetheless, there are warriors who maintained their discipline, honed their skills, and possessed the warrior mindset/mode of being despite not being involved in warfare. I think the perfect example of this could be the samurai of the Edo period, where if they were engaged in violence at all it would be almost entirely limited to duels rather than participating in warfare.

Beyond that, there is a distinct difference in my mind between, say, the medieval knight with the code of chivalry, the samurai with Bushido, or the Islamic warrior with Futuwwa, or the classical Kshatriya than being a soldier, mercenary, or simple killer for hire. This of course isn't to have an idealistic notion that these historical figures always lived up to their code, but on the most ideal level it seems their warriorhood had a spiritual quality or a distinct state of being. It, like many spiritual disciplines, involved a certain level of self-mastery, an ethical code, a spiritual view of warfare and death, a training/ascecis, etc. What they fought for was also different from most ideas of the modern soldier, battle being anything from a ritual itself wherein through a heroic death they'd hope to gain a transcendent spiritual state (say the Germanic warrior and Valhalla or the Islamic warrior and paradise) or they would be fighting for honor, either of their clan or liege, rather than the more modern concept of a soldier who merely fights for nation or homeland (not saying this can't be a worthy cause of course.)

It also seems in some cases, beyond the karmic debt in Buddhist philosophy one might have to pay for fighting, warfare could have a positive effect on a man in the right circumstances despite the horror of battle itself in its ability to burn away all weaker elements in a man and make them stronger, like a forge that melts away all impurities to produce steel. This isn't to say that war is good, but rather accepting that because the majority of men aren't sages/Buddhas, there always will be war and rather than seeing things in black and white as either totally negative or positive, that it can have elements of both.

What I question is whether or not enlightenment would be attainable by a Buddhist warrior-monk or or warrior-ascetic who aside from his vocation is the same as a monk. It seems to me that everything the Buddha taught was a means to an end, not an absolute moral code. This isn't to say we should support a Buddhism without ethics, but it also seems entirely possible to me that a man may attain enlightenment without following every precept to the T. Were there no enlightened individuals before Siddhartha Gautama? Were there no enlightened individuals outside of the Buddhist tradition? It seems to me unlikely that if enlightenment is an ontological state we may achieve that it could only happen within Buddhism or be impossible to achieve for a warrior, provided we accept that Buddhism is a means to an end or as Zen would have it "the finger pointing to the moon."
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:21 am

Of course war is not black and white, good or bad..hopefully we can get beyond those categories.

I think it could be said though, that from mentions of such things in the Pali Canon (man bringing about his own ruin and the ruin of others through ignorance leading to violence etc.) to everything onward, it's fair to view war as tied up thoroughly in the worst parts of samsaric existence, both the cause and result of collective nasty karma, self-perpetuating. and having either a vocation, or a focus on war for its own ends is distinctly contrary to the direction of the Dharma.
"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 Nighthawk » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:24 am

Jodo Shu/Shinshu (japanese pure land) are the only paths within Buddhism that permit being a warrior because according to pure land sutras even the most evil person on this earth can be reborn in Sukhavati as long as they do not slander the Dharma. This is very clearly taught.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:27 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:That's the Theravada view, but isn't the Mahayana view that the act would be purely virtuous?
No, that is the Mahayana view as outlined by Jigten Sumgon in Gonchig - The Single Intent the Sacred Dharma.


Hey Konchong1 here is the actual Mahayana view on the subject:


Nirvana sutra chapter 5

[...]
Very good read, but it seems to refer only to killing to protect the Dharma and Sangha, as well as the usual attack on Shravaka focus on external rules over internal attainments. It doesn't seem to address whether or not non-virtuous deeds can be turned virtuous through intention.
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:30 am

Nighthawk wrote:Jodo Shu/Shinshu (japanese pure land) are the only paths within Buddhism that permit being a warrior because according to pure land sutras even the most evil person on this earth can be reborn in Sukhavati as long as they do not slander the Dharma. This is very clearly taught.

Yep thats 100% correct,that is what is exactly taught in the sutras.
(side note our Sangha teaches that slanders of the dharma who turn around and feel remorse for their slander,and seek Amitabha,will end up being reborn in the borderlands,and await rebirth into Sukhavati when their negative karma burns out......what is your view or your Sanghas view on this subject?)

Also check out Ikko Ikki
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:39 am

"Konchog1"

Very good read, but it seems to refer only to killing to protect the Dharma and Sangha, as well as the usual attack on Shravaka focus on external rules over internal attainments. It doesn't seem to address whether or not non-virtuous deeds can be turned virtuous through intention.


Yea Its not considered a non virtuous deed,the intentions are pure.
So im not sure if it addresses whether or not none virtuous deeds can be turned virtuous through inyention.
Can you give me a senario/example of what you are looking for specifically?and I will ytu to find a sutta/sutra to match what you are looking for(if i can find it)
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:42 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Also check out Ikko Ikki
Whose bid for power led the Daimyos to kill them and their followers by the 100s. In the final Battle of Nagashima alone, Oda Nobunaga is said to have ordered the execution of 20,000 Ikko Ikki supporters.

Son of Buddha wrote:Can you give me a senario/example of what you are looking for specifically?and I will ytu to find a sutta/sutra to match what you are looking for(if i can find it)
I just want to know if the majority Mahayana opinion is that of the link that I posted or that of the Gonchig as cited by Greg. Btw Greg, will you post an exact qoute so I can fully understand Lord Drikungpa's intent?
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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:27 am

Son of Buddha wrote:you sir are dodging my question "So do you know the actual pali word they are translating?what is its literal interpretation(warrior or mercenary?)
(since one word can literally change the entire meaning of the context?)"
It's irrelevant. The issue is with killing and not whether you get paid or not to kill.
...a mercenary is not the same as a soldier(thats the reason they have different names/titles and different meanings in the dictionary :D
A mercenary is a soldier. Just a different class of soldier.
Buddha states in the Digha Nikaya (Mahaparinibbana sutta sutta 16) that if the Magadha attacked the Vijjians the Buddhist Vijjians would not lose the battle for the Vijjians had long "that proper provision is made for the safety of Arahants,so that such Arahants may come in the future to live there,and those already there may dwell in comfort?"
so my friend please explain how the Buddhist Vijjians who protects the Dharma and the Arahants are going to win a war if they are not permmited to fight?how can the Buddha say they would not lose in battle if the Buddha told them to not fight to begin with?
It has got nothing to do with permission or not to fight. Engaing in killing brings negative consequences regardless of the intention. The overall outcomes may be altered by the intention but the act of killing itself is an unwholesome act and brings the consequences of engaging in an unwholesome act. You logic may be likened to believing that sticking a pin in a balloon will not make the ballon pop if your intention is not to pop it. Ridiculous. Each action (including the mental action of intention) will have its outcome.

Your use of the is completely out of context. The teaching is not one about "just" war, but about (as the chapter title says):
Conditions of a Nation's Welfare
4. At that time the Venerable Ananda was standing behind the Blessed One, fanning him, and the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis have frequent gatherings, and are their meetings well attended?"

"I have heard, Lord, that this is so."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis assemble and disperse peacefully and attend to their affairs in concord?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis neither enact new decrees nor abolish existing ones, but proceed in accordance with their ancient constitutions?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honor, esteem, and veneration towards their elders and think it worthwhile to listen to them?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis refrain from abducting women and maidens of good families and from detaining them?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they refrain from doing so."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honor, esteem, and veneration towards their shrines, both those within the city and those outside it, and do not deprive them of the due offerings as given and made to them formerly?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do venerate their shrines, and that they do not deprive them of their offerings."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis duly protect and guard the arahats, so that those who have not come to the realm yet might do so, and those who have already come might live there in peace?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline."

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. 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.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
hence why the mercenary translation of Bhikkhi Bodhi makes more sense...
For you it does, so that you can justify the glorification of killing.
well no the Buddha makes it clear in the 18th vow of the Infinite life sutra that if you have faith in him for even ten moments of thought you will be reborn into the Pureland.
Yes, well... :thinking: let's not forget bohicitta. And does the 18th vow specify if you will be reborn in his presence directly or not?
Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra
I've been meaning to tell you this for some time now, and maybe now is the correct moment: it is no use quoting the Mahaparinirvana Sutra at me because I consider it a bad rewrite of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta by a variety of essentialists and other misfits trying to justify their completely mistaken beliefs by ascribing them to the Buddha. I do not consider it Buddhavacana because it clearly contradicts the vast majority of the corpus of Sutta, Sutra, Tantra and Shastra.
"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 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:34 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Yes...Soldiers are not taught to kill they are taught to survive.(I cant expect you to understand)
Of course he is not going to understand this statement, mainly because it is BS. I have served as a conscript (in Greece all able bodied males over the age of 18 have to serve a minimum of six months) in the infantry. You learn to kill using an assault rifle, light machine gun, hand grenades, grenade launcher, mortar, small range guided rockets, etc... in order to survive.
as i said up above the function of the occupation is to defend the innocent(but again i cant expect you to understand)
Again he will be hard pressed to understand because (again) what you are saying is BS. Let's see now. According to a Congressional Research Service report based on UN figures (the UN only started counting civilian deaths in Afghanistan from 2007) a total of 13,000 Afghan civilians have been killed from 2007 until June 2012. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41084.pdf Now these are only officially reported deaths, and these figures will not take into account civilians killed in the Afghan refugee cities in Pakistan. So much for defending the innocent.
P.S soldiers dont fight for the goverment they fight for ... ... .... .. ....
(go ask a veteran to fill in the blanks for you)
Let me fill it in for you: business interests (government and private). Mainly mineral and opium interests. Corporatism at its finest.
"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 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:37 am

Son of Buddha wrote:]Hey Konchong1 here is the actual Mahayana view on the subject:
I'm sorry, does this mean that Lord Jigten Sumgons view is not actual Mahayana? It is pseudo-Mahayana?
"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 Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:54 pm

Son of Buddha wrote:i'm not making a guess


Yes you are.


warriors are taught to think not follow orders,"orders" only survive the initial engagement.
no moral diliberation you say?...Warriors live by a code of ethics and its simply nonsense to think they would not be effective warriors cause they had moral diliberation.do you think the medal of honor is given due to lack of moral fortitude?it is earned through self sacrifice to protect others.


Evidently you don't understand what moral deliberation means, as it's certainly not something one can do in the heat of battle, and also it's news to me that soldier aren't expected follow orders.

As i said up above the function of the occupation is to defend the innocent(but again i cant expect you to understand)


Yes...Soldiers are not taught to kill they are taught to survive.(I cant expect you to understand)


I could turn on the nightly news if I wanted this kind of jingoistic nonsense, make a real argument. Plenty of veterans that wouldn't agree with this stuff.

P.S soldiers dont fight for the goverment they fight for ... ... .... .. ....
(go ask a veteran to fill in the blanks for you)


Especially with something like soldiering, what people think they are doing, and what they actually end up doing seem to be two different things much of the time. The military works for "the people" in about the same capacity that politicians and governments work for "the people", it's certainly true officially, it's true in the intentions of some individuals, but it often doesn't seem to be true when things play out.
"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 Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:15 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:Beyond that, there is a distinct difference in my mind between, say, the medieval knight with the code of chivalry, the samurai with Bushido, or the Islamic warrior with Futuwwa, or the classical Kshatriya than being a soldier, mercenary, or simple killer for hire. This of course isn't to have an idealistic notion that these historical figures always lived up to their code, but on the most ideal level it seems their warriorhood had a spiritual quality or a distinct state of being. It, like many spiritual disciplines, involved a certain level of self-mastery, an ethical code, a spiritual view of warfare and death, a training/ascecis, etc. What they fought for was also different from most ideas of the modern soldier, battle being anything from a ritual itself wherein through a heroic death they'd hope to gain a transcendent spiritual state (say the Germanic warrior and Valhalla or the Islamic warrior and paradise) or they would be fighting for honor, either of their clan or liege, rather than the more modern concept of a soldier who merely fights for nation or homeland (not saying this can't be a worthy cause of course.)
A soldiers job is to kill or be killed (or to support the killing). The rest is a light coating of romantic claptrap that wears through really quickly once the job begins.
It also seems in some cases, beyond the karmic debt in Buddhist philosophy one might have to pay for fighting, warfare could have a positive effect on a man in the right circumstances despite the horror of battle itself in its ability to burn away all weaker elements in a man and make them stronger, like a forge that melts away all impurities to produce steel. This isn't to say that war is good, but rather accepting that because the majority of men aren't sages/Buddhas, there always will be war and rather than seeing things in black and white as either totally negative or positive, that it can have elements of both.
Killing for gain (whether personal or collective) is negative. As for "burn[ing] away all weaker elements", why don't you go and volunteer at a hospice for the terminally ill or mentally/physically challenged? The experience will definitely "burn away all weaker elements" and the action itself will also be generating positive outcomes. There is nothing quite like changing the shitty diapers of an adult to screw with one's sense of ego.
...or be impossible to achieve for a warrior, provided we accept that Buddhism is a means to an end or as Zen would have it "the finger pointing to the moon."
As long as you are generating negative outcomes, enlightenment will be out of reach. Not in the sense of each positive action being a step towards enlightenment and each negative... You cannot buy enlightenment with positive actions. It is more in the sense that negative actions cause obscurations and obstacles to arise so that we lose sight of our enlightened nature. What better way to lose sight of ones enlightened nature than to engage in killing and violence?
"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 Vidyaraja » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:09 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:A soldiers job is to kill or be killed (or to support the killing). The rest is a light coating of romantic claptrap that wears through really quickly once the job begins.


Again, there is a difference between a soldier and warrior. As the example I pointed to, most Edo era samurai simply were not engaged in warfare or much violence beyond personal duels, and yet they were warriors. As for calling it romantic claptrap, I wouldn't go so far as to say that's all it is. If we consider history it seems that there have been many warrior cultures where what you dismiss as romantic claptrap was taken very seriously by them.


gregkavarnos wrote:Killing for gain (whether personal or collective) is negative. As for "burn[ing] away all weaker elements", why don't you go and volunteer at a hospice for the terminally ill or mentally/physically challenged? The experience will definitely "burn away all weaker elements" and the action itself will also be generating positive outcomes. There is nothing quite like changing the shitty diapers of an adult to screw with one's sense of ego..


It wasn't always killing for gain, but again there was times where warfare itself was a spiritual endeavor, as we can see with the examples I mentioned of the ancient Germanic tradition of Valhalla or the Islamic notions of ancient warfare. There was a distinct notion of selflessness and dispassion in warrior cultures--take the Bhagavad Gita and Krishna's advice to Arjuna. As to changing shitty diapers or taking care of people in hospice, that will certainly humble a man and allow one to integrate death into their life, but I don't think its quite the same as the steel I am talking about. A person that cares for the terminally ill likely will still fear death and not gain much of a heroic spirit by doing so, whereas the warrior in older traditions was able to transcend fears of death and attain that heroic spirit.

gregkavarnos wrote:As long as you are generating negative outcomes, enlightenment will be out of reach. Not in the sense of each positive action being a step towards enlightenment and each negative... You cannot buy enlightenment with positive actions. It is more in the sense that negative actions cause obscurations and obstacles to arise so that we lose sight of our enlightened nature. What better way to lose sight of ones enlightened nature than to engage in killing and violence?


Well we will have to agree to disagree. If it is true, as Mahayana doctrines often have it, that we have inherent Buddha-nature and it is only a matter of realizing it, then I don't think it is impossible for a warrior to grasp it or that following set rules alone will have you reach it. The Zen tradition is replete with stories of masters slapping their students or slamming a door into them so hard that it breaks their arm and they achieve enlightenment in a flash. Who is to say that the intensity of battle or selfless heroic deeds can't be a catharsis to that awakening? Who is to say a man like Uesugi Kenshin or the Sohei in Japanese tradition or other spiritual warriors are farther away from enlightenment than a non-spiritual/atheistic modern who is a pacifist or even another Buddhist whose intensity of sadhana is less than the warriors?
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