"Killing" in Buddhism

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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:09 am

I think one thing to consider when discussing state sanctioned killing is that somebody has to pull the trigger and they will suffer for it even if society and religious leaders praise them for the act.

The executioner still has to intentionally kill his or her victim.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby neverdowell » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:21 pm

If this is about the 'smart bullet'...

I'm the last person to approve of something just because the state sanctions it. Or religious leaders in general. I never take killing lightly. But I do trust His Holiness. Also, I should have typed it out as well... but it's not like he's gung-ho at all: he did warn of the dangers of pre-emptive attacks in that you never really know if it's for the best... even by worldly standards. I think he would only sanction the usage of a 'smart bullet' in specific situations based on his own superior wisdom... which I believe in, but I grant many others don't.

:bow:

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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:52 am

Now this interesting: Nagasena, HHDL and Ven Xingyun say pretty much the same thing. Ven Xingyun get's roundly chastised for it, there is still trust in HHDL, and no comment about Nagasena (whose position is actually much broader on the category of those who deserve to be killed than the other two). I find this very interesting indeed.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:16 am

Huifeng wrote:Now this interesting: Nagasena, HHDL and Ven Xingyun say pretty much the same thing. Ven Xingyun get's roundly chastised for it, there is still trust in HHDL, and no comment about Nagasena (whose position is actually much broader on the category of those who deserve to be killed than the other two). I find this very interesting indeed.


I criticized Ven. Xingyun's position on the execution of criminals. That is separate from HHDL's idea of a "smart bullet".

HHDL has an armed team of bodyguards. I think he understands the need for self-defence.

There is a difference between killing someone who is shooting at you with the intent to kill and killing a convicted criminal who is locked up in a concrete cell behind many steel bars. The latter is of no harm to anyone.

You yourself mentioned before that you oppose the death penalty and feel that someone who supports it would find it difficult to call themselves a Buddhist.

However, you make an exception for Ven. Xingyun given his troubled past.

Nagasena, though a canonical figure, was just a monk. The position he takes, like Ven. Xingyun, fails to account for the fact that somebody has to actually execute the criminal. To put somebody to death sounds like it just happens with the stroke of a pen, but in reality either an individual or a team has to plan and carry out the killing of a person. One has to physically end the life of a criminal. Even if they act professional when they do it, can you be certain they are not carrying out the act with anger or hatred in mind?

Of course you can't. So by executing one criminal you make an employee (s) of the state create the causes for lower rebirth and horrific suffering. Society might praise them and the killing may even be respected, but that does not negate the karmic consequences of the action.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:21 am

Huseng wrote:
You yourself mentioned before that you oppose the death penalty and feel that someone who supports it would find it difficult to call themselves a Buddhist.

However, you make an exception for Ven. Xingyun given his troubled past.



Jeff,

I did not "make an exception" at all, I was hoping to provide an explanation for his background, and not attempting to provide an excuse. I wished to clarify exactly under what sort of conditions Ven Xingyun considered the death penalty appropriate. And just to repeat, my own understanding of his position that it is only for serious war criminals, which is rather different from just the "execution of criminals", and in fact very similar to that of the Dalai Lama.

Nowhere have I have ever supported the death penalty, for any living being, in any circumstance.

The initial comments that I made, which prompted this whole thread, were about cultures that included forms of killing as part of the culture. I was thinking of such practices as infanticide, righteous warfare, and the like. I was intending on making those comments as a blanket statement about any form of taking life, because I was quite aware that in ancient and modern Buddhist cultures, various explanations about why the death penalty was still viable exist. However, I am not aware of orthodox Buddhist arguments being made in support of infanticide, righteous warfare (- okay, one exception!), or other forms of more pervading cultural support of taking life.

However, again, pointing out that these reasonings amongst orthodox Buddhists exist is not equivalent to saying that I support them, for I do not.

My interest was, when these three figures are saying very similar things, why one is lambasted in rather strong language, another then gets praised (with emoticons), and the last (whose ideas are probably the most supportive of a wide range of death penalty situations) get's refuted but only in a formal manner. Don't you also find that kind of interesting?
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:38 pm

Huifeng wrote:My interest was, when these three figures are saying very similar things, why one is lambasted in rather strong language, another then gets praised (with emoticons), and the last (whose ideas are probably the most supportive of a wide range of death penalty situations) get's refuted but only in a formal manner. Don't you also find that kind of interesting?


There is a limited number of people on this forum. Most of the people don't really know who Ven. Xingyun is I imagine.

If I were to launch a criticism of HHDL I imagine many people would come to his defence because he is well known and very well respected in English speaking Buddhist circles.

On the other hand, if I went on a Chinese forum with a lot of Foguangshan members, I imagine many people would come to the defence of Ven. Xingyun.

It isn't that people here dislike Ven. Xingyun. I think it is just that hardly anybody knows who he is.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:44 pm

I had thought the difference was that HHDL was speaking about war as opposed to the death penalty in a correctional institution.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby neverdowell » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:25 pm

mr. gordo wrote:I had thought the difference was that HHDL was speaking about war as opposed to the death penalty in a correctional institution.


Yes, me too. I don't think the situations are comparable. In the smart bullet scenario, compassion for people (the innocent civilians) plays a part.

Let me expand a bit. We're talking about choosing between one person to die and thousands, up to millions of people dying in a war. Now, I know it's not necessarily that simple because other unforeseen consequences may happen. There is another point, though, and that is the fact that when the action of killing takes place, those who rejoice in the killing also get the bad karma. This is according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche in his book "Dear Lama Zopa", page 46. I'll quote:
If a government makes the decision to go to war and they are supported by the population of that country, each person will receive the karma of killing, however many people die.

Throws a wrench in the works, no? Needless to say, this should be alarming to any Buddhist who is on the fence about the legitimacy of wars being waged by their country.

To develop bodhichitta, which is the actual practice, you need to develop such compassion that you simply cannot bear others being tormented by suffering. But in order to develop this compassion, you must know exactly how you yourself are plagued by suffering. And you must understand that the whole of samsara is by nature suffering. But first you must fear the lower realms, for without this you will have no repudiation of celestial and human happiness. You must therefore train your mind in the small- and medium- scope parts of the path. -- Pabongka Rinpoche
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:34 pm

HHDL writes:

In view of this, I could almost see developing a 'smart' bullet that could seek out those who decide on wars in the first place. That would seem to me more fair, and on these grounds I would welcome a weapon that eliminated the decision-makers while leaving the innocent unharmed.

This is like strange instantaneous "Karma Bullet". Reminds me of something out of the movie "Minority Report" where criminals are captured in the past to prevent their future actions.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:42 pm

mr. gordo wrote:HHDL writes:

In view of this, I could almost see developing a 'smart' bullet that could seek out those who decide on wars in the first place. That would seem to me more fair, and on these grounds I would welcome a weapon that eliminated the decision-makers while leaving the innocent unharmed.

This is like strange instantaneous "Karma Bullet". Reminds me of something out of the movie "Minority Report" where criminals are captured in the past to prevent their future actions.


Remember that HHDL has a well-developed sense of humour. It's quite possible the whole train of thought was presented humourously. There's no guarantee that such a plan would actually receive his support.
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:53 pm

catmoon wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:HHDL writes:

In view of this, I could almost see developing a 'smart' bullet that could seek out those who decide on wars in the first place. That would seem to me more fair, and on these grounds I would welcome a weapon that eliminated the decision-makers while leaving the innocent unharmed.

This is like strange instantaneous "Karma Bullet". Reminds me of something out of the movie "Minority Report" where criminals are captured in the past to prevent their future actions.


Remember that HHDL has a well-developed sense of humour. It's quite possible the whole train of thought was presented humourously.


True. :smile:
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby CSEe » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:57 pm

I belief In Buddha is nothing / pure energy of emptiness . We are a polluted energy that will transformed under-going purification process to be pure , to be Buddha .
I belief in search of Buddha there are no right or wrong , is all depend on our own awareness . If we die of cancer not becouse of the virus but becouse death is part of our purification process . The cancer virus is not a cause but a factor of our death . If we kill them just to save ourself , the virus die of our medicine not becouse of our medicine becouse they too under-going thier purification process . I belief in search of Buddha killing for survival is part of the process for all as all living must have a reason to die .

Death is never exist in Buddha so killing is never too BUT In search of BUDDHA WE MUST BE AWARE of our action . If we does not aware our search of Buddha lets say if I simpily kill for hobby , so one day if I move to higher awareness i will regert my action and i Will on my own will rectify my own mistake . If I only aware my mistake after I die , surely I will be re-born again to rectify all my regrets to satisfy my own awareness .

In search of Buddha , no force , no one will force us change , we will change or rectify our own regrets by our own will and our own way .
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Rael » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:35 pm

Huseng wrote:I think one thing to consider when discussing state sanctioned killing is that somebody has to pull the trigger and they will suffer for it even if society and religious leaders praise them for the act.

The executioner still has to intentionally kill his or her victim.

not unlike the aggravation karma one incurs from accidentally killing insects while making hemp seed oil...

ahhh the politics of governments and their need for killing....lol....

i'm glad we can still discuss such things...and some like myself want Buddhism to remain pure in spirit....

killing is wrong...True Tibetan monks died for the cause...they also did not feel anger towards their torturers torture them cause it gave the torturer pleasure....

water the thing down for politics.....

shameful...

killing in samsara is justified by the high and mighty....
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Rael » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:37 pm

Huifeng wrote:Now this interesting: Nagasena, HHDL and Ven Xingyun say pretty much the same thing. Ven Xingyun get's roundly chastised for it, there is still trust in HHDL, and no comment about Nagasena (whose position is actually much broader on the category of those who deserve to be killed than the other two). I find this very interesting indeed.


i can't believe His holiness the Dali Lama actually said what is being said he said....

serioulsy....now ...words have been imposed Him before...

some still call him the butcher of Lhasa
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Rael » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:46 pm

Rael wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Now this interesting: Nagasena, HHDL and Ven Xingyun say pretty much the same thing. Ven Xingyun get's roundly chastised for it, there is still trust in HHDL, and no comment about Nagasena (whose position is actually much broader on the category of those who deserve to be killed than the other two). I find this very interesting indeed.


i can't believe His holiness the Dali Lama actually said what is being said he said....

serioulsy....now ...words have been imposed Him before...

some still call him the butcher of Lhasa


ahh the smart bullet comment....hmmmm...

well i think He was ....erm uh.....lets see.....ok he meant....hmmmm uh......

ok i'm protecting Him and the other guy who i never heard of...i've decided is a fraud.....

lol...

anyway i got to say this...

DON'T KILL ANYTHING SENTIENT...FOR WHAT EVER REASON YOU THINK IS RIGHT.....RUN FROM THE KILLING ...OR LET YOURSELF DIE IN THAT SITUATION RATHER THAN KILLING....IN THE LONG RUN OF INFINITY...YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF FOR IT....EVEN YOU SOLDIERS OUT THEIR PROTECTING AMERICA....PUT DOWN YOUR GUNS AND RUN.....

SERIOULSY....
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Re: "Killing" in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:53 pm

Seems that Grand Master Xingyun of Foguangshan forgot the tenth vow of Sangye Menla/Bhaishajyaguru :
Having considered the countless sufferings and illnesses of beings, the bodhisattva "Master of Remedies" (Bhaishajyaguru) developed a very great love and a very great desire for helping them all. He progressed on the spiritual path, formulated twelve great wishes and finally attained the state of Medicine Buddha.
...
10. To save those who are in distress, imprisoned or sentenced to death.
...
: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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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