Warriors of Buddhism: Buddhism and violence as seen from a Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhist perspective
Keywords:Violence -- Religious aspects -- Buddhism, Terrorism, Tibetan Buddhism, Nonviolence, Bstan-'dzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935-, Buddhist monks, Monasticism, Buddhist, China -- History, Leadership, Religious
AbstractBuddhism is considered by many today as the non-violent religion par excellence. The concept of ahimsa (non-violence) coupled with the notion of pratityasamutpada (i.e. that everything is casually interconnected, with the implication that pain inflicted upon others is therefore really done to oneself and thus to be avoided) seems to be one of the main arguments for promoting Buddhism as an excellent method for promoting world peace. However this non-violent, serene picture of Buddhism is not the only picture. Buddhists on occasion speak of a need to use violence, and employ it. Buddhists kill. Sometimes they also kill each other. The history as well as the present of Buddhist Asia is bloodstained. How do Buddhists justify approving of and using violence? How do they legitimise their pro-violent utterances and actions when such actions ought to result in excommunication? What are they saying? There are several answers to this, some of which are presented in this article, with the primary focus on Buddhist Tibet.
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Copyright (c) 2006 Christina Gillberg
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