Question: KINDNESS AND PUNISHMENT

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Question: KINDNESS AND PUNISHMENT

Postby yawares » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:42 pm

Dear members,

This freezing Uposatha Day :anjali: , I would love to share this Milindapanha with you all... :heart: I truly admire Thera Nagasena's answer :heart: ...and nowaday I practice LOVING KINDNESS/BRAHMAVIHARA 4..that may lead me/Tep/Sirikanya to become ANAGAMIs in many many many lives from now.....This is our dreamy vehicle to be in......

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The Questions Of King Milinda
[Translated by T.W.Rhys Davids]

Question: KINDNESS AND PUNISHMENT

King: 'Venerable Nâgasena, the Blessed One said:

"Doing no injury to any one
Dwell full of love and kindness in the world 1."

And on the other hand he said: "Punish him who deserves punishment 2, favour him who is worthy of favour." [185] Now punishment, Nâgasena, means the cutting off of hands or feet, flogging 3, casting into bonds, torture 4, execution, degradation in rank 5.

Such a saying is therefore not worthy of the Blessed One, and he ought not to have made use of it. For if the first injunction be right then this must be wrong, and if this be right then the injunction to do no injury to any one, but to dwell full of love and kindness in the world, must be wrong. This too is a double-edged problem now put to you, and you have to solve it.'

Nagasena: 'The Blessed One, great king, gave both the commands you quote. As to the first, to do no injury to any one, but to live full of love and kindness in the world--that is a doctrine approved by all the Buddhas. And that verse is an injunction, an unfolding of the Dhamma, for the Dhamma has as its characteristic that it works no ill. And the saying is thus in thorough accord with it. But as to the second command you quote that is a special use of terms [which you have misunderstood. The real meaning of them is: "Subdue that which ought to be subdued, strive after, cultivate, favour what is worthy of effort, cultivation, and approval"]. The proud heart, great king, is to be subdued, and the lowly heart cultivated--the wicked heart to be subdued, and the good heart to be cultivated--carelessness of thought is to. be subdued, and exactness of thought to be cultivated--[186] he who is given over to wrong views is to be subdued, and he who has attained to right views is to be cultivated--he who is not noble 1 is to be subdued, and the noble one is to be cultivated--the robber 1 is to be subdued, and the honest brother is to be cultivated.'

King: 'Let that be so, Nâgasena. But now, in that last word of yours, you have put yourself into my power, you have come round to the sense in which I put my question. For how, venerable Nâgasena, is the robber to be subdued by him who sets to work to subdue him?'

Nagasena: 'Thus, great king--if deserving of rebuke let him be rebuked, if of a fine let him be fined, if of banishment let him be banished, if of death let him be put to death.'

King: 'Is then, Nâgasena, the execution of robbers part of the doctrine laid down by the Tathâgatas?'

Nagasena: 'Certainly not, O king.'

King: 'Then why have the Tathâgatas laid down that the robber is to be taught better?'

Nagasena: 'Whosoever, great king, may be put to death, he does not suffer execution by reason of the opinion put forth by the Tathâgatas. He suffers by reason of what he himself has done. But notwithstanding that the doctrine of the Dhamma has been taught (by the Buddhas) 2, would it be possible, great king, for a man who had done nothing wrong, and was walking innocently along the streets, to be seized and put to death by any wise person?'

King: 'Certainly not.'

Negasena: 'But why?'

King: 'Because of his innocence.'

Nagasena: 'Just so, great king, since the thief is not put to death through the word of the Tathâgata, but only through his own act, how can any fault be rightly found on that account with the Teacher?'

King: 'It could not be, Sir.'

Nagasena: 'So you see the teaching of the Tathâgatas is a righteous teaching.'

King: 'Very good, Nâgasena! That is so, and I accept it as you say.'

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Yawares/sirikanya
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