Should nuns and monks be political?

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Should nuns and monks be political?

Monks and nuns should remain silent on political matters - Dhamma only
12
55%
Monks and nuns should comment on political matters of the day
2
9%
Monks and nuns should only comment in extreme political circumstances such as war, brutal dictatorship etc
8
36%
 
Total votes: 22

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retrofuturist
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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 10, 2019 1:31 am

Greetings,
Jerafreyr wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:23 am
I can only answer that with a question.
What sort of laws do you think the Buddha would enforce for worldlings?
If he'd wanted to do that, he would have become a world-turning emperor, and not a Buddha.

However, he did advise bhikkhus that they must adhere to "the law of the land", which hardly sounds like the instruction of an anarchist.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by Jerafreyr » Fri May 10, 2019 1:34 am

So what political philosophy do you think he was?

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by SarathW » Fri May 10, 2019 1:41 am

he would have become a world-turning emperor
:goodpost:

Cakkavatti Sutta: The Wheel-turning Emperor
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 10, 2019 1:56 am

Greetings,
Jerafreyr wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:34 am
So what political philosophy do you think he was?
I think that's an off-topic detour that has been covered before in older conversations.

I'm a little time-strapped at the moment, but I'm sure someone can find such a discussion for you, if you're unable to find one.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by Jerafreyr » Fri May 10, 2019 2:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:56 am
Greetings,
Jerafreyr wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:34 am
So what political philosophy do you think he was?
I think that's an off-topic detour that has been covered before in older conversations.

I'm a little time-strapped at the moment, but I'm sure someone can find such a discussion for you, if you're unable to find one.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Meh. I used to be heavy into politics and identified as a libertarian/voluntarist. I need to leave it behind me. Thanks for the discussion.

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by DooDoot » Fri May 10, 2019 3:00 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:38 am
Monks and nuns should be mindful, and teach the practice of mindfulness. It is OK to advise others how to live in harmony with others, and how to work for the greater good of society.

Politics looks outwards at society in general and at the behaviour of other people in particular. It thinks that suffering can be removed by manipulating external conditions.

Religion looks inwards at one's own actions, speech, and thoughts. It teaches that suffering can only be removed by removing the root causes, which lie within each individual. I can advise and instruct others on what is wholesome or unwholesome, what they should study, or how to meditate. That is one duty of a monk or nun, but I cannot remove the defilements of others; I can only remove my own defilements (that is the other duty of a monk or nun).
:goodpost: :anjali: :bow:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by mettafuture » Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 pm

Without the political support of figures like Ashoka the Great, Buddhism may not have had the momentum to flourish. Whether we like it or not, politics are a necessary tool to reach people on a societal-scale. If monks or nuns choose to use politics to mobilize and help people a la the Buddhist Global Relief, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't support them.

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by SarathW » Sun May 12, 2019 1:57 am

mettafuture wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 pm
Without the political support of figures like Ashoka the Great, Buddhism may not have had the momentum to flourish. Whether we like it or not, politics are a necessary tool to reach people on a societal-scale. If monks or nuns choose to use politics to mobilize and help people a la the Buddhist Global Relief, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't support them.
Asoka is a King, not a monk. It is expected from a king to be political.
Global relief is managed by lay people with the advice of Bhikkhu Bodhi.
General advise of a monk is ok but not specific.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by chownah » Sun May 12, 2019 2:24 am

mettafuture wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 pm
Without the political support of figures like Ashoka the Great, Buddhism may not have had the momentum to flourish. Whether we like it or not, politics are a necessary tool to reach people on a societal-scale. If monks or nuns choose to use politics to mobilize and help people a la the Buddhist Global Relief, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't support them.
The result of buddhist clergy being political is that buddhism is politicized.........are you wanting buddhism to be politicized?
chownah

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by budo » Sun May 12, 2019 4:38 am

chownah wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 2:24 am
mettafuture wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 pm
Without the political support of figures like Ashoka the Great, Buddhism may not have had the momentum to flourish. Whether we like it or not, politics are a necessary tool to reach people on a societal-scale. If monks or nuns choose to use politics to mobilize and help people a la the Buddhist Global Relief, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't support them.
The result of buddhist clergy being political is that buddhism is politicized.........are you wanting buddhism to be politicized?
chownah

Exactly, the best way for Buddhists to get killed is for them to stick their nose in other people's business, aka, engaged Buddhism.

It goes against the whole notion of seclusion. And people seem to not what to understand the Buddha, he said the world will get worse until another Buddha arises.

So again, if the Buddha himself was picky about who could understand the Dhamma and reduce or remove the 3 poisons what makes people think a politician or lawmaker would be better?

Understanding samsara is understanding how dependent we are on a Buddha to arise to set things straight. Politics takes a back seat to true inner development, which can only happen volutunarily and not through force or coercion.

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by mettafuture » Sun May 12, 2019 9:41 am

Politics aren't inherently bad. Without the amplifier of politics, a monastic would only reach the people within their practice circle, or, if they're technically savy, as many people as they could reach on social media. Thích Nhất Hạnh, who everyone here is likely familiar with, coined the term "Engaged Buddhism." Like other monastics have done in the past, he used politics as a tool to promote peace on an international level. I suspect that the Buddha would've supported his work. From reading the suttas, I get the sense that the Buddha didn't want us to just sit around, watch our breath, and care solely about our own personal enlightenment. He wanted us to get out and help others as well.

From the Chalāvāta Sutta (AN 4:95)
“Monks, these four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four? The one who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The one who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own. The one who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others. The one who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others.

“Just as a firebrand from a funeral pyre—burning at both ends, covered with excrement in the middle—is used as fuel neither in a village nor in the wilderness: I tell you that this is a simile for the individual who practices neither for his/her own benefit nor for that of others. The individual who practices for the benefit of others but not for his/her own is the higher & more refined of these two. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit but not for that of others is the highest & most refined of these three. The individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is, of these four, the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme. Just as from a cow comes milk; from milk, curds; from curds, butter; from butter, ghee; from ghee, the skimmings of ghee; and of these, the skimmings of ghee are reckoned the foremost—in the same way, of these four, the individual who practices for his/her own benefit and for that of others is the foremost, the chief, the most outstanding, the highest, & supreme.

“These are the four types of individuals to be found existing in the world.”
From the Jīvaka Sutta (AN 8:26)
“Jīvaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction and encourages others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue and encourages others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity and encourages others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks and encourages others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma and encourages others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma and encourages others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma—then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit and for the benefit of others.”

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun May 12, 2019 10:30 am

Greetings,

The quotes above show that practicing the Dhamma can be of benefit both to the practitioner and to those whom they engage with.

When the supramundane Dhamma of the Buddha has the power to do this, why resort instead to mundane politics, as if it somehow has more power, depth and benefit?

:shrug:

The quotes above certainly do not suggest in any way shape or form that this is what should be done. I'm not sure if that is what was implied, but if it is, it's a complete brothelization of the Blessed One's words.
Thích Nhất Hạnh, who everyone here is likely familiar with, coined the term "Engaged Buddhism."
Yes, there's an entire Dharma Wheel devoted to it.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by mettafuture » Sun May 12, 2019 11:02 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:30 am
When the supramundane Dhamma of the Buddha has the power to do this, why resort instead to mundane politics, as if it somehow has more power, depth and benefit?
That's like asking, "If we can arrive somewhere by running, why walk?" We don't always need to run. As there are many ways to arrive at a destination, there are many ways to solve problems. Further, if we ignore politics, bad people can take control of our societies, and those bad people can increase the suffering of others.

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun May 12, 2019 11:07 am

Greetings,
mettafuture wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:02 am
Further, if we ignore politics, bad people can take control of our societies, and those bad people can increase the suffering of others.
You're clearly shifting the goalpoasts here... what has "we" got to do with the question of "should nuns and monks be political?"

And if "you" really believe that, maybe you might like to discuss such worldly overtures at Dharma Wheel Engaged, as linked to above. This is not the place for proselytizing such paths.

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Should nuns and monks be political?

Post by mettafuture » Sun May 12, 2019 11:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:07 am
mettafuture wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:02 am
Further, if we ignore politics, bad people can take control of our societies, and those bad people can increase the suffering of others.
You're clearly shifting the goalpoasts here... what has "we" got to do with the question of "should nuns and monks be political?"
Because monks and nuns are a part of that "we." Politics affects all of us.
And if "you" really believe that, maybe you might like to discuss such worldly overtures at Dharma Wheel Engaged, as linked to above. This is not the place for proselytizing such paths.
I'm not trying to proselytize anything. The question was "should nuns and monks be political?" I'm answering that question, and replying to your responses. Or is "no" the only answer that's allowed in this thread?

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