Political involvement of the Sangha

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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convivium
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by convivium » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:00 am

just because people wear robes in burma doesn't mean they aspire to be buddhas. in burma there are three options: join the junta, the sangha, or e.g. have a family with a pre-established business in line with the junta. in western eyes, it seems like these monks should be following vinaya, and how dare they etc. but really people are people, and in darkness people don't often see a lot of choices.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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Nyorai
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Nyorai » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:32 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:Monks can speak about right and wrong in line with the dhamma. Osama and the U.S. government committed unskillful deeds from the perspective of the dhamma. Any killing, any stealing, and any lying is unskillful. Hence, monks should stay out of politics because governments will almost certainly always be engaged in killing and stealing and lying. However, monks can remind people, be they presidents, kings, popes, or peasants about what is skillful and what is unskillful, about what when undertaken leads to longterm harm and suffering and what when undertaken leads to longterm welfare and happiness. The fact is that a samana has seen (on some level presumably) that this world is not worth clinging to and so they leave the world (of everyday life) and work to abandon their craving and clinging.
:thumbsup: this is right livelihood of monks. Their simple lifestyle and simple attire already are very good example for people to reflect on peace and joys. One of the political situation mentioned in the sutta was the sakya clan being horrendorously attacked and killed and Buddha knew it would happen and did not stop it due to very deep karmic feud involved :bow:
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householder
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by householder » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:41 pm

An interesting article on the 969 movement.

http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?o ... Itemid=208

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Dmytro
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Dmytro » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:10 pm

First-person speech of Wirathu:

http://youtu.be/RJAPKavKb_U
http://hlaoo1980.blogspot.com/2013/03/b ... alist.html

Following is president Thein Sein’s “Declaration of Emergency” in the race-riots-torn district of Meik-hti-lar consisting the townships of Meik-hti-lar, One-dwin, Ma-hlaing, and Thar-zee.

Declaration of Emergency

1. Because of the dire situations preventing the restoration of law and order in the Meik-hti-lar Township of Meik-hti-lar District in Mandalay Division the Act-144 has been declared since 20 March 2013 so that the peaceful existence and the security of the people can be restored.

2. But the violent unrests have been spreading widely and imposing of the Act-144 alone is not sufficient enough to restore the civil administration in the townships of Meik-hti-lar, One-dwin, Ma-hlaing, and Thar-zee of the District of Meik-hti-lar. To restore law and order in said townships as quickly as possible I declare Emergency in the district of Meik-hti-lar from today in accordance with the Sub-Act (A) of the Act-412 of the Constitution of Union of Myanmar.

3. Tatmadaw (Burma Army) will be brought in to help restore law and order in the Meik-hti-lar District in accordance with the Sub-Act (A) of the Act-413 of the Constitution of Union of Myanmar.

4. This Declaration of Emergency will be in effect from today till another related order is issued.

5. This order has same authority like a law.

Thein Sein
President
Republic of the Union of Myanmar

http://hlaoo1980.blogspot.com/2013/03/a ... -race.html

householder
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by householder » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:37 am

Wirathu, 969 and associated sentiments are real, visible downtown and have quite a bit of local support. The next few days/weeks will be interesting. Twitter/local rumour is that the township I live in will get attacked tonight... in reality it's highly unlikely but vigilance still required.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:09 pm

There are similar problems in Sri Lanka

These shameless political Buddhist monks are doing great damage to Buddhism by using and urging violence against others.
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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:37 pm

This is why I think that activism is to be avoided in Buddhism. Even that type of activism taught by Tich Nat Hahn back in the 1960s. I know this is very controversial, but The Individual Practice has to be our focus, not trying to change the world (others). In my estimation the whole Bodhisattvah movement to "save" others is misdirected. :buddha1:
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Mr Man
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Mr Man » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Hi Ron-The-Elder
How about Buddhists being "activists" but not being "Buddhist activists"? As lay followers do we have duty to participate in our society?

Cassandra
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Cassandra » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:49 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:This is why I think that activism is to be avoided in Buddhism. Even that type of activism taught by Tich Nat Hahn back in the 1960s. I know this is very controversial, but The Individual Practice has to be our focus, not trying to change the world (others). In my estimation the whole Bodhisattvah movement to "save" others is misdirected. :buddha1:
I must say I tend to agree with this. From the little I know of Buddhism, it doesn't seem like active involvement in politics is for a monk, even if it is for the right cause. A person ordains for seclusion, and their own personal liberation.

That doesn't mean a monk should not voice his opinion and have a stance on right and wrong. But changing the world and battling one's inner demons are two different ideals. I see this as a clash of interests in two fundamental concepts: Should I find peace for myself or should I try to find those starving kids something to eat. I don't see it is possible to pursue both goals at the same time due to their contradictory nature.

This is where I struggle. I feel selfish to sit in a corner and turn a blind eye to so much pain in the world without doing something about it. :shrug:

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Heaviside
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by Heaviside » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:00 pm

Seems to me that there is a difference between being politically involved and carrying a machete (as news report from Myanmar indicate some Buddhist monks are doing)! But is the conflict actually between Buddhists and Muslims---or is that simply a rubric for other issues? :shrug:
Do the best you can with what you have to work with.

chris98e
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Re: Political involvement of the Sangha

Post by chris98e » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:01 pm

Cassandra wrote:Hi folks, are there statements in sangha vinaya which say that monks should not be politically involved in lay life matters?

Thanks
What's point of being politically invovled. The U.S. voting system is fake. The people who win the elections are the people who the big business men of America want to win. The fact of the matter is the voting system is one person doesn't count as one vote in the U.S. So to get back to the original question to me it doesn't matter if they are politically involved or not. I hope this thread is about poilitics and not something else.
:buddha2:

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