Why Buddhist monks become political?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Pseudobabble
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Re: Why Buddhist monks become political?

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri May 10, 2019 6:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:12 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:34 pm
I am not convinced political activities can be classified as generosity.
Well, clearly it's not the case for all political activity. Thanissaro Bhikkhu's point is that if one did feel motivated to give time in some sort of political activity, then it should be carried out in that way. Just as helping in a soup kitchen, teaching, or giving money could be generosity, or not, depending on the motivation.

So, for example, if I had an opportunity to influence the political outcome on some issue that helped some group of people in my city, to me that would be exactly the same principle of generosity as giving them money or food. And potentially much more effective.


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Mike
They are not the same thing though. Giving food to a hungry person, in a soup kitchen, where you actually give them food, is a simple, direct act. I agree that it need not be generous, but there is much less scope for unintended consequences and impure motivation because of its simplicity.

Attempting to influence a political outcome, on the other hand, is something like trying to influence the fluid dynamics of a running stream by putting your hand in it. You will have some effect, but it is unlikely to be the effect you wish, because you have no control over most of the many factors of the dynamic. The outcome is well outside your zone of control. It can be a generous act, but due to the complexity of the process leading to the outcome, there is much scope for unintended negative consequences. Simply, directly, giving food to a hungry person is the better bet, I think.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Why Buddhist monks become political?

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri May 10, 2019 7:17 am

binocular wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 6:52 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:34 pm
I am not convinced political activities can be classified as generosity.
Well, it's still better than actually throwing rocks at people ...
I think in some cases that throwing rocks would do less harm.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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mikenz66
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Re: Why Buddhist monks become political?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:38 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:57 am
n the other hand, is something like trying to influence the fluid dynamics of a running stream by putting your hand in it. You will have some effect, but it is unlikely to be the effect you wish, because you have no control over most of the many factors of the dynamic. The outcome is well outside your zone of control. It can be a generous act, but due to the complexity of the process leading to the outcome, there is much scope for unintended negative consequences. Simply, directly, giving food to a hungry person is the better bet, I think.
Well, yes, the simple stuff is a safer option.

On the other hand, if noone with moral courage and a desire for society to be kind and supportive, rather than greedy and selfish, takes some initiative, what sort of society and rulers do we expect to have?

In any case, I'm not so much thinking about high-level politics as local politics or organisations.

And, I repeat, just like with giving money or goods, one needs to know the limits of how much time one can afford to donate.

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Mike

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zerotime
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Re: Why Buddhist monks become political?

Post by zerotime » Fri May 10, 2019 8:42 pm

budo wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:12 pm
Because they're not Ariyas, and they're not Ariyas because they don't have Right View, and they don't have Right View because they don't read the suttas and don't follow the meditation instructions within the suttas.
I don't think so.. an ariya is not only an arhant. I believe this can be more related with the disenchanment from the world. When comppassion grows it's hard to keep dettachment when seeing the state of the world. This also can affects those ariyan people, Why no?.

Or another problem is when we forget similar past deceptions of the History. Probably some can believe there are genuine spaces in the world to change the things, then forgetting how rotten can be the power in this world. Unfortunately, there are no independent spaces at levels of public influence, and it's very easy to fall in fights for wordly power, inside complex social strategies to influence or manipulate the societies. Modern societies are not manipulated by evil goals but by the noble and high motivations.

Take an imaginary example: economic interests feed wars and famines in Africa from decades, and also take added profit creating a dumping of salaries in rich countries with a massive human displacement in search for a better life. And of course, there are social devices born from the public concern for the lives of these human beings. Being a Dhamma follower, the attention will go to the suffering of people. Although when taken a public position in any of these social devices, then anyone can be trapped in wordly fights for power and codice, outside the personal control.

There are so many issues of such style. And these social devices push everybody to take a position, "Ey, you are buddhist, you should say something about this ". It happens even in little circles of friends. This is the picture of the present world. At the end one would be only able to say: this atrocious and primitive design don't have any future and we can end being destroyed. Although this claim wouldn't be popular in Twitter, and probably those same devices would go against oneself.

Today there is an high interest in create divisions and conflicts inside the societies. Maybe it can help to investigate the famous silence of the Buddha in some situations of conflict.

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