The not-so-gentle face of Buddhism

TO many, Buddhism is about attaining enlightenment, maybe even nirvana, through such peaceful methods as meditation and yoga.

But in some parts of Asia, a strident and militant Buddhism is emerging. In three countries where Buddhism is the majority faith, a form of religious nationalism has taken hold

•In Sri Lanka, where about 70 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist, a group of monks formed the Bodu Bala Sena or the Buddhist Power Force in 2012 to “protect” the country’s Buddhist culture. The force, nicknamed BBS, carried out at least 241 attacks against Muslims and 61 attacks against Christians in 2013, according to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

•In Myanmar, at least 300 Rohingya Muslims, whose ancestors were migrants from Bangladesh, have been killed and up to 300,000 displaced, according to Genocide Watch. Ashin Wirathu, a monk who describes himself as the Burmese “bin Laden,” is encouraging the violence by viewing the Rohingya presence as a Muslim “invasion.”

•And in Buddhist-majority Thailand, at least 5000 people have died in Muslim-Buddhist violence in the country’s South. The country’s Knowing Buddha Foundation is not a violent group, but it advocates for a blasphemy law to punish anyone who offends the faith. It wants Buddhism declared the state religion and portrays popular culture as a threat to believers.


33 thoughts on “The not-so-gentle face of Buddhism

  1. I heard about a yeah or so ago, there. Was tension in (Thailand?) because Muslims were accused go gang raping a Buddhist girl. I’m not exactly sure how bad the violence got, but there was a fair bit of bad blood between. The Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority.


    • Every group has its criminals. That is why we have jails. Justice dealt out by a majority is not just. It leads to the innocent being oppressed..


      • “Every group has its criminals. That is why we have jails.” ……..and crucifictions.
        The ONLY way to get rid of crime is to stop making laws.

        There wasn’t a single sinner in the whole of Time and Creation until god issued the Fruit Decree.
        (and didn’t even TELL Eve about it)
        (I’ll bet HE didn’t have his super-annuation decreased, gouged or shifted into a more distant future, either!)
        …..y’don’t suppose Mr. Rabbit is the Second Coming??


      • So, Dabbles
        If there is no law, what’s to stop my brother in law in acting out his fantasies of skinning an animal alive as they do in China (where there is no such law)?

        Ahh! That’s right! We have laws against cruelty to animals in this country! But keep playing with yourself Dabbles.


      • hmmm “If there is no law, what’s to stop my brother in law in acting out his fantasies of skinning an animal alive”

        What’s called ‘human decency’ would stop the bastard; with a phone-call or with a shotgun.
        But there isn’t much of that in YOUR family, is there dudvinci?
        Is it a matter of no compassion or no guts?
        How dare you spout on about ‘love’, ‘morality’ , christian ideals or courage you gormless rrrzsole! You’ve no idea what any of those values entail.

        You’ve been invited before to post his name and address/other details.


      • Dabbles! Until my brother in law attempts to act out his fantasies I cannot take action, neither can the police or anyone else. So why should I give you his address and name? One day he might do so and if he was on Australian Soil, I would take legal action against him. But at the moment he is stating only what counts for “decency” in his country of origin. And I have not found any evidence that he is planning to commit an atrocity against animals.

        Presumably you want his details so that you can commit some sort of violent crime? Weren’t you spewing out bulldust on how wrong war is, around ANZAC day this year? What do you want to do? Engage in warfare against the Chinese?

        As Daffy Duck once said “You’re despicable”!


    • There is a definite ‘cultural’ issue within the Muslim community in certain places. England has been experiencing quite a few cases of ‘child grooming’ – young girls between the ages of 12 to 16 who are groomed for sex by gangs of grown men. They are raped and passed around.


  2. Another ‘body’ that is not a religion, but has very devout followers is Hollywood. Hollywood often try to influence public opinion and present themselves as the truly enlightened 🙂

    At the moment there a large case on Paedophile rings within the industry. Directors, agents, actors etc.


    • One of the perks of (authoritative) office Kate,
      The only way it’ll ever be stopped (or at least dramatically reduced ~ there’ll always be risk-takers) is to make the penalty (much) greater than the hoped-for rewards.

      (Mind you, the definitive parameters must be carefully established; human nature must be the benchmark, rather than artificial and arbitrary decrees.)


      • I do think the punishment is incredibly weak. To me it is the greatest of crimes.


      • Don’t judge. Vengeance is mine, saith the lord.
        Some things are just irreconcilable.
        ‘The Law’ will always clash with human nature; that’s the very purpose of Law.
        It’s up to each of us to decide which side of the fence we’re going to defend.


      • Yes, I believe ultimate vengeance is the Lords (but I still think they need to spend the rest of the lives in jail).

        “The Judgment to Moral Degeneration

        According to Romans 1:18-32, when men turn away from the knowledge of God revealed so vividly in creation, God, as an expression of His holy wrath, turns men over to their own devices and foolish imaginations. This always results in moral devolution and degeneration. Paul teaches us that the varied forms of the awful sinfulness of man have their beginnings in the rejection of the revelation of God in creation. Ungodliness is always the source of unrighteousness; ungodliness (turning away from God) leads to idolatry (man worshipping the products of his own mind and hands), and idolatry leads to unchained sensuality.

        As they refused to follow the light, they were brought to folly in their thoughts—“became vain in their [corrupt] reasonings, and their foolish [senseless] heart was darkened.” The intellectual revolt against what they knew to be right was attended by a darkening of the whole understanding. The refusal to accept the truth destroys the power to discriminate between truth and error.1

        But this happens as a judgment from God against man’s arrogant independence. This condition is the expression of God’s wrath (vs. 18) and twice we have the statement that this moral breakdown occurs because God “gave them over” (vss. 24 and 25). Compare also Ephesians 4:17-19:

        This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. ”


    • Whether you believe in satanic cults or not the fact is still there. Hollywood and company takes the sweet and innocent and devours them.


      • Ordo Templi Orientis ( I don’t know whether all the people in the clip are linked to it, but Peaches Geldof, who recently died was)

        I wouldn’t have believed it a few years ago, but these stars have even tattooed the symbol on themselves.

        “Forget Scientology, celebs are now falling for an even more sinister ‘religion’: Introducing the Satanic sex cult that’s snaring stars such as Peaches Geldof

        Founder Aleister Crowley dubbed ‘the wickedest man in the world’
        Crowley was born in 1875 and styled himself ‘the Great Beast, 666’
        Other stars linked to the cult include Jimmy Page and Jay-Z”


      • As a matter of simple interest, Dom: Do you know what it is
        that upsets you about the ‘after’ images?
        (I presume they’re what you’re complaining about?)


      • “Hollywood and company takes the sweet and innocent and devours them.”
        So does ‘Life’. It’s the nature of things.
        ….and I’d be inclined to suggest that “Innocence” is an over-rated and misused concept.


      • This folks is what happens when people decide “I am a brand” in an ultra fast, ultra competitive all about me world. The identity gets lost in all of the attention seeking and headline grabbing at the behest of a greater money making machine behind these poor unfortunate individuals. So sad, such innocence sucked into the vortex of self obsession and greed. ):


  3. Wasn’t there a martial arts series called “Monkey” produced some time ago which featured Pigsy, Sandy and Monkey, all of them using violence to protect a Buddhist priest called “Tripitaka” on his journey to get the Buddhist Scriptures from India?

    Weren’t many martial arts developed in Buddhist temples (read Shaolin)?

    And this is the religion of peace?


    • The characters were supposed to represent parts of your being, much as Freu suggested. Piggsy was the part interested in meeting physical wants, Monkey was the part that used the force of intellect (portrayed there as physical, but not of necessity) Sandy was the dreamy creative part of ourselves, and Tripitaka was the quite unphysical true self, made in the image of God.

      It was not ‘a martial art series’.


      • Really? It wasn’t a martial arts movie? What was all the screaming about that monkey engaged in, whilst beating everybody with a staff then? And what was Tripitaka doing to Monkey to keep him in line? You know, the part where he prays a prayer that tortures monkey?

        Why exactly is this film series filled with so much violence to begin with, if Buddhism is so peace loving? And if martial arts did not play a part in this movie, how come we see so many creative forms in beating someone up?


      • Violence doesn’t have to be physical, we can take a battering emotionally, or be defeated by the force of intellect. But I’m not surprised Davinci that some people could see it only as literalists – such people as religious fundamentalists.


      • Also, this wasn’t meant to portray perfection, any more than Christians purpot perfection. It was supposed to show us the baser sides of our natures and the journey towards better living – which incidentally was not reached in the series.


      • Most of this is background, but the last 10 minutes or so consider that Jesus from 14 to 29 years was taken to India, having been sought after birth by the three wise men, recognising him as the reincarnation of the Buddha.


    • Oh my goodness,
      Monkey. How I enjoyed that series. In my library I’ve got an English translation of the original book.

      The martial arts in the show were very clever, and not at all bloody. As it has been pointed out here, the characters are traditional folk heroes and really are to be seen as archetypal. I guess one might say that the ‘violence’ depicted in the series was nowhere so vicious or violent as the archetypal violence described in the Biblical book of Revelations, which is also out to depict folklore and symbolic stories.

      Cheers, Rian.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s