Tag Archives: Buddhism

The Dalai Lama speaks out against the killings.. “Killing people in the name of religion is unthinkable.. I pray for them (the Buddhists in Myanmar) to think of the face of Buddha.”

Dalai Lama Urges Peace In Myanmar, Asks Monks To ‘Remember The Buddhist Faith’

As the violence in Myanmar continues, the Dalai Lama urged monks to act according to the peaceful principles of their religion and told them to “remember the Buddhist faith.”

The Dalai Lama made his remarks to reporters at an annual human rights conference in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. He went on to say that there was “too much emphasis on ‘we’ and ‘they'” in the world, and declared that “this century should be a century of dialogue, not wars.”

Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority have been the main victims of the sectarian clashes that last year left around 200 people dead in the state of Rakhine, and a further 140,000 without homes. They are especially vulnerable as about 800,000 Rohingya Muslims are deprived of citizenship rights due to discriminatory policies.

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Buddhist Taliban?

Buddhists Behaving Badly – What Zealotry is Doing to Sri Lanka

By: William McGowan

In Sri Lanka last September, a Sinhalese mob led by some 100 Buddhist monks demolished a Muslim shrine in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. As the crowd waved Buddhist colors, gold and red, a monk set a green Muslim flag on fire. The monks claimed that the shrine was on land that had been given to the Sinhalese 2,000 years ago — an allusion to their proprietary right over the entire island nation, as inscribed in ancient religious texts.

The Anuradhapura attack was not the only recent incident of Buddhists behaving badly in Sri Lanka. In April, monks led nearly 2,000 Sinhalese Buddhists in a march against a mosque in Dambulla, a holy city where Sinhalese kings are believed to have taken refuge from southern Indian invaders in a vast network of caves almost two millennia ago. The highly charged — but largely symbolic — attack marked a “historic day,” a monk who led the assault told the crowd, “a victory for those who love the [Sinhala] race, have Sinhala blood, and are Buddhists.”

Such chauvinism is at odds with Western preconceptions of Buddhism — a religion that emphasizes nonviolence and nonattachment — but is in keeping with Sri Lanka’s religious history. Militant Buddhism there has its roots in an ancient narrative called the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle), which was composed by monks in the sixth century. According to the Mahavamsa, the Buddha foresaw the demise of Buddhism in India but saw a bright future for it in Sri Lanka. “In Lanka, O Lord of Gods, shall my religion be established and flourish,” he said. The Sinhalese take this as a sign that they are the Buddha’s chosen people, commanded to “preserve and protect” Buddhism in its most pristine form. According to myth, a young Sinhalese prince in the second century BC armed himself with a spear tipped with a relic of the Buddha and led a column of 500 monks to vanquish Tamil invaders. In addition to defending his kingdom from mortal peril, the prince’s victory legitimized religious violence as a means for national survival.

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MYANMAR: Muslims and Their History – By R. Upadhyay

Burma re-named as Myanmar in 1989 is a multi-ethnic country in Southeast Asia bordering Thailand, Laos, China, India, Bangladesh and Andaman Sea. Buddhism, which is professed by about 89% of country’s various ethnic groups like Burmans, Karen, Shan, Rakhine and Mon – has more or less become a part of their national identity. Various reports suggest that due to certain historical, social, political and cultural problems the Muslim minority had felt alienated and occasional communal riots have occurred.

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Indo-Pak : Violent neighbourhood

Editorial- Violent neighbourhood

Sabrang

Hinduism is said to be a non-violent religion, Buddhism is supposed to be synonymous with ahinsa and Islam, they say, means peace. Yet the followers of these faiths inhabiting the countries of South Asia have been perpetrators and victims of violence as perhaps no other region of the world in the last two decades.

In the early ’80s we thought that, like others in the world, it was time we too came together as good neighbours and worked out a pact of mutual cooperation and collective welfare. Thus in 1983 the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation was adopted by the foreign ministers of seven countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – in New Delhi. Two years later the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was formally established. On India’s initiative, Afghanistan was welcomed to the SAARC club in 2005 as its eighth member.

The objectives of SAARC as defined in its Charter are noble:

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The Four Noble Truths

When dawn came, Prince Siddhartha had become the great Buddha, the Enlightened One, and formulated the Four Noble Truths on which all of Buddhism is based; 1. that suffering is universal and inevitable, 2. that the immediate cause of suffering is desire, 3. that there is a path leading to freedom from suffering, 4. that it is the Eightfold Path that leads to freedom from suffering.

And the Eightfold Path is as: 1. Right (balanced) View or Understanding, 2. Right Aim or Purpose, 3. Right Speech, 4. Right Action, 5. Right Livelihood, 6. Right Effort, 7. Right Mindfulness, 8. Right concentration.

All deeds are led by mind- Buddha

1. Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a corrupt mind, Suffering follows, As the wheel follows the hoof of an ox pulling a cart.

2. Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a serene mind, Happiness follows, As surely as one’s shadow.

May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near or far away, Those born, and to be born, May all beings live at ease!… – Buddha