INDIAN FESTIVALS : Buddhism: A Panacea For “Violence and World Disorder”
By Bhikku Bodhipala
Nahi Verena Verani—Sammanti dha Kudacancam
Averenacca Sammanti—esa dhammo Sanantano
—The Buddha in Dhammapada

Ven. Narada There a reputed scholar of Sri Lanka, in the Preface note to his English rendering of Dhammapada has said “Force will certainly be met with force”.
“Bombs will be met with bombs”
“Vengeance will be met with Vengeance”
Retaliation never leads to peace. What sagacious remarks; it is relevant to the present world.
The Buddha advised his non-violent brethren through the above verse:
“Hatred never ceases through hatred, but through love alone they cease”. This is an eternal law.
Believe it or not, at least 50 bomb explosions take place, at any corner of this world every day. The reason voiced for such violent explosions are very positive.
“We are liberating our enslaved people”
“We are against aggression”
“We fight against our dictatorial Government”
“We would completely destroy even lakhs and lakhs of people just to liberate our Ten Thousand brethren”
“We want our own nation based on our ethinic and linguistic characters”

All these justifications, apparently seem to be righteous claims. But what is the result, the entire globe seems to be a slaughter house of human beings. It was declared, in the beginning of this century that last century was a bloody century in the history of mankind as it was a century of war and violence. In that last century lakhs of people were killed even just for personal prejudice of a single person, and even to promote an ideology i.e. an “ism”.

Hence UNO proclaimed that the first decade of this “NEW” century should be observed as warless or war-free world. But what is actually happening? The opening years of this decade is alarming and make an ominous sign that either mankind is on the verge of its extinction or sitting on the mouth of an erupted volcano of war.<

Until this time, we understand that a bomb blast is an outcome of madness of an unethical man. But in recent days we are told it is an “Act of God”. So Lord Buddha is very correct in his view that “God should be a cruel one”.

Since the dawn of history, mankind promotes war and violence either in the name of “Dharma Yuddha” or “Holy War” or “Cross War” etc. But Buddha says “Don’t resist the evil”. He never approved a war either as ‘Dharma’ or Holy. We can observe today’s affairs; one part claims that this is the war against evil, hence those who do not join with us in this “mission” are evils. The opponent calls their brethren. “This is a holy war against evils, and it is initiated by the “Supreme Almighty” himself so brethren join with us. But what one can see is that there would be killing, destruction, wiping out etc and it would be named holy or sacred.

The Buddha has rightly said,
“Jayam Veram pasavati dukkham seti paraji to Upasanto sukham seti hitva Jaya parajayam that means, victory breeds hatred. The defeated live in pain. Happily the peaceful live, giving up victory and defeat.

The Buddha uttered this verse on an occasion when a King was very sad because he had been thrice defeated in battle. Hence the Buddha commented on the evil consequences of both defeat and victory.

Mahatma Gandhiji says “Eye for eye could make the whole world blind”. So in the name of holy and sacred war we do blind ourselves. If war is holy, “Holy Murders” would be the order of the day. According to Buddhism war is an evil, it is an obsolete remedy that is why it could not make a permanent solution and make a peaceful world. Both, arms trade and war are butchery in Buddhist perspective. Jainism insist that non-violence should be the first code of conduct “Ahimsa Parama Dharma”. Likewise Buddhism insists that non-killing should be the first code of conduct. As, war is obviously a mode of murder, it is neither holy nor sacred.

Buddhism is a living religion, for living people because over the last twenty six centuries, it has been making a sea change in culture, tradition, politics even on art and architect not only in its birth place but in the rest of the world. No blood was shed in the name of promotion of Buddhism. Buddhism just presented its tenets to the world but not imposed its tenets, on any country or people even by force or undue influence.
The Emperor Ashoka declared war is unethical not in his defeat but in the victory. Then he began to wage war against evils with the warriors of Dhamma. He made “Dharma Vijaya” throughout the Indian sub-continent.

Though Buddhism and Buddhists were persecuted occasionally from a Sunga King, Pushyamitra to Mao, Buddhism spread like a gentle breeze over Asia. Buddhism is not a vociferous religion, but it is a religion of mediation, silence and non-violence. Instead of concerning with a super natural entity, Buddhism concerns with man and his mind helping him to pave his own path for upliftment.

In modern days. Westerners too begin to realize that Buddhism is a practical religion which would help to overcome the negative results of violence and war.

As already said “Bombs meet bombs” which means a total annihilation and total destruction. Buddhism is a panacea for those who are living and for those who want to live, but not for “dying”. If we analyse the root cause for violence one could understand that consumerism, power mongering racism, poverty are the breeding stations of violence. If you observe any violent action, either all the above factors or atleast one of them would be the base. Mankind, due to this lust for sensual pleasure forgets the purpose of its existence in this world. Whether he is a ruler or a toiler, his motive should be the ultimate goal of conquering his lust and conquering himself and be free from, Dukkha, the pain.
Buddha says,

Yo sahassan sahassena Sangama manuga jine Ekan ca jeya mattanain sa ve sangamajuttamo
Though one may conquer a millionth men in battlefield, yet he, indeed is the noblest victor who has conquered himself.
A selfish man, self-centered person could not conquer himself. Self always conquers him.
Hence Buddha disapproved all the efforts which were not strived to the ultimate of life, the Nibbana.

All religion, in this world teaches mankind to relieve himself from sensual realm, in order to reach the final goal. Unfortunately, in the name of science and technology, modern man grows more and more sensual and becomes a perfect consumer. That is why he needs money, power, pomp leading to violence and makes himself insecure and poor. As long as consumerism is worshipped, in this world, there will always be war and violence. If mankind begins to strive towards the ultimate goal i.e. spiritual goal promulgated by every religion, the entire world would turn as “Dhamma Bhoomi”.

The Buddha’s Noble Eight-Fold path is the best way, for the realization of not only the ultimate goal Nibbana but also for making a peaceful world.

Right Thought Springs from Right View
Right Speech Springs from Right Thought
Right Action Springs from Right Speech
Right Livelihood Springs from Right Action
Right Effort Springs from Right Livelihood
Right Mindfulness Springs from Right Effort
Right Meditation Springs from Right Mindfulness
Right Knowledge Springs from Right Meditation
Ultimately liberation springs from Right knowledge. It would a perfect Right Liberation.
Let all beings be Enlightened.

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