Download PDF by Michael Zimmermann (Editor): Buddhism and Violence

By Michael Zimmermann (Editor)

ISBN-10: 999469331X

ISBN-13: 9789994693313

This quantity reports the facts that, at specific moments of their historical past and in definite features in their doctrines, the traditions of Buddhism, like different spiritual traditions, have actively or passively promoted - and will proceed to advertise - violent modes of habit or structural violence. The articles during this quantity disguise a extensive spectrum of the Buddhist global in time period of areas and sessions. They take care of elements of violence beginning in India earlier than the typical period and varying to the aid of jap militarism by way of Buddhist leaders a ways into the twentieth century.

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While these deeds of the Bodhisattva have always received much attention in secondary literature on Buddhism, cases of suicide that can be found in narratives belonging to the second category mentioned above have, to the best of my knowledge, virtually been ignored. In order to illustrate that these sources do not deserve such neglect when the subject of suicide in Buddhism is addressed, a few remarks restricted to only one of these sources, the Avadiinasataka as transmitted in its edited Sanskrit recension, 59 may be offered.

For further sources see James A. Berm, "Where Text Meets Flesh: Burning the Body as an 'Apocryphal Practice' in Chinese Buddhism," History of Religions 37-4 (1998): 296-7,n. 7. 47 Martin Delhey of disgust with one's own body or life ingeneral. 72 However, Fazang's (643-712) commentary73 on the Fanwang jing Yt~*~, a very influential code of behavior for followers of Mahayana probably written in China,74 regards this kind Of suicide motivated by disgust as a transgression, albeit as a minor one. In contrast, suicide committed out of hatred counts as a heavier offense.

But there are also cases of self-sacrifice that are not-at least not immediately-committed towards altruistic ends. Among them may be reckoned ones in which the Bodhisattva sacrifices himself merely in order to hear a verse of the Dharma. Probably most, if not all, of the cases of self-sacrifice in the jiitakas can be explained as serving to illustrate virtues like compassion, liberality or the firm determination to attain Buddhahood. But this problem will be referred to again later on. While these deeds of the Bodhisattva have always received much attention in secondary literature on Buddhism, cases of suicide that can be found in narratives belonging to the second category mentioned above have, to the best of my knowledge, virtually been ignored.

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Buddhism and Violence by Michael Zimmermann (Editor)


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