Tuesday, July 24, 2007

buddha question?

- I have read some information about buddha teaching, according to buddha teaching told us NOT TO KILL, so according to this I have a little doubt about in case of " SELF DEFENCE "

So what, if someone trying to hurt us, and want to kill us so in order to protect ourselve we have to fight back and it might be we have to kill that person otherwise that person might kill us.

-My other question is I have heard monk always preach about heaven and hell something like you do good recieve good do bad recieve bad. we do good thing this life and save it for next life something like that so is there really next life ?


Stan Starygin said...

Hi Manera,

"Murder" and its definition in the criminal law (the UNTAC Code in Cambodia)is fairly modern and definitely not a concept that dates back to the time of Gotama. "Self defense" is one of the multiple defenses to the crime of murder, which is also a part of the modern criminal codes, rather than any philosophy of Gotama's time.
I believe "do not kill" as one of the Five Principles of Buddhism cannot be correctly analyzed without the correct quotation. My copy of the Pali Canon's the Noble Eightfold Path says "abstinence from the destruction of life", which arguably might mean any destruction of life including self-defense, war, etc.

On the issue of heaven and hell, these, to me, are more Christian concepts which I am not sure haven't been adopted by Buddhism. They can loosely be compared with nirvana and samsara of Theravada Buddhism. Ka will probably be a better source of what the current practice is in the Sangha.


Prof. Andy said...

You raise a very important point here. The Buddha's ethical principles are never absolute. The First Precept is not exactly the same as the Biblical Commandment, 'Do Not Kill'; it is 'I undertake to refrain from the destruction of life'. It sounds the same but the Buddhist precept has a relative dimension. By that I mean it is a guideline which can be broken if the circumstances permit. The Buddha taught that MIND precedes all actions and that therefore it is the intention that matters more than the act itself.

If you INTEND to kill someone but fail to achieve that result, you acquire very bad kamma. If however you are protecting yourself and cause someone to die unintentionally, you haven't committed a kammically bad act. However, if in an act of self-defence, you get so angry that you lose control and kill the attacker deliberately, that is kammically very serious.

the Buddha's term for this is 'upaya kausalya', translated as 'skilful means'. In modern Western terminology it is almost 'Situation Ethics'.

Heaven and Hell to follow!

Prof. Andy said...

Not quite Stan - rebirth in a heaven or hell was an ancient Indian belief before the Buddha's time and long predates any such Western beliefs (which likely came via Iranian Zoroastrianism).

Cambodians seem to stress just the two realms of heaven and hell, but in Buddhist teaching there are 6 'realms' in which one can be reborn. One is the animal realm, another is as a peta - those 'hungry ghosts' Cambodians feed at Pchum Ben. There are many hell realms and even more heavenly realms.

The Buddha relativized the realms of rebirth - by that I mean he taught that they are all part of samsara, thus every being born in such a realm is (a) subject to death [including the gods] and (b) both unenlightened and incapable of becoming enlightened in that realm. The exception is the human realm, thus it is better to be born a human than a god in heaven.

Nirvana/nibbana is permanent escape from samsara and is thus quite unlike heaven. Heaven is like an extended vacation on a tropical beach - a reward for good kamma but not amenable to work at developing your spiritual path. As a human you can experience a balance of pain and hope and thus find the motivation to escape samsara.

Key Manera said...

Talking about heven and hell, I have something to share, It was a few months ago I went to a pagoda and asked a monk " Is there really heaven and hell " and he replied "well, you dont have to look any farther heaven and hell is here on earth you can see. If you look into a family that full of happiness they got everything they need like top model car, beautiful house, good children totally whatever they want they need they can have it. So this comfortable, awesome life is call heaven that mean in his previous life he did a lot of good things so he deserve to have such a beautiful life or called heaven in this life. But if we look at those who are poor or beggar or animal, life with hunger so they have a very life miserable life so this is hell to them.

So this you think this might be true ? to me I think it is.