In Defence of Peace

Buddha accepted all beings in his compassionate embrace without discrimination, and showed the way leading to the eradication of suffering and true happiness. He explained dependent origination, revealing our interconnectedness and the complex way our threads of consciousness form a broad net encompassing all modes of existence. He also taught that every sentient being possesses Buddha-nature and the full capacity to attain liberation. Consequently, we all deserve a peaceful and loving environment where we can actualise this potential.

We call every human being with a heart directed towards the Dharma to become an antidote to the culture of violence and hatred which spreads like poison in our societies.

Instead of turning a blind eye while war, climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, hate and bigotry threaten to destroy any sense of hope and transform our planet into a graveyard, we should rise to the level of our spiritual ideals.

In his essay, Getting the Message, Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, an American Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest Tradition, notes:

The Buddha’s position on the precepts was uncompromising and clear. If you want to follow his teachings, there’s absolutely no room for killing, stealing, or lying. However, in our current climate of terrorism and counter-terrorism — where governments have claimed that it’s their moral duty to lie, kill, and torture in order to prevent others from lying, killing, and torturing — a number of Buddhist teachers have joined in the effort, trying to find evidence that there were some occasions, at least, where the Buddha would condone killing or offer a rationale for a just war. Exactly why they would want to do this is up to them to say, but there’s a need to examine their arguments in order to set the record straight. The Buddha never taught a theory of just war; no decision to wage war can legitimately be traced to his teachings; no war veteran has ever had to agonize over memories of the people he killed because the Buddha said that war was okay. These facts are among the glories of the Buddhist tradition, and it’s important for the human race that they not be muddied in an effort to recast the Buddha in our own less than glorious image.

We heard the drums of war and respond by beating the drums of the Dharma in unequivocal defence of peace; an open call to non-violent resistance and acts of genuine compassion.

May the Great Compassionane One, the Hearer of the Cries of the World, send forth a rain of blessings; a rain to soothe the Earth, a rain to soothe the suffering of sentient beings, and a rain to extinguish the fires of greed, hatred and ignorance.