[Buddha-l] Compassionate Violence?

James A Stroble stroble at hawaii.edu
Sun Jun 9 23:31:04 MDT 2013

On Fri, 7 Jun 2013 15:48:02 +0600
Christopher Fynn <chris.fynn at gmail.com> wrote:

> http://earlytibet.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/vanschaik_khotan1.pdf
> "The story involves the visit of two Khotanese monks to Tibet. The
> monks hope to see Avalokiteśvara face to face, and have been told that
> they may do so by travelling to Tibet and looking upon Songtsen Gampo,
> who is in fact Avalokiteśvara in person. Upon their arrival in Tibet,
> the monks are shocked to see the execution, imprisonment and corporal
> punishment of criminals. Thinking that the bodhisattva of compassion
> could never countenance such cruelty, they resolve to go back to
> Khotan immediately. However, Songtsen   Gampo, hearing of this, has
> them brought to the palace and shows himself to them in the form of
> Avalokiteśvara. Speaking to them in Khotanese, the king assures the
> monks that the atrocities they witnessed were just magical illusions
> created by the king to ensure the rule of law in his land. The monks
> are filled with faith; they fall asleep in the palace and wake up back
> home in Khotan.

Chris,  again, very interesting source!  Well, as long as capital
punishment is just an illusion, I am all for it, unless, of course, it
is me who is being executed!  But again this goes back to the
assumption of the efficacy and necessity of violence to maintain order,
and it is this that I perceive early Buddhism to have denied. 

James Andy Stroble
Leeward Community College

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