Considering whatever atrocities Muslims did (I don't know if they did any) or are going to do, is killing Muslims the only solution the Myanmar Buddhists could adopt? Is it wise?

Is violence recommended in Buddhism (or by Buddha) under any extreme circumstances??

If no, why have the Myanmar Buddhists chosen that path?

For context, here are some news links on this topic:

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    I think the first phrase in the first sentence may be off-topic and/or unanswerable on this site, i.e. "Considering whatever atrocities Muslims did (I don't know if they did any) or are going to do" -- you don't know, I don't know, perhaps that's not factual/answerable.
    – ChrisW
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:35
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    See the question Can Buddhism give any justification for military violence for a related discussion on Buddhism and violence Nov 23, 2015 at 16:35
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    The rest of the question might be a duplicate of (might already be answered by) these two questions: Is what is taught under the term “Radical Buddhism” consistent with Buddhist values? ... and/or What does Buddha and Buddhism say about fighting against enemy of dharma?
    – ChrisW
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:36
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    Thanks for the related question suggestions :) I never thought of searching about this that way.
    – Gokul NC
    Nov 23, 2015 at 16:56
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    Are they sufficiently related to close this one as duplicate? I guess that the 1st and 3rd paragraphs of this question are more about politics than Buddhism, so remaining core of this question is only the 2nd paragraph i.e. "Is violence recommended in Buddhism (or by Buddha) under any extreme circumstances?"
    – ChrisW
    Nov 23, 2015 at 17:09

3 Answers 3


Here's a good story of a Buddhist reaction to a genocide in Lord Buddha's time.

"Lord Buddha's family/cast (Shrathriya/Shakya) was at the top of the casts at the time and they were very proud of it.Once a kind requested a princess for a marriage from Shrathriya/Shakya cast.But because of their ego they tricked the king by sending a pretty slave girl as a princess.Time went by and she had a son,he visited the Shrathriya/Shakya relatives one day and went back.But one of his men forgot his weapon and came to get it back.That's when he heard what a slave was saying while she was eagerly washing the room that prince stayed in, She was saying look how high a slave's boy has come. The guard went back and said the whole story and the truth was revealed.He took his army and came to kill all the Shrathriyas/Shakyas.Lord Buddha saw this and stopped him not once but twice.In the third time Lord Buddha looked back in time and understood that these people are about to be slaughtered as an effect of a old Karma.This time lord Buddha did nothing.The prince went and killed all of the Shrathriya/Shakya cast brutally.That is why there is no more left today from Lord Buddha's family."

Lord Buddha said that we must come above the lust to be alive,to be born,to not to exist.Lord Buddha said that we must understand the impermanence.But we as normal people still love to live.

If you look into Buddhism you will see how many villages,casts,races have faced death/genocide. Whether we like it or not the only option is to stand like men an take it because if we raise an arm we commit bad Karma.

What happened in Myanmar can't be justified. That is not the advice of Lord Buddha.We are not permitted to kill.

You can't be a Buddhist and a warrior at the same time,it is simple as that. This might be a hard pill to digest but here is a good example why this concept is right...

Khantivādī Jātaka: J 313 (A Bodhisattva story of our Buddha)

In the Jātaka Tale, Patience Teacher Birth Story (Khantivādī Jātaka: J 313), a jealous king repeatedly asked an ascetic what the ascetic taught, to which the ascetic replied, "Patience," which the ascetic further defined as "not to get angry when injured, criticized or struck." To test the ascetic's patience, the king had the ascetic struck two thousand times with a whip of thorns, had the ascetic's hands and feet axed off, cut off the ascetic's nose and ears, and then kicked the ascetic in the heart. After the king left, the ascetic wished the king a long life and said, "Those like myself do not feel wrath." The ascetic died later that day.

Kshanti (Sanskrit kṣānti) or khanti (Pāli) is patience, forbearance and forgiveness.1 It is one of the pāramitās in both Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism.

It is comforting to have the licence to kill but as Bodhisattva's had done for eons there is only patience and Kshanti for a Buddhist. Go to India and ask what happened to the Buddhists, all of them were impaled on Trishulas by Hindu people. This is not the only time a Genocide happened. No matter who is the victim it is only wrong. Imagine why a teaching like Buddhism vanishes every time it appears in this world, every time it has been a genocide. Your mind will not support the idea first but if you read enough sources the massage is clear. Lord Buddha said one must not harm or kill another even if it cost him his own life .You can either be a Buddhist and make your mind to die the glorious death in Kshanti or you could pick a weapon and go to war. This is where we differ from Christians,Hindus and Islamic, With all due respect to them we do not have a holy war. A good Buddhist is ready to happily accept the other end of the gun.

The offensive of a Buddhist King

But if you are a rebel i recommend you learn the story of** King Dutugamunu . This King protected the lives and the Theravada teaching of srilanka against the Hindu invader's Genocide. As to the prophecy this king will be one of the Great followers of Maithri Buddha in the future.

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    A very good answer. Nov 24, 2015 at 3:11
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    @Theravada - Please include a link to the excerpt you posted since i had difficulty in locating the story. It's an interesting perspective although i don't agree with it as it suggests that the outcomes are deterministic. It may be the case the Buddha was able to assess the past, the current and the future however am surprised that the story does not indicate that rather than stop, Buddha would have attempted to lift the ignorance of killing. It seems that it's a case of 2 wrongs make a right.
    – Motivated
    Nov 24, 2015 at 5:14
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    @Theravada - I am concerned by statements such as Whether we like it or not the only option is to stand like men an take it because if we raise an arm we commit bad Karma. It suggests that we are powerless, have no other options than arming and that we should not protect ourselves. These aren't principles of Buddhism as i know it. You can be a warrior and a Buddhist at the same time. The term warrior doesn't always indicate the need to pick arms. There are better ways of engaging
    – Motivated
    Nov 24, 2015 at 5:45
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    @Motivated See this story ... see also this commentary to the Dhammapada ... Theravada's matches this version of the story (but I don't know where this version is from).
    – ChrisW
    Nov 24, 2015 at 22:20
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    @Theravada - Again, i am cautious of statements such as A good Buddhist is ready to happily accept the other end of the gun as well as the story of Khantivādī Jātaka. These suggest the extreme outcome of a given situation which in my opinion doesn't align with the middle path or way. They also appear to suggest that there isn't an alternative and an alternative doesn't imply harming anyone although the term harm is open to interpretation as it is with most definitions often leading to a situation of bed of procrustes
    – Motivated
    Nov 25, 2015 at 6:30

The Buddha never justified violence of killing any living being.

"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching." Kakacupama Sutta

Not even under extreme circumstances did he justify killing.

"One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings is one called noble." Dhammapada, verse 270

That is all. Killing is never justified according to Buddhism. A precept that is taken by both ordained and lay followers of the path is

  1. I undertake the training rule of refraining from killing living creatures 10 Precepts
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    A very good answer!
    – Theravada
    Nov 25, 2015 at 21:18

Killing of a human in Buddhism is justified by the killer going to hell.

Unless the killing results in saving the whole earth, not just saving Myanmar alone!

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