When the Sublime Buddha discredited some wanderers' position by uprooting their stand, would it be correct to assume that such an act is made for their harm, the harm of many, even his own?

What does someone who is informed on this matter think?

  • I guess you're talking about his uprooting not just "views" but "wrong views"? But I don't see how that could be to everyone's harm.
    – ChrisW
    Nov 29, 2021 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


I would like to supply this quote from Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, from a work in which he did exactly what you are asking, and explained his actions this way:

“… given that we have observed the fallacy of philosophical systems that posit… this reasoning, which demonstrates… is not presented with the intention of undermining someone else’s philosophical system through conflict and contradiction. Rather, it is a description of the perception that may cause the collapse on one’s own philosophical position through one’s own philosophical position alone.

If it is said that someone proves any from among those self-defeating philosophical theories, this would only reference a flawless establishing proof for proponents of [that particular] philosophical theory—this is, those who perceive their own dialectical procedure to be flawless. Yet, from the point of view of those with deep and expansive awareness, philosophical proof is nonetheless a perception that is fabricated as one’s own experience, which is comparable to turbid water. For example, in the past, the Brahmin named Terrestrial Flower said to the Brahman named Undying:

Alas, O Brahmin, your Totally faultless methods, When seen from my point of view, Taint and habituate you with every word. (Italics are my own)

Thus, I would infer that the act of the Buddha to discredit some wanderer’s position, was done to teach them how they themselves might—at some point in time—perceive their own philosophical position to be faulty, rather than flawless, and thus directly experience the inadequacy of having a philosophical system, absent a direct insight into the problematic nature of all philosophical systems, which surely will lead them astray. Therefore, the Buddha acted out of concern, and not to harm.

  • Appreciation for effort, good householder James. As it seems to be a merely philosophical approach of a wanderer: what might be the Sublime Buddhas account?
    – user22139
    Nov 28, 2021 at 13:45

Maybe the right answer does not turn around whether cutting anothers ideas, criticize, or not, but whether it's critic of what deserves critic or not? Who knows?

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