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SV: [Pali] Re: Burmese crisis: A case for democracy

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  • Ong Yong Peng
    Dear Gunnar, I think you have carried my message beyond its intention. I did not intend to link Asoka or any other historical person to be a cakkavatti. There
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 14, 2007
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      Dear Gunnar,

      I think you have carried my message beyond its intention. I did not
      intend to link Asoka or any other historical person to be a
      cakkavatti. There also isn't any discussion to nominate the monks to
      any award.

      It is true that Myanmar is not constitutionally Buddhist, but it is
      still by and large culturally Buddhist. The cakkavatti is an ideal,
      something for any Buddhist political leader to work towards. I am not
      arguing for despotism but democracy.

      I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture which supports
      tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

      metta,
      Yong Peng.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Gunnar G�llmo wrote:

      > The brutal treatment of its people by the Myanmar
      > government does not befit good old Asian traditions.
      > Asian culture balks at tyranny.

      Well well well - Buddhist culture does, but Asian
      culture in general? I think the history of Asia is
      much more complicated than that; despotism can be
      found there as well as in other continents. (Many
      Europeans, blind for the failings of their own region,
      have thought it even an Asian specialty and talken
      about "Oriental Despotism".)
    • Gunnar Gällmo
      ... I didn t say _you_ did. I said it has often been done in Buddhist history. ... There is some - see
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 15, 2007
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        --- Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> skrev:

        > Dear Gunnar,
        >
        > I think you have carried my message beyond its
        > intention. I did not
        > intend to link Asoka or any other historical person
        > to be a
        > cakkavatti.

        I didn't say _you_ did. I said it has often been done
        in Buddhist history.

        > There also isn't any discussion to
        > nominate the monks to
        > any award.

        There is some - see

        http://www.mizzima.com/MizzimaNews/EdOp/2007/Oct/01-Oct-07.html

        Unfortunately Mr Corso, who wrote the article, managed
        to do about everything wrong:

        1. He thought he is entitled to nominate, which he
        probably isn't.

        2. He nominated for the wrong year - nominations for a
        certain year must be presented no later than February
        1:st that year.

        3. He tried to nominate through a public article,
        which the committee wouldn't accept - it abhors public
        campaigns.

        4. He didn't define exactly whom he wanted to
        nominate.

        That's why I would like to know if there actually is
        any person or organization who could, realistically,
        be nominated, or not.

        (I have sent a e-mail to Mizzima pointing these things
        out, but they haven't answered.)

        > It is true that Myanmar is not constitutionally
        > Buddhist, but it is
        > still by and large culturally Buddhist.

        Now we are coming into problems of definitions. In
        Thailand, Buddhism is officially state religion; but
        that doesn't guarantee it is always ruled according to
        Buddhist ideals. (For example, it still has the death
        penalty, which many Non-Buddhist countries manage to
        do without.)

        I person becomes a Buddhist by taking the three
        refuges; but a country can't do that.

        > The
        > cakkavatti is an ideal,
        > something for any Buddhist political leader to work
        > towards. I am not
        > arguing for despotism but democracy.

        True.

        > I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture
        > which supports
        > tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

        I don't think it is possible to speak about "Asian
        culture" in singular, nor "European culture" in
        singular. There are several cultures in both parts of
        the Eurasian continent.

        A recent example of one of the Asian cultures
        supporting tyranny is State Shinto during the time
        prior to World War Two, and the Shogunate before that.
        Also, the Pali texts contain many stories about evil
        rulers, so I think there must have been some in India
        as well; and let's not forget that Prince Siddhattha
        actually ran away from home not to risk becoming one.
        (And note: we often end our recitations with "raajaa
        bhavat_u_ dhammiko" - but never with "bhavat_i_"...)

        The culture of any region, whether Asia or some other,
        is not only its lofty treatises, but also the actions
        actually done, which is often something quite
        different. In that respect, I think the distinctions
        between continents are negligible.

        Gunnar

        http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto


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      • Ong Yong Peng
        Dear Gunnar, I do agree on diversity among cultural elements over the Asian subcontinent . In particular, we see religious diversity alongside varying
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 20, 2007
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          Dear Gunnar,

          I do agree on diversity among "cultural elements" over the
          Asian 'subcontinent'. In particular, we see religious diversity
          alongside varying degree of interaction among the Asian communities.
          Multireligious communities had long existed in large parts of Asia,
          including China, India, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Southeast Asia.

          The underlying principle towards this observed cultural phenomenon is
          religious tolerance, which is the result of, I think, the wide spread
          influence of Buddhism (non-violence) and Confucianism (secularism) in
          Asia.

          Even though it is not an easy task, it is such key elements as
          religious tolerance which I would employ in defining an "Asian
          culture".

          Secondly, it is hard for me to accept that a momentary period in a
          nation's history can be used to define its culture. We do not live in
          a perfect world, and we have witnessed tyranny in different places at
          different times. The ascension and even the long reign of a tyrant
          ruler does not constitute support of tyranny (especially in the
          absence of democracy). Also, in my views, Japan of WWII is more a
          colonial evil than a domestic tyrant.

          metta,
          Yong Peng.


          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Gunnar Gallmo wrote:

          > I am also not aware of any part of Asian culture which
          > supports tyranny, if you could enlighten us.

          I don't think it is possible to speak about "Asian culture" in
          singular, nor "European culture" in singular. There are several
          cultures in both parts of the Eurasian continent.

          A recent example of one of the Asian cultures supporting tyranny is
          State Shinto during the time prior to World War Two, and the
          Shogunate before that. Also, the Pali texts contain many stories
          about evil rulers, so I think there must have been some in India as
          well; and let's not forget that Prince Siddhattha actually ran away
          from home not to risk becoming one. (And note: we often end our
          recitations with "raajaa bhavat_u_ dhammiko" - but never
          with "bhavat_i_"...)

          The culture of any region, whether Asia or some other, is not only
          its lofty treatises, but also the actions actually done, which is
          often something quite different. In that respect, I think the
          distinctions between continents are negligible.
        • Gunnar Gällmo
          ... I agree (I wouldn t like Sweden to be defined by the Thirty Years War). I just want to avoid over-generalisations, in both directions. Wars can,
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 21, 2007
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            --- Ong Yong Peng <pali.smith@...> skrev:

            > Secondly, it is hard for me to accept that a
            > momentary period in a
            > nation's history can be used to define its culture.

            I agree (I wouldn't like Sweden to be defined by the
            Thirty Years' War). I just want to avoid
            over-generalisations, in both directions. Wars can,
            unfortunately, be found in most cultures. So can lofty
            thoughts. I think both are much older than recorded
            history.

            After all, cultures are built by people, and as the
            Buddha said: the animal is an open field, the human
            being is a jungle. It is, unfortunately, quite normal
            in human history to preach one thing and practice
            another.

            Gunnar

            http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto





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