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why warrior is the best clan RE: SV: [Pali] Re: Buddhist Imprimatur?

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  • ardavarz
    Just a note: Khattiya (better translated by knights than by warrior perhaps) Khattiya = in Sanskrit Kshatriya - is literally ruler or governor .
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 31, 2009
      Just a note:

      "Khattiya (better translated by "knights" than by "warrior" perhaps)"

      Khattiya = in Sanskrit Kshatriya - is literally "ruler" or "governor". Etymologically it is from the verb root kshi - "to possess, to have power over, rule, govern, be master of" - plus suffix t.r designating the "doer" of something. (It could be also from ksha - "field" and tra - "protecting" i.e. "protector of the land".)

      Here is an interesting excerpt from the Monier-Williams' Dictionary - the entry for "kshatra" ("dominion, power"):

      "- the military or reigning order (the members of which in the earliest times , as represented by the Vedic hymns , were generally called Raajanya , not Kshatriya.
      - afterwards , when the difference between Brahman and Kshatra or the priestly and civil authorities became more distinct , applied to the second or reigning or military caste) VS. AV. TS. &c.
      - a member of the military or second order or caste , warrior Mn. MBh. &c. (fancifully derived fr. k.shataat tra fr. root trai i.e. "a preserver from injury "' Ragh. ii , 53)".

      There is a theory that originally the casts were not hereditary social groups but a designation of people with different psycho-somatic predispositions fit for one or another kind of job. (The word for "cast" is var.na (in Pali - va.n.na) - literally "colour" or metaphorically "quality".)

      Why the Buddha has said that the Khattiyas are the best should probably be deduced from the context. I think that the casts are neither denied (as it is usually maintained) nor approved by the Buddhism because they are irrelevant to the liberation. Buddhism is not concern with the casts, social contradictions etc. but with the elimination of suffering which is the same for all beings. This is a revolution in the psyche, not in society (society just doesn't matter).

      Metta,
      Ardavarz


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jacques Huynen <jhuynen@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello everyone,
      >  
      > The last sloka of the Cakkavatti Sutta (32) does indeed states that "in terms of birth or caste the Khattiya are best". But what does it mean in the social and anthropological context of the time?  According to some, among which DD. Kosambi (Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India) at the time of the Buddha, the brahmins were barely beginning trying to assert their superiority and impose their moral dominance on Indian (Aryan) society. They were of course opposed by many non-brahmin groups, non -Aryan and even Aryan, among which the Khattiya (better translated by "knights" than by "warrior" perhaps) who had to that point been dominant. The Cakkavatti Sutta also notes the "egalitarian ethos" of the Khattiya : among them the best (strongest but also most clever) is elected as the leader or King ( mahasamata or Great Elected). The Khattiya at that time may have been not only more equalitarian but also, as a caste, more porous. Some even wondered if the
      > Sakyas, the clan of the Buddha, had not been first of some aboriginal, non-Aryan stock (cf EJ.Thomas, Life of Buddha, Legend and History). Belonging to the Khattiya was perhaps at the time not only and necessarily the result of birth but of a moral might  gotten from merit, strenght, courage, intelligence. It is also  possible that the contemporary kings of the janapadas making up India at the time, and the kings of Magadha later, all Khattiyas, though perhaps sincere in their allegiance to the Buddha, also thought his doctrine politically opportune in fending off Brahmines' pretensions. 
      >  
      > What matters is that for the Khattiya, as for the Buddha, one of them, dominance is not inherited but obtained through merit.
      >  
      > With Metta
      >  
      > J. Huynen
      >  
      >  
      >
      > --- On Thu, 10/29/09, frank <fcckuan@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: frank <fcckuan@...>
      > Subject: why warrior is the best clan RE: SV: [Pali] Re: Buddhist Imprimatur?
      > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 5:22 PM
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: Pali@yahoogroups. com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Kumâra
      > Bhikkhu.
      > [snip]
      > Hmm.... never thought of that before. I wonder if elements of that could
      > have infiltrated into the suttas. I personally find it odd that in one sutta
      > the Buddha claims that the khattiya/Kshatriya is the best of all clans.
      >
      > Greetings Venerable Kumara,
      >
      > I heard a talk from a monk last year that explained this in a way that made
      > a great deal of sense to me. I will relate what I heard but be warned it is
      > embellished with many of my own opinions which may be completely erroneous.
      >
      > If the Buddha is enlightened, by definition they are beyond identifying with
      > any clan, political affiliation, class, race, country, etc. Nor would they
      > praise warriors for killing their enemies. The only killing that enlightened
      > beings endorse are the metaphorical “killing” of one’s own delusions and
      > defilements (one sutta the Buddha praised the killing of anger for example).
      > The Buddha proclaimed the warrior class as the best (as opposed to Brahmins
      > or other castes) because the warrior is trained and accustomed to dealing
      > with extreme adversity and finding a way to overcome whatever obstacles and
      > difficulties that arise. For context, consider all the difficulties that
      > arise in meditation. The hindrances, boredom, agitation from facing the
      > demons of one’s mind would lead to excuses by most castes (including
      > Brahmins) to stop meditating. In stark contrast, the warrior sits as long as
      > it takes, enduring physical pain, mental agony, patiently fighting through
      > it all until they triumph and attain whatever can be attained by manly
      > strength, manly energy. Perhaps the Buddha saw some of the Brahmins in his
      > day who were intellectually gifted and could give brilliant sermons and
      > debate with impressive flair and confidence, but did not have the
      > attainments to back up the talk, whereas the warrior didn’t waste time
      > talking and would just get things done that needed to be done. It makes
      > complete sense to me why the Buddha praised certain qualities of the
      > warrior. The dedication required to steadfastly adhere to the 4 foundations
      > of mindfulness at all times, it takes a warrior spirit. In the suttas, you
      > can see the monks never give in to sleep without a fight. When they engage
      > in activities such as eating which is perilously close to the 5 cords of
      > sensual pleasure, with the warrior spirit they vigilantly guard every moment
      > against delighting in taste and hankering for the continuation of
      > stimulating taste, knowing that failure to do so leads to their defilements
      > exponentially increasing and compounding over time like credit card debt
      > that quickly compounds and spirals into bankruptcy. The factor of right
      > effort, persistence, energy, expressed by the pali word Viriya, has the root
      > meaning “hero” or “warrior”. The pali word Tapas(?) which frequently is
      > translated as “ardent”, occurring frequently in the 4 foundations of
      > mindfulness sutta, also brings to mind the heroic effort required to
      > maintain mindfulness. One commentator wrote that “ardent” was too mild of a
      > translation, that failed to capture the power behind the word. The
      > Visuddhimagga I believe used the simile of Tapas being like the intense heat
      > of the sun (mindfulness) that can incinerate all defilements. Such is the
      > extraordinary power of mindfulness done with heroic warrior spirit.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Piya Tan
      Dear Ardavarz & friends, Apparently k.shatriya is related to satrap, satrapy, etc, a term used in the Indo-Greek kingdoms of NW India. I m not sure of the
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 1, 2009
        Dear Ardavarz & friends,

        Apparently k.shatriya is related to satrap, satrapy, etc, a term used in the
        Indo-Greek kingdoms of NW India.

        I'm not sure of the details.

        With metta,

        Piya




        On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 8:43 AM, ardavarz <ardavarz@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        >
        > Just a note:
        >
        > "Khattiya (better translated by "knights" than by "warrior" perhaps)"
        >
        > Khattiya = in Sanskrit Kshatriya - is literally "ruler" or "governor".
        > Etymologically it is from the verb root kshi - "to possess, to have power
        > over, rule, govern, be master of" - plus suffix t.r designating the "doer"
        > of something. (It could be also from ksha - "field" and tra - "protecting"
        > i.e. "protector of the land".)
        >
        > Here is an interesting excerpt from the Monier-Williams' Dictionary - the
        > entry for "kshatra" ("dominion, power"):
        >
        > "- the military or reigning order (the members of which in the earliest
        > times , as represented by the Vedic hymns , were generally called Raajanya ,
        > not Kshatriya.
        > - afterwards , when the difference between Brahman and Kshatra or the
        > priestly and civil authorities became more distinct , applied to the second
        > or reigning or military caste) VS. AV. TS. &c.
        > - a member of the military or second order or caste , warrior Mn. MBh. &c.
        > (fancifully derived fr. k.shataat tra fr. root trai i.e. "a preserver from
        > injury "' Ragh. ii , 53)".
        >
        > There is a theory that originally the casts were not hereditary social
        > groups but a designation of people with different psycho-somatic
        > predispositions fit for one or another kind of job. (The word for "cast" is
        > var.na (in Pali - va.n.na) - literally "colour" or metaphorically
        > "quality".)
        >
        > Why the Buddha has said that the Khattiyas are the best should probably be
        > deduced from the context. I think that the casts are neither denied (as it
        > is usually maintained) nor approved by the Buddhism because they are
        > irrelevant to the liberation. Buddhism is not concern with the casts, social
        > contradictions etc. but with the elimination of suffering which is the same
        > for all beings. This is a revolution in the psyche, not in society (society
        > just doesn't matter).
        >
        > Metta,
        > Ardavarz
        >
        > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>, Jacques Huynen
        > <jhuynen@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hello everyone,
        > > �
        > > The last sloka of the Cakkavatti Sutta (32) does indeed states that "in
        > terms of birth or caste the Khattiya are best". But what does it mean in the
        > social and anthropological context of the time? � According to some, among
        > which DD. Kosambi (Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India) at the time of
        > the Buddha, the brahmins were barely beginning trying to assert their
        > superiority and impose their moral dominance on Indian (Aryan) society. They
        > were of course opposed by many non-brahmin groups,� non -Aryan and even
        > Aryan, among which the Khattiya (better translated by "knights" than by
        > "warrior" perhaps) who had to that point been dominant. The Cakkavatti Sutta
        > also notes the "egalitarian ethos" of the Khattiya : among them the best
        > (strongest but also most clever) is elected as the leader or King (
        > mahasamata or Great Elected). The Khattiya at that time may have been not
        > only more equalitarian but also, as a caste, more porous. Some even wondered
        > if the
        > > Sakyas, the clan of the Buddha, had not been first� of some aboriginal,
        > non-Aryan� stock (cf EJ.Thomas, Life of Buddha, Legend and
        > History).� Belonging to the Khattiya was perhaps at the time not only and
        > necessarily the result of� birth but of a moral might� gotten from merit,
        > strenght, courage, intelligence. It is also � possible that the contemporary
        > kings of the janapadas making up India at the time, and the kings of Magadha
        > later, all Khattiyas, though perhaps sincere in their allegiance to the
        > Buddha, also thought his doctrine� politically opportune in fending off
        > Brahmines' pretensions.�
        > > �
        >
        > > What matters is that for the Khattiya, as for the Buddha, one of them,
        > dominance is not inherited but obtained through merit.
        > > �
        > > With Metta
        > > �
        > > J. Huynen
        > > �
        > > �
        > >
        > > --- On Thu, 10/29/09, frank <fcckuan@...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > From: frank <fcckuan@...>
        > > Subject: why warrior is the best clan RE: SV: [Pali] Re: Buddhist
        > Imprimatur?
        > > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com <Pali%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 5:22 PM
        > >
        > >
        > > �
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > _____
        > >
        > > From: Pali@yahoogroups. com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of
        > Kum��ra
        > > Bhikkhu.
        > > [snip]
        > > Hmm.... never thought of that before. I wonder if elements of that could
        > > have infiltrated into the suttas. I personally find it odd that in one
        > sutta
        > > the Buddha claims that the khattiya/Kshatriya is the best of all clans.
        > >
        > > Greetings Venerable Kumara,
        > >
        > > I heard a talk from a monk last year that explained this in a way that
        > made
        > > a great deal of sense to me. I will relate what I heard but be warned it
        > is
        > > embellished with many of my own opinions which may be completely
        > erroneous.
        > >
        > > If the Buddha is enlightened, by definition they are beyond identifying
        > with
        > > any clan, political affiliation, class, race, country, etc. Nor would
        > they
        > > praise warriors for killing their enemies. The only killing that
        > enlightened
        > > beings endorse are the metaphorical ���killing�� of one���s own delusions
        > and
        > > defilements (one sutta the Buddha praised the killing of anger for
        > example).
        > > The Buddha proclaimed the warrior class as the best (as opposed to
        > Brahmins
        > > or other castes) because the warrior is trained and accustomed to dealing
        > > with extreme adversity and finding a way to overcome whatever obstacles
        > and
        > > difficulties that arise. For context, consider all the difficulties that
        > > arise in meditation. The hindrances, boredom, agitation from facing the
        > > demons of one���s mind would lead to excuses by most castes (including
        > > Brahmins) to stop meditating. In stark contrast, the warrior sits as long
        > as
        > > it takes, enduring physical pain, mental agony, patiently fighting
        > through
        > > it all until they triumph and attain whatever can be attained by manly
        > > strength, manly energy. Perhaps the Buddha saw some of the Brahmins in
        > his
        > > day who were intellectually gifted and could give brilliant sermons and
        > > debate with impressive flair and confidence, but did not have the
        > > attainments to back up the talk, whereas the warrior didn���t waste time
        > > talking and would just get things done that needed to be done. It makes
        > > complete sense to me why the Buddha praised certain qualities of the
        > > warrior. The dedication required to steadfastly adhere to the 4
        > foundations
        > > of mindfulness at all times, it takes a warrior spirit. In the suttas,
        > you
        > > can see the monks never give in to sleep without a fight. When they
        > engage
        > > in activities such as eating which is perilously close to the 5 cords of
        > > sensual pleasure, with the warrior spirit they vigilantly guard every
        > moment
        > > against delighting in taste and hankering for the continuation of
        > > stimulating taste, knowing that failure to do so leads to their
        > defilements
        > > exponentially increasing and compounding over time like credit card debt
        > > that quickly compounds and spirals into bankruptcy. The factor of right
        > > effort, persistence, energy, expressed by the pali word Viriya, has the
        > root
        > > meaning ���hero�� or ���warrior�� . The pali word Tapas(?) which
        > frequently is
        > > translated as ���ardent�� , occurring frequently in the 4 foundations of
        > > mindfulness sutta, also brings to mind the heroic effort required to
        > > maintain mindfulness. One commentator wrote that ���ardent�� was too mild
        > of a
        > > translation, that failed to capture the power behind the word. The
        > > Visuddhimagga I believe used the simile of Tapas being like the intense
        > heat
        > > of the sun (mindfulness) that can incinerate all defilements. Such is the
        > > extraordinary power of mindfulness done with heroic warrior spirit.
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
        >
        >



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