We Cannot Ignore Buddhist Extremism—Lions Roar

Someone here nailed it by calling it “the politics of resentment”.

That quickly and accurately described it. It also provides a quick way to shut those people down as being about Buddhism.

The 3 defilements are greed, hatred, and delusion.

Those people are all about fostering resentment: hatred.

Basic Buddhist FAIL.


It’s certainly a better place these days, thanks in part to your efforts. Thank you for that.


It seems as if the more people have, the more upset they are about it. Gratitude and patience are wonderful things!


I haven’t been able to fathom bigoted billionaires.

They can have anything that they want. Why do they even have time to think about people they don’t like?

The good thing about Buddhism is that, by nature, it has antibodies in it against this kind of stuff and is largely resistant to fascist takeover. Monks get disrobed, extremists in robes get shamed, they get jotted down in history as monsters who gave counterfeit dharmas. This forum is a good example of this, I really believe that.
The problem; fascists do not care. Fascists do not care if a religion or ideology is by nature opposed to their principles. What they care about are emotionally manipulative sound bytes. What they care about is propaganda.
Fascists want to do to Buddhism what they do to any innocent thing; corrupt it completely into something representing them. It doesn’t matter to them if the majority disagrees and the thing itself naturally pushes them out. What matters to them is getting enough people to associate it with them and their own ideas that it belongs to them. If they cannot get the majority of the clergy to do it, they will ban them from reading and meditating. They’ll focus on the lay people. They will wrangle the laws so they kick out everyone who isn’t them and stuff it full of ashin wirathus. And when that doesn’t work, they’ll kill every monk and lay person who dissents.
Sitagu himself wasn’t even a supporter of the junta. But the junta went out of their way to make it seem like he is, now his monks warn him to leave Myanmar.
All that matters to them is giving the illusion of something innocent belonging to them.

Buddhism has antibodies to this kind of stuff. But, if we want them to stop from taking over, it’s up to us to prevent entry completely. The monks have GOT to be diligent about this, and the lay people need to be educated and turned away if they support fascist ideas completely.
I would recommend people watch innuendo studios “the alt right playbook” to get a grasp at what’s going on.

Hi SDC. The EBTs refer to supramundane dhamma & worldly dhamma. Therefore, it seems dhamma can be coupled with worldly interests.

The above seems valid viewpoint in respect to liberation but the EBTs do seem to actually refer to both supramundane dhamma & worldly dhamma.

The EBTs seem to often show the Buddha only teaching worldly dhamma to certain audiences. In fact, it appears to be a unique feature of the EBTs that higher (supramundane) teachings are deliberately not taught to certain audiences. This is particularly literally found in MN 143, in the statement: “Householder, it does not occur to us to teach such a Dhamma talk to white-clothed laypeople”.

The above statement about the Buddha’s decision to teach seems true, according to the account in MN 26. However, the above seems to not change the reality the EBTs refer to both supramundane dhamma & worldly dhamma.

The above also seems valid or true but it seems to not change the facts I have mentioned above, namely, often the Buddha only taught worldly dhamma to worldly Buddhist laypeople. It seems to be an extreme view to suggest the Buddha’s mission was to teach supramundane dhamma to all people. It seems only traditions such as the Buddhadasa tradition held such extreme ideas. For example, in his book called Budddhadhamma for Students, Buddhadasa seemed to say sunnata (emptiness) should be taught to laypeople. This idea seems extreme with compared to the EBTs.

In my opinion, being devoted to worldly dhamma seems to not distort the worldly priorities of the Buddha, who in the EBTs said his appearance was for benefit & happiness of the world; for gods & humans.

Possibly. Its seems possible what is called the Western political ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ is not directly to Indian Buddhism.

I replied to you sentence by sentence because, possibly to my lack of clear cognizance, I had to read your post many times before I could comprehend its content.

I am not sure what you mean by circumstances of suffering. However, my impression is you seem to saying the worldly dhammas listed in detail in the EBTs such as in the Sigalovada Sutta or the Paṭhamasamajīvī Sutta are not solutions for the world.



I’m not sure I’m entirely following your argument, but it seems as if you are saying the pursuit of harmony and equality here on Earth is to somehow miss the point of the Buddha’s teaching, and perhaps even dangerous.
But we know from the Pali Canon that the Buddha spent a considerable amount of time teaching about an equatable society, and he gave considerable effort to teaching lay people about how to live in harmony. Dismissing this fact seems a radical interpretation of what we find in the Early Buddhist Texts.

I think Venerable Bodhi states it well in the Introduction to his sutta compilation on the subject:

“Once he began teaching, the Buddha’s primary mission was to make known the path that culminates in inner peace, in the supreme security of nibbāna, release from the cycle of birth, old age, and death. But the Buddha did not turn his back on the human condition in favor of a purely ascetic, introspective quest for liberation. From his position as a renunciant who stood outside the conventional social order, he looked with deep concern on struggling humanity, enmeshed in conflict while aspiring for peace, and out of compassion he sought to bring harmony into the troubled arena of human relations, to promote a way of life based on tolerance, concord, and kindness.”

I highly recommend the book.


This is a very important point.

Ven Bodhi: (ibid)

“For the Buddha, however, right view plays a critical role not only on the path to liberation but also in the attainment of well-being and happiness within the cycle of rebirths. It does this by underscoring the need for ethical conduct. The type of right view integral to the moral life is sometimes called ‘mundane right view’ (lokiya-sammādiṭṭhi). This kind of right view is based on the premise that there is an objective, transcendent basis for morality that is not dependent on human judgements and opinions. Throughout his enlightenment, the Buddha discovered this moral law and derived from it the specific ethical injunctions of his teaching.”


I was actually surprised to discover a former Theravada monk claiming to channel Nazi devas. I fail to understand such views when the Buddha was so anti-chaste and pro-metta for all.


He never actually campaigned against the caste system though, nor did the early sangha. I’m unsure about later Indian Buddhism. The Buddha doesn’t seem to have been a social reformer. He criticises ideas, yes and the organisation he set up was more equitable but regarding society at large he seems to have accepted it for what it was.


The Buddha had influence. And had the ears of kings and queens. Those who were wise paid attention.


Within the Sangha there was no caste system.
The Caste system in the Buddha’s time might have not been as oppressive as what it turned out to be in the era we live in.
The Buddha claimed all individuals are able to attain wisdom of the Dhamma regardless of caste, that in itself sets a huge blow to the caste system. One of the big reasons Sri Lanka does not have a caste system heavily enforced is be because of Buddhism.

1 Like

Perhaps by random coincidence, this sutta was covered in a class I was in last night:

You’re not a lowlife by birth,
Na jaccā vasalo hoti,
nor by birth are you a brahmin.
Na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo;
You’re a lowlife by your deeds,
Kammunā vasalo hoti,
by deeds you’re a brahmin.
Kammunā hoti brāhmaṇo.

Sutta Nipata, Vasala Sutta

When I read suttas like this, I don’t understand how it can be thought that the Buddha was uninterested in worldly affairs, that he did not speak out against the caste system, etc.
There is simply too much evidence to the contrary.

1 Like

Yes he did, but there is a difference between instructing Kings in Dhamma and political activism. Did any of those kings legislate against the caste system, or move to abolish slavery? We don’t know. They don’t seem to have. That said Venerable Dhammanando has argued before that the Buddha was quite close to Burkean conservatism. Also, if we take men and women, that the Dhamma is less about equality of the sexes and more Complementarianism in outlook. I think there is some merit in that. If, however, I’ve misrepresented Bhante then i apologise in advance.

You were talking about reform not activism which is quite possible with a few well chosen words to those in power!


Kamma is intention, yes. The sutta you have provided doesn’t seem to support your claim. The Buddha criticised the religious claims behind the caste system. He never campaigned for it to be abolished. He seems to have accepted it as an unpleasant feature of the world he lived in.

1 Like

I don’t see the Buddha as being a reformist of the caste system. Critical, yes. Regarding politics, the following sutta says to me that monks and nuns (and we might include laymen striving for awakening of some kind) should avoid worldly politics.

They engaged in all kinds of unworthy talk, such as talk about kings, bandits, and ministers; talk about armies, threats, and wars; talk about food, drink, clothes, and beds; talk about garlands and fragrances; talk about family, vehicles, villages, towns, cities, and countries; talk about women and heroes; street talk and well talk; talk about the departed; motley talk; tales of land and sea; and talk about being reborn in this or that state of existence.


Personally I see the Buddha and Sangha teaching layfolk Dhamma, which is above politics. By that Dhamma we layfolk, who wish to be political, can then work out which political party, organisation or action is best in keeping with said natural law.


Just a reminder to try to keep as close to the OP’s main theme about ‘We cannot ignore Buddhist extremism’ and avoid making inflammatory statements condoning “Buddhist” Nazis and the like that will derail this topic, and which are not allowed on D&D anyway.

Please keep in mind the following from our guidelines/FAQ

And to clarify further…the moderators are here to help keep the forum a safe place, and make sure all topics and posts adhere to our guidelines.

Any views that try to tie Buddhism to notions of national, cultural, racial and gender superiority are not allowed.


This is admittedly an impressionistic view, but one of the things I found since starting to read the Nikayas in their entirety rather than selective suttas is how much time the Buddha spends talking to lay people, including rulers, about how to lead a good, ethical life. I wouldn’t want to anachronistic apply modern terms like “activist” or “reformer” to him. But my sense of the Buddha of the suttas is someone who cared deeply about people leading happy and ethical lives in this world, and using his influence to help rulers see and adopt changes to make society better.

This is an aspect of his teaching that one doesn’t see emphasized as much in many books and on many forums. ( @stephen 's recommendation of Venerable Bodhi’s book on social harmony is a great book that does discuss this.) For me, even if not emphasized as often at the moment, the Buddha’s interest in creating a good society and people leading good lives in the world seems a key theme in the suttas.


This is often unskillfully used to shut down perfectly valid conversations about real world issues like ethics and how to live a skillful life.

Just as at the time of the Buddha, lots of people today have many questions about contemporary issues that affect them and their spiritual practice. They want to understand things from a dhamma perspective, so the conversation actually needs to be had from time to time…

Many monastics try follow the Buddha’s examples of skillfully engaging in these topics. This is preferable to trying to censor, or shut down, restrict or tut-tut perfectly valid conversations about issues that affect people here and now.

When monks are saluting the Buddha using a salute… I mean… I think it’s okay to say that’s bad …