War: What Is It Good For?
One example of a group that may be waging this kind of war is a group called "Bodu Bala Sena." This is a Sri Lankan organization made up of a group of monks who are fighting to protect the peace, culture, and practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. In this scenario, the word fight merely means to offer a voice to the community and perhaps the world. No arms are being taken up, no threats or demands are being made, this is a war grounded in observance of all precepts. Fundamentally this is always driven by ahimsa, the Pali that means to do no harm. Sadly, once again the media is involved and portrays many stories that are completely untrue and biased. While there are extremists groups out there, including in Sri Lanka, Bodu Bala Sena is not one of them by any stretch of the imagination.
There is no way to know what the outcome will be, but we are all so fortunate to have at least one group in this world to set an example for all of us, a way to offer peace and protection in a non-violent and compassionate way.
We should not close our eyes to the rest of the world and pretend that all is well so long as we are safe. Those of us who are safe, who have food, shelter, and water, have been given a tremendous gift. We are blessed to live a happy life and live joyfully in our homes and community. But we must also understand that this gift is the right of every living being, not just for us alone.
And just like the Dalai Lama, this is my wish...
"May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need."
Note: Bodu Bala Sena is a civil society movement led by Buddhist monks and other layman to promote the development of Buddhist society in Sri Lanka. We strive to build a firm foundation for the development of a holistic Buddhist society based on Buddhist values and ethos.
David "Nissarana" Schmidt has worked in retail sales and corporate management and now runs his own online guitar business. Born and raised Roman Catholic, Schmidt left those roots to experiment with a religion of his own creation before becoming a Christian and then journeying into several Eastern philosophies including Sufism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He has published in his local temple's newsletter, and studies under Bhante Sujatha, recently named Chief Sangha Nayaka (Patron) of North America. David blogs at Well Happy Peaceful, a blog intended to share what he continues to learn as a student of the dhamma.