Is VIolence JustIfIed In theraVada BuddhIsm?

Journal Title: Social Affairs - Year 2014, Vol 1, Issue 1

Abstract

Focusing on three kinds of textual sources of Theravada Buddhism (the Pali canon, postcanonical Pali chronicles and medieval Sinhala literature), this paper examines whether there is any justifcation of violence in Theravada Buddhism. Though Buddhism has recognized the relative merits of the use of mild forms of force in certain rare circumstances, by advocating a path of non-violence as one of its central doctrines Buddhism has rejected the use of violence even as a skill-in-means (Skt. upayakausalya). The paper thus examines justifcations both for violence and non-violence within the Theravada Buddhist tradition. It evaluates controversial discussions of violence in the post-canonical Pali chronicle, the Mahavamsa, in which one fnds a rare case of justifying violence in the attempt to explain potential war crimes of King Duttagamani. By comparing Mahavamsa’s views with Pali canonical literature, the paper argues that both in theory and practice Theravada Buddhism does not profess violence.Asserting that violence cannot be justifed under any circumstance, violence and its manifestations in Buddhist societies can be viewed as a deviation from the teachings of the Buddha.

Authors and Affiliations

Mahinda Deegalle

Keywords

Related Articles

THE ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT, AND CURRENT PERSPECTIVES ON ARCHAEOLOGY

In the early decades of the 20th century, archaeology was introduced as a subject in Pirivena education which mainly consisted of a segment of epigraphy. In the 1950s, the Department of History, University of Ceylon of...

DISCURSIVE-LINGUISTIC PRACTICES AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF IDENTITY IN THE SRI LANKAN SMS (SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE) DISCOURSE

Recent advances made in the feld of technology have had a drastic impact on language. Conventional rules of language for written and spoken varieties have succumbed to many a change. Consequently, these changes have le...

FOR A SUSTAINABLE TRADITION OF RESEARCH IN THE PERADENIYA FACULTY OF ARTS

This paper traces the establishment and subsequent evolution of the University of Peradeniya, particularly in relation to its original mandate as the University of Ceylon. In this regard, it focuses on the most signifc...

PERADENIYA ACADEMICS OF THE EARLY DAYS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO SINHALA STUDIES

The contribution of the University of Peradeniya to the theatre and literary arts is well known. The ‘Golden Era’ of Peradeniya was characterized by a succession of truly phenomenal works in the felds of fction, poetry...

The ImpacT of Job SaTISfacTIon and employee educaTIon on employee effIcIency

Against a backdrop of continuing discussion on the challenges faced by the apparel industry in Sri Lanka, the human involvement is yet to be considered as a signifcant organizational element. Therefore this study empir...

Download PDF file
  • EP ID EP31407
  • DOI -
  • Views 272
  • Downloads 2

How To Cite

Mahinda Deegalle (2014). Is VIolence JustIfIed In theraVada BuddhIsm?. Social Affairs, 1(1), -. https://europub.co.uk/articles/-A-31407