Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Buddhist Soldier?


(Brilliant Picture By C K Hon)


Question:(Unedited)
I am interested in becoming a buddist, however as a soldier in the US ARMY some of the things that I do directly or indirectly result in the breaking of one or more of the five precepts.... my question is that does this disqualify me from buddism altogether or are there excetions to these rules...?


My comment:

Hi,

No one is disqualified from becoming a Buddhist just because of his profession. The Buddha taught universal truths about this existence. The truth is that if one associates with unskilful and unwholesome profession, one must be prepared to face the unwholesome consequences. If one is prepared to be a soldier, then one must be prepared to kill and/or be killed in battle. The final decision rest on the individual. Buddhism does not force anyone to change one's profession.

There are certain principles which a Buddhist will strive to uphold along the line of the 5 precepts. Of course ideally one should choose a profession that is not against the 5 precepts. But then who is going to do the "dirty jobs" so to say. Who is going to defend the country? Who is going to keep law and order in the streets? Who is going to get rid of the pests that may affect our health? These are all very urgent and realistic questions. Those who are in this category may take consolation that they are doing it for the greater good of the society and nation. However, at the same time they could strive to lead a dignified, noble and harmless life as best they could. They still can follow and practise the teachings of the Buddha to the best of their ability.

The realities of this world and this existence are such that there are always this unsatisfactoriness and flaws where many a time we are confronted with.

9 comments:

PM said...

Rightly so, kill only in the line of duty when there is no choice. Beyond that no. All prisoners and wounded need to be cared and fed and no unnecessary torture.

A true Malaysian said...

Buddhism recognises 'substance' more than 'form'. Mother Teresa, though was a devoted Catholic nun, but to a Buddhist, she was more 'Buddhist' than someone labeled himself or herself as a 'Buddhist'.

A true Buddhist will not go all out to convert Mother Teresa into a Buddhist for the sake of converting.

yanjiaren said...

I couldn't agree more. My Hubby is a kind of 'born again'Buddhist and he was out of a Job for nine months. I was killing myself on the computer to make ends meet for us and we finished all the savings we had and also I lost many jobs online due to the recession. I was walking and asking my Hubby this question because we were watching this program on telly and it always shows a monk releasing fish. They always show this a lot on Chinese tv. I asked him if it was more important to save human lives or free the fish?
Then one week later he got a job unfortunately it's killing fish in a supermarket. He has three uni degrees and could not get a job. I am still battling online now to get him out of that job rofl. It seems that Pusa gave us an answer. Not everything in life is straight forward. If he hadn't got that job we would be homeless in the streets and I also need medication, herbal even though, but still. It goes to show not everything is clear cut. I do work hard and pray that he will be released from this job soon as I know deep down it hurts him. Do you best with all your heart and I am sure the answers will come soon enough. God bless. Om mani Padme Hum

Justin Choo said...

Hi yanjiaren,

Thanks for visiting this site and sharing your experience.

Looks like you are in IM.

PM said...

Justin forgive my ignorance. What is " IM "?

Justin Choo said...

PM,

IM is Internet Marketing.

PM said...

Justin

I red sometimes back there are many who got cheated in the sales through the net. How much can we trust them??? I don't know and will never buy anything through the net.

PM said...

Justin

I red sometimes back there are many who got cheated in the sales through the net. How much can we trust them??? I don't know and will never buy anything through the net.

Justin Choo said...

PM,

IM is more than selling things.

I am now learning the ropes from some kind souls who are so helpful.

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