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Re: Re: Re: An Old un-Theosophical prejudice.

Jan 19, 1999 08:37 PM
by Richard Taylor

In a message dated 1/19/99 8:54:48 PM, Leon wrote:

<<But, what about those whose evil actions are not done out of ignorance, and
whose sole aims are to deny the "Light" and attain the "Darkness", or to gain
all material things for themselves at the expense of others?  What's
redeemable in those who, for their own selfish purposes, slaughter millions
without a qualm or who have "intent" to harm others either mentally,
emotionally or physically?  >>

I used to have a great deal of trouble with the idea of using violence to
defend oneself and even for defending helpless people.  But I think this can
in fact be justified for one with the right motive and attitude.

There is a Buddhist story about a bodhisattva who found himself on a ship
boarded by pirates who were planning to slaughter 500 people.  The bodhisattva
took it upon himself to kill the leader of the pirates, knowing that evil
karma would ensue for himself.  However, the bodhisattva thought that this
evil karma was far outweighed by the importance of saving 500 lives.
Furthermore, the bodhisattva considered that he saved the pirate from the evil
karma of having killed 500 people.  The "murder" of the pirate leader was
considered a very good deed, even for the pirate himself (in his next life).

I hope I told the story right (I don't have a copy of it here in front of me)
but the point is clear -- the bodhisattva (according to the Buddhists who
circulated this story) felt that in this case, the motive justified the "evil"
action of murder.  I agree with Leon that we need to defend the truth.  I only
hope I am never personally placed in a position by karma to decide if I must
take someone's life.


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