RE: Re: Re: An Old un-Theosophical prejudice.
Jan 21, 1999 06:19 AM
by Peter Merriott
Thanks for sharing the bodhisattva story below. I imagine there are all
sorts of ways of analysing and interpreting that story, but it brought out
the idea of how complex real life situations are if once we take into
account universal laws - and with no easy answers. Most of all I share your
very human conceern..
> I only hope I am never personally placed in a position by karma to
> decide if I must take someone's life.
There is a very interesting reference to the Mystic character Narada in
volume 2 of the Secret Doctrine (page 48), which brings out what could have
been the other side of this story. Here is what it says..
"He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to,
and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events.* He is
Karma's visible adjuster on a general scale; the inspirer and the leader of
the greatest heroes of this Manvantara...
"What Narada really is, cannot be explained in print; nor would the modern
generations of the profane gather much from the information. But it may be
remarked, that if there is in the Hindu Pantheon a deity which resembles
Jehovah, in, tempting by "suggestion" of thoughts and "hardening" of the
hearts of those whom he would make his tools and victims, it is Narada. Only
with the latter it is no desire to obtain a pretext for "plaguing," and thus
showing that "I am the Lord God." Nor is it through any ambitious or
selfish motive; but, verily, to serve and guide universal progress and
"It is he who has charge of our progress and national weal or woe. It is he
who brings on wars and puts an end to them."
>From reading this I got the feeling that if it was the Karma of those 500
people to die then Narada would have arranged for them to be on the ship and
hardened the heart of that chief pirate to carry out the deed. Perhaps even
arranging for the bodhisattva to have missed the boat! Motive and Universal
Law being the key, but how challenging both your story and what HPB writes
> 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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