It might seem strange to think of the Buddha as a “warrior” as he is normally and correctly seen as a figure of peace. As a Veteran of the U.S Army I would like to talk about what it means to be a Warrior or a Fierce Buddhist.
The Buddha never advocated the killing or destruction and always recommended the path of nonviolence.
However, Buddha’s life and teachings reveal a person raised to be a heroic warrior invested in honor. While he renounced the life planned for him by his parents, as a secular warrior-king, he used the language of warriors to convey the Dharma, so he could stress that following the path of Dharma required similar virtues possessed by warriors.
If you see an unjust act occurring, as a human being, one should take action against that action, it is that simple. But, when you take action it must be done with equanimity leaving all thoughts of retribution and anger behind. Just act, nothing more.
I close with this story. I have told it hundreds of times and many people have heard it before so forgive me if you have.
So I have heard…
Two monks are walking down the street and come across lovely woman trying to cross the muddy street, the senior monk picks her up, crosses the street, and puts her back down, safely and still clean. Both monks continued walking and after many miles the junior monk looks at the senior and says
“We are forbidden to touch women. How could you do that.”
To which the Senior answers “I saw someone who needed help, I picked them up and put them down again. Why are you still carrying them?”
If we as activists act in a moral, nonviolent manner to stop injustice than we are only behaving as the senior monk did. Doing what needs to be done and doing so with equanimity.