Talk:Buddhist anarchism

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Aryan Anarchism[edit]

Some Buddhists have believed that anarchism is an expression of ancient Aryan culture which they see as central to buddhism.

Clarify this? No citations.

Citation included.Harrypotter 22:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

So what is the problem here. The text has been cited. It is not a matter of whether the Ghadarites represent some Buddhists or not. Of course many Ghadarites were Sikhs, others Hindu, yet amongst them we find the promotion of a combination of Buddhism and anarchism as an important mainspring of this important movement. Further I do not understand why the editor removed the piece without discussing the matter on this page?Harrypotter 19:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, pardon me for any over-hasty deletion, but more clarification and direct quotes from the book cited are required here. Given the racist and fascist connotations, any attempt to promote "Aryan" supremacy demands caution. It is also fundamentally important that the word means something very different for Buddhists (real Buddhists at any rate) - something totally detached from one's birth/race/caste etc. So who exactly are these "some Buddhists" we are talking about here?
Note also that racist dogmas (if this is what "Aryan" is supposed to mean here) have NO place whatsoever in both mainstream Buddhism and anarchism.
I welcome a revert on your part, but with more clarification, and a major re-phrase of the concepts used. 22:39, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I am a little suprised that you seem unaware that the Four Noble Truths are called the Chattari Arya Sachchhani in Pali. Also your note that racist dogmas (...) have NO place whatsoever in both mainstream Buddhism and anarchism. seems somewhat bizarre as such seminal figures as Proudhon and Bakunin were both noted anti-semites and that a significant number (if not most) of european Buddhists sided with the Nazis during the second world war. I feel such unpleasant facts need to be confronted and understood, rather than using Buddhism or anarchism as ideological shelters to retreat from practical tasks of dealing with oppression in the world.Harrypotter 01:59, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Made minor modifications to the article. I would be truly surprised if the Buddha taught that "Aryans" (in the racial sense of the word) had a monopoly or some sort of advantage in the quest for enlightenment. He merely utilised terms like "karma", "Aryan", "rebirth" that had been in common usage since Vedic times in order to reach out to people, but his interpretations were often revolutionary in comparison to prevailing traditions at the time. I suppose this is why today we know of the "Four Noble Truths" and not the "Four Aryan Truths" or similar. It should also be noted that (for the links with anti-Semitism, fascism etc.) a person A may hold beliefs X and Y, without any (necessary or correctly-understood) relationship between X and Y themselves. But then again, at the end of the day, you are certainly right in saying that "unpleasant facts need to be confronted and understood", so as to better confront all the oppression out there in the world. 00:41, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Hi there. I'm quite bemused by the notion of the term 'arya' in a Buddhist context being taken to have any racial connotations at all. This is not how the term is used at all. For those that are not aware of why the word 'noble' is part of the term 'four noble truths', it is because only they are really experientially true for 'noble ones', ie those who have had some degree of insight into the reality of suffering, it's cause and how to stop it. As far as Buddhism is concerned, those who have only a theoretical view of suffering do not completely understand it, in the same way that someone who has not eaten a type of food has no concrete realisation of what it is like to eat that specific type of food. Because of their achievement of insight - to the point where they may become an object of refuge as one or more of the three refuges and three roots - they're considered worthy of respect, ie become noble ones. There's really not one iota of racial issues in this, it's just a coincidence with some Nazi terminology. Argenteum 19:44, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I think you raise some interesting points here. The complete subjugation of India culture by the British never quite extinguished the Pali language, so I am sure that you would concede that the translation of Chattari Arya Sachchhani as the Four Noble Truths does not involve the destruction and replacement of Indian culture, but the provision of am easily assimuable translation to run parallel to the original, so that those oppressed by wage labour and lacking the spare time to learn Pali can have access to buddhism. Of course you are not alone in feeling suprised that the Buddha taught an ideology using the notions of racial superiority concocted by ninettenth century European gentry. Har Dayal's views were very much influenced by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and viewed the Buddhism as a restoration of the primordial Vedic religion. Of course, the English expression noble is perfect as it encompasses the notion of hereditary privilege as nobility and the wikipedia entry here touches on the Samurai, who were of course noted for their attraction to Zen Buddhism. I feel somewaht uncomfortable about the prominence given to Snyder's quote. Was he involved in the Shingon sect? Does this East and West refer to Akshobhya and the Western Pure Land mentioned in theAmitabha Sutra? But then his quote doesn't make much sense at all. I think I better have a little think about this. I think certainly putting a prominent anarchist like Har Dayal at the end and Snyder, who is more of just a literary figure than a propaganda by teh deed style anarchist like Har Dayal will end up being simply disappointing.Harrypotter 17:42, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

I moved the militarist bit back to "Differing Interpretations", because this particular interpretation makes little reference to Zen, and also because these people love the State, which is detested by most anarchists.
Second, while you are entitled to have your say with regards to Hindu fundamentalism, so are the rest of us who do not subscribe to racist interpretations of Buddhism. Hence the second revert.
(On a personal note, I would recommend that you explore further where Buddhism and Hindu fundamentalism differ - you may be surprised in turn.) 05:51, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the Snyder quote is appropriate for the intro - it summarises beautifully the overall situation in the East and West, without going into controversial details (which are discussed later on). 06:03, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I have done a bit more work on the page. I think Snyder is every bit as important as Har Dayal, and I think their location in California is also relevant. As far as I can see, Har Dayal was the first to try and bring together Anarchism and Buddhism, and this is primarily a matter of fact. Secondly, I do not undertsand why you are suggesting I subscribe to a racist interpretation of buddhism, just because I am aware how Buddhism, as much as Christianity or pretty much any otehr religion has been a vehicle of racism. A good read is Stewart Home's Red London which draws upon his experience living in a buddhist housing co-op in London. I have repositioned Snyder's piece - and elaborated on his position - as I find this sort of bi-polar thinking very POV. For many Indians, for instance, India is part of the "West". As regards buddhism, it is eminently plastic, but I have tended to the Chan viewpoint of enlightenment as the Golden Ordure - it looks wonderful from the outside, but is shit on the inside.Harrypotter 21:48, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Just have one thing to add: the multiple meaings of the word "Aryan". Any good Pali dictionary will show that it does not necessarily lend itself to be "a vehicle of racism" - it can also simply mean "noble", as in the "Four Noble Truths". I'm sure you'll agree that these were not meant to apply exclusively to a certain "race" only. 21:32, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
I had chance to look through Har Dayal's The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, where he quotes T. W. Rhys David and W Stede's 1925 Pali Dictionary as saying The word Arya (Pali Ariya) literally means "that which is in accord with teh customs and ideals of the Aryan clans, held in esteem by Aryans, generally approved. Hence right, good ideal." For myself, I would be reluctant to construct a notion of Authorial intentionality - particularly over such an expanse of time as being esssentially authoritarian.Harrypotter 19:55, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Agree-the important word here is "Hence [right, good...]" - the development of a word from its original, literal meaning, to its extended, contextual usage. No need to restrict ourselves to any one single interpretation, especially after such a long expanse of time. 00:04, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the point you made is really good - i've just also linked noble to nobility a page which also mentions the Samurai but without their religious connections, and tied it into the modern English word Aristocracy which underlines the philiological connection of Aryan languages.Harrypotter 17:13, 15 November 2006 (UTC)