The Dalai Lama weighs in on killing of Osama bin Laden.
“Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened… If something is serious and it is necessary to take countermeasures, you have to take countermeasures.”
In Buddhism, there’s a long tradition of warriorship.
Generally, such warriorship is about bravery in everyday life, not war. The battle is, rather, a peaceful one, about conquering aggression itself. But, then, there is the teachings of the Four Karmas: the final step is “destroying.” Sometimes, every kalpa or eon or two, it makes sense to save life and create peace through compassion-motivated war, as in the epic Gesar of Ling.
Still, such violence is considered the provenance of enlightened leaders, not those of us who can’t even sit still and meditate every day for 10 minutes a day, or whatevs.
To the main story:
LOS ANGELES — Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama suggested that killing of Osama bin Laden by US was justified, a report said Wednesday, although his office sought to clarify the remarks.
Asked about bin Laden’s death at an event Tuesday in Los Angeles, where the Buddhist leader was at the start of a trip to five US states, he said the Al-Qaeda chief may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness.
But, cited by the LA Times, he said: “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.”
“Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.”
It should be noted that the comments came the same day that the White House amended its original account of the raid to say that Bin Laden was not armed, as officials had originally indicated that he was. So it is not clear if the Dalai Lama was aware of the latest details.
For another perspective on the Dalai Lama’s statement, check Slate.