Dalai Lama supports President Obama vs. Osama?

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 5, 2011
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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.”

…For more.

“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 more.

For another perspective on the Dalai Lama’s statement, check Slate.

For a quote by Trungpa Rinpoche that could be applied to the killing of Osama bin Laden, click here.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “Dalai Lama supports President Obama vs. Osama?”

  1. Cliff says:

    So now we need the Dalai Lama to justify our state violence? It is a dark age.

  2. BenRiggs says:

    I have a more interesting question… If this would have happened during the reign of "President Dubya" (George W. Bush) would you have published this article?
    In response to Cliff, it seems that the Dalai Lama is being used to justify state violence to the soft and fluffy new-agey crowd that believe Buddhism is just 100% non-violent under all circumstances. One thing Buddhism is not is predetermined codes of conduct.
    I agree with the your point about intelligence expressing itself forcefully from time to time. In fact, the first thing that popped into my head when I saw Obama's announcement regarding the Bin Laden situation was the quote you provided from Trungpa Rinpoche.
    I just question whether this is, as it appears on the surface, a discussion regarding the creative expression of basic intelligence. I guess seeing the Will Ferrell piece juxtaposed with this one made we wonder whether most of this is propaganda?

  3. Roger Wolsey says:

    I think the Lama is saying that as long as the intent wasn't to go in there with the intention to kill him — and if he died as a result of split actions and reactions in the heat of the moment — then his death could be considered justified.

  4. Sonyata says:

    Wayon, I have read a lot of your posts, and as soon as I find some steady work will subsribe to Elephant Journal. Thanks. Your posts are always timely, and your views are wise and balanced. I like the subject material. And there is enough variety in the Elephant Journal to keep it interesting, always.

    When I heard that they killed Bin Laden, I have to say I felt the same way as I did on 9/11. Remorseful. Saddened that there is such evil and violence in this world. I was frustrated because of all the evil villains our own government has created, funded, and supported, only to make them the next enemy and thereby justify our expenditure of military force. One has to wonder if they are running a game on us to further a larger political objective – control of world oil supplies (among other things). It seemed lame that Al Queda, a few thousand rogues in a third world nation, would force us to spend six trillion dollars bombing two countries back to the stone age, when they were already quite there. It looked like an excuse to put butt loads more cash into the deep pockets of the military industrial complex on the tax payers dime. I think that if they want to spend six trillion dollars installing a democracy, they should try to install one here first. But at least they perhaps gained a small bit of credibility finally finding and killing him. I was wondering if he was really alive at all, and they were perpetuating a myth to continue these wars.

    As for the initial report that he was holding and firing a weapon, and using a woman as a human shield… I am glad they corrected themselves. And I want to know the name of the guy who made that shit up. They may as well said that they caught him unaware, jerking off to some kiddy porn, intentionally trying to tarnish his image. It is that kind of misguided lying that evidently people in our government think is justified. If we do not take refuge in the truth, then upon what is our fortress built?