New from Windhorse Publications
THE MEANING OF JIHAD IN BUDDHISM
by Dharmacari Devamitra
This topical and timely book looks at the concept of 'holy war' from a
Buddhist perspective. JIHAD is an ancient Indian word that denotes war, not
against 'unbelievers', but against all those forces in a society that hold
people back from the spiritual path. In the Buddhist tradition, it came to
mean the sustained offensive against the miccha-ditthis, or 'wrong views'
that tend to pervade samsara, or the wider society, and that preclude people
from spiritual progress. Buddhism, of course, is a non-violent tradition,
and has always promoted a vigorous attack not on people, but on the views
they hold. This is the meaning of Jihad in Buddhism.
In this wide-ranging and critical survey of many current wrong views,
Dharmacari Devamitra casts an acute and subtle eye over many of the
unthinking and herd-like attitudes that people hold today, showing exactly
why these attitudes are wrong and what, in each case, the correct,
Enlightened viewpoint is. He reveals, for example, the underlying power
agenda of feminism, and shows with crystal clarity why the traditional
Buddhist view that women have been laden with less spiritual aptitude than
men is the correct one.
Other targets of his coruscating insight include Christians, Hindus,
Muslims, Sikhs, most non-FWBO Buddhist groups, Tantric practitioners, New
Ageists, modern artists, academics, moral relativists, pseudo-liberals,
psycotherapists, alternative medical practitioners, married people, the
family, and those who use religious authority to justify thuggish behaviour.
With such a plethora of samsaric targets - resonant of the Buddha's
wide-ranging attack on the wrong views of his own time -Devamitra's book is
indeed a call to Jihad in the true sense of the word.
Dharmacari Devamitra is a very senior member of the Western
Buddhist Order. An uncompromising teacher and adept, he has never hesitated
to correct, and where necessary ridicule, the wrong views of his juniors. He
wields considerable authority within the WBO, and is an expert on manhood.
[ This is satirical, and was released in November 2001. Windhorse
Publications received a number of cheques from people within the FWBO who
wanted to order a copy of the book! As for Devamitra, in Shabda he declared
his indifference to such 'tomfoolery', but then revealed his real response
when he declared the anonymity of the author to be 'pusillanimous', and for
this he had nothing but 'contempt'. Which, of course, proves the point of
the satire! Devamitra isn't very bright, but this is disguised by his
seniority within the FWBO. He fancies himself to be well-read, and in using
the word 'pusillanimous' wants us all to think that he is well-educated and
has read the play 'Look Back in Anger' ].