Buddhism and Violence

 by Bernard Faure, Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University

Is Buddhism pacifist? One would think so, to hear the Declarations of the Dalai Lama and those who claim there has never been "Buddhist war." So has Zen Buddhism's "drift" to militarism been only an aberration, after the timeless message of Gautama, the warrior-prince who, once he became the Buddha, preached nonviolence? We are not simply faced here with a gap between theory and practice. Even though Buddhism has no concept of a "holy war," it doesn't mean its doctrine does not at times legitimize the recourse to violence and the just war.

In whatever countries Buddhism has became official ideology


Posted December 6, 2003