Dialogue with the Court of Justice of European Union


Buddhist Defense on the Opposition to a Just War

Buddhist Law affirms that the concept of just war is ethically illegitimate, using the power of aggression rather than the power of justice. For the Maitriyana war is an organized violence that systematically causes the destruction of life,[1] so that the only just recourse is the pacifism shown by spiritual masters such as Gautama, Jesus and Francis of Assisi. The Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas) maintain that non-violence (ahimsa) is a powerful ethical force with the ability to evade hatred within the mind and heart of the aggressor. Therefore, the Buddhist Law considers that there is no valid right to war (jus bellum), but rather there is a human right to peace (jus pax). Unlike Catholic morality, the Maitriyana considers that there is no just war, considering that violence and militarism are intrinsically unjust and savage. Both the notion of holy war of religion and the notion of just war of the state are rejected by the Buddhist Law as false justifications, considering that equanimity and love of fellowmen must be the real resources in the face of aggression. This means that the human right to peace is superior with respect to the right to sovereignty and territoriality. However, this supreme human right to peace is not only intrinsic to humanity but also to all living beings, so that it is an absolute right of the whole existence. In this sense, even if they did not attack civilian populations, the traditions of holy war and just war are crimes against humanity and life, being resources that forget the dignity of every living being. The Purpose (Dharma) of Maitriyana is then the evanescence of all form of war, which go completely against the lifestyle of justice, righteousness and Spirituality. The Buddhist Law seeks to protect and preserve the ethical values as a guidance to Salvation, considering that political, economic, cultural and environmental problems have to be confronted by adequate and non-violent means. This leads the spiritual master to condemn nationalism and State cult,[2] which are contrary to the internationalist vision of world peace. The Maitriyana criticizes war as one of the most powerful evils in the world, as it worsens conflicts rather than leading to resolution. In this way, pacifism is an ethical horizon for Buddhist Law and its legal code (vinaya), which is oriented toward compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) and never toward harm or coercion against other living beings.[3] Indeed, Maitriyana confirms that the notion of righteous war (dharma yuddha) does not refer to a violent conflict but rather to a struggle through ideas and messages of peace, love, tolerance and benevolence.[4] This pacifist doctrine is the ethical duty and contemplative practice of the Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas), whose social tradition is governed by the principle of autonomy, self-determination and responsibility on the Path to Salvation.[5] However, since suffering is inevitable, the Buddhist Law does not assume an absolutist moral position, stating that the apprentice should seek to cause the least possible harm, reason why within the spiritual commune (sangha) there is no place for the violent resources of holy war or just war,[6] seeking the Sublimation of the forces of greed (loba), hatred (doha) and deceit (moha). For this reason, the system of justice of Maitriyana is based on conciliatory methods of conflict resolution,[7] instead of justifying war, xenophobia and nationalism just as States and religions ideologically do. The The Buddhist Law is the defender, protector and guardian of the Purpose (Dharma) of life, seeking the expansion of consciousness of ever living being instead of seeking their destruction and death. The political and juridical paradigm of Maitriyana never justifies violence and war, proposing a model of response which is guided by righteousness, solidarity and peace. This metapolitical model proposes the total incorporation of the Purpose (Dharma) and spiritual commune (sangha) within the state ideology,[8] seeking peace and social harmony through the principles of agreement, consensus and pluralism. Thus, the Buddhist Law proposes an open and democratic society,[9] where the espiritual commune (sangha) acts as the ethical consciousness of society,[10] ensuring that Justice and Truth exist.


[1]  Laksiri Jayasuriya, Just War Tradition and Buddhism.

[2]  S. Hauerwas, Christian Contrarian.

[3]  H. Saddhatissa, Buddhist Ethics: Essence of Buddhism.

[4]  Laksiri Jayasuriya, Just War Tradition and Buddhism.

[5]  Dhammapada.

[6]  Laksiri Jayasuriya, Just War Tradition and Buddhism.

[7]  P.D. Premasiri, The Place for a Righteous War in Buddhism.

[8]  J.D. May, Transcendence and Violence.

[9]  A. Sen, The Argumentative Indian.

[10]  Laksiri Jayasuriya, Just War Tradition and Buddhism.

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