Recently, some 10 bombs went off at Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya, one of Buddhism’s holy sites. 2 persons, monks, were injured according to report. Also according to the reports the reasons for the bombing was in retaliation for the sufferings of the Muslims in Myanmar. Some groups in India had accused the Indian government of helping the Myanmar government to get rid of Muslims there. The Buddhist world was in a shock because bombings very rarely happened in Buddhist’s holy sites. However, I am glad that instead of responding like how US or many countries response to terrorist bombings, there was a prayer for peace at the site instead.
For me, the non-response, is perhaps the most appropriate thing we should all do as Buddhists. Of course, this does not mean that all investigations should stop and security measures not taken. Nor does this mean that we just sit there and meditate it all away. I think it is important to tell the world this is how Buddhists reacts to issues like these and hopefully others can be inspired to follow the example, plus it is also important to tell others, especially those up to mischief in Myanmar, Sri Lanka or elsewhere what other Buddhists think about their actions. Of course, this is very complex matter and probably unsolvable in the near future, but at least as Buddhists we should no add more fuel to the situation.
As Buddhist, IMHO, we should investigate why such a situation arises. As a community, as a leader, as monastic or as a politician are we doing even to prevent sure situations from occurring, Are there great inequalities that needs to be addressed or is the message that we are against any violence towards the Muslims in Myanmar loud enough to hear.
In this global world, sometimes, we can no longer just ignore problems not in our midst. Situations afar because of media or even closeness borders are more closer than even our home sometimes. This is perhaps what sometimes Buddhists will call group karma. In simple terms, it says that some groups may encounter effects as a group due to causes related to them as a group. As Buddhists we cannot ignore nor say nothing about the situation in Myanmar especially when people are hijacking the Buddhist name to commit acts of violence.
I hope that because of this episode, monastics in India and even around the world will become more vocal about the situation in Myanmar and provide ever more aid to our Muslim friends. At the same time, we need to preach the buddhadharma ever so loudly, perhaps towards Myanmar, to send the message to the troublemakers that what they are doing in the name of Buddhism is against all principles that we know of and to help the Buddhists and monastics in Myanmar towards a change for peace in the country. I think we also need the Muslims in India to know that we are also against the acts of violence towards Muslims in Myanmar and perhaps even stretch out a hand of friendship to help in anyway, as long as it does not involve hatred, anger or violence, of course.