Annihilate any traces of them, even their names 326

Here’s what the 5th Dalai Lama ordered his commanders to do when putting down a rebellion in 1660:

Make the male lines like trees that have had their roots cut; make the female lines like brooks that have dried up in winter; make the children and grandchildren like eggs smashed against rocks; make the servants and followers like heaps of grass consumed by fire; make their dominion like a lamp whose oil has been exhausted; in short, annihilate any traces of them, even their names.

This from a leader of that ‘nonviolent religion’ par excellence, Tibetan Buddhism? Yes, verily. They didn’t mess about, those guys, when they’d had had it up to here.

The quotation comes from an illuminating article in this month’s issue of Commentary magazine, Inventing Tibet, by Lydia Aran, in which she reveals that Tibetan Buddhism never had a tradition of nonviolence at all until the present Dalai Lama took over the idea from Ghandi, Tolstoy (from whom Ghandi got it), and Martin Luther King, Jr (who probably got it from Ghandi), and preached it along with other fashionable notions, such as concern with the environment, human rights, feminism, and ‘the rest of the amorphous agenda that informs the liberal Western conscience’.

Well worth reading, the whole thing.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

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