Korean Buddhist Monk Army and its Buddhist Ethical Problems

Pathomrat Sukkheeyamanon, Watchara Ngamchitcharoen


Following from the Buddha’s teachings, there are basic teaching ideas about loving-kindness, compassion, and non-violence. In addition, the first rule of the Five Precepts is to abstain from killing. Basically in all Buddhist sects, monks are expected as public moral role-model, and it is unacceptable for monks to involve and engage in any war because it involves killing others which is considered as evil and sinful. However, Korean Buddhist monk army in Mahayana Buddhism had to inevitably involve in war, in term of applying Buddhist ethical action of sacrifice, the intended benefits, the idea of the Bodhisattva, and proper strategies. After all, No matter how necessary of the reasons there were, this Korean Buddhist monk army had violated the Buddhist Doctrines and the Disciplines.



Buddhist monk army; War; Buddhist ethics

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Buddhapanya Sri Thawarawadee Buddhist College,
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University
51 M.2, Raikhing, Samphran, Nakhon Pathom, 73210, Thailand