Dear Mr Gautier.
Your post at http://www.francoisgautier.com/buddhism-s-great-comeback-in-india/ is breath-taking in it’s ignorance. I was so flabbergasted by what you wrote regarding the Blessed One’s Followers that I was moved to compose this missive.
Buddhism does not teach passivity in the face of aggression. It teaches you to do the right thing. And the right thing involves physically opposing the aggressor while at the same time not having any hatred or ill will towards him. You are opposing him because he is doing the wrong thing. He is an ignorant person. You, however must do the right thing, which is to oppose him. So he must be opposed. But why hate him? This is what Buddhism teaches. It teaches the practice of non-hatred among many other things. King Prasenajit and Ajatassattu, both fearsome warriors adored the Buddha. Never did once the Buddha tell these great warriors to throw down their weapons and disband the Army. The Buddha talks of certain professions not being right livelihood. But never does he place soldiering in this category.
Some of the most redoubtable fighters in the world are followers of the Perfect One’s doctrine. Here are just a few examples out of many
1. Perhaps the greatest Warriors in the world, The Japanese, are Buddhist.
2. The Fierce Khampas of Tibet are formidable fighters, man to man, they are fully the equals of the Gurkhas. The Khampas are absolutely devoted to the Dalai Lama and form his bodyguard. I met one of them in Rishi Kesh. His grandfather had killed many Chinese during the rebellion in 1959.
3. The Burmese campaign was the most expensive campaign that the East India company ever waged. Yes, it was more expensive than the campaigns to Afghanistan, the Sikh Campaign and the Maratha Campaign. The Burmese are Devout Buddhists.
4. The indomitable Vietnamese who have held of the Chinese for millenia, defeated the mongols, kicked out the French, beaten the Americans. Don’t they come from a long line of the Blessed one’s followers?
If this does not suffice as proof that Buddhism does not make one passive in the face of armed aggression, then I daresay, no proof will be enough. How much more proof could a rational man need? What does Buddhism teach? Morality, One-pointedness of mind and the misery transcending wisdom. How could the practice of these make a man passive? I say to you, Mr Gautier, that it is the practice of The Fortunate One’s (Pali: Bhagava) teachings that makes a man incredibly courageous that they give him the strength to oppose the aggressor with a smile. He opposes the aggressor without any ill will or hatred tainting his heart. He thanks providence for this priceless opportunity to earn much merit in the defense of the meek. If certain foolish or cowardly ones have interpret the lack of hatred to mean passivity, then that is not The Tathagatha’s fault, is it?
Do not slander the sincere followers of The Blessed one’s doctrine without first examining all aspects of the evidence. Whatever the reasons for the passivity of the Indians and/or their leaders in the face of armed aggression, The Magnificent One or his teachings cannot be blamed for it.