Monday, September 03, 2007

Korean Hostage Crisis: Prison of Ignorance

An interesting article I read in the ST today says the Taliban declared that the South Korean government paid them US$20 million as ransom to secure the release of all the hostages; something which they denied of course. The terrorist group had now vowed to use the funds to buy arms and mount more suicide attacks. "With it (the money) we will purchase arms, get our communication network renewed and buy vehicles for carrying out more suicide attacks." So said one of the Taliban commanders. Although the remaining 19 Koreans got to live, who knows how many more innocent people will die in their place now that the Taliban got so much more money to spend.

Many countries criticized the SK government for conceding to the Taliban's demands; but what are they to do otherwise? To let their own citizens die just like that? No, the SK government are not to blame for bailing their own people out. If there is anyone to blame, it should be the leaders of the Christian church group who sent these 23 Korean members to Afghanistan to do missionary work in the first place. The group had obstinately ignored government warnings against travelling to Afghanistan, after more than 1,000 Korean Christians were already deported since last year due to "security concerns". For these foolish church leaders, whose faith have blinded their common sense, the blood of the 2 Korean members killed by the Taliban is on their hands. Their actions have caused their own people to lose US$20 million to terrorists, in addition to the suffering on their own members. And when the Taliban kill hundreds, maybe thousands of other innocent people with their new weapons, these church leaders will realize the severe consequences of their ignorance. Instead of spreading God's word, they end up indirectly causing the loss of many lives in the near future.

Truly, Ignorance is a dark prison that defiles whatever deeds we do, be they good or evil. Faith without wisdom is blind faith, & instead of doing "God's work" as some of those people imagine themselves to be, they end up making a big mess out of everything, in God's name. Therefore in Buddhism much emphasis is placed on Wisdom Perfection or Prajna Paramita. Without wisdom, none of the practices we do will ever become complete. Whether it is Sila (Discipline) or Samadhi (Concentration), or the Paramitas of Dana (Giving), Sila, Ksanti (Patience), Virya (Zeal) & Dhayna (Meditation), all these practices will not be able to bear fruit without insight into the nature of reality that comes from the application of Prajna. It is only through Prajna that the other practices can be called "Paramita".

Although the Buddha had compassion for all sentient beings, yet he did not go out & try to help everyone indiscriminately. The Buddha had the Jnana (knowledge) to know when & where is the best to teach certain people, their mental aptitudes & whether they are ready to be taught or not. He is able to teach in such a way that people always receive the greatest possible benefit from hearing the Dharma at the right moment. If the necessary conditions are not ripe, the Buddha would not teach such a person, even though he is face-to-face with him or her. To do otherwise would not help the person, or worse, it might even be harmful when aversion or anger is aroused. It is because of such wisdom that the Buddha is known as "Satta Deva Manussa-nang" - the Teacher of gods & men. To always balance Compassion with Wisdom is what will truly benefit oneself & other beings. This is where we must all learn from the Buddha.


Anonymous said...


burma is buddhist country.A monk become a protester.What do u think?


Anonymous said...

Buddhist practice the dhama not to be stupid.

Close to 20 years of suffering the Burmese are facing . They cannot afford to live under a tyrants rule no more.

Monks are conducting peaceful protests but are provoked and violated by being beaten and killed.

They have been patient long enough. Now is the time for the international community to hear their turmoil and create a revolution for a better buddhist country to evolve.

Thats my view