The first of the five precepts that all Buddhists should follow is “Avoid killing, or harming any living thing.” Buddhism is essentially a peaceful tradition. Nothing in Buddhist scripture gives any support to the use of violence as a way to resolve conflict. Abandon the will to fight.

What does Buddhism say about fighting?

Despite these historical instances, as far as the Buddha’s teachings and scriptures are concerned, Buddhism forbids violence for resolving conflicts.

What did Buddha say about soldiers?

They may be called upon to defend their country from external aggression, and as long as they have not renounced the worldly life, they are duty-bound to join in the struggle for peace and freedom. Under these circumstances, they cannot be blamed for becoming soldiers or being involved in defence.

Are Buddhists allowed to defend themselves?

Altruistic self-defence Mahayana Buddhist ethics broadly agrees that it can be ethical to violently defend oneself or others, as long as one wants to compassionately prevent harm rather than angrily cause harm. However, the violence used must be just enough to prevent the harm from occurring.

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About the Author

While living in a residential meditation and yoga ashram from 1999 to 2013, Leon devoted his life to the study and practice of meditation.
He accumulated about 15,000 hours of practice over many longer immersion retreats, including hours of silent meditation, chanting, prostrations, and mantra.
While participating in a "meditation marathon," he once sat in meditation for 40 hours straight. More importantly, he fell in love with meditation during this time.

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