A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Natural or Man made disasters

In comparing western doomsday predictions to a Buddhist view point, there is common ground. Both state the disasters or according to some views, Armageddon is the result of man’s evil actions. The difference is the western view point these are preordained, whereas the Buddhist view is they can be avoided or at least mitigated by right thought, right speech and right action. If we look at some of the so called natural disasters that have occurred in the world, we see the Buddhist view fits with scientific observation.  The nuclear disaster in Japan, was initiated by an earthquake and following Tsunami. However the lack of proper planning to have cooling water available, even if the power is out was the action of men. In some peoples view  current flooding in parts of Thailand because of heavy rainfall, have been made worse because of clear-cutting and over harvesting of trees up river. We have no control over the rain, Buddha told us there are natural disasters, and he also then explained that if we do not prepare for these we will pay a higher price. I am not an expert, but have seen the rain run through an area that was clear cut, and watched as the water carved the topsoil away, till it reached the harder surface below which allowed it to continue towards the river unabated. Threes have large roots that help hold the soil together, without the tree roots, smaller bushes and plants roots do not have the strength to withstand the rushing water. We must be careful stewards of the resources we have, use them wisely, and leave some for future generations. Today’s Green Movement around the world is sometimes called an attack on western values, for attacking corporate profits. Buddha pointed out that money gained through right livelihood then used correctly is good. Profit that does not leave a fair share for tomorrow, or provide safeguards against damage surely cannot be right livelihood.

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