Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 02/11/2020

Accepting Injustice

My Post (5)

“The entirety of a mountain of gold, of solid bullion:

Even twice that wouldn’t suffice for one person.

Knowing this, live evenly, in tune with the contemplative life.

When you see stress, and from where it comes, how can you incline to sensuality?

Knowing acquisition to be a bond in the world, train for its subduing.”

Rajja Sutta  (SN 4:20)


I’ve been thinking a lot about justice and keep running into the article that Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote entitled Wisdom Over Justice. It’s good reading but the thought that keeps returning is that apparent injustice should be accepted because it’s only the result of our kamma. Think of it as if it were the Buddhist version of amor fati but with an equanimous state of mind.

Much like the Lord Buddha reminded the arahant Mahathero Angulimala that he should bear with the abuse and violence he was receiving due to his own past deeds, so too should we gladly bear suffering and misfortune if we are making our way towards liberation.

Why the Sutta passage above though? Simply because, even Lord Buddha was unable to create a temporal rule under which justice could be assured and served. How then do we expect to do anything remotely similar when we are so blind and overwhelmed by desire? Should we not resist the temptation to punish, to exact revenge and to inflame our hearts with righteous indignation? Why not just dress wounds and work to protect the vulnerable in whatever ways are to hand? Why fight for a justice that has never existed in the world and will forever remain an idea in the realm of Plato’s Forms?

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.