This topical and timely book looks at the concept of 'holy war' from a Buddhist perspective. JIHAD is an ancient Indian word that denotes war, not against 'unbelievers', but against all those forces in a society that hold people back from the spiritual path. In the Buddhist tradition, it came to mean the sustained offensive against the miccha-ditthis, or 'wrong views' that tend to pervade samsara, or the wider society, and that preclude people from spiritual progress. Buddhism, of course, is a non-violent tradition, and has always promoted a vigorous attack not on people, but on the views they hold. This is the meaning of Jihad in Buddhism.
In this wide-ranging and critical survey of many current wrong views, Dharmacari Devamitra casts an acute and subtle eye over many of the unthinking and herd-like attitudes that people hold today, showing exactly why these attitudes are wrong and what, in each case, the correct, Enlightened viewpoint is. He reveals, for example, the underlying power agenda of feminism, and shows with crystal clarity why the traditional Buddhist view that women have been laden with less spiritual aptitude than men is the correct one.
Other targets of his coruscating insight include Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, most non-FWBO Buddhist groups, Tantric practitioners, New Ageists, modern artists, academics, moral relativists, pseudo-liberals, psycotherapists, alternative medical practitioners, married people, the family, and those who use religious authority to justify thuggish behaviour. With such a plethora of samsaric targets - resonant of the Buddha's wide-ranging attack on the wrong views of his own time - Devamitra's book is indeed a call to Jihad in the true sense of the word.
Dharmacari Devamitra is a very senior member of the Western Buddhist Order. An uncompromising teacher and adept, he has never hesitated to correct, and where necessary ridicule, the wrong views of his juniors. He wields considerable authority within the WBO, and is an expert on manhood.
[This is satirical, and was released in November 2001. Windhorse Publications received a number of cheques from people within the FWBO who wanted to order a copy of the book! As for Devamitra, in Shabda he declared his indifference to such 'tomfoolery', but then revealed his real response when he declared the anonymity of the author to be 'pusillanimous', and for this he had nothing but 'contempt'. Which, of course, proves the point of the satire! Devamitra isn't very bright, but this is disguised by his seniority within the FWBO. He fancies himself to be well-read, and in using the word 'pusillanimous' wants us all to think that he is well-educated and has read the play 'Look Back in Anger'].