Please subscribe or login. He must on no account use unkindly or harsh words towards anyone. Buddhism, Power and Political Order. Pardue 1971 provides a broad overview of how Buddhism has affected politics in Asia, while Bechert 1973 focuses on changes in Buddhist ideas about politics beginning in the 19th century. Firstly, he must, put his private passions aside in the interest of the people. In other words, he must adopt the “divide and rule” policy. They after their kind too possess the mark. It will be seen that avirodhata is in this context opposed to bheda—the divide and rule policy in the Hindu statecraft. Bangkok: Mahamakuta University, 1956. That Buddhism helped greatly in the evolution of democratic forms of government in ancient India is borne out by what the Marquess of Zetland, a former Viceroy of India, says in his introduction to the book Legacy of India. Tatsushi Arai . Upāli, a former barber, Sunita a former outcaste, found honoured places in the Order. Government, rulers and laws become necessary to prevent this “matsya nyāya” operating in human society. “Monks, when the ruler of a country is just and good, the ministers become just and good. “Sangha, State, Society, ‘Nation’: Persistence of Traditions in ‘Post-Traditional’ Buddhist Societies.” Daedalus 102.1 (1973): 85–95. Barbara O'Brien is a Zen Buddhist practitioner who studied at Zen Mountain Monastery. They after their kind all possess the mark; During the Buddha’s time there were a number of great kingdoms, in India, such as Magadha and Kosala. Simple though this looks to us, it must be viewed from the point of view of contemporary society where the Brahmin hierarchy divided the society permanently into various castes, and gave religious sanction to that division. Myint, Tun. The king thus suffered in silence because of the love he had for UmmadayantÄ«. Abhiparaga argued again and again with the king with a view to convincing him that he was doing no wrong in accepting UmmadayantÄ« from his hands. But to the chagrin of the king he learned that UmmadayantÄ« was already married. The relationship between Buddhism and democracy has a long history with many scholars claiming the very foundations of Buddhist society were democratic. The Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien, Yuan Chang and I-Ttsing tell us that these democratic and equalitarian concepts were still fostered in India centuries after the great decease of the Buddha. The virtuous king also must practise priyavacana, or kind speech. Abstract . The earliest Buddhists texts, the Tipiṭaka, contain numerous references to and discussions of kings, princes, wars, and policies. Buddhism is typically thought of as a religion, the fourth largest in the world, but the label is a bit misleading, especially to westerners used to Abrahamic faiths. Buddhism - Buddhism - The life of the Buddha: The teacher known as the Buddha lived in northern India sometime between the mid-6th and the mid-4th centuries before the Common Era. If discussion disclosed a difference of opinion the matter was decided by the vote of majority, the voting being by ballot.”. In the Sutta Nipāta, we find the following statement of the Buddha: “Vāseá¹­á¹­ha” (he replied), ”I will expound Focuses on the relevance of the Buddhist “emptiness” doctrine for politics. Dana in this context means giving of alms to the needy. Not in the mouth or nose or lips or brows, Bheda means creating division where necessary: the wise ruler must bring about differences among his subjects in order to make his position secure. Leaving palace and family at the age of 29, Siddhartha spent the nex… The life of a Buddhist includes practice and is itself practice as we aspire to reach enlightenment. Bechert, Heinz. “If there is no rule of law,” says the Manu Saṃhita, “the strong would devour the weak like fishes.” “If there is no ruler to wield punishment on earth” says the Mahabharata, “the strong would devour the weak like fishes in water. In the Jataka, the Buddha had given to rules for Good Government, known as 'Dasa Raja Dharma'. And, when the rank and file become just and good, the people become just and good.”. In joy and sorrow, in prosperity and in adversity, in victory and defeat, he must conduct himself with calmness and dignity without giving in to emotions. The ten royal virtues are dāna, charity; sÄ«la, morality; pariccāga, munificence; ajjavan, straightforwardness; majjavan, gentleness; tapam, restraint; akkodho, non-hatred; avihiṃsā, non-violence; khanti, patience, and avirodhatā, friendliness and amity. It was a belief among the Buddhists that even rains came in due season when the rulers are just and good. The Blessed One also saw that man was ever ready to live in peace and amity with his fellow beings, to co-operate with his fellow beings, and even to sacrifice himself for the sake of his fellow beings, provided he was properly guided. Akkodha means non-hatred. The Buddha has definitely expressed himself in favour of the democratic form of government and also expressed the view that it was a form of government which was conducive to the stability of society. Despite this long history of a connection between Buddhism and politics, Western scholarship in the 20th century went through two phases—an early phase, strongly influenced by Max Weber, which saw Buddhism as being either apolitical or even antipolitical and focused solely on releasing practitioners from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara); and a later phase, in which Western scholars began to study the political writings and history of Buddhism more carefully, revealing both the normative political ideas in the Buddhist tradition and the complex practice of politics by Buddhists and in the name of Buddhism. Gard, Richard A. They are, dāna or charity; priya-vacana or kind speech; artha cariya, or the spirit of frugality and of service, and samanātmatā or equality. London and New York: Routledge, 2007. SÄ«la here means morality. “The Saṅgha: Buddhist Society and the Laity.” In Buddhism. The king finally said, “No doubt, it is your great affection for me that prompts you to the effort to promote my interest without considering what is right and wrong on your aide. Gard 1952, Gard 1956, and Gard 1962 are essential sources for identifying primary texts relevant to politics. The good king must not harbour grievances against those who injured him, but must act with forbearance and love. An analysis of how the relationship between sangha and state has evolved over time, especially since the 19th century, by one of the preeminent Western scholars of Buddhism. Friedlander, Peter. For myself I desire respectfully, in concert with the son of heaven, to magnify the Good Law in order to save beings from the evil of continued existence (in saṃsāra).”. Abhiparaga, however, came to know about the king’s condition and the reason for it. It is related that in the days of old people were ruined through sovereignlessness, devouring one another like the stronger fish preying upon the feebler.”. The Buddha also laid emphasis on the fact that the evil and the good of the people depend on the behaviour of their rulers; and for the good of the people he set out these ten royal virtues to be practised by the rulers of men. A member initiating business did so in the form of a motion which was then open to discussion. Remove the government, remove the rulers and remove the laws, and human society will degenerate into a state of anarchy in which the stronger will destroy the weak. Contains extensive bibliographic references to primary and secondary literature. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. He also encountered a wandering mendicant radiating equipoise, whom Siddhartha took as his model. It argues that the traditional-period texts largely continue the early period’s theory of more-or-less absolute monarchy with a relatively enlightened king, while also seeking to connect the mythological first king to the Buddha, and contemporary kings both to the Buddha and the first king. Lord Zetland says: “We know indeed that political science—Arthaśāstra in Sanskrit—was a favourite subject with Indian scholars some centuries before the Christian Era. These ten rules can be applied even today by any government which wishes to rule the country peacefully. The Buddha has definitely expressed himself in favour of the democratic form of government and also expressed the view that it was a form of government which was conducive to the stability of society. The monarch must so conduct himself in private and public, life as to be a shining example to his subjects. This theory of government naturally led to the corollary that there must be a controlling authority, and that authority must be vested with power to inflict punishment or, daṇḍa. Buddhist monarchs have ruled Buddhist-majority realms across Southeast and East Asia at various times over the past two thousand years, and even today many nations in Asia understand their governments to have a duty to rule in a way that is consistent with Buddhist values. New York and London: Macmillan, 1971. There was amity and co-operation even among the animals in the jungle—as the Buddha points out in several Jātaka stories. In part, this is because Buddhism is not typically seen as a school of political thought. Moore, Matthew J. Buddhism and Political Theory. Nevertheless, it was the Buddha who explained and formulated this doctrine in the complete form in which we have it today. Majjavan means gentleness. In the context of the knowledge we now have about the democracies in ancient India, the Buddha’s appreciative reference to the Vajjian Republic is most significant. Myint 2015 focuses on the political ramifications of the “emptiness” doctrine. The article concludes that the early texts do express a normative preference for enlightened monarchy as the best form of lay government. Verily, indifference as to the censure of men cannot at any rate be approved”. The ideal monarch is the one who keeps his five senses under strict control, shunning indulgence in sensual pleasures. Owing to this fundamental difference in outlook between Hinduism and Buddhism, we see that Buddhism lays little or no emphasis on authority (bala) or punishment (daṇḍa). In part, this is because Buddhism is not typically seen as a school of political thought. And so four-footed creatures, great and small … Ajjavan means that the monarch must be absolutely straightforward. Buddhism and Political Theory provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of Buddhist political theory from the time of the Buddha to the present. Siddhartha Gautama was born a Hindu prince around 567 BCE, in the Nepalese foothills of the Himalayas. This essay analyzes the result of in-depth interviews that the author conducted with Burmese Buddhist leaders, with a view toward building Buddhist theories of social conflict, reconciliation, and structural peace. The book introduces unfamiliar readers to Buddhism and the history of Buddhist theories of government, from the earliest accounts of Buddha's teachings to 20th century practices, and from Burma to Thailand to the Tibetan government in exile. Division in the kind of living things. "Moore breaks new ground in two academic disciplines: Buddhist studies and political science, particularly in the area of political theory. The story of UmmadayantÄ« in the Jātakamālā illustrates this point very well. Salient features of Buddhist political theory Origin of the state. The core of Buddha’s philosophy, as presented in the earliest extant texts, is an examination of the human condition through a carefully developed analysis of the causes of our suffering, and a path for alleviating it in the form of practical advice that draws only on our own resources and abilities. Birds and the winged creatures, fowls of the air, Not in the hair, or head or ears or eyes, But this very consideration induces me the more to prevent you. death) of the Buddha and later spread throughout Asia. Despite the recent upsurge of interest in comparative political theory, there has been virtually no serious examination of Buddhism by political philosophers in the past five decades. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted and redistributed in any medium. “If I should lack the power of ruling my own self, say, into what condition would I bring this people who long for protection from my side. “Our ancient kings considered hitherto the practice of virtue as their only duty; they knew how to rule without being severe and honoured the Three Jewels; they governed and helped the world, and were happy if men practised righteousness. This belief was prevalent in India before the advent of the Buddha. “Thus considering and regardful of the good of my subjects, my own righteousness and my spotless fame, I do not allow myself to submit to my passion. Having said so much about the ideals of kingship in Buddhism, we must ask ourselves whether Buddhism considers monarchy itself as the ideal form of government. (That said, many Buddhists today continue to see Buddhism as rightly being apolitical.) “As the herd goes after the leading bull in any direction, whether the right one or the wrong one, following his steps in the very same manner, the subjects imitate the behaviour of their rulers without scruple and undauntedly. ?theory of government and political theory in early Buddhism.?? Later Buddhist texts, up to the present day, likewise contain advice to rulers about how to govern well, warnings about the dire consequences of ruling poorly, and admonitions to avoid arrogance and ignoring the needs of the common people. Not in the rump, sex organs or the breast, of political theory (chap. “Buddhist Political Thought.” In The Encyclopedia of Political Thought. In fact, there is a Discourse in the Buddhist Scriptures, that has been called the Gihi Vinaya or Code of Discipline for Laymen, wholly devoted to the householder’s life. The king continued, “The evil and good the people do depend on the behaviour of their rulers. No doubt the Buddha had in mind the claims of the Brahmins that they were a unique people being “twice-born“ once in the natural way and again from the shoulder of the creator himself. Buddhism lays special emphasis on practice and realization. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis, and translations and other derivative works are to be clearly marked as such. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Edited by Michael T. Gibbons, 390–396. He certainly saw the struggle for existence that was so evident in life but this he attributed to man’s ignorance rather than to his innate depravity. They also contain references to various forms of government, prevailing in India at the time, and, significantly, the Buddha’s own words expressing his preference of the democratic form of government. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. One day he approached the king while he was alone and broached the subject in a most tactful way. Dedicating our practice for the benefit of all sentient beings acknowledges a profound connectedness—the karmic connectedness of beings through interdependent arising and the ultimate connectedness of beings through our shared buddhanature. Ancient Indian society was, no doubt, feudal—but it was also a co-operative society. Moore includes substantial quotes from a range of central texts accompanied by clear commentary. The king was confounded and was stricken with shame. This analysis and advice is grounded entirely … In the realm of political practice, since the time of the historical Buddha, Siddhattha Gotama (Sanskrit, Siddhārtha Gautama), Buddhism has both influenced governments and been identified by governments as a source of their authority and legitimacy. He admitted men of all castes into the Order. Avirodhata means non-enmity, friendship. It must be remembered that the Buddha was born into a society which, comparatively speaking, was politically advanced, and which through the ages had developed certain very sound ideals of government. For free distribution. Bhutan’s Buddhist-modernist theory of governance is a hybrid political tradition that evinces a lasting commitment to the core values of Buddhist political thought while at the same time being responsive to modern geopolitical and intellectual influences. The study of both Hindu and Buddhist literature shows that among the Indian rulers there were certainly not more (and probably less) pleasure-seeking despots than among their Western counterparts. The law of the jungle was certainly not universal even in the jungle. These laws discussed not only the rights of the rulers, but also their duties towards their subjects. This chapter argues that the three elements of Buddhist political theory—the doctrine of anattā /no-self, the theory of limited citizenship, and the theory of ethical naturalism and irrealism/anti-realism—are both similar to Western theories and different from them in important ways. In the Buddha’s view it was not discipline imposed from above or external authority that was necessary to control man, but self-understanding and inward discipline. Daṇḍa means punishment: the wise ruler must punish the wrong done according to the gravity of the crime. According to them, many kings visited Buddha to take advice on good governance. His mark. It is the duty of the king to look after the welfare of his needy subjects, and to give them food, clothing and other wherewithals. Western and Buddhist political theory flow from their contrasting conceptions of the nature of persons. Kandy • Sri Lanka, Digital Transcription Source: BPS Transcription Project. The monarch’s straightforwardness and rectitude that often will require firmness, should be tempered with gentleness. this page. New York: John Wiley, 2015. The king also must cultivate artha cariya. In thinking about Western political thought, Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) sets the stage nicely. Consider then the beetles, moths and ants, Moore 2016 references and discusses a large proportion of the primary and secondary literature, and is an essential starting point. Chapter 1 offers its descriptions by way of surveying what it calls the ? Edited by Richard A. Gard, 191–231. However murky the details may be, it is clear that the trade routes that ran from northwestern India to northern China facilitated both the introduction of Buddhism to Central Asia and the maintenance, for many centuries, of a flourishing Buddhist culture there. To you in gradual and very truth Focuses on the normative discussions of politics in early and traditional-era texts, and then compares them to the ideas of several Western thinkers. It would be concerned with harmonizing political power with the ethical and moral principles of the dharma. Thus, the earlier controversy over whether Buddhism contains any political ideas at all has been replaced by more nuanced debates about how to interpret the primary texts that do overtly discuss things like kings and laws, about whether those texts reflect a normative preference for monarchy or republicanism, and about the future direction of Buddhist political thinking. A helpful overview of the history of Buddhist interactions with politics, including fairly up-to-date discussions of the political status of Buddhism in countries with large Buddhist populations. There are at least three separate issues that scholars investigate under the title “Buddhism and politics”: (1) the normative political content of Buddhist texts and practices, as discussed in Moore 2016; (2) the historical interaction of Buddhist teachers and communities with various political authorities and forces, as explored in Harris 2007; and (3) the contemporary political activity of Buddhists, as explained in Friedlander 2009. Abstract: This article examines the canonical texts of early Buddhism and canvasses recent scholarly literature to explore whether early Buddhism contains a political theory, and if so, what it is. Buddhist Art and Architecture in Sri Lanka and Southeast A... Buddhist Theories of Causality (karma, pratītyasamutpāda, ... China, Esoteric Buddhism in, (Zhenyan and Mijiao), Chinese Buddhist Publishing and Print Culture, 1900-1950. Western scholars have long but mistakenly believed that Buddhism was antipolitical, but a careful examination of the primary texts reveals a rich and valuable political theory, based on three premises: that human beings are not selves, that politics is necessary but not very … An essential source for information about primary texts that discuss politics, though in some cases discussions of the texts are so brief as to not convey much information about their contents. Secondly, he must always pay heed to public opinion. The theory of kamma is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism. Moore initiates a much-needed critical conversation between Buddhist and Western thinkers about the nature … Gard, Richard A. Buddhist Political Thought: A Bibliography. The Buddhist path combines both philosophical reasoning and meditation. A Buddhist political philosophy would mean thinking about government, state, power, and values (such as equality, freedom, and justice) from the point of view of Buddhist philosophy. The word artha cariya has been interpreted to mean the spirit of service as well as the practice of economy and living the simple life. The Monarch should not indulge in games where killing is resorted to, or cause injury to any being. It is, therefore, necessary to have some idea about the Hindu views of government if we are to appreciate the Buddhist ideals of government. “No, no,” said the king, “that may not be. The difference in men is nominal.” (Sutta-nipāta). One day while touring the city with his retinue he saw UmmadayantÄ«, one of the most beautiful women among the Sibis and fell in love with her at first sight. He must practise non-violence to the greatest possible extent that is reconcilable with the duties of a ruler. Abhiparaga told the king that he was very well aware of the reason for the king’s poor condition and suggested to the king most respectfully that the king accept UmmadayantÄ« as his consort. Buddhist Publication Society “So long, Ānanda, as the Vajjians assemble in harmony and disperse in harmony; so long as they conduct their business in harmony; so long as they introduce no revolutionary ordinance or break up no established ordinance, but abide by the law; so long as they honour, revere, esteem and worship the elders among the Vajjians and deem them worthy of listening to; so long as the women and maidens can go about, without being molested or abducted; so long as they honour, revere, esteem and worship the Vajjian shrines, both the inner and the outer; as long as they allow not the customary offerings given and performed, to be neglected; so long as customary watch and ward over the holy men that are among them is well kept, so that they may have free access to the realm and having entered may dwell pleasantly therein, just so long as they do these things, Ānanda, may the prosperity of the Vajjians be looked for and not their decay.”. 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