Buddhism has the source of spiritual enlightenment of the country for many years. With its teachings and various practices that have moved the hearts and minds of many, it has created a way for individuals to be rid of everyday temptations and sufferings and provide an understanding of the purpose and whole being of one’s self and all sentient being as well.
Buddhist is a relatively new subject. The founding father of Buddhism, Buddha Gautama did not teach to practice Buddhism with economics in any way. Siddharta Gautam, the real name of Buddha was born in Nepal during the 4th or 6th century B.C. Buddhist Ideology is seen as the religion that is freedom focused. It stresses the importance of the liberty of the mind negating the constraints of thinking just inside the box.
In Vietnam, Buddhist economics is not a popular study even today even though it has the largest Buddhist population in the world, that is why it a surprising fact that Thailand was able to influence westerner’s economy about, although we can attribute their success for being known as religious fanatics. You can see how ethical training can interfere with Buddhism and its relevance to an issue in economics.
Buddhism is known throughout Asia and Europe and has spread and split too many sects because of various educational cultural and ethnic diversity. It has two main branches that are heavily recognized which are; the school of the Elders known as Theravada and the Great Vehicle known as Mahayana. Theravada and Mahayana has a huge following in Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and in East Asia, respectively.
Buddhism in concentrated on an individual’s change with the following of five precepts to achieve Nibanna State, the state of personal enlightenment namely:
- I accept the avoidance of all Killing
- I accept the avoidance of all Stealing
- I accept the avoidance of Sexual Abuse
- I accept the avoidance of all Dishonesty
- I accept the avoidance of all Alcohol and Drugs.
These five concepts can be applied to basic economic needs:
For the first precept, to avoid killing, you can avoid killing and eating meat products that come from sentient beings like cows and pigs, therefore creating a huge financial break from expensive meat products.
For the second precept, by avoiding stealing, you promote encourage yourself to work and gain for your own, promoting a self-sufficient individual.
For the third precept, by avoiding Sexual Abuse, you avoid all kinds of temptation that will lead to practices of assault that will lead to jail time and therefore branding you as a nuisance to the city and erases your contribution to economic growth.
For the fourth precept, by avoiding dishonesty, you promote a trustworthy and dependable relationship with various customers and employers, landing you sales and giving you jobs which can help the progress of the economy.
For the fifth precept, avoiding alcohol and drugs, can offer you the benefit of a long and probably a healthy and disease-free life.
With these concepts in mind, practicing Buddhism in our lives can only promote positively good things to the economy making it a viable practice for any individual in any background.
Chi Hong Ta