Buddha has been considered to be mostly a philosopher and an ethical teacher and not preoccupied with political or state-related issues. But in contrast to that, many recent scholars have analysed (from the historical context of Buddha’s life) that he was both a ‘social reformer’ and political philosopher.
Ancient Indian society had begun to change when Buddha attained Enlightenment. Historically, that period was known as Vedanta (end of Vedas). During that time as the commerce with other states began, there came a new merchant class in the territory who expressed interest in Buddha’s teachings. Buddha challenged the divine origin concept from a very simple and acceptable viewpoint: i.e., that the Brahmins like the other varnas had a common human birth. This would make the Brahmins essentially equal to the others. It should be mentioned here that even in the Buddhist literature, there was scant mention of political attitudes.
The word “Dhammappasasana” in Pali means Good governance. (Dharamprasasana in Sanskrit)
If we look deeply we find many similarities between today’s and Buddhist governance concept. Some of these being:
When we look at Buddha’s life we find that there were many reasons for considering Buddha as a Political thinker. This was because of the need for good governance due to :
Buddha had approached the problem by applying scientific method. Finding the root cause of suffering as craving and misconception, the result being the emergence of training, meditation and wisdom
– – Guest Post by Student of RMISG
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