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06/05/09
FREE ONLINE TRAINING ON PRECEPTS AND TRADE-22-The way of home life – Ethics-VR1-Breaking barriers: Scheduled Caste sets up software company-The challenge of being Mayawati-There is a message in the BSP’s 27.42 per cent vote share: That all is not lost, and she will recover the ground lost as she reclaims the qualities that brought her to power two years ago.-BSP alleges Allahabad High Court for Stopping Development of UP-Mayawati’s new mantra: zero tolerance for bribery- Safer and affordable solar lamps for rural households- UP sets up panel to attract investment-Buddhist Social capital -Title: Putting Buddhism to Work: -The Buddhist Way to Economic Stability-Globalization and Buddhism-Give Buddhist economics a try -Social accounting for sufficiency: Buddhist principles and practices, and their application in Thailand-Business and the Buddha-New book “The Perfection of Marketing” incorporates Diamond Cutter principles-FREE ONLINE HELP LINE SERVICES SERVICES OFFERED
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FREE ONLINE TRAINING ON PRECEPTS AND TRADE-22
The way of home life – Ethics


Children should show
respect for their parents in the following ways:

1)                 
By
supporting and attending to them, and making sure their needs are satisfied,

2)                 
By first
notifying their parentswhen they want to do something,

3)                 
By obeying
the wishes of their parents,

4)                 
By not
rebelling against the authority of their parents, and

5)                 
By
continuing and enhancing the parents’ profession.

 

Parents, too, should
raise and educate their children in five ways:

1)                 
by teaching
their children not to do anything destructive,

2)                 
by
instructing and guiding them in good ways,

3)                 
by deeply
loving and looking after them,

4)                 
by properly
arranging good marriages for them, and

5)                 
by providing
them with an appropriate allowance.

VR1
MEDIA

[dhamma_voice] Breaking barriers: Scheduled Caste sets up software company

From:


I saw YOU-TUBE on Mr. Atul Paswan new I.T firm in bangalore named Indo - Sakura soft ware private limited.
It was a bold initative and the founder need all of us’s support in both tangible and non-tangible way.
I personally wish him all the best and many many congratulations.

Dr.Berwa

Thirty-one-year
old Atul Paswan has successfully changed what many may have said was
his destiny. A Scheduled Caste from Siwan district in Bihar three years ago, the
village schoolteacher’s son set up a software company in Bangalore.

Company Name : Indo-Sakura Software Pvt. Ltd

Check out  NDTV video at http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=T8xOia2MjXU

http://drambedkarbo oks.wordpress. com

The challenge of being Mayawati

There is a message in the BSP’s 27.42 per cent vote share: That all is
not lost, and she will recover the ground lost as she reclaims
the qualities that brought her to power two years ago.

In the summer of 2007, as the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party galloped
towards an absolute majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.


Ms Mayawati’s implausible journey from a Scheduled Caste background of
deprivation and discrimination to Chief Minister on her own strength
was a story without precedent. (Barack Obama came later.) It had been
made possible as much by grit, struggle and courage as by strategy,
craft and a keen understanding of what to do when. Ms Mayawati plotted
her victory with precision, making a gradual but astute shift from the
exclusivist, strident Scheduled Caste-centred agenda of the past to a pragmatic
politics of inclusion and reaching out.

BSP alleges Allahabad High Court for Stopping Development of UP

Published by Read it India News Bureau

In a Press release on its site,Bahujan Samaj Party has alleged Allahabad High Court for Stopping Development of UP.

The Allahabad High Court has barred the Uttar Pradesh Government
from proceeding ahead on the ambitious eight-laned Ganga Expressway
project and directed the concerned authorities to obtain prior
clearance from environmental board.

A bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhusan and Justice Arun Tandon on
Friday passed this order on the petition filed by two voluntary
organisations, which questioned the environmental feasibility of the
project.

The Court has stayed further work on over 1000 kilometres long
project that would connect the eastern and western boundaries of Uttar
Pradesh because of environmental concerns.

“The Allahabad High Court has restrained the proceedings of The
Ganga-Express way, the 1100 kilometre long expressway from Noida to
Ballia because of environmental issues. The project was started by the
Mayawati government,” said Arun Kumar Gupta, counsel for petitioners.

Further he informed that court has also asked the state government
to obtain clearance from the state-level Environment Impact Assessment
Authority.The High Court has also quashed the earlier environmental
clearance granted by the Environmental Protection Authority. The court
also directed UP government not to proceed with the highway project
unless and until it obtains a due clearance from the state-level
Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA),” Gupta added.

Mayawati’s new mantra: zero tolerance for bribery



Bahujan Samaj Party
Lucknow:
Mayawati has also asked top cops to ensure that the common man’s grievances do not go unheard.
Honesty, after all, may be the best policy. At least
that’s what Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati seems to be saying
after a post-mortem of her Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) losses in the
Lok Sabha polls suggested that rampant corruption may have taken a
toll.
In damage control mode now, Mayawati has despatched a
three-member team of bureaucrats handpicked by her to spread the
message of “no tolerance” for corruption.
A team comprising additional cabinet secretary Vijay Shankar
Pandey, principal home secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur and deputy
inspector general of police Jasvir Singh launched its anti-corruption
campaign this week when they went to Varanasi to hold a meeting with
local police and revenue officials.
“The objective behind the chief minister’s mission is to make
government functionaries realise that bribery of any kind will not be
tolerated,” Pandey said.
The exercise which began from Varanasi was carried out in
Firozabad Wednesday with all local government functionaries - district
magistrate and superintendent of police downwards.

“You will neither give bribe to anyone nor accept bribes under any circumstances” is what the officials were told.
Officials at all levels were told, “The chief minister wants to
make it clear that you have to put an end to bribery - don’t accept or
demand bribes from anyone and if any of your superiors demand bribes,
report it directly to us. You may rest assured that the chief minister
is not going to spare such a person.”
The chief minister’s special envoys are stated to have
emphasised “deterrent punishment will follow against those who refuse
to mend their ways and continue to indulge in corrupt practices,
causing hindrances in official delivery systems”.
“Punitive action will follow against officials who fail to
respond to the complaints of common people or refuse to register their
FIRs,” said Pandey, who had once spearheaded a powerful campaign to
identify the three most corrupt administrative officers in Uttar
Pradesh.
While the three-member special team is running its “no bribe”
campaign, the chief minister has also detailed some of her select
officers to visit each of the state’s 72 districts to monitor the pace
of various development schemes.
To ensure that the visit does not remain just a perfunctory
exercise, handpicked officers of the rank of principal secretary were
assigned to spend two full days in the districts and submit a report.
“This has surely helped us get a detailed picture of the state
of various development programmes, to identify the stumbling blocks as
also to find ways of clearing the hurdles,” observed Shailesh Krishna,
principal secretary to the chief minister, after returning from his
two-day camp in Jaunpur from where he chose to start the exercise.

Mayawati’s BSP won only 20 of the state’s 80 parliamentary seats in the 15th Lok Sabha polls.(IANS)
Sci. & Tech.


Safer and affordable solar lamps for rural households

New Delhi (PTI): Rural households in
Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh with no electricity will now have the
option to use safer and affordable solar lamps instead of the polluting
kerosene ones.

D.light Design, a lighting and power
company, has joined hands with UK-based NGO Shell Foundation to deliver
affordable and high quality lighting solutions to rural households
living without adequate electricity in the country.

The project, funded by the Foundation,
is being initially rolled out in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh,
according to a joint statement issued by the two.

The portable lanterns will be made
available in two variants priced between Rs 800 and Rs 1,600 and are up
to 10 times brighter than the kerosene ones and provide up to 32 hours
of lighting, an official of the D.light Design claimed.

The company aims to provide clean source of light to 10 million rural homes in India by the end of 2010.

Shell Foundation analyst Simon
Desjardins said: “Renewable energy technologies represent the best
option for poor consumers in most rural markets in India primarily
because of their lower cost and usage flexibility relative to
government grid extension schemes, kerosene lanterns, or diesel
generator sets.”

UP sets up panel to attract investment

To tide over bureaucratic and procedural delays in approving investment
proposals, the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted an Empowered
Committee (EC) for time-bound clearance of such cases.


EC has been mandated to develop a fresh perspective among the state
machinery for securing investment and attracting entrepreneurs.

In the last two years, UP has failed to secure investment in several
sectors, including sugar, transport, technical education and tourism
due to lack of clarity in economic policies and adequate incentives.

EC will review existing policies, rules and regulation relating to
industrial and infrastructure development to make them simpler and
efficient. It will also decide over rebate on trade tax to boost
industrialisation.

The 29-member committee is headed by the state chief secretary and
comprises agriculture production commissioner, Infrastructure and
Industrial Development commissioner, and chief executive officers of
Yamuna Expressway and UP Expressway among others.

The proposals would be forwarded to the department concerned within
24 hrs, which will give its recommendation to Udyog Bandhu within seven
days. Later, Udyog Bandhu will put up the case before EC, in which the
entrepreneur would also be invited.

EC will take up matters pertaining to infrastructure and industry
entailing investment of over Rs 50 crore, and projects related to
agriculture, food processing, electronics, IT and biotechnology and
entailing investment of over Rs 10 crore.

It will also consider cases for revival of industrial units, which
are defunct and beyond the purview of Board for Industrial and
Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).

EC has also been entrusted with the task of taking decisions on
issues related to environment and allotting rivers and canals to
industrial units


Kindly visit:
http://www.inebnetwork.org/web/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemid=42

Buddhist Social capital
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As author of a book on peace, democracy, and righteousness (Santi
Pracha Dhamma) and governor of the Bank of Thailand, the memory of Dr.
Puey Ungphakorn challenges us to ask how Buddhist principles connect
with the major globalizing force of today, economics. 

            
Buddhists have held a variety of views of economics. Buddhist monastics
and hermits make vows to avoid money, but Buddhist monasteries and
temples have sometimes accumulated great wealth and used it for the
conspicuous display of devotion by building glistening Buddha images
and towering Buddha halls (quite different from the economic ethic of
“small is beautiful” advocated by Schumacher) In other contexts,
Buddhist families are advised to balance spending, saving, and donating
 and several successful businesses leaders have developed worldwide
businesses using principles that were inspired by their Buddhist
practice. Sometimes money is used directly as a tool for relieving
suffering when Buddhist groups like the Taiwan-based Tzu¬chi Compassion
Association solicit money for social and medical services to relieve
physical suffering in the world. Yet another model is given by the
Greystone Foundation started by Zen Master Bernie Glassman that uses
the practice of making money in a baking business as a method for
social and spiritual development.

            
Whereas previous Buddhist economic views have usually worked within an
established social system, Acharn Sulak Sivaraksa has organized several
groups on development to challenge economic injustice and build visions
of a more equitable society.Today economics is not just an individual
or national matter, but also a matter of corporate and international
law. With the increased dominance of transnational corporations (TNCs),
the media, and the World Trade Organization in determining the quality
of life globally, individual Buddhists need to address this larger
economic level and not be restricted just to personal and national
economic policies.

Corporations 
            
No one should doubt the increasing dominance of TNCs, but as a new
economic life form we may be taken by surprise at how powerful they
have become. In order to ensure that we take them seriously, please
indulge me when I list some of their recent activity. In 1970 the total
number ofTNCs was about 7,000, but grew by 1998 to at least 53,607 TNCs
who were contracted with at least 448,917 foreign subsidiaries.7 The
six largest corporations in the world (Exxon, General Motors, Ford,
Mitsui, Daimler-Chrysler, and Mitsubishi) had combined revenues larger
than the combined budgets of 64 nations that include 58 percent of the
world’s population (including India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russian,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Mexico). Only seven nations have
budgets larger than Ford, Exxon, or General Motors: namely, France, the
United Kingdom, Italy, China, Japan, Germany, and the United States. 

            
 The size of individual corporations in comparison to nations is
impressive. However, their growing influence based on their growing
number make them even more powerful. In listing the 200 largest
financial budgets in the world, Charles Gray found that only 39 were
nations, whereas 161 were corporations. The Fortune 500 companies in
1999 consisted of companies that have budgets over US $9 billion, but
only 57 national governments have budgets as large as these 500
corporations. As corporations increasingly “rule the world,”  and as
Buddhist institutions function as corporations, it is important to
discuss what guidelines religious organizations should practice and
advocate for others. 

              Since nations still have
important power to regulate TNCs, Carol Johnston in her book The Wealth
or Health of Nations 10 rethinks national economic goals in terms of
health, persons¬in-community, and ecosystems rather than the production
and overproduction of more goods Johnston makes many positive proposals
to improve our situation. Her main concern is to rethink the goals of
economics in terms of health, rather than the production and
overproduction of mon goods. Although the modem media may go to the
extreme of glorifying health in a way that car denigrate the weak,
poor, and sick, there are various ways to view health that do not
restrict it te the young and beautiful. For example, a
Buddhist-Christian colleague of mine in Hawaii, Mitsue Aoki, is leader
of a Foundation on Holistic Healing. He spends much of his time working
with th( dying to make their deaths an act of creativity and a
blessing. Even being weak and dying ha: dimensions for holistic
healing. 
 

Economics on a Biological Model  
            
Johnston challenges Western economic models based on Newtonian physics
and mathematics, and proposes instead living natural systems as
economic models instead. Her proposal is strongly supported by Michael
Rothschild, Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem who makes analogies between
biological models and economic behavior. The function of biological
cells and business groups is the same: namely, to “use tools and
knowledge to turn energy and materials into products. Whatever the
product happens to be, the flow of production mimics the
protein-building process of organic cells: prepare the incoming
materials, rearrange their components into new configurations, and
package them into deliverable products.”  Each living organism equips
each cell with the vital blueprint of the whole organism in its DNA,
which also differentiates the function and relationships of each cell: 

            
The entire global economy is comprised of work cells and organizations
engaged in the interdependent production and exchange of products.
Regardless of size or level of technological sophistication … all
organizations cope with essentially the same tasks that face a single
living cell. Encoded information is developed and preserved in DNA or
blueprints. Copies are shipped to ribosomes or assembly sites. After
raw materials are prepared, components are reassembled in new
configurations. In a series of finishing steps, these objects are
packaged into deliverable products. From protein to microprocessor, the
essentials of organic and economic production are the same. 

            
 Rothschild argues that the discovery of the microchip in 1971 by Intel
now makes it possible for the first time for every person in each work
cell to have available information about the whole business
organization, and also to give each work cell specific information
about its distinctive role and relationships. “In effect, a worker/tool
combination acts like an organelle inside an economic cell. But unlike
organic organelles, human workers can pick up different tools, learn
new skills, quit their cells, join others, and change their roles in
the life of the economy. The flexibility, along with the rapid pace of
technical evolution, endows the economy with capacity for
lightning-fast restructuring.” 

              Western economics
relies too heavily on mathematical models, and both Carol Johnston and
Michael Rothschild argue that economics needs more inductive and
historical-critical research to adjust economics to new situations.
Most economic models are not based on, nor tested by, empirical
observations. For example, Rothschild refers to Wassily Leontief,
winner of the 1973 Nobel’Prize in Economics who in 1982 surveyed
articles over the previous four years in The American Economic Review,
America’s most prestigious economics journal. He made the startling
discovery that “more than half the articles were mathematical models
without any data whatsoever, and nearly one-fourth drew inferences from
statistics gathered for some other purpose.” Only one article was
empirically based.

            
The most successful living organisms are not based on a nervous system
in which the central brain makes all the decisions-the old
command-and-control model of business-but the most successful empowers
each work cell with DNA information so that they can more quickly and
effectively respond to local needs and create novel responses in
harmony with the larger organism. This management philosophy that
empowers small, relatively independent teams to work together for the
common good based on horizontal rather than vertical relationships has
recently come into vogue, such as in the Saturn automobile section of
GM.

              The
various lessons about social organization and management that
Rothschild proposes based on biology have attracted the management of
several companies. Some, such as Bank of America in 1998, have
attempted to revamp their business methods along more biological models
as suggested by Rothschild. Buddhist organizations have sometimes been
hierarchical, sometimes horizontal, but as we increasingly create our
own environments, Buddhists need to discuss which model is best suited
to their guiding principles.

Monitoring 
            
 Related to the biological analogy for economics is the criterion of
the survival of the fittest. In a recent book by James Collins and
Jerry Porras called Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary
Companies the role of goals and values expressed clearly in mission
statements was emphasized. Mission statements, organizational models,
and standard operating procedures for each corporation are created by
humans and can be influenced not only by management, but also by
consumers, by the media, and by government. While government
over-regulation has been a theme in recent years, the development of
GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) administered by the WTO
(World Trade Organization) has proven more powerful than even the US
government to check by legislation. As a result, citizen action
committees and street protests in the past two years were needed to
stop tools of plunder such as the MAl (Multilateral Agreement on
Investment). The wealth or health of corporations and WTO is everyone’s
business since it is our survival as individuals, communities, and as a
global ecosystem that is at stake, not just the survival of
corporations.

            
More promising approaches are new academic programs such as the School
of Social Ecology at the University of California-Irvine that attempt
to test the impact of various planned communities and economic
arrangements on the quality of life and human development. In the past
Buddhists have lived in established cultures so that this new
opportunity and responsibility to plan communities and guide
development has not been adequately investigated.

             
The notion that “small is beautiful” is a valuable reminder for a
Buddhist method of action, but needs to be balanced by a wider horizon
of responsibility based on the bodhisattva vow to save all beings.
Detailing the nature and number of beings has been the achievement of
science and requires our close attention. A crucial role that Buddhists
and Christians can and must play is to use their networks to monitor
and report on the health of local communities where their membership is
employed.

            
 Being mindful of the England of Charles Dickens or the plight of
modern Bangkok, we know that hell is not restricted to an afterlife,
but includes workers in newly industrializing countries. Religious
people are in the field. We need to do our own studies by constantly
monitoring local conditions, and then connect them to the board rooms
of corporations to share information  and concerns to improve the
health of everyone. But religious organizations need to increase their
networks of information sharing by including in their mission boards a
vehicle for being a global conscience.

            
Reporting on global conditions will require the development of some
uniform standards and a quick means of reporting. The present United
Nations reports on Human Development statistics from various nations
are woefully inadequate (although they do document the lie that the
World Bank is reducing poverty). Instead, to measure the real cost of
business to the environment and to social wellbeing need new
measurements, such as the PQLI (Physical Quality of Life Index) by
David Morris, and the ISEW (Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare) of
Herman Daly and John Cobb.

            
Increased monitoring and information distribution is needed for the
health of the environment. Several Buddhist meditations are now being
developed to assist this ecological mindfulness, but more public
resources are needed. In particular, I propose that public broadcast
licenses require regular reports on the state of the environment in
much the same way that it reports on the stock market and weather, but
using better standards such as the ISEW. With all of our science and
communication technology, we are woefully ignorant of the state of
other beings, or the amount of non-renewable resource depletion,
whereas we are constantly reminded of the Dow-Jones and NASDAQ indexes.
A simple and inexpensive way for all of us to be more mindful of the
actual state of others beings is to pass legislation that requires TV
and radio stations to regularly offer spot announcements about the
condition of our ecosystem and civil society. I am sure that scientists
and conservation organizations would be happy to provide this
information free of charge. In this regard, we should provide useful
information and new vehicles for networking to such people as John
Schilling, head of the Environment and Sustainability Program,
Environment Department, The World Bank (1818 H Street, NW, Washington,
DC 20433; ph. 202-458-2474, fax. 202-477-0565,

jshilling@worldbank.org

).

Participation by CSOs 
            
 Besides monitoring and reporting, religious communities can also be
active workers. Since the World Trade Organization defines IBM,
Microsoft, GM, and other TNCs as non¬governmental organizations (NGOs),
Hazel Henderson recommends naming voluntary, nongovernmental
organizations as Civil Society Organizations (CSOS).The largest CSO in
Taiwan is the Buddhist Tzu-chi Compassion Association that collects
donations of money and services in order to relieve physical and social
suffering. In a similar fashion, the Sarvodaya movement is the largest
CSO in Sri Lanka and dedicates its resources to village reconstruction
on Buddhist principles. Both organizations understand that their work
is not a form of charity, but of spiritual transformation for the
donors who are learning how to change their sense of self and their
connections to others through the relief of physical and social
suffering. Although inspired by Buddhist teachings of personal
practice, the Sarvodaya movement also uses modern human
developmentroethods pioneered by Gandhi and Christian missions.
Similarly, the Tzu-chi uses the latest Western medical kI}owledge in
its bone marrow banks, hospitals, and medical schools. 

            
Since religions are neither government nor business, as CS Os they can
serve as networks for community improvement globally. In this regard, I
would mention the model ofUMCOR¬United Methodist Committee on
Relief-which works as a coordinator of grants from USAID and their use
by local groups in local cultures. (United Methodist Committee on
Relief, UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. 10115.) It seems to
me that new insights might be emerging among workers for these
religious CSOs in trying to assist traditional cultures develop in
terms of their own values. Also, members of these religious service
organizations need to be consulted more frequently as a resource for
checking on the health of nations. 

            
Whereas there is a terrible record of violence to people and indigenous
cultures by communist reformers and capitalist entrepreneurs in the
past, in our present world order the World Bank also has a bad record
of only working through government elites without consulting the people
affected. An important point that could easily be incorporated into the
World Bank lending strategy is to require that several local and
international CSOs participate in each loan process to ensure that the
people affected are consulted, provide input, and have their voices
heard. The position of those in the World Bank who care about such
collaboration, such as Dr. John Schilling, Gloria La Cava (a senior
social scientist for Southeast Europe of the World Bank,

glacava@worldbank.org

), and Deepa Narayan would be greatly strengthened if our religious communities actively supported such a policy. 

             
One of the basic lessons from ecology is the inefficiency of the
“command-and-control” model of management. The collapse of the
centralized communist economies provides one illustration, and the loan
practices of the World Bank provide another. Feedback loops are
important for learning, and the organizing principles of evolutionary
biology are based on constant feedback. Our modem economy also requires
constant individual and organizational learning, and puts a premium on
knowledge and communication systems. But feedback loops are nonlinear
and do not work on a command-and-control model. Since the government
elites and the World Bank managers do not individually and directly
bear the cost of their bad judgments, physical and cultural resources
continue to be plundered. Networks of religious communities can provide
an alternative nervous system to give feedback from the people affected
by World Bank projects to those who are managing them. Rather than
simply calling for the redistribution of wealth, religious
communication networks could assist in creatively constructing new
working arrangements for the benefit of all.

Social Capital 
            
Recentl y the World Bank has recognized the importance of developing
social institutions in poor countries as the foundation for national
growth. As important voices in civil society, religious groups need to
emphasize to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and WTO the
importance of social capital to enable any economy to function. Social
capital requires human development, which requires education and
cultural nourishment. Accordingly, I would hope that religious groups
would urge the World Bank to require an educational component for the
workers involved with any loan to move workers toward literacy as a
means of future livelihood once the work project was done. This
educational requirement would also help to ease the burden on child
labor who may be needed by their families for survival, but whose
future is being stolen unless an educational component is part of each
project funded by the World Bank.

            
Conflict between communism and capitalism is now past, and almost all
G7 governments now function with an integration of various socialistic
and capitalistic agendas. However, G7 economies live off the sweat of
many other countries in a global network and often impose negative
policies on them. If inclusiveness and representation are Buddhist
values, then Buddhists should lobby to expand the G7 to at least
include major democratic countries such as India, Mexico, Brazil, South
Africa, South Korea, Chile, Indonesia, Thailand, and Costa Rica.
Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Harvard Institute for International
Development, has proposed forming a G16, for example. 

            
Another way to introduce spiritual dimensions into economics is to
elevate our awareness of the enormous capitalistic role of civil
society organizations. Recently Yale University joined the Fair Labor
Association (FLA) dedicated to buying clothing and materials only from
companies that ensured that the people who made the products were
working in safe conditions and receiving a fair wage. The FLA rejects
forced labor, child labor, abuse and discrimination, and urges
companies to allow collective bargaining for employees, overtime pay,
and a reasonable workweek. The FLA began in 1996 and has been signed by
at least 17 universities, including all the Ivy League schools in the
United States. While such agreements do not save all beings, they
lessen abuse and work toward improving conditions for others. Perhaps
our religious groups should consider joining the FLA. 

            
Another opportunity that relates to the modern economy is to use
religious wealth to influence corporations. The Interfaith Center on
Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) was formed almost 30 years ago and
today includes 275 Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish institutional
investors worth an estimated US $90 billion, largely representing
pension funds. As a result of the large size of its investments, ICCR
representatives can attend meetings of stockholders and request that
corporate policies become more socially responsible. For example, in
1998 ICCR representatives presented 209 social responsibility
resolutions to 143 companies. Their list of resolutions is circulated
as a model for other concerned citizens, and they conduct fact-finding
reports on various industries. A few Buddhist efforts to influence
corporations have begun, but ICCR is still waiting to have its first
Buddhist member.

Buddhist Social Principles 
            
 Buddhists are increasingly blunt about affirming the primacy of this
present world rather than being “world denying,” to use Albert
Schweitzer’s old phrase. Among Chinese Buddhists, this idea is
connected most commonly to the reformer Taixu (d. 1947) who expressed
it as Buddhism for human life (jensheng fojiao). More recently it is
linked to the most eminent living Buddhist teacher, MasterYinshun (b.
1906), who uses the phrase “Buddhism in the human realm” (jenjian
fojiao) in contrast to emphasizing Buddhism in preparation for rebirth
in the Pure Land after death. Fo Kuang Shan Buddhists frequently call
themselves “humanistic Buddhists” to offer a similar emphasis. And the
largest Buddhist groups in America, namely, SGI-USA and the Tzu-chi
Compassion Relief Foundation, also give importance to life on earth as
the primary locus of practice. 

             
In addition to being committed to improving contemporary society,
Buddhist institutions in many Asian countries are now recovering from
oppressive government control, and for the first time have an
opportunity to meet together to reflect on their institutional
procedures and methods of using power. Major new nonmonastic Buddhist
movements have emerged in Taiwan (the Tzu-chi Foundation), in Sri Lanka
(the Sarvodaya movement), in Japan (Soka Gakkai and Rissho Koseikai),
in India (the TBMSG movement), and elsewhere. Based on the Buddhist
principle of consensus, it is necessary for representatives of these
and similar Buddhist groups to come together for dialogue to reflect on
their own social procedures now being practiced and to seek some
consensus on the priorities and principles for the future.

            
A  popular starting point is the account in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta
(Digha-nikaya 16.1) where the Buddha used seven criteria  to evaluate
the social strength of the Vajjian society.  Certain of these rules are
to be expected-such as, support for the sangha, respect for elders, and
respect for women in other families-but there is a remarkable
insistence on maintaining traditions, both secular and religious,
including non-Buddhist traditions. This principle reinforces the
exceptional nonsectarian nature of early Buddhist teaching.  In
addition, there is the insistence on regular and frequent assemblies
conducted in harmony and leading to harmonious settlements. A similar
norm was applied to sangha meetings that used the rule of consensus for
all decisions, making the sangha the epitome of democracy since
everyone had a voice and everyone had to agree on all decisions. 

            
Compassion is a gift of the human heart, but social processes are
necessary for helping people evolve a sense of trust and universal
responsibility. The Buddha recommended “regular and frequent meetings”
that are convened, conducted, and concluded with consensus. The modern
code words for these values are transparency, diversity and dialogue.
The requirement of twice-monthly uposatha meetings of the sangha where
decisions are to be made by consensus implies transforming dialogue.
Only through careful and penetrating discussion, sharing of motivations
and mutual adjustment of participants to the values and needs of each
other, can consensus arise and harmony result for the benefit of the
common good. 

            
To help out social meetings to take time to be inclusive of everyone
means that individuals must learn to take time to find balance.
Fortunately, the world has a model for building a commitment to mindful
ness, inclusion, transparency, and dialogue by following the example of
Dr. Puey Ungphakorn.

From
Santi Pracha  Dhamma
Essays in honour of the late Puey Ungphakorn
Page 279-287

http://www.buddhanet.net/budwork.htm

Magazine Articles

A
Book Review

Title:
Putting Buddhism to Work:
A New Approach to Management and Business

Author:
Shinichi Inoue

Publisher:
Kodansha International Ltd. (Tokyo)
Year of publication: 1997

Buddhist
Economics: The Emerging Middle Path between Capitalism and Socialism

Shinichi
Inoue, a former President of the Japanese Miyazaki Bank and reputed
economist, has proposed a novel approach to economic management that
goes beyond socialism and capitalism. He calls his proposed economics
for the 21st century ‘Buddhist Economics’, a phrase first used in
print by Dr. E.F.Schumacher in 1973 in his best-selling book ”
Small is Beautiful “.

Based
on the insight of the Buddha that spiritual liberation is attained
by avoiding extremes, whether by indulgence in worldly pleasures or
severe asceticism, and treading namely ‘ the Middle Way ‘, Inoue recommends
‘Buddhist Economics ‘ as the ideal middle path between the competing
models of capitalism and socialism. Both these systems, Inoue argues,
have failed to contain the relentless destruction of the natural environment
and the human community, thereby forcing leading executives and planners
to search for new solutions for planetary problems.

Inoue
draws on the best aspects of both capitalist and socialist economic
systems, in his ‘ Buddhist Economics ‘ model. It supports the conventional
forces of a free market and competition without destroying either
nature or human society. His alternate vision of sustainable economics
is meant to be more just and more ecologically sound.

Inspired
by the fundamental Buddhist insight of the inter-connectedness existing
among all living things, Inoue says that Buddhism, Economics and Ecology
are all inter-related. He places a heavy emphasis on the concept of
freedom as understood in Buddhism in contrast to the Western concept
of ‘freedom’. In the West ‘freedom’ revolves around the rights of
the individual i.e. freedom to do what one wishes. In Buddhism, ‘freedom’
means freedom from personal desires or attachments.

In
Inoue’s view, a Buddhist approach to economics requires an understanding
that economics and a moral and spiritual life are neither separate
nor mutually exclusive. The 20th Century has been ravaged by a materialistic,
self-centered consumerism. The next century needs to focus on the
quality and spirituality of life itself. Buddhism, which advocates
the ‘Middle Path’, serves as an important resource to pursue an alternative
to the extremes of capitalism and socialism, or pure self-interest
and utter self-negation.

The
Essence of Buddhist Economics

Inoue
identifies three key phrases that underlie his model of Buddhist Economics.


They are:

1)
an economics that benefits oneself and others
2) an economics of tolerance and peace
3) an economics that can save the earth.

An
Economics that benefits oneself and others

Adam
Smith developed his theory of free enterprise based on the concept
of self-benefit’. This led to people being more concerned with enriching
themselves and disregarding the interests of others. At the international
level, during Adam Smith’s day, major colonial powers such as England,
Netherlands, France, Portugal and Spain developed their economies
from the resources taken from other poorer regions, without an adequate
resulting benefit accruing to the colonies. In contrast, the earlier
Buddhist societies such as India during the time of the Buddha or
Japan during
the time of Prince Shotuku ( 574 - 622 AD ) existed with a radically
different social approach. In Japanese society where the density of
population was high, human relations were tightly interwoven, and
Japanese people were encouraged to pay great attention to how other
people thought or reacted. In the Japanese world of business, earning
the trust of others and entering into mutually beneficial transactions
have always been given priority. Such conduct was the result of
deep-seated Buddhist influence.

The
Western obsession with ’self-benefit ‘ and indifference to the rights
of non-European people has been well analysed by former Indian diplomat
K.M.Panikkar in his ground breaking book ‘Asia and Western Domination
- A Survey of the Vasco De Gama Epoch of Asian History 1498 - 1945,
published in 1953. Panikkar says that western colonial powers were
reluctant to recognise that doctrines of international law applied
outside Europe or that European nations had any moral obligations
when dealing with Asian people. For example, when Britain insisted
on the opium trade against the laws of China in the 19th Century,
there was a prohibition by law on opium smoking in England. In countries
under direct British occupation eg. India, Ceylon and Burma, though
there were equal rights established by law, there was considerable
reservation in enforcing the law against Europeans. Maurice Collis,
a British magistrate in Burma, gives a rare candid account in his
book ‘Trials in Burma’ ( 1938 ) about the pressures brought upon him
by the members of the Colonial Government and the British expatriate
community, to be partial towards Europeans in his judgments. Panikkar
avers that this doctrine of different rights (which made a mockery
of the concept of the Rule of Law) persisted to the very end of western
colonial domination and was a prime cause of Europe’s ultimate failure
in Asia.

An
Economics of Tolerance and Peace

The
Indian Emperor Asoka established the world’s first welfare state in
the third century BC upon embracing Buddhism. He renounced the idea
of conquest by the sword. In contrast to the western concept of ‘
Rule of Law ‘, Asoka embarked upon a ‘policy of piety or rule of righteousness’.
The basic assumption of this policy of piety was that the ruler who
serves as a moral model would be more effective than one who rules
purely by strict law enforcement. The right method of governing is
not only by legislation and law enforcement, but also by promoting
the moral education of the people. Asoka began by issuing edicts concerning
the ideas and practice of dharma, dealing with universal law and social
order. Realizing that poverty eroded the social fabric, one of his
first acts was to fund social welfare and other public projects. Asoka’s
ideals involved promoting policies for the benefit of everyone in
society, treating all his subjects as if they were his children and
protecting religion. He built hospitals, animal welfare shelters and
enforced a ban on owning slaves and killing. He gave recognition to
animal rights in a number of his rock edicts and accepted state responsibility
for the protection of animals. Animal sacrifice was forbidden by law.

An
important aspect of Asoka’s economics of peace was tolerance. In one
of his rock edicts, Asoka calls for religious freedom and tolerance,
and declares that by respecting someone else’s religion, one brings
credit to one’s own religion. Inoue says that the idea of religious
tolerance only emerged in the West in 1689 with the publication of
John Locke’s book ‘ A Letter Concerning Toleration ‘.

Inoue
says that from a Buddhist perspective, politics can be summed up by
the Sanskrit word 4 cakravartin ‘ (the wheel turner ), which means
a king or political ruler who protects his people and the Buddhist
teachings. Asoka was the prototype of this ruler whose political ideas
were to inspire a countless number of other Asian Emperors and rulers.
One enthusiastic follower of Asoka in Japan was Prince Shotuku. (574
- 622 AD ). An ardent believer in Buddhism, Shotukti drafted a 17
Article Constitution (the first Buddhist Constitution of Japan), which
was promulgated in 604 AD. Shotuku appeals neither to ’self-evident
truths ‘ (as in the American Constitution ) nor to some divine right
of kings as the basis of law. Instead he begins pragmatically by stating
that if society is to work efficiently for the good of all, then people
must restrain factionalism and learn to work together. A key feature
of this Constitution is the emphasis placed on resolving differences
by appeals to harmony and common good, using the procedure of consensus.
This approach is in marked contrast to the western view that factions
can be controlled only legally by a balance of powers. Decision making
by consensus is a significant characteristic of Japanese society.
Every effort is made to ensure that minority dissident factions are
not allowed to lose face.

The
influence of Buddhism in Japan was such that in 792 AD Emperor Kammu
(781 - 806 AD) despite constant threats from Korea, abolished the
100 year old national army, except for one regiment to guard the region
near Korea. National security was maintained by sons of local clan
leaders somewhat similar to the present day police. Japan was effectively
without an army until the emergence of the new warrior class before
the Kamakura, Shogunate (1192 - 1333 AD). Tibet is another example
of demilitarisation (in the 17th century). What is significant to
note here is that long before the ideal of demilitarisation was espoused
in western countries, ancient Buddhist countries had already implemented
it. In Japan, beginning from the 9th century, the death penalty was
abolished for nearly three and a half centuries.

An
Economics to save the Earth

Inoue
is vehemently critical of the practice of industrial societies indulging
in a policy of take-and-take from nature, despite economics being
fundamentally about exchange or give-and-take. He identifies a passage
in the Bible (Genesis 1: 27 - 28) as a possible root cause of the
western attitude towards nature. This passage declares:

“So
God created man in his own image, in the image created he him, male
and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto
them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and
subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the
earth”.

Some
have interpreted this passage literally, as one giving divine sanction
to domination of the earth for the benefit of only human beings and
disregarding the interests of both plants and other living creatures
of this world. In contrast, Buddhist sacred texts are much more humble
and always emphasise the need to live in harmony with nature and peacefully
co-exist with other living creatures, as the ideal and noble way.
In the Buddhist worldview, humans rather being masters of this earth,
simply make up one tiny element in a vast cosmos. In the Buddhist
Economics that Inoue proposes, the earth rather than human beings
will be placed at the center of our worldview.

History
of Economics

Inoue
examines the major ideas in the theories of prominent economists such
as Adam Smith (1723 - 1790), David Ricardo (1772 - 1823), Karl, Marx
(1818 - 1883), John Keynes (1883 - 1946) Joan Robinson (1903 - 1983)
and the German Economists Friedrich von Hayek (1899 - 1992), Wilhelm
Lopke (1899 - 1966) and Ludwig Erhard (1897 - 1977). Inoue singles
out Lopke’s best-selling book ‘ Civitas Humanas (Human Citizen) published
in 1949 as laying the foundation for the new humanistic school of
economics. Inoue uses the concept of `social market economics’ advocated
by Ludwig Erhard in his 1957 book ‘Woffistand fur Alles (Happiness
for All ) as the precedent for developing the new Buddhist Economics.
Erhard called for the need to overcome the inherent tensions between
the haves and have-nots in society, through such governmental policies
as the banning of cartels, using government ‘price valuation’ to ensure
fair pricing, rent control and supporting people with disabilities.

Inoue
was also inspired by Dr. E.F Schumacher’s book ‘Small is Beautiful’,
which has a chapter on ‘Buddhist Economics.’ Schumacher was heavily
influenced by Buddhist meditation and wisdom during his time in Myanmar
(formerly Burma). Though Schumacher recommended a new approach to
economics based on Buddhism, Inoue says that Schumacher’s ultimate
solutions were sought in Christian oriented ethics. Nevertheless,
Inoue says that Schumacher’s book should serve as a wake up call for
those living in Buddhist countries. He further says that given the
destruction of the natural environment that has taken place in the
industrial West, the time has come to use a Buddhist approach to economics.

Historical
Background of Buddhist Economics

The
life story of the Buddha offers a valuable lesson when focusing on
Buddhist economics. Prince Siddhartha rejected the material comforts
of a royal life, and also realised the futility of asceticism and
denial of natural physical needs. Inoue says ‘’The Buddha walked a
fine line between materialism and denial of the world, and this middle
way or moderate standpoint is fundamental to understanding Buddhist
Economics’.

The
ordinary public and the merchant class supported Buddhism from the
very outset. As Buddhism moved eastwards over the centuries, to China,
Korea and Japan it absorbed elements of the culture of these countries
and became transformed along the way. It also managed to transform
the societies and economies of these countries by introducing ethical
concepts into the pursuit of profit. In Japanese history there has
been substantial Buddhist support of commerce, which had come to fruition
during the Edo period (1603 - 1867). This period witnessed an explosion
of economic activity. Some sociologists have found interesting parallels
in the connections between the Protestant work ethic and capitalism,
and between the rise of Japanese Capitalism and the religious thought
of the time.

Unrestrained
Consumption

The
world’s natural resources would be depleted if two factors are not
immediately addressed:

1)
the ever increasing population growth, and
2) the mismanagement of desire ( particularly of those people in the
so-called advanced countries)

In
the Ryoan-ji, the Buddhist Temple of Kyoto, famous for its stone and
sand garden, there is a poem carved on a stone, which says ‘ Know
what one really needs ‘. Inoue says that this is no simple injunction.
To know what one really needs in life requires great wisdom. But to
have the strength to say ‘no’ to the unessential products in life
would release a person from the coils of consumption. Inoue says that
this view i.e. of wanting what is really essential reflects the Buddhist
view of consumption and it is the ideal attitude to be promoted in
the coming century.

Right
Livelihood

Right
livelihood is one of the components of the Noble Eightfold Path. Its
importance lies in the fact that the work one does for a living influences
a person’s thinking. The Buddha has named five types of occupations
as unwholesome ways of earning a living. They are 1) Selling liqour
or being connected with the production and sale of liquor 2) Sale
of flesh or being connected with the raising and killing of animals
3) Poison (includes drugs) 4) Trading in living beings (includes slavery
or for similar purposes) 5) Dangerous weapons.

Inoue
uses the ‘Sigalovada Sutta ‘ (which is also called the layman’s code
of discipline or gihi vinaya ) as the premise for developing the right
work ethic for the next century. In one passage of this Sutta, the
Buddha says “One should work like a bee to earn one’s livelihood.
Do not wait for others to help, nor depend on others foolishly”.
In the Sigalovada Sutta, the Buddha showed his concern for the material
welfare and the spiritual development of his lay disciples. In the
discourse to young Sigala, the Buddha explained the full range of
duties owed by a layman to all those with whom he interacts. The Buddha
also indicated how wealth has to be spent i.e. one portion for one’s
needs, which includes offerings to monks and charity, two portions
on investment and the fourth portion to be kept for an emergency.

The
Author

Inoue
was born in 1918 in Southern Japan. Upon graduating from the Department
of Economics of the University of Tokyo, he joined the Bank of Japan.
In 1975 he was made the President of the Miyazaki Bank. Throughout
his career Inoue has sought to combine the practice of Buddhism with
his expertise in Economics and Management. He is the current Chairman
of the Foundation for the Promotion of Buddhism, and a member of the
Buddhist Economics Research Institute of Komazawa University.

In
the concluding chapters of this book, Inoue illustrates his creative
approach to business with a number of anecdotes of leading Japanese
entrepreneurs who had incorporated Buddhist principles and meditation
techniques in their day to day work in an effort to develop a more
humanistic and environmentalist business ethic.

Buddhist
Economic Vision

Though
much of the postulates of Inoue have been developed in a Japanese
Mahayana Buddhist context, the contents of this book nevertheless
provide food for thought to anyone wishing to adopt an innovative
approach to Management and Business. However the greatest appeal of
this highly readable book lies in the elaborate development of Schumacher’s
profound insight that there is another way of approaching economics,
based on the ideas taught in the East 2500 years ago, particularly
of the fundamental interconnectedness of people and nature. It is
upon this premise that the world can shift from a throw-away culture
to a more sustainable* civilisation. This work also throws a challenge
to governments in Buddhist countries to develop a Buddhist economic
vision as a part of national planning, as we move towards a new millennium.


___The Buddhist Way to Economic Stability___

Ven.
M. Pannasha Maha Nayaka Thera


T
he
word ‘Manussa,’ man, had different etymological meanings
given it by eastern scholars in the past. While popular or
general Indian tradition traces the origin of the word to
‘Manu’ the mythical progenitor of the human race, in
the Buddhist texts the derivation of the word is given as
‘manassa-ussannataya=manussa’- man, because of his
highly developed state of mind (as compared to the underdeveloped
or rudimentary mental state of the lower animal). According
to Buddhist thought man ranks as the highest of beings due
to the vast potential of the human mind.

Kautilya’s
Arthasastra and Brhaspati’s Arthasastra - two
famous ancient treatises on economics - were both written
after the Buddha’s lifetime. They held one common feature,
and that, - under title of Arthasastra both writers
had written on politics and economics, leaving out the most
important factor, of ethics and the moral development of man
himself.

Of
the Pali term “Attha (-Sanskrit ‘artha’)
- which has more than one meaning according to
Buddhism, the word as signifying success is used at two separate
levels, i.e. ‘attha’ meaning success, and ‘uttamattha’
meaning the highest success. The latter concerns man’s
mental and spiritual development resulting in the realization
of supramundane knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, in the
conquest of Self and attainment to spiritual perfection or
Arahanthood.

Generally
speaking, the word ‘attha’ as success, relates to the
various aspects of man’s socio-economic development - such
as the economy, politics, education, health, law and morality
of a society. It refers to social progress due to the harmonious
unification of all the above factors, contributing to the
prosperity and peaceful co-existence of a people.

Except
in the case of legal administration of the Sangha, no single
discourse of the Buddha deals fully on any one of the above
factors of social progress. Yet reading through the numerous
discourses (or Suttas) it is possible to develop a fully consistent
and complete view-point of the Buddha’s stand on each of the
above topics drawn from the various discourses of the Buddha.
A socio-economic system based on Buddhist principles and practices
could easily be formulated to suit today’s modern progressive
society.

In
recent times many books have been written on the subject of
economics and economic theory, all of them either from the
Capitalist or Socialist point of view. Neither of these systems
pays attention to, nor considers the inner development of
man as an important factor in the growth of society. Hence
there has been a rapid deterioration in human values and standards
of behaviour in all classes of society. Science and technology
have taken gigantic strides forward to send man to the moon,
and it will not be long before he visits other planets. But
fears are expressed that if the present trend towards moral
degeneration continues, before long it would be impossible
to differentiate human action from that of the animal. This
fear is not baseless. It would be a great tragedy indeed were
man to turn beast even in one of the many bestial aspects
of behaviour belonging to the lower animals. Thus what the
world requires today is a socially stable economic system
which yields the highest place to man’s moral development
and cultivation of human values.

The
Buddha lived in a society entangled and confused by sixty-two
divergent views and one hundred and eight types of craving.
There were hundreds who went about in search of an escape
from this entanglement of views. Once the Buddha was asked
the question: (Jata sutta)

The
inner tangle and the outer tangle -
This world is entangled in a tangle.
Who succeeds in disentangling this tangle?

The
Buddha who explained that all these tangles have mind as the
fore-runner, answered thus

When
a wise man, established well in virtue, Develops consciousness
and understanding, ‘Men as a bhikkhu ardent and sagacious
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle.

Realising
the importance of the external factors in man’s endeavour
towards disentangling himself from the inner tangle, the Buddha
gave many discourses on the ways and means of overcoming the
outer tangle. Some of these teachings were meant only for
the bhikkhus. Others were only for laymen. The rest were meant
for both bhikkhus and laymen, although in the latter case,
the discourses were mainly directed to the bhikkhus. In one
such discourse, he approved the acceptance by the bhdddius
of the four requisites namely robes, food, shelter and medicine.
Man could live without all other modern contraptions but for
life to go on, these four requisites are essential. Wealth
is required by man to obtain these four requisites and to
meet his other needs.

The
Noble Eightfold Path which could be classified under right
values and right action, enables man to achieve the highest
ends. For economic stability and well-being, the Buddhist
system stresses three factors in the Vyagghapajja Sutta.

1.
Utthana Sampada: Production of wealth through skilled and
earnest endeavour.
2. Arakkha Sampada: Its protection and savings.
3. Samajivikata - Living within one’s means.

1.
Utthana Sampada

The
Buddha when encouraging the production of wealth makes special
reference to six job ranges prevalent at that time:

1.
Agriculture
2. Trade
3. Cattle breeding
4. Defence services
5. Government services
6. Professional services

India
was predominantly an agricultural country. Hence many references
in the discourses were made to agriculture. For example in
the ‘Sadapunnappavaddhana Sutta’ it is mentioned that
providing of irrigation facilities results in yielding continuous
merit. In the ‘Samyutta Nikaya’ it is mentioned that
the greatest asset for agriculture is cattle, while in the
Sutta Nipatha cattle from whom man obtains milk, ghee,
curd, butter and whey, of much nutritious value, are described
as the best friends of a country. In developing countries,
water and draught power provided by cattle, are basic needs
for agriculture.

In
the discourse pertaining to a layman’s happiness (domestic
and otherwise) (Cahapati Sukha), foremost is mentioned
the satisfaction derived by a layman from the possession of
wealth obtained through righteous means. (Atthi Sukka).
However, the Buddha warns man against the tendency to
become a slave to the mere accumulation of wealth for its
own sake. Ibis would lead to both physical and mental suffering
later. Adequate means of livelihood to support oneself and
family, to help relatives and friends, and to distribute among
the needy and the deserving, would lead to contentment and
inner satisfaction. This in turn would result in the moral
and spiritual development of man.

In
the ‘Kutadanta Sutta’ the Buddha shows how peace and
prosperity and freedom from crime comes to a country
through the equitable distribution of wealth among its people.

He
says: ‘Long ago, 0 Brahman, there was a king by name Wide-realm
(Maha-Vijita), mighty with great wealth and large property
with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods
and corn; with his treasure houses and his garners full. Now
when Ying Wide-realm was once sitting alone in meditation
he became anxious at the thought: I have in abundance all
the good things a mortal can enjoy. The whole wide circle
of the earth. is mine by conquest to possess. “Twere
well if I were to offer a great sacrifice that should ensure
me weal and welfare for many days.”

And
he had the Brahman, his chaplain, called; and telling him
all that he had thought, he said: “So I would fain, 0
Brahman, offer a great sacrifice - let the venerable one instruct
me how - for my weal and my welfare for many days.”

Thereupon
the Brahman who was chaplain said to the king: ‘The king’s
country, Sire, is harassed and harried. There are dacoits
abroad who pillage the villages and townships, and who make
the roads unsafe. Were the king, so long as that is so, to
levy a fresh tax, verily his majesty would be acting wrongly.
But perchance his majesty might think: I will soon put a stop
to these scoundrels’ game by degradation and banishment, and
fines and bonds and death! But their licence cannot be satisfactorily
put a stop to do so. The remnant left unpunished would still
go on harassing the realm. Now there is one method to adopt
to put a thorough end to this disorder. Whosoever, there be
in the king’s realm who devote themselves to keeping cattle
and the farm, to them let his majesty the king give food and
seed corn. Whosoever, there be in the king’s realm who devote
themselves to trade, to them let his majesty the king give
wages and food. Then those men, following each his own business,
will no longer harass the realm; the king’s revenue will go
up; the country will be quiet and at peace; and the populace,
pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children
in their arms, will dwell with open doors.”

The
King Wide-realm, 0 Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain,
and did as he had said. And the men, following their business,
harassed the realm no n-tore. And the king’s revenue went
up. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace,
pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children
in their arms, dwelt with open doors.

So
King Wide-realm had his chaplain called, and said: The disorder
is at an end. The country is at peace. (Dialogues of the
Buddha -
Part I, pp. 175-6).

2.
Arakkha Samapada

This
means the worldly happiness derived from the constant protection
of one’s wealth (that has been righteously obtained) from
burglary, fire, floods etc. As the Buddha has extolled the
virtue of savings, this factor too could be considered in
this context.

Obtaining
money on credit (or loans) was prevalent even during the Buddha’s
time. Persons like Anathapindika were the bankers of the day.
The Buddhist texts make references to instances where he gave
loans both to the state as well as to ordinary people. However,
Buddhism does not approve of excessive borrowing for as the
saying goes “borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”
- and the Buddha’s advocacy of a life free from debts (anana
sukha)
as being conducive to the happiness of a layman
supports this statement.

In
the ‘Samannaphala Sutta,’ the Buddha compares the SamannaPhala
(or fruit of a recluse’s life) to the happiness derived
by a person, who having been in debt frees himself of all
his debts, and now supports his family and children from the
savings he has managed to put aside. The importance of making
savings from one’s earnings is stressed in this manner. In
general, the Buddha gives details of the proper use of one’s
earnings. But in the ‘Sigalovada Sutta.’ He admonishes
particularly a big magnate, Sigala to apportion his savings
into four and to spend one part of it for his daily upkeep
and that of his family. Two portions were to be invested in
his business; and the fourth put aside for any emergency.

3.
Sanmjivikata

This
is the third of the three basic principles in the Buddhist
Economic system. A person should spend reasonably in proportion
to his income, neither too much nor too little. In the discourse
relating to the householders’ happiness (gahapati sukha)
enjoyment of one’s income appropriately and wisely
(bhoga sukha) is given as one of the four factors conducive
to lay happiness.

In
the Pattakamma Sutta the manner in which a person
should spend his wealth is given in detail as follows:

1.
Expenditure on food and clothing and other needs.
2. Maintenance of parents, wife and children and servants.
3. For illness and other emergencies.
4. For charitable purposes.
5. For the performance of the following:

(i)
treating one’s relatives;
(ii) treating one’s visitors;
(iii) offering alms in memory of the departed;
(iv) offering merit to the deities;
(v) payment of state taxes and dues in time.

The
Buddha extols simple living as being more conducive to the
development of one’s mind. A society progresses to the extent
the mind of the individual is developed. Administration of
such a society becomes easier, when law and order is well
established. Knowing this, ancient kings in Sri Lanka gave
much publicity to the contents of the Ariyavamsa Sutta.’
In this Sutta, preached by the Buddha for the benefit
of the bhikkhus, the latter are exhorted to be contented with

(i)
The robes (clothes) they receive (whether coarse or fine).
.
(ii) Alms (food) they receive (whether unpalatable or delicious).
(iii) The abodes (houses) they receive (whether simple or
luxurious).
(iv) Meditation (development of mind).

Becoming
content with the first three it is possible to reduce economic
restlessness, and at the same time to inculcate the habits
and values of simple living. Through meditation the human
mind develops itself both morally and spiritually, resulting
in reducing social disharmony and insurrection which arise
first in the minds of men and then put into action. Peace
and progress of a country is thus assured.

In
this modern world although highly advanced in science and
technology, with its rapid expansion of knowledge, there appears
to be a steady deterioration of human values. Present day
politics, the economy, and educational systems are some of
the more important reasons for this state of affairs. In this
context it is considered desirable that the existing political
and economic thought and educational systems should be changed
so as to give priority to the development of human values.

Buddhism
is both a path of emancipation and a way of life. As a way
of life it interacts with the economic, Political and social
beliefs and practices of the people. It is felt that the time
is now most opportune to make known to the world each of the
above aspects of society within the framework of Buddhist
Ethics and the basic principles of Buddhism. The progress
of a country depends ultimately on the progress of the individual.
Over 2500 years ago, the Buddha was born into a confused society
entangled in various views regarding life and thought in general.
Through Buddhism it was possible to disentangle this tangle
of views and to reduce this confusion. Today too, in This
Confused Society
it is generally believed that Buddhism
could again help in lighting a path through the darkness of
this confusion.

Special
thanks to Phramaha Somnuek Saksree

http://www.shindharmanet.com/writings/globalization.htm

In the person of Nembutsu opens up the
great path of unobstructed freedom. 

“Tannisho, A Shin Buddhist Classic,” trans. by Taitetsu Unno

Globalization and Buddhism


by Alfred Bloom, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii



The issue of globalization is an important topic affecting all our
lives. It is important for Buddhism because Buddhism is a global, world
faith. Further Buddhism stresses the principle of interdependence which is
also employed by proponents of globalization to advance their economic
interests.


Unfortunately, economic globalization is opposed by many people,
because the effects of the globalization of business and trade are often
disastrous for underdeveloped nations. These nations provide the raw
materials and cheap labor which are necessary to make globalization
prosperous for the more developed nations. Though there are successes in
the process of globalization, there is much unrest among peoples today.
Unrest occurs mainly among poor and underdeveloped nations which are deep
in debt and suffer internal conflict, poverty, droughts and famines.


Globalization also leads to the globalization of culture, the
homogenization of culture. It can undermine local cultures and disrupt
traditional relationships in a society with the assumption that free trade
will also to lead to a more democratic society.


The underlying principle and argument for globalization, as we have
indicated, is the interdependence of all peoples in this age of worldwide
travel and communications. The world is interconnected instantaneously
through electronic means such as television and the Internet. There is
immediate knowledge of disasters and tragedies. The glint and glitter of
the developed nations are flashed to the underdeveloped nations, arousing
desires for a better life among people whose political, educational,
social and economic conditions prevent quick fulfillment of those desires.


You may ask what has this to do with Buddhism? Buddhism and its role in
the modern world is affected by the way people understand the nature of
their lives. As a spiritual perspective, the principle of interdependence
is a positive teaching aimed at curbing our deep-rooted egoism. It teaches
that we cannot live simply for ourselves or without regard to others who
make our lives possible.


When this concept is transferred to the contemporary world of politics
and economics, it can turn into an onerous reality where the dominant
nations control the conditions within the dependent nations who need their
financial and economic support. Such dependence leads to enormous debt for
the underdeveloped nations and severe political inequalities.
Underdeveloped nations are often despotic and characterized by a high
degree of corruption. Interdependence which enables dependence increases
the tendency to nationalism and ethnic divisions as people look for
scapegoats for their problems.


We hear much about free trade as an important aspect of the principle
of globalization. However, when free trade causes economic dislocation in
developed nations, it turns quickly into protectionism for national
industries. Free trade comes to mean trading freely in underdeveloped
nations to sell products while protecting business in the developed
societies.


As a consequence, there is strong, negative reaction to the idea of
globalization and interdependence. Riots and violence at meetings of
governmental, international organizations such as the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund attest to this problem.


If Buddhism promotes the principle of interdependence which is a
fundamental truth of life, it must also promote the principle of equality
and justice, together with the rule of law for all participants in this
process. It must work to transform not only the nationalism of the
dependent nations, but the nationalism of the dominant nations.


Buddhists must be clearer in articulating the meaning of
interdependence. It is not simply the interdependence between people. It
is the interdependence of causation. The original teaching of
interdependence or pratitya-samutpada. was proclaimed in Sakyamuni
Buddha’s first sermon as a central teaching. It refers to the twelve
link chain of causation which describes the conditions that give rise to
sentient being in the process of rebirth. It is also the basis for
understanding the way to attain nirvana and spiritual emancipation. The
forward movement of these links indicates the way that our passions and
ignorance produce the sufferings of life, noted in the first truth that
all life is suffering. The reverse movement of the chain suggests that the
removal of the various causes in the series is the way to escape rebirth
and attain nirvana.


Ignorance is the root of the series of links, though the totality forms
a circle as the wheel of births and deaths. This circle continues to
revolve as long as each element is produced and nurtured. Ignorance
produces mental functions; then in order consciousness, name and form, the
six sense organs, contact, feeling, craving, grasping, becoming , birth,
old age and death. The cycle begins again as ignorance arises and produces
the links of the chain. Each factor in the chain relates to aspects of our
experience and nature as a human being. However, the system as a whole
indicates that life and reality is subject to the law of cause and effect.


In the context of the issue of globalization, beyond the actual
interdependence among peoples that human life requires, it also means that
whatever principles, policies and actions that are promoted have their
resulting effects. When something happens in our world, it must be seen in
context of the interactions of the various parties in the situation.


Contemporary issues, whether Afghanistan, the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict, or even the sovereignty issue in Hawaii have a history of
interacting causations which must be understood to arrive at a just
solution for all. The Buddhist principle of interdependent causation means
that we cannot simply decide issues as black and white, seeking to pin
blame on one party or another. Nothing happens in a vacuum.


We Buddhists must recognize the complexity of contemporary issues and
call on our compatriots to resist simplistic and emotional responses to
events and situations. It means we must call on our leaders to consider
issues in their full context and not seek politically expedient solutions.


The Buddhist principle of non-discrimination and equality is related to
this understanding. When we recognize the complexity of causation that
produces conflicts and suffering, we must treat each party to the problem
equally and fairly. We must clarify the issues that will lead to
reconciliation and the solution to the problem. Buddhists must make clear
the superficiality of contemporary notions of globalism and
interdependence and work to rectify injustices created by this process. We
must promote equality and support the aspirations for a full life for all
people, beyond economic and political power.

http://www.buddhistdoor.com/journal/issue011-11Reflection2.html

Buddhist Teachings: Acquisition of Wealth and Maintaining an Unperturbed Socio-spiritual Life

Bhikkhu Nyanabodhi
nyanabodhi@gmail.com

It
has been often incriminated that Buddhism is more concerned about
spirituality more than its concern about worldly matters. Against this
criticism, over the recent centuries scholars have contributed greatly
unearthing the social dimensions of Buddha’s teachings. In this
article, we shall look into some economic principles of the
Buddhadhamma by drawing some references from the Pāli canon.

The teaching of Gotama  Buddha as we know is centred upon the four noble truths (cattāri ariyasaccāni), of which the first is dukkha
(suffering or unsatisfactoriness). In spite of the high spiritual
application of the concept in other texts, in the Dhammapada verse 203,
Gotama Buddha addresses the issue of  Suffering  in two fundamental
aspects:  

  1. Hunger (jigacchā) – the primary source of human suffering  which needs to be coped with every day, and
  2.  Conditioned things (saṃkhāra) - the primary source  suffering to be realized as it is (yathābhūtaṃ) and overcome by the wise.

From this aforementioned primary issues  of suffering, we see Buddhism stresses liberation (vimutti)
from both these two aspect of anguish or vexation in the same urgent
spirit. Elsewhere we learn from  the Buddha who  says ‘all living
beings are dependent upon food’ – (sabbe sattā āharaṭṭhiṭikā) which generated his idea of the Middle Path in the pursuit of a more conducive  spiritual life.

In
fact, the spiritual life of Gotama  Buddha itself had awakened him to
the importance of leading a life of moderation – the Middle Path.  We
see that ascetic Siddhattha’s attainment of perfect Enlightenment (sammā sambodhi)
was possible only after he was disillusioned with the idea of ‘austere
practices’ and resorted to ‘middle way’. Thus, this noble discovery of
the Middle Path of the Blessed One motivated him to avert  the
extremity of self-indulgence (kāmesukhallikānuyogo) and self-mortification (attakilamatānuyogo). The Middle path is to maintain the moderation in attainment of both worldly and spiritual success.

The fact that poverty is woeful (dāliddiyaṃbhikkhave dukkhaṃ lokasmiṃ)
accentuates the importance of wealth in the life of a worldly person.
Therefore, the Buddha advocates rightful means in acquiring wealth. By
‘material wealth’ (dhana), Buddhism recognises the four fundamental needs (catu paccaya): food (āhāra), cloths (vattha), shelter (geha) and medicine (bhesajja) before one undertakes the education (spiritual training) for the attainment of noble wealth (ariyadhana).
Of the four, food is distinguished as the foremost as ‘this body
survives depended upon food, without food it cannot survive’ – (ayaṃ kāyo āharaṭṭhitiko āhāraṃ paṭicca tiṭṭhati anāharo na tiṭṭhati).

Yet,
it is a pathetic sight that around the world millions of people are
very poor . Many have died due to  hunger. Owing to   the severity of
hunger, some were compelled  even to feed on the flesh of other humans.

The Buddha evidently mentioned in the Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
of Dīgha-Nikāya that owing  to the imbalanced distribution of wealth,
there arises poverty which in turn leads to immorality and crimes such
as thefts, falsehood, violences, hatred and cruelty and so forth. The sutta
emphasizes the state responsibility to judge the divergent individual
capacities of his citizens and distribute resources accordingly. Thus,
those with agricultural talents should be provided with seeds and
fields; those talented in business with capital; and those who can
serve in various government sectors with such opportunities. In this
way, people being busy with their duties will not develop harmful
tendencies.

Besides relying on  the
economic support from King, Gotama Buddha also educated his lay
devotees on the righteous means to gain wealth. The Exalted One
 elucidated how the righteous life first leads to rebirth in this
terrestrial world and  eventually will lead to a happy life in the next
world (Dhammacāri sukhaṃ seti asmiṃ loke paraṃ hi ca).

In
the Dīghajānu Sutta, when the Buddha was asked by householder Dīghajānu
about the way to get happiness in this life and the life after, the
Exalted Master expounded four factors conducive to attaining happiness
in this life thus:

      1. Diligent acquisition(uṭṭhānasampada)
      2. Careful conservation(ārakkhasampada)
      3. Having virtuous friends(kalyānamittatā)and
      4. Living within your means(Samājīvikatā)

       Buddhism always emphasizes right livelihood  striving righteously (dhammena) and diligently (appamādena)
      to be successful in material, social, or even spiritual gains. It is
      mentioned in the scriptures that like a bee accumulating honey or an
      ant building its anthill, a person must exercise his energy and effort
      to accumulate his wealth. There is a saying in Sanskrit stressing the
      effort of a man in both earning wealth and practicing a religious life.
      It says that in earning wealth and in education, one must not think of
      decay or death. But in his everyday life, he should think that the
      death is extremely near to him (ajarāmaravat prajño/vidyamarthaṃ ca sādhayet/gŗhita iva kesesu/mŗtyunā dharmamācaret).

      The way to earn wealth is precisely explicated in the Aṅguttara Nikāya thus : “for a good person wealth is or should be earned not by violent means, but by energetic striving, amassed by strength of arm, won by sweat, and received with the righteous means” – (Bhogā honti asāhasena uṭṭhānavīriyādhigatehi  bhogehi  bāhābalaparicitehi  sedāvakkhittehi  dhammikehi  dhammaladdhehi).
      The golden rule governing right livelihood or Buddhist economics is
      thus : to do jobs that harm neither oneself nor another person or other
      beings (morally or even materially). Thus, five kinds of businesses are
      declared by Gotama Buddha  as not righteous:

          1. The trade of weapons (sattha vānijja)
          2. The trade of poison (visa vānijja)
          3. The trade of alcohol and dangerous drugs (majja vānijja)
          4. The trade of flesh and (maṃsa vānijja)
          5. The trade of people (satta vānijja).

           This
          reminds us of the social obligations that must be cogitated by
          manufacturers and tradespersons; not only by seeking self centric ends
          but by truly serving the society. According to Buddhism, cheating is an
          unskilful action that should be abandoned. It has been often
          misapprehended that succeeding in business without cheating is
          impossible. But one should also think that he himself does not like to
          be cheated. There is a muscular saying of George Washington; ‘Honesty
          is the best policy’ which is one of the five basic ethical principles (pañcasīla) of Buddhism and which should attentively be applied in the business matters.

          Buddhism
          also highlights  the careful observation and protection of wealth
          acquired by the individual with his hard work. It recommends that a
          person should take a good care of his wealth, not allowing it to be
          eroded away by unjust taxation, theft, natural disaster or undeserving
          successors. Furthermore, when saving up one’s wealth, one should not
          allow such doing  to bring oneself into conflict with those around him.
          The reason why Buddhism advises  one to protect one’s wealth is that
           in case of emergency such as repairing the consequences of fire,
          flood, excess taxation, and so forth, he can make use of his wealth and
          overcome the difficulties in life. Of course the best way to conserve
          one’s wealth is by way of acquiring transcendental wealth or merit.  In
          such a form, it is beyond the touch of any evil force. Furthermore,  it
          will be appreciated with the passing of the years, thus saving in the
          form of transcendental wealth is really the most skilful way of
          conserving one’s wealth.

          Along with the
          economic activities or even day to day life, an individual should also
          keep companionship with virtuous friends having faith (saddhā), self-discipline (sīla), self-sacrifice (cāga) and wisdom (paññā).
          The Buddha teaches that worldly wealth may be exhausted in a moment,
          but the value of training other people to be virtuous never knows an
          end. In many of the sutta-s such as Maṅgala sutta, Sigālovāda sutta
          etc., the Buddha gave a detailed account on how the behaviour of a
          friend should actually be. And he also advises  us to associate  with
          the wise and virtuous friends and to avoid associating  with the
          unskilful and bad ones (asevanā ca bālānaṃ panditānaṃ ca sevanā).

          And finally,  we are advised to live within our means (samajīvikatā).
          One should live a life not being a luxury-seeker and also not being too
          spendthrift either. There is a very simple yet extremely significant
          statement which in a nutshell contains the essential features of the
          Buddhist economics. The statement runs thus: – an individual should
          divide his wealth in four portions, of these the first portion will be
          used for his own expense, a half of the total wealth i.e. the second
          and the third portions should be used in  reinvestments. And the best
          approach to the investment as mentioned in Buddhism is – development of
          skills, training experience, fulfilling the basic needs of others and
          so on. And with regard to the hospitality there is a mention of five bali-s (offerings or treatments) namely;treating relatives[ñāti bali], guests[atithi bali], the government[rāja bali], departed relatives[peta bali], and samanas and brāhmanas [devatā bali]. And the last portion should be kept for the future needs such as – floods, calamities and drought and so on.

          Thus, while one is practicing the above mentioned four qualities, one develops four more spiritual qualities namely saddhā (faith), sīla (morality or virtue), cāga (generosity), and paññā (wisdom). Having these qualities developed, one then obtains four kinds of happiness namely:

          1. One becomes happy thinking that he acquires his wealth in a righteous way (atthi sukha)
          2. He becomes happy in using the wealth earned in the blameless way (bhoga sukha)
          3. He becomes happy being able to say ‘I have no debts’ which is the bliss of debtlessness (anaṇa sukha), and
          4. Finally, he enjoys the bliss of blamelessness (anavajja sukha).

          The
          Buddha praised the fourth type of happiness because this person does
          not do any unskilful action either through his body or speech or mind.
          And hence he is freed from harming others in any way; therefore he
          leads a blameless life.

          The economic theory
          in Buddhism is rather a holistic one. Buddhism begins primarily talking
          with individual economy and then it goes on to social economy and then
          to state economy. With the development of wealth, an individual is
          expected to be developed in the dharma. He does everything for the
          benefit and wellbeing of the both oneself and others as the Buddhist
          saying goes; “May all livings be well and happy” – (sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā).
           An individual trained in such a way is related to the family; a family
          to a group, a group to a state or a nation; and a state to other
          states. In such a state even the animals, birds, fish as well as trees
          and plants are protected. Thus happiness prevails in such a country.

          Therefore,
          Buddhism appreciates such economic activities which do not exploit
          others; do not increase additional wants depriving the basic needs; do
          not fall within the five areas of trade and do not use material
          resources without maintaining the ecological balance. Buddhism always
          stresses on  right livelihood . Right livelihood  means that a man
          should not just accumulate wealth for the sake of enjoying  life,
          rather taking the economic activities as a mean to achieve the end and
          which is to be known as the socio-spiritual life. In respect of this
          way of livelihood, a modern economist, Glen Alexandrian, says that
          ethical consideration should be given a prominent place in production
          and distribution of wealth. Therefore, it should be said that Buddhism
          does not see any fault in the wealth itself. Its emphasis is mostly 
          the ethical acquisition and usage of the wealth. It recommends that  in
          the acquisition of wealth, one must not exercise greed, stinginess,
          grasping, attachment, and hoarding. In other words, the economic
          activities should not be done with competition or contest, but with
          co-operation and zeal. In so doing one, would then be able to lead an
          unperturbed socio-spiritual life.

          Editor’s Note:

          Most of the important early Buddhist Economics promulgated by Gotama
          Buddha is incorporated in this essay. We can learn Buddhadhamma as well
          as Buddhist Way of participating in economic activities. Earning and
          utility of economic wealth is a conditioned phenomenon. Non-violation
          of Buddhist principle of Dependent Co-arising is the Principle. The
          wisdom of Anattā integrates the phenomenon with the Principle
          harmoniously. Live in Anattā and you are perfectly protected in any
          sphere of activity including economic activities. To live in Anattā :
          Annihilate your self-identity in the Totality of any collective work.

          http://www.thompsonlaw.ca/pdf_folder/diamond.pdf
          http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/09/15/stories/2008091551160800.htm

          Give Buddhist economics a try


          Consuming our way to happiness is a dominant theme in modern
          economics. But it is not true that high living standards necessarily
          mean high levels of consumption. Our economic and moral lives need to
          be intertwined.








          If three shirts meet your needs,
          why does happiness come only when you buy the fourth that you are
          admiring on the store shelves?

          C. Gopinath

          Recent reports suggest that the US Congress (i.e., parliament) is
          thinking of another stimulus Bill. That means putting money into the
          pockets of people so they will spend it and give a boost to the
          economy. The results of the previous stimulus Bill have not been very
          encouraging.

          The government handed out cheques of about Rs 29,000 each to
          eligible families and asked them to go and spend it. Studies show that
          about 70 per cent of that handout was saved, and the economy continues
          to slip further into a rut with inflation, and higher unemployment
          figures expected in the months to come.

          Consuming our way to happiness is a dominant theme in modern
          economics. It is a prime motivating force in utility maximisation, and
          trade theorists claim there are ‘gains’ from free trade because there
          are more goods and services available for consumption. The business
          world, in general, and the marketers, in particular, have also built
          their very existence around increasing consumption.


          Regeneration rate down

          The US government also strongly subscribes to this ideology, as seen
          from their efforts to stimulate consumption. After the terrorist attack
          in New York in September 2001, the US president George Bush, as part of
          his speech calming the nerves of citizens, encouraged them to go to the
          malls. To him, that represented leading a normal life.

          The result of all this encouragement to spend and consume is that
          the planet is getting quite a bit weary. With 5 per cent of the world’s
          population, the US burns about 25 per cent of the world’s energy. It
          also produces about 30 per cent of the world’s waste. The World Watch
          Institute has calculated that if just the two countries, China and
          India, who are trying to raise the living standards of their people by
          building more malls, consumed as much per capita as the US, by the year
          2030, those two countries alone would need the resources of one
          additional planet.

          An organisation called the Global Footprint Network has calculated
          that the human demand on the environment, through consumption and waste
          generation, exceeds the regenerative capabilities of the planet by 23
          per cent. In economic terms, this means that we are drawing down the
          capital, and this cannot go on forever. Not a pleasant thought.


          Only ideas, no solutions

          The problem with much of the public debate about global warming and
          sustainable everything is that they are full of ideas that are only
          solutions at the margin. Increasing mileage of the automobiles by
          another 10 per cent becomes a goal, switching off the extra lights in
          the office is a much touted cause, and bulky reports proudly claim that
          they are printed on recycled paper. These efforts are all like
          re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Cosmetic, but does not
          solve the underlying problem. Nobody is dealing with the fundamental
          problem that plagues our life, and our economic theories, namely
          consumption.

          So I went back to read E. F. Schumacher’s essay on ‘Buddhist Economics’ (included in his book, Small is Beautiful,
          1973) just to calm my nerves. His point is that “since consumption is
          merely a means to human well-being, the aim should be to obtain the
          maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.” I can hear the
          sceptics jumping up and saying, “If everyone wears ochre robes and begs
          for their food, who will be around to drop it in the bowl?”

          That is not what is being recommended. The Buddhist approach would
          be to say that you buy the number of shirts that you need, and no more.
          If three shirts meet your needs, why does happiness come only when you
          buy that fourth that you are presently admiring in the store shelves?
          That is the Middle Way.

          Extending the idea to fuel use, rather than only look at the cost
          per unit for the fuels being consumed, Schumacher argues that we need
          to treat non-renewable fuel with the utmost care and use only the
          absolute minimum necessary to lead our lives. Thus, there is no formula
          or index to decide our consumption, but every decision needs to be
          carefully thought through. We have to re-examine the very philosophy of
          our life.

          I can hear people say that religion has no place in business. (To
          digress, have we not already made a religion out of the market?)
          Religion has already been influencing several businesses, albeit
          marginally. Kosher foods among the Jews and halal meat among the
          Muslims are areas where practices of faith have determined the products
          and lifestyles. It is also happening with financial instruments. Since
          Islam shuns the payment or receipt of interest, and prohibits gambling,
          many banks have sprung up to cater to people who live their lives on
          those principles.

          The Economist estimates that financial instruments
          based on Islamic principles are growing at about 10-15 per cent per
          annum. Several indices have also been developed to track organisations
          working on these principles.


          Dharmic investments

          A recent entrant into this field is that of dharmic
          investments. The Dow Jones Dharma index, which is to be launched in the
          near future, will identify companies listed in the world’s stock
          markets that are not doing things that violate the concept of Dharma.
          This is being defined as those products that lead to prosperity in the
          world and the cessation of pain and misery. (Don’t even bother checking
          if breweries stocks have a place here.) Such efforts show that there is
          a growing interest in the interstices of religion and business and
          economics. Getting back to our discussion of consumption, the time is
          probably ripe to question whether we should let it rule our lives. But
          the essential issue of dealing with consumption has to come from
          personal choice and reflection.

          Some societies in Europe have already made choices whereby they
          forego greater consumption for leisure. Thus, it is not true that high
          living standards necessarily means high levels of consumption. Look at
          countries such as Japan or the Netherlands who are among the richer
          countries of the world but consume at just abut half the US rate, per
          capita.

          The underlying theme of Buddhist economics is that our economic and
          moral lives need to be intertwined. We will probably come to the same
          conclusion if we substitute any mainstream religion’s underlying
          principles for Buddhism in the arguments made above. But the difficult
          part is in practising those principles beyond merely buying products
          that tout those principles.

          The problem with consumption is that it plays a role that goes
          beyond satisfying one’s desires. It also has a demonstration effect.
          Consumption is a symbol of one’s success and standing in life.
          Increasing incomes lead not just to more consumption from those who
          previously did not consume but also from those who already have
          satisfied that need but feel it necessary to show society that they can
          afford the more expensive car or the bigger diamond.

          We need to be able to develop an alternative justification for our
          lives beyond consumption and if Buddhism or any other moral philosophy
          can provide it, let us give it a chance. And our economists need to get
          working on revising their theories. Mother Earth will thank us.


          (The author is professor of international business and strategic management at Suffolk University, Boston, US.
          blfeedback@thehindu.co.in)




          More Stories on :
          Economics |
          Economy |
          American Periscope

          http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=48D24D8C09E2CBA4C49D9223B66EAC45?contentType=Book&hdAction=lnkpdf&contentId=1780788

          Social accounting for sufficiency: Buddhist principles and practices, and their application in Thailand


          Abstract:

          Social
          and environmental accounting research manifests varying levels of
          awareness of critical global problems and the need to develop
          alternative approaches to dealing with economy and society. This paper
          explores Buddhist thought and, specifically, Buddhist economics as a
          means to informing this debate. We draw on and expand Schumacher’s
          ideas about ‘Buddhist economics’, first articulated in the 1960s. Our
          analysis centres on Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold
          Path and associated Buddhist teachings. The examination includes
          assumptions, means and ends of Buddhist approaches to economics; these
          are compared and contrasted with conventional economics.

          To
          consider how thought and practice may be bridged, we examine a
          practical application of Buddhism’s Middle Way, in the form of
          Thailand’s current work with ‘Sufficiency Economy’.

          Throughout
          the paper, we explore the implications for the development of social
          accounting, looking for mutual interactions between Buddhism and social
          accounting thought and practice.

          http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=32995&-Token.Action=ℑ=1



          “It is urgent that such models [as this book offers] be put into effect.”—the Dalai Lama

          Business and the Buddha
          Doing Well by Doing Good
          Lloyd Field, Ph.D., Author
          His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Foreword_|_Master Hsing Yun, Foreword

          When it comes to business, everyone wants to do well. But can we do
          good at the same time? Lloyd Field (and, indeed the Dalai Lama, who
          provides the foreword here) says, unequivocally, Yes. Field’s Business and the Buddha
          lays out the guidelines for putting ideas about individual and
          corporate social responsibility into practice without sacrificing the
          bottom line.

          No longer can business—big or small—afford to focus solely on profit.
          Real assessment of a business’s worth must take into account its
          consideration of our shared human values, and the realities of our
          shared planet. That doesn’t mean a business can’t or shouldn’t compete;
          it means that investing in efforts to build a better society can be, on
          many levels, an asset.

          Drawing in a substantial and sophisticated way on traditional Buddhist
          teachings, Lloyd Field shows how decision-makers and entrepreneurs can
          achieve new levels of happiness and security both inside and outside
          the company, and take a power-position as a force for positive global
          change.

          Praise & Reviews

          “An exceptionally well-written book, and one of the most
          thought-provoking books I’ve read in many years. It gets to the heart
          of many issues that trouble me about the business world, and how our
          societies have managed the free enterprise system. The author, Lloyd
          Field, uses the lessons of Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha, to critique
          and recommend changes to business and free enterprise to increase its
          humanity and concern for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants.
          Its focus is on three groups of guiding principles: wisdom, ethical
          conduct, and compassion. Who could argue that we have enough of any of
          these in the business world?”—John Caddell, founder and principal of
          the Caddell Insight Group, on his blog, Shoptalk

          “Lloyd Field’s inspired book reminded me of the value of ‘karmic
          capitalism,’ the idea that business can have a positive transformative
          effect in our lives if we are willing to look at the long-term, karmic
          effects of our actions. Business and the Buddha is a wake-up call for
          any conscious business leader who wants to succeed in the right
          way.”—Chip Conley, CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and author of Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow

          “Field offers an inspiring perspective on Buddhist principles
          and their ability to transform our traditional capitalist system from a
          greed-driven enterprise into a humanistic and compassionate endeavor.”
          —Gary Erickson, owner and founder of Clif Bar & Co, and author of Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.

          “This book invites senior corporate leaders to apply Buddhist
          principles to work and its results. Field offers up the Four Noble
          Truths, along with advice for how senior leaders can bring them and
          other significant Buddhist principles to the workplace. May Lloyd
          Field’s Business and the Buddha inspire multitudes to work towards
          causing no harm.”—Conscious Business blog

          “Can profit-driven, free-market enterprise be reconciled with
          the Buddha’s Middle Way? For Lloyd Field, a longtime management
          consultant and Buddhist practioner, the answer is yes. Business and the
          Buddha presents his case for bringing “a human-based values philosophy
          to a value-neutral economic culture,” using the Four Noble Truths as a
          framework. The great thing about Buddhism, Field says, is that it
          doesn’t require that we take anything away from an existing culture—it
          just adds values like personal responsibility, integrity, ethical
          behavior, and spirituality, guided by the Buddha’s Eighfold Path. Field
          is not the first to promote human health and dignity as having value
          that is at least equal to the corporate bottom line, but he is among
          the first to make that argument using Buddhist philosophy as a guide.
          Whether you’re a paper-pusher in cubeland or a decision-maker at the
          top of the corporate ladder, Lloyd offers you an analysis and helpful
          suggestions that will help bring humanity into your business.”—Shambhala Sun

          “It is an urgent priority that such models [as the one Lloyd
          Field offers] be put into effect.”—from the foreword by the Dalai Lama

          “When Lloyd speaks, I listen.”—Cheryl Leis, Ph.D., International Ethics Advisory, Boeing Corp.

          “I cannot express to you how much we all appreciate Lloyd’s
          guidance and advice in helping us manage this organization. He has had
          a profound and positive effect on our ability to achieve our mission of
          making a difference in people’s lives.”—John Colangeli, Chief Executive
          Officer, Lutherwood

          “Business and the Buddha shows us the way to apply the
          Buddha’s message of joyfulness to the business community and help us
          work towards a happier family, career and life. Lloyd Field
          demonstrates a rare ability to apply Buddhist theories to the
          everyday.”—Most Eminent Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder, Fo Guang
          Shan

          “Lloyd Field wrote Business and the Buddha because he believes
          free enterprise has contributed to many of society’s ills, such as war,
          poverty, and disease. But free enterprise, or capitalism, does not need
          to be viewed as problematic, for it can be a vehicle for resolving
          human suffering. Field [explains how] leaders can change organizations
          for the better and improve the day-to-day lives, creating good in the
          world while still making a reasonable profit.”—Eastern Horizon

          “The challenge in all interpersonal relations, corporate or
          otherwise, is to live as though this is our only life. Business and the
          Buddha establishes rules of conduct for doing so, and will awaken those
          who are not familiar with the wisdom of the Buddha’s teaching.”
          —Dr. A.T.Ariyaratne, Founder, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement

          “I can think of no better person to act as a confidante and
          mentor to senior leaders, who often find themselves confronting
          difficult organizational problems that require clear thinking, strong
          action, and a value-based compass.”—Dieter E. Kays, President/CEO,
          FaithLife Financial

          Lloyd Field, Ph.D., Author




          His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Foreword

          Tenzin
          Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, was born in northeastern Tibet in
          1935. He is widely recognized as both the spiritual and temporal leader
          of the Tibetan people. In 1950, Tibet was invaded by China, leading to
          His Holiness’s flight into India in 1959. Since then, His Holiness has
          resided in Dharamsala, India, the site of the
          Tibetan-government-in-exile. In recognition of his tireless work for
          the liberation of Tibet, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.



          Business and the Buddha
          Doing Well by Doing Good
          Lloyd Field, Ph.D.,
          Author

          List Price:$ 16.95
          Our Price:
          $13.56 (20%off)

          Pages: 232 pp
          Size: 6 x 9 inches
          Binding: Paper
          ISBN: 0-86171-544-6
          Status:
          Available

          http://diamondcuttergroups.com/

          quote142.jpg

          New book “The Perfection of Marketing” incorporates Diamond Cutter principles



          Written by Scott Vacek

            

          The Perfection of Marketing bookManhattan, New York, USA

          An interview with James Connor, author,

          “The Perfection of Marketing”


          Geshe Michael Roach praised The Perfection Of Marketing by James
          Connor
          , published by Diamond Cutter Press in January 2009, with the
          following:
              “James Connor had the courage to go and seek the ancient wisdom of
          Asia, the determination to master it with many years of study, and the
          vision to apply it to his hot New York ad agency. The proof is in the
          pudding; listen to him and succeed.”    

          Scott Vacek of Diamond Cutter Discussion Groups recently interviewed
          James Connor, a brand marketing expert and the CEO of The James Group,
          an advertising agency that specializes in businesses under 500
          employees, to learn more about his new book The Perfection of Marketing.

          Q:    James, how important was reading The Diamond Cutter to your career?

          There
          has been one book that changed the course of my life: The Diamond
          Cutter. Reading it, I felt I was hearing the truth for the first time.
          In Geshe Michael, I felt I had finally found someone who knew the truth
          about how things really worked. Naturally, I wanted to know more.

          I started to study the original sources for the wisdom contained in The Diamond Cutter
          through the 18 courses of the Asian Classics Institute, then continued
          study out at Diamond Mountain University for the advanced courses.

          I
          really spark to the disciplined, rigorous academic approach. As a
          business person, I need to understand the details of how something
          works before I feel confident committing to it. In that sense, I always
          do my due diligence.

          After reading The Diamond Cutter and
          further study, I started treating my business as a laboratory for
          observing karmic correlations. Then with confidence in seeing results,
          I started to reformulate our marketing processes around those
          principles in a skillful way so business clients and even employees
          wouldn’t realize we were using ancient Buddhist principals to make
          people successful.

          James ConnorQ:    What kind of success have you had with your business, The James Group?

          Lots
          of successes for clients and ourselves. We’ve made more money for 95%
          of clients over the past 13-years including creating national
          category-leading brands like GarageTek, Thinkfun, The Water Quality
          Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) and Transparent Value.

          I got to
          employ lots of people with six-figure salaries. I lived and worked each
          day without compromising my world-view and made steady improvement in
          my ability to keep my vows. As a result, we’ve also been profitable 12
          of 13 years.

          Q:  James, what did you set out to accomplish with this book and do you feel you’ve done it?

          I
          wanted to do two things. 1. Take something as mysterious and
          unpredictable as marketing and clarify it into simple repeatable steps
          that every company should follow to create predictable marketing
          results. 2. After testing and perfecting the process over 12 years, I
          wanted to pass the process on to others to help their businesses grow
          more effectively. Everyone will benefit when companies can tell their
          story more effectively and companies can stop wasting marketing
          dollars.

          Q: Tell us about the book?

          I
          wanted to create a marketing book that was a page-turner. The book is
          written in narrative style using story and plot to make it easy to
          read. The characters are composites of the over 200 CEOs, VP’s of
          Marketing, and CFOs I’ve advised over 12 years. There isn’t a single
          word said in the book that someone didn’t say to me many times. So
          people will find the concerns and marketing advice ring true.

          Q:  The reviews have been extremely positive. What can you say about that?

          I’ve
          been very fortunate. Several reviews have called it “Marketing book of
          the Year.” I’m also getting emails and picking up twitter feeds from
          business people around the world saying “it’s the clearest marketing
          book they have ever read.” It’s nice to hear. However, I always
          remember where the wisdom came from. Build anything on the principals
          of Geshe Michael, Lama Christie, and Master Shantideva and your work
          will be irresistible.

          Q:  How are you going about marketing the book?

          Karmically,
          of course. I actually finished the book a year earlier and put it aside
          because I didn’t feel I had accumulated enough merit yet to see it
          succeed. During that year, I had the opportunity to work on Lama
          Christie McNally’s new book The Tibetan Book of Meditation as an
          editor. That book is amazing. When it comes out in May 2009, it will
          change the face of Buddhism by rightfully elevating women Lamas and
          establishing Lama Christie as one of the leading teachers of meditation
          in the world.

          When her incredible book was complete, I
          submitted my book for publishing and started to give away lots of
          content. At the www.perfectionofmarketing.com you can download the
          first four chapters for free. Those chapters were written when I was
          studying in India the art of interpreting what the Buddha really meant,
          so I feel they were written from a very sincere, clear place. If you
          search Perfection of Marketing on iTunes, you’ll find free video
          podcasts that walk business people through the marketing principals
          discussed in the book. People seem to like those a great deal, judging
          from the reviews.

          Q:  What’s next for you?

          I
          sold The James Group to our Creative Director Paul Blakely and a
          European advertising agency on the same week The Perfection of
          Marketing was released. The sale is allowing me freedom to build a
          meditation retreat cabin and go into the upcoming 3-year silent
          meditation retreat led by Geshe Michael and Lama Christie starting
          10/10/10.

          In many ways, this book is my goodbye to business in a
          similar way The Diamond Cutter was for Geshe Michael before he went on
          his first three-year retreat. I’ve given away everything I know about
          brand marketing and advertising which feels wonderful. I hope it will
          continue to make others successful each day that I am in retreat and
          beyond.

          I feel that I’ve gone spiritually as far as I can go
          while still owning a business. I’ve learned how to take full
          responsibility for employees, vendors, clients and their employees by
          putting their needs first.

          In retreat, I want to concentrate
          on the larger problems in the world like how to create peace. At
          39-years old, I haven’t lived a single day on this planet where some
          country isn’t in a shooting war with another. I want to change that.



          James Connor is
          the founder and CEO of The James Group advertising agency in New
          York.   In 13 years of owning the business he has incorporated Diamond Cutter principles in advising over 200 company owners.



           

          Groundbreaking Diamond Cutter Seminars in Ramat Gan, Israel

          Written by Scott Vacek

            

          Diamond Cutter Seminars in Israel110
          people filled the Ramat Gan “Emotion Studio” near Tel Aviv for three
          days in January to take part in the first-ever Diamond Cutter business
          seminar titled “The Wisdom of Diamond Cutter-Part 1 ”.  

          Dr.
          Dvora Tzvieli, formerly of Bell Laboratories, and accomplished computer
          scientist Dr. Arie Tzvieli, created the three-day experiential workshop
          by first developing a new, groundbreaking curriculum, all based in the
          teachings of Geshe Michael Roach - the author of The Diamond Cutter.  
          Through lecture sessions, large and small group discussions and even
          meditation and yoga classes geared for business people, participants
          explored the apparent causes of their successes and failures…and then
          went on to identify and work with the true causes.      

          Professional
          businessmen and businesswomen, teachers and homemakers alike were led
          through the intensive program to learn the true causes of Making Money,
          Enjoying the Money and the Path, and Making Our Life Meaningful.   
          Topics included “Hidden Potential”, “Deep Reasons for Success”,
          “Problems and Solutions in Business” and “Ultimate Managing Tool.”  

          The understanding gained from this workshop is applicable in all areas of life - it is not just for the business community.

          Drs.
          Dvora and Arie are reporting some dramatic results from attendees,
          including more than one paradigm shift….as early as the last day of the
          seminar, some participants were reporting instant results from
          application of what they learned.  “The workshop delivers absolutely
          amazing wisdom and presentation…and can change your life immediately”
          said Dr. Arie.

          Dr. Dvora TzvieliDr. Arie TzvieliBi-weekly
          group meetings led by senior students are now taking place in several
          locations near Tel Aviv as a follow-up to the seminar, to continue the
          day-to-day work of identifying and creating the true causes for
          success.    Group leaders tell us so far that the participants are
          returning with stories of progress in areas where they have been stuck
          for years, and are excitedly waiting for Part 2 of the workshop.

          Planning for future workshops is in progress….another Part 1 in April, and the first presentation of Part 2 in July 2009!

          For further information, please email:
          info@karmicmanagement.co.il This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


          Dr. Dvora Tzvieli holds advanced degrees in Mathematics and Computer
          Science, and has been working in research at Bell Labs and on Wall
          Street.   She has studied with Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, a
          great Tibetan Master, Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery, and with Geshe
          Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally in New York and in Arizona. She
          is a student and teacher at the Buddhist University Diamond Mountain in
          Arizona, and has been a beloved teacher of classical scriptures from
          the Buddhist and Yogic traditions for the past 10 years. She has
          translated numerous classical texts.

          Dr. Arie Tzvieli grew
          up in Israel and completed his education in Computer Science, and
          worked in this area many years.  Arie has studied Buddhism many years,
          and practiced in the Teravada tradition and in the last ten years in
          the Tibetan Mahayana tradition, under the guidance of Khen Rinpoche
          Geshe Losang Tarchin, who was the abbot of Sera Mey Tibetan Monastery,
          and under Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally

           

          Diamond Cutter Labs in Italy - 2009

          Written by Scott Vacek

            

          Attilio Piazza

          Diamond Cutter Labs are gaining
          momentum in Italy, led by Attilio Piazza of Centro Studi Piazza.  
          Groups are meeting regularly with a current average of 20-25 people in
          Milan, 10-15 near Venice, and a smaller group in Rimini, near
          Florence.  

          In each group
          meeting, participants pick one of the 46 correlations found in the
          book, and declare that this will become their “subject of
          investigation.”  They talk about the correlation in the group to
          determine how they find it in their daily lives, and then make it the
          focus of their meditation for the month.   …Then
          at subsequent meetings they return to discuss what they discovered.  
          When issues are shared, participants often exchange e-mail addresses on
          the spot and stay in touch day-to-day for more effective support and
          learning.

          Attilio is reporting “very juicy” discussion by group
          members of their experiences in applying Diamond Cutter principles. 

          Attilio
          Piazza is the translator of the Italian version of The Diamond Cutter,
          “Il Tagliatore di Diamanti” and founder of Centro Studi Piazza, which
          began in 1990, providing professional training, inter-family counseling
          and therapy.

          For more information you can contact him through his website at www.centrostudipiazza.org

           

          Five Years With The Diamond Cutter in Germany

          Written by Arne Schaefer

            

          Arne Schaefer, Diamond Cutter teacher and consultant in Berlin, GermanyI
          feel very honored to be asked to give a short insight in our
          experiences and our work with the Diamond Cutter of the last five years.

          Right
          now we are all witnessing the dramatic development of the US financial
          crises and its effect on the world economy and our lives. I believe
          that Buddhism can give us valuable hints on how to use this incident
          for our lives and for our future. If we look through the glasses of
          cause and effect we understand that this is not a sudden incident and
          there are not “the others” that have made it. We all have to understand
          that we are harvesting what we have planted before. It is the benefit
          of The Diamond Cutter to present the core principles of
          Buddhism in a way that anyone can use it. It is not important if you
          consider yourself as a Buddhist or not. Rather, do you believe in cause
          and effect?

          LotusConsult

          It was early 2003 when my friend Michael (an editor for the German publisher of the The Diamond Cutter)
          said to me: “I’ve been working on a book about Buddhism and business.
          I?d like to know what you and Irmi [my wife] think about the book!”  My
          wife and I were working as coaches and consultants, and we had started
          LotusConsult to deliver our service in accordance with our Buddhist
          background. Until then our Buddhist practice had been a more of a
          personal affair.

          So we read The Diamond Cutter, and I
          said to my wife, “Here is a book that brings Buddhism and business
          together without softening the main principle of Buddhism: bodhisattva
          mind!” (compassionate mind). In fact, it gives a clear explanation of
          how bodhisattva mind is the first condition for a successful and
          fulfilling business.

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