A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Buddhism and Politics

I am going to mention a little on Buddhism and politics. Buddha gave instructions to rulers and those in authority, on how to treat those they presided over. His instructions were meant to promote a peaceful harmonious society free from poverty. I am not aware of his instructions to citizens and their relationship with their rulers. However from the concept of non-violence, rebellions are not recommended, but neither are they prohibited from what I know so far. His guidelines did include the principles of respecting each other’s traditions, our elders, men, women, children, beliefs of different religions. That our system of government should encourage peaceful and harmonious dialogue, when the decisions are made, to go our own ways in harmony, and continue to live in harmony. Those governments should only do what the people in general authorize or willing accepts, and not forcing the views of minorities over the views of the majority. This means respecting the views of the minority, while ensuring that the majority are listened to. That the rule of law should not allow the abduction of others for any reason. Nor should the laws allow the subjugation of others, or the enslavement of others. Permit all to earn a livelihood without fear, of loss of life or health. That marriages or unions between spouses are considered one of equals. Buddha held up examples of rulers that while men just like the rest of us, exhibited the qualities that make for a good leader or ruler.

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