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How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop? - Dhamma Wheel

How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Wind
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How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Wind » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:03 am

Is it a coincidence that all the Theravada Buddhist Countries (Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka) are so under-develop? Some might say they are poor countries although it doesn't nececisarily reflect their quality of life. Do you think Theravada Buddhism had any contribution to their state of being? I personally prefer countries that are more natural than industrialized. What do you think, is it a good thing or a bad thing that these countries are still relatively primitive?

And when we look at Mahayana Buddhist Countries like Japan and China, they have a big economy and plenty of wealth. Quite the contrast to Theravada Buddhist Countries. Likewise, do you think Mahayana Buddhism play a role in shaping these countries? Or is it totally unrelated?

Paññāsikhara
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:14 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Goofaholix
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:10 am

Obviously you haven't been to Bangkok lately.

I think you'll find that most non Theravadin Buddhist countries in the same region; Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam etc are pretty much on a par. So I think the reasons are more likely regional or resource rather than religion based.

These countries are all near the equator, and around the world most counties near the equator are also on a similar level, (unless they have huge stockpiles of oil), this is the most obvious difference compared with North Asia.

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Kim OHara
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:27 am

Go to
Download the chart.

Print it out.
Pick up two hi-liters and mark Theravada countries in one colour, Mahayana in another.
Look for patterns.

Print it out again.
Hi-lite tropical countries.
Look for patterns.
:thinking:

No need for sophisticated statistical analysis.
:namaste:
Kim

PeterB
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:52 am

Is there a question beneath your question Wind ? Are you pehaps concerned that in some way the practices of the Theravada lead to a lessening of motivation in some areas of one's life ?

Paññāsikhara
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:52 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Sekha
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Sekha » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:59 am

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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zavk
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby zavk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:42 am

With metta,
zavk

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Lampang
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Lampang » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:20 am


notself
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby notself » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:39 pm

Primitive is being obsessed my materialism so deeply that you refinance your house three times and max out your credit cards in order to buy trash. Primitive is being so far in debt that when you face a job loss, you face homelessness as well. Primitive is living in the richest country in the world and not having affordable health care.

Rampant materialism is primitive. The West is trying to spread it around the world by holding it up as the ideal.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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BlackBird
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:34 pm

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Wind
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Wind » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:54 am


chownah
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby chownah » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:37 pm

Thailand?...Primitive?
Afraid to walk by the river at night because there are ghosts there?
Paying the local sooth sayer to pick a lucky day and hour for the blessing of your house?
Not contacting the gov't agricultural agent about questions in farming (its his job to know the answer or find it out...they are very knowledgeable and cooperative people) but instead do what the semi competant water delivery person says because he "said he does it this way all the time and his rice grows good"....and not ask any other source for another opinion..?
Always keeping your socks and underwear in the lowest drawer in the chest because they are for lowly parts of the body and should not be above the other clothing....ditto when hanging them up to dry....they need to be lower....?
Monks never touching a woman's hand even though the Buddha never taught this?
Women making lower wages for the same work?
Having something like 15 military coups in the last 50 years?
Never putting rich people in jail even if they are convicted for corruption or if they kill someone with a room full of witnesses?
Alcohol as a primary source of entertainment?

I could go on and on.......I live here....
chownah

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Dan74
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:30 pm

Because Theravada doesn't have The Great Sutra on Material Well-Being and the mantra to the Buddha of Infinite Wealth?

:shrug:
_/|\_

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Dhammabodhi
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Dhammabodhi » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:20 pm

As far as I'm concerned, the not-so-well-defined "primitivity", whatever it is, ultimately is a manifestation of ignorance, and in that respect, all countries, all communities, and all socio-economic classes are "primitive" in one way or the other. Ignorance does not depend on religion, wealth, or geographic location.

I'm sure we can build a similar list as chownah's for 99% of the countries in the world.

:anjali:
Dhammabodhi
"Take rest, take rest."-S.N.Goenka

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Lampang
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Lampang » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:47 pm


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bodom
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby bodom » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:44 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Lampang
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Location: Thailand

Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Lampang » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:56 am

Maybe not your beliefs, but I'd keep an eye on your neighbours.

"Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll."

http://www.texastribune.org/stories/201 ... intstones/

Sanghamitta
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Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:49 am

Beliefs common in the UK when I was growing up and still found now.

If a woman washes her hair during times of menstruation she will weaken herself and become ill.
" Germs" that cause colds and flu (presumably bacteria and viruses ) live in the grass and so a heavy frost means that there are fewer colds and flu in circulation, because the frost kills them off.
If you swallow chewing gum it can get tangled around your heart,
Smoking cigarettes in the early stages of a cold can stop it developing if you exhale the smoke through the nose.
Smoking cigarettes cures a headache.
Bats can get tangled in your hair and the only way to untangle them is to have all your hair shaved off.
If virgin children plant seeds or bulbs the plants will grow better.

and many many others. There is no culture, including modern western ones , with no folk beliefs
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

Sanghamitta
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Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: How come all the Theravada Countries so under-develop?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:52 am

Then there are the modern myths;

Money makes you happy, and its hippy variant,
Lack of money makes you happy.

Then there is is the Woody Allen/ Brown Rice syndrome.
In the film Sleeper, Allen's character is frozen cryogenically for a hundred years. When he is revived he says, " I must look up all my friends" It is explained to him that they will all be dead. " But they all ate brown rice and miso soup" he wails.

The belief that if I leave the TV on standby my great grandchildren will have to live in limbo because there will be no planet for them to inhabit.

Then there is the belief that if I call myself a Buddhist ( for example ) I will have labelled myself out of existence and will somehow melt into a state of non being.

Then there is the belief that if I sit on a special cushion called a zuton or a zablonski or somesuch and wait long enough in an upright posture while breathing in and out, I will discover that I have in fact had a "Buddha nature" all along..so thats all right. Phew.

Lets not be too quick to decide what is or is not " primitive"... :smile:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.


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