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Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism - Dhamma Wheel

Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SamKR
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Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby SamKR » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:45 pm

Many non-Buddhist people (especially in India, Nepal and the subcontinent) try to prove that it is because of the rise of Buddhism the defense system in the subcontinent became so weak that it was defeated and ruled by outside forces for centuries. Further they claim that it is mainly because of Buddhism that poverty got rooted in the region many centuries ago.

Thus the weakness, defeat, destruction, enslavement, and therefore underdevelopment and poverty is historically attributed to the rise of Buddhism (especially because of Buddhism's prominent characteristics, as they claim: nonviolence, renunciation, anti-materialism, anti-development or anti-progress, philosophy of being satisfied with whatever you have, etc.).

What do you think about such claims against Buddhism, and how to refute them? I would appreciate your input.

SamKR
Last edited by SamKR on Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:02 pm

I think it has more to do with politics than religion, not that the two aren't sometimes intertwined, but other forces seem to have let the poverty prevail or rather not let development occur.

Japan and Singapore have a long history with Buddhism and are doing very well economically, with relatively less poverty compared to most nations.
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cooran
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:22 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Kim OHara
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:33 pm

Hi, SamKR,
We had a thread on just this topic a while ago. I remembered replying to it and with a bit of hunting, I found it: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3737
(Mods may even want to tag the new thread onto the old one.)
:namaste:
Kim

SamKR
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby SamKR » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:48 pm


SamKR
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby SamKR » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:53 pm


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:07 am

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:44 am

Tang and Song dynasty China was quite developed compared to Europe during the same period, and is widely considered a high point in human cultural history. Buddhism had great influence during that time.

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pilgrim
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby pilgrim » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:46 am


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Lazy_eye
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:35 pm


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Rui Sousa
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Rui Sousa » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:53 pm

As for India the invasion of northern India by the Greco-Bactrian kings, and then the Kushan empire, between the 1st century BCE and the 2nd century CE migth be an example, if these kings and emperors were not Buddhists...
With Metta

lojong1
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby lojong1 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:07 am


chownah
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:11 pm

Could the fact that the region was by and large ruled (and exploited more than developed) by France and England for a long time have something to do with poverty?
chownah

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Hanzze
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Hanzze » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:58 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Hanzze
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Hanzze » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:09 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Goofaholix
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Re: Poverty in South Asia and Buddhism

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:34 pm

These kinds of ideas rise out of Hindu Nationalism, I don't think you'll find they have much traction outside of India and Nepal.

As far as poverty is concerned coming from a religion that brands a portion of society as untouchable and relegates them to a lifetime of poverty I think it's obvious that it's not Buddhism to blame. Maybe the Maoists are trying to do something about it but the gap between rich and poor is huge and Hinduism entrenches it, it's huge in some Buddhist countries too but at least the Buddha spoke against the caste system and it's not entrenched by birth.

Current events where India has spent billions on the Commonwealth games and shifted the slum dwellers out of town so the city looks tidier is a good example, it's hard to imagine such a thing happening in a western country.

As far as them becoming weak through Buddhist pacifism and therefore being conquered by Muslims they've probably got a point, however it is like blaming the victim for the crime as has already been pointed out. It was the rise of Hindu nationalism that led to them getting much of their country back.


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