Buddhist Economics: Resource Management Based on Buddhist Approach
Buddhist economics based on Buddhism is a body of knowledge about the concept of economics for natural resource management for finding, management, utilization under the concept of balance, utilization, saving, sacrifice and for the society. The resource management uses the concept of economics to be used in Thai society and becomes community phenomenon and systematically community management under the mechanism and potential of appropriate management and are useful to holistic society for co-living peacefully, share the resource properly, and at the same time, to the holistic movement until becomes the mechanism of resource management for religion and social resource based on co hospitality , sharing and creativity.
Keywords:Buddhist Economics, Resource Management, Alternative Economics
The resource is the importance of economic system which is related the production and consumption. In Buddhism has the concept of Buddhist economics, which is applied management to natural management, capital , man and condition of capital to be useful for the public and has the objective for inner morality development as priority. At the same time, Buddhism is not the resource management through profit but focus on mind quality, life quality for co-living without non-violence and become the benefit to holistic society as main target that is call as resource management based on Buddhist approach and this article will present the concept and summary of Buddhist economics, natural management based on Buddhist approach.
The article focuses on study the concept of Buddhist economics and natural management based on Buddhist approach by studying the knowledge analysis according to Buddhism and the key thinkers of Buddhist economics and reflect the concept about Buddhist economics.
2. The Meaning of Buddhist Economics
Buddhist Economics means the application for the concept of Buddhism about nature of humans to explain the principle and concept of economics that is the new way to understand economics. P.A. Payutto,(2001) says about the Buddhist economics that to match with the process of cause and effect perfectly which to have good relation to all factors in the human settlement . The three factors are human, nature and society. For living of humans will have the hospitality that means these factors must have the co-operation an co-hospitality for co-living. In the Buddhist ecomnomics(2001) of P.A.Payutto give the data that economy is the activity to spend the of much time in lives of humans, more time of lives of humans spends for economic activity. If we will use economics valuably to solve human problems , must give all economic activities like production , working and consumption, distribution as the activities to create the life quality and develop the potentials for better life and can make all economic activities to be the activities to develop the life quality all time and this is one way to make economics to have the real value or concept of Buddhadasa, 1906-1993 that presented the concept of economics named as Dhammic Socialism that (1) for the benefit of holistic society (2) not to take over benefits and to take of benefits from holistic society which to consume moderately and no over consumption (3) to respect the nature , all animals , and have loving kindness to each other. Ernest. Friedrich. Schumacher (1911-1977) presented his work named as Small is Beautiful : Economics As If People Mattered (1973) or named as Buddhist Economic that presented the concept of Middle Way economics or Middle Path economics including morality which will support to use life as humans including the dependent theory as the life way of Buddhism as well. Apicha Puntasen(2004) mentioned that the present economics or the main stream economics understands humans incorrectly because they take some reality of humans to focus on or over real explanation until to summarize incorrectly and presented the self-reliance economics and no selfishness according to Buddhism.
Therefore, the concept of Buddhist economics according to Buddhism focuses on economic behavior of humans which no violence to others , no spoilt of life quality but the way to life quality development and no own violence and no violence to others, no disturbance to society and no destroy the eco-systems or environmental system. In the view of Buddhism mentions that the major economy focuses on material of production only. The basically production will overlook the real facts which main factor of economy is the human resource and the highest value of humans is ethics. The morality or ethics is the importance of economy very much that it means morality and value of mind. If the economic behavior focuses on production and consumption, must have the ethics which will control and monitor, if not, it will effect on economic system very much that it is the heart of Buddhist economics that focuses on the balance or middle way or moderate way as well.
3. The Resource Management
The resource is the factor of production to the consumption that some scholar gives the definition of resource that it is co-resource of society and have the utilization and use the utilization as whole in the society and community to facilitate the utilization to human and nature. The resource is appeared by nature such as air, river, water, ocean, land, minerals , mountains and forests etc. The human made resources are like houses, schools, roads, cars, dams etc.
The resource has the importance to humans that will utilize from resource for living. Humans must have close relationship with nature. Therefore, the action of humans will have the effect on environment that effect will be positive and negative for environment such as vegetables, fruits that we consume which use the land and water for planting, to build the house or residence that must cut the trees from the forest to build the house that deforest and if cut many trees, it will effect on rain falling and becomes the drought and flood. Because of no forests to absorb water under the land. But if everyone helps to plant the trees, will help for fresh air, beautiful community, shady residence. If has the fertile forest and then the rain will fall properly and no drought and will help to protect from the flood.
The resource to use in daily life has 2 kinds as following :
3.1. The private resources : in Buddhism means the things that we get for the benefit or utilization of living, has the target for living, own livelihood, including own living such as to look after family, sons and daughters, wife, husband, to look after close friends , are things of students are the owners and be able to use for own benefit or own utilization such as pencil, paper, book, cloth , food etc.
3.2. The public resources : are the public things or public domains that every one can use together such as forest, mountain, river, road, bridge, public garden etc. but to distribute the sharing fairly.
The limited resource and sufficiency for humans as the view of Mahatma Gandhi, 1869 – 1948 that resource in the world is enough to look after for the world population but can not look after or feed the only one greedy person. As Buddhism has the concept about resource that Nekasi Laphate Sukhang means consumption for only one person is not happy. It means limited resources are used without disturbance or non-violence for the real sake of humans, society and environment and for morality and ethics development that will be the heart of resource distribution.
4. The Resource Management Based On Buddhist Approach
Buddhism has the concept about management and resource sharing appropriately within possibility and creates the benefit or utilization to society, humans. Buddhism has the doctrine for hospitality to economic system which will attain the present benefit which called Tiththadhammikatthaprayoth and to promote the four factors of economic security as follows : (1)Uththanasampada- to be endowed with energy and industry, is to work hard for right career ,has the skill and to use the wisdom and examination and find the method to get the wealth. (2) Arakkhasampada : to be endowed with watchfulness, has the readiness for treatment as being the wealth protector to keep the wealth well. (3) Kalyaoamittata : good company; association with good people, to make good friends as the cause of more progress and to choose for making friendship with scholars or wise men who have the morality, faith, precept, charity, and wisdom etc. including to know how to keep wealth correctly and no convince from false friends to do bad things. (4) Samajavita : balanced livehihood ; living economically, has the well being moderately, to know the account management for income and expenditure , to have the right livelihood that no misery and luxury , have money for reservation. Moreover, Buddhism has the principle of Sanghavaththu, has the objective for sharing , resource sharing and to manage to highest maximum benefit or utilization that his the principle of resource sharing such as “Nekasi Laphate Sukhang” means to consume alone is not happy, means the limited resource. When has the resource, should think of all society members to distribute the resource to the highest maximum benefit or utilization and benefit for the public (1) Dana or charity , is the principle of charity or Jaca to all members in the society. (2) Smart usage, means to know how to use the appropriate resource as moderation and balance for all things. (3) Economy, to know how to use suitably under necessity of consumption and use for the benefit to society and real public, and to use properly and live to share the surplus things to community and society. (4) To help the human society, has the concept about helping the holistic society to distribute the wealth or income to real holistic society and no specific group or own group etc.
For the resource management of Buddhism focuses on the management to principle of production, consumption without no disturbance or non-violence as mentions in Vinaya that forbid the monks to use water that has some insects, no disturbance of environment both vegetables and living things including to use the resource like eating, clothes or yellow robe usage to the highest maximum utilization as the heart of resource management that focuses on benefit or utilization , no disturbance or non-violence and become the highest maximum utilization or profit as the heart of resource management based on Buddhist approach which based on from scripture and the teaching or doctrine in Buddhism.
5.Ideology of Buddhism towards Balanced co-living
The concept of Buddhism gives the importance to the concept of no disturbance or no-violence. To use the wealth or resource to the have the highest maximum utilization including economy with no disturbance or non-violence such as the concept of Vanijja or career is not desirable that consists of 5 careers namely (1) Satthavanijja or no weapons selling career (2) Satta-vanijja or no humans selling career (3) Massa-Vanijja or no animals selling career (4) Najja-vanijja or no intoxicants selling career (5) Visa-vanijja or poison or poisonous chemical selling career. The concept of economy in Buddhism does not support to get the wealth or economical resource by disturbance even though it is a small thing as mentions in Vinaya or Discipline of Buddhism that do not allow the monks to use water that it has some insects, no destroy the green things(Tipitaka/MCU : Vol.4/209/331), no building of big hut for the monks including eating like no over food collection from going out for alms(Tipitaka/MCU : Vol.2/605/680), to allow the monks to eat after luncheon time when they are sick (Tipitaka/MCU : Vol.2/237/394). It means the left resource management to utilize others including to help other lives from basic necessities factors and Buddhism has the view of resource as life factors for living such as food, residence or lodging , rope or clothing, and medicine and to use these resources sufficiently and balance by having the final target is to make life to have calmness and highest objective of Buddhism is Nibbana or Cool.
The concept of resource management of Buddhism according to the view of Buddhist economics will see that Buddhism sees the balance or middle way or moderate way and in the balance with the way of life according to principle of economics that has the principle of production without disturbance or non-violence. As mentioned in Vanijja or career which the consumption is not over that mentioned in Vinaya including the concept of no over resource management and utilize the highest maximum resources as mentioned about the rope or cloth of Phra Anon that used the limited resource to the highest maximum utilization and when use the natural resource and then must work for the benefit of the holistic society. Under the concept of hospitality and sharing that Buddhism mentions as the important concept of economics as appearance in Buddhism.
Apichai Puntasen (2004). Buddhist Economics : Evolution, Theories and Its Application to Various Economics Subjects. Bangkok : Amarin Publishing Companies (Thai ). Online : http://www.openbase.in.th/files/apichai006.pdf
Ernst.Friedrich. Schumacher (1973). Small is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered E. F. Schumacher. Buddhist Economics http://www.colorado.edu/economics/morey/4999Ethics/Religion/SchumacherEF_BuddistEconomics.pdf
P.A.Payutto. (2001). ฺBuddhist Economic-เศรษฐศาสตร์แนวพุทธ. Bangkok : Aphidhamma Foudation.
Phrakrusripariyatkhunaporn,Dr. “Concept of Economic in Buddhism” online : http://www.src.mbu.ac.th/images/stories/pdf/007.pdf