Dr. Venkata Sivasai has a made a
commendable effort to bring out the basic
principles of the Buddhist ethics and show
that these principles are as relevant and to
solve various contemporary Biomedical
There is a commonality between Bioethics and Buddhism
which lies in the idea of the practical use of ideas and concepts
through to solve biomedical issues. The Buddha emphasized
the practical nature of Buddhist ethical teachings because,
according to him, philosophy is like a therapy which eliminates
the suffering of man. Therefore, the Buddha discouraged
speculative metaphysics and emphasized practical thinking,
including the ethical thinking, is for the transformation of
human life, so that man becomes a better man by making his
philosophical concepts embedded in life.
I hope that this book be only one small part of a wider
process that needs to take place, a process of the development
of a Buddhist ethics that is truly universal and yet
unapologetically normative. The world needs such an ethics,
both theoretically understood and, of course, practiced.
Theoretically, Buddhist ethics needs clear but universal
formulation, as well as application to a wide variety of issues.
There are very many more issues of public interest than he
has even managed to discuss briefly in this book. This need
far more in-depth discussion from a Buddhist perspective.
Practically, the application of Buddhist ethics is extremely
patchy. Whilst there are Buddhist practitioners who take ethics
extremely seriously, they often do so only in a very personal
way in relation to their own practice. This is an approach which
encourages the impression that Buddhist ethics is mainly about
personal purity, yet the basic principles of Buddhism are
completely at odds with such an emphasis. If Buddhism is
concerned with the universal conditions of humankind, it should
be addressing those conditions.
The central question of medical ethics is that of the value
of human life, when this value is brought into question by
having to be weighed against other things we value. For
example, in the issue of abortion, the worth of a human fetus
has to be weighed against, say, the health, freedom of other
needs of a woman wanting an abortion. When deciding whether
to give medical treatment to a patient who has only a small
chance of benefiting from it, a doctor has to weigh up human
life against medical resources (such as staff time and money)
which could be given to other patients. How much is human
life worth in these circumstances? The assumption that all
humans are persons, then, is an externalist's view, not a
Buddhist one. It is thus not always automatically right to put
human life before all other priorities, before first considering
why and how that human life is valuable, and how it relates
Dr. Venkata Sivasai has a made a commendable effort to
bring out the basic principles of the Buddhist ethics and show
that these principles are as relevant and to solve various
contemporary Biomedical issues. I recommend the book to
everybody, both scholars and the laymen, who are interested
in knowing the Buddhist Ethics and its Principles and its
relation to Priethies.
He was also born as the heir of King Suddhodana of the
Sakya Community of Kapilvastu. He spent his youth in
pleasures and luxury which customary with the Indian noble
people in those days. He lived ten years of married life during
which a child called Rahul was born. After enjoying a pleasant
life he renounced his home, the glory and riches of their of
a king, family bonds and every other worldly tile.
The creative contribution of Buddha was quite
extraordinary while the political works and exploits of
Alexander, Caesar, Changhiz Khan and Napoleon have proved
ephemeral, the teaching of Buddha continues to mould the
lives and conduct of thousands and perhaps even millions of
people. The followers of Buddha regard him almost as a super
historical personality who revealed a noble way of emancipation
on the basis of his deep and rigorous austerities, mediations
on the basis of his deep and rigorous austerities, meditations
Buddha found the solutions of his mental struggle and
anxiety regarding the worldly sorrows and pains in the
enlightenment of the Four Noble Truths". This gives rise to a
close relationship between religion and morality in Buddhism.
According to Junior Takakusm "The eight-fold way may be
regarded as the practical Ethics of Buddhism for the purpose
of building up human character and improving it , but at the
statement is the way of the holy religion for attaining the
highest enlightenment-Buddha hood'"
Buddha aimed at beginning about the function of practical
beds with theoretical knowledge. He tries to highlight the
importance of renunciation as against the worldly involve men.
In this process he also attempted to expound the principles of
Buddhist Morality'. Accordingly, it is natural that morality
and religion both become closely related in Buddhism.
Buddhist Ethics: As a religion, Buddhism is inseparably
connected with its philosophy. Its Ethics is based upon theories
which are the outcome of practical demands and training.
When we analyze the close connection between practical and
theoretical side of Buddhism, we find that Buddhism makes a
far reaching departure from earlier tradition of Hinduism.
But in its ascetic aspect it differ little from the other religious
orders of India. Fundamentally, it represents a contrast with
Brahmanism morality and it does not adhere to social institutions
and traditions of Brahmanism. It seeks the basis of morality
in the universal truths which are to be realized in everyone's
wisdom and attainment. The practical morality is founded on
the dharmas in both religions. But, in Brahmanism, the divine
ordinances are incorporated in the legal codes of the society,
while in Buddhism the truths are taught by Buddha which
are realized in everyone's experience.
In short, we can hold that the fundamental features of
Buddhist morality consists in its autonomic and personal
principles, in contrast with the legal and social principles of
Brahmanism. Indeed, this characteristic of autonomic principle
and personal basis of Buddhist morality was a new departure
in the history of Indian religion which led to the establishment
of Buddhism as a universal religion.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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