CONTENTS:- 1. Introduction 2. Classical Buddhism in Historical Perspective Roles and Rights: Society and Obligation 3. The Framework of Self-perfection 4. The Buddhist Idea of the Good Life: I. The Buddhist Idea of the Good Life II. Social Ecology and Justice III. Action and Emotion: Individual and Society 5. A Buddhist Social Theory: The New Situation, and Response 6. In Search of a Social Ethics 7. Buddhism and Society: Political Implications 8. The Resurgence of the Bodhisattva Ideal 9. Checks and Balances in Buddhist Ethics 10. Closing Thoughts
Towards a Buddhist Social Philosophy, is a welcome addition to the growing literature of engaged Buddhism. The author has gone to the sources in the Pali Canon, and gleaned traces of sources of social concern in the earliest teachings of the Buddha. His ministry spanned the ancient Indian kingdoms like Kashi, Koshal and Magadh, and he was aware of the problems of life in society. How to live with others? Buddhist moral thought flowers in a non-solipsistic universal where there are others, and we are afflicted with existential traits such as attachment, hatred and delusion. All disharmonies arise from these three so-called non-virtuous propensities, and by adopting a therapeutic method the Buddha sought to settle the issues of disunity, disharmony and discrimination. Through the ten chapters, the author has raised issues pertaining to contemporary concern, social and political, Marxism in Buddhist societies in Asia, neo-Buddhism of Ambedkar, etc. There is much that is novel and daring in the analysis of issues, and deserves to be perused by all serious readers, students and reasearchers interested in the role of the Buddhist world-view in modern India.