Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 05:33
by Kaushalya Karunasagara


by Kaushalya Karunasagara*

Child is considered as the future of human generation. Their mental and physical health is highly important to be cared by responsible adults in order to protect them; protecting their human rights at the same time. Among the studies of Buddhist social philosophy, lack of attention is given to study on Buddhist attitude towards children when compare with other scholarly contributions. But it is important to inquire about mental and physical abuse headed for child victims; might be a cause to act as abusers in future too. Therefore, objective of this research is to study Buddhist perspective of children and their protection with reference to early Buddhist teachings by considering their status in the early Buddhist society. Supportively, Pāli canon is considered as the primary source to learn early Buddhist view of the selected research and relevant secondary sources are considered to fulfil the research by adopting qualitative research method.

Emotional abuse is not visible unless it is expressed. It can harm victims mental health and cause more damage than physical abuse. This type of abuse generates not only verbally but also from isolation and neglect of the family members. At the same point, physical abuse also a common mistreatment of children by the ways
  • Lecturer in Buddhist Studies, Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Sri Lanka Inter- national Buddhist Academy (SIBA), Pallekele, Kundasale, Sri Lanka

of domestic violence, child trafficking, child laboring and child marriages which take place frequently in majority of countries who give a huge demand to human rights but actual process is required to be examined.

Either a religion or a philosophy, it is required to guide a human being to be a socio- friendly and self-friendly (in conventional meaning) person by valuing morality while act in effort to achieve ultimate goal of salvation; Nibbāna according to Buddhist teachings. Buddhist doctrine never looks down upon the status of any human being due to their age, race, ethnic group, caste or religion; but behavior is the component which makes people differ from each other. In the same manner, each and every child is a part of the society who has rights to be protected and educated without being offended or neglected. As hypothesis Buddhist teachings are remarkably contributed to highlight this requirement to look for a sustainable future.

Existence of all living beings is depended on reproduction process of their species. With identification as the most cognitively developed living being, humans who belong to Mammalian class have a long history of their continuous generation since more than 200000 years. Throughout the history humans engage with variety of development processes in order to maintain their life span either accepting natural developmental processes (mostly biological processes) or according to requirement of material or technological development. Hence individual human development can be categorized under three main processes such as the followings:
    • Physical Process
    • Cognitive Process
    • Socio-emotional Process1

Changes of biological nature reflects the role of physical processes and all biological growth processes are called maturation. Maturation can be sectioned into main four stages as infancy, Childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Cognitive process involves changes in an individuals thought, intelligence since

1. King, 2008, p. 306

language and socio-emotional processes involve changes in an individuals relationships with other people with in emotions and in personality.2 Hence this research mainly focuses on infancy and Childhood under above three main processes by concerning Child Protection with reference to Theravāda Buddhist perspective.

The term Childis derived from old English word cild’ which has a Germanic origin with the meanings as fetus, infant, unborn or newly born person.3 According to the Oxford Dictionary, Child is a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority4 and the Cambridge Dictionary has defined Child as a boy or girl from the time of birth until he or she is an adult, or a son or daughter of any age.5 With this approach Child is given a recognition as immature human being who need Protection as well as more attention to exist in the society as a precious being. In addition as the biggest and widest human organization, United Nations has paid special concern to Child. In 1959 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which defines Childrens rights to Protection, education, health care, shelter and good nutrition.6 Under Article No 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations have defined Child as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring body for the Convention, has encouraged States to review the age of majority if it is set below 18 and to increase the level of Protection for all Children under 18.7

In Buddhist perspective, the Suttantapiaka of Pali canon includes a number of terms for Child as following:

  1. Ibid.
  2. Harper, 2001
  3. Oxford, 2019
  4. Cambridge, 2019
6. UN, 2019
  1. UNICEF, n.d.
  2. M. I :50

Atraja9 Bālaka10 Bāli11 Dahara12 Daharaka13 Dāraka14 Dāri15 Dhītu16 Kura17 Kumāraka18 Ku19 Putta20 Susu21 Tanaya22 Tanuja23 Tanuya24
Uttānaseyyaka (Infant)25

Apart from above terms, during the time period which a baby spend inside of his mothers womb, he is called as gabbha’.26

  1. D. III :30
  2. S. VII : 14
  3. Thi. Ap. :14
  4. D. I: 80
  5. Miln. : 310
  6. Ud. II : 8
  7. J. III : 173
  8. S. VII : 24
  9. A. III : 37
  10. S. III : 190
  11. A. III : 76
  12. J. Iv : 115
  13. Snp. III : 1
  14. S. I : 7
  15. Ja. 184
  16. Ja. 444
  17. M. I : 432
  18. D II :14

Buddhist teachings deeply discuss the formation of human body since he/she starts his/her physical development from mothers womb as following.

First theres a drop of coagulate; from there a little bud appears; next it becomes a piece of flesh; which produces a swelling. From that swelling the limbs appear, the head hair, body hair, and teeth. And whatever the mother eats the food and drink that she consumes nourishes them there, the person in the mothers womb27  28

Through this explanation it clearly indicates the wide knowledge of the Buddha about physical process of human, not only after his birth but also before his birth when embryo is developed inside the womb of mother.  Above  quotation  which  is  extracted  from the Indakasutta has emphasized the impact of nutritious food mother consumes for the gradual development of the Child. With this approach of Child Protection, consideration should be wider to concern about physical as well as psychological development process of embryo to give birth to a healthy Child. As a country which owns Buddhist impression for its culture, Sri Lankan people have a number of ritualistic responsibilities which concern about physical and psychological well-being of embryo as well as for the well-being of mother during her pregnancy. Even today in Sri Lankan society, with the concern of physical well-being of pregnant mothers, they are given special attention by family members by avoiding her from consuming some foods which may negatively affect for the well-being of the embryo as well as mother. Apart from that psychological status of mother also highly considered and most of the times Buddhist society arranges religious environment for mother to be more familiar with rituals related to Buddhist culture. To add more, in Buddhist literature it is mentioned that if pregnant women listen the Aṅgulilaparitta their delivery process will be ease due to blessings of paritta chanting. Hence it is clear that even before the birth, Child is protected under Buddhist culture which got the influence from Theravāda  Buddhist  teachings.

  1. S. I : 205
  2. Sujato, 2018

In addition, according to the life span stages of human, there are some important stages that a human spends under Childhood.

Prenatal Development (Conception and Development of the structure of the body)
Infancy and Toddlerhood (1 – 2 years) Early Childhood (3 – 5 years)
Middle Childhood (6 – 11 years)
Adolescence (12 – 18 years)29

Buddhism has given special attention to Child by concerning all above life span stages including prenatal development. With facts, the Soṇanandajātaka has clearly explained the responsibility that mother and father take to protect and raise their Child as a healthy one. As previously explained, parallel importance of mental well- being as well as physical well-being of Child is highly assured in Buddhist teachings as quoted from above Jātaka as following:

Even before the Childs conception, the mother anxiously worships the gods and questions the stars and the seasons” wondering, under which constellation will a long-lived son be born?” Once she becomes pregnant, she immediately gives rise to love for the offspring in her womb”; and once the baby is born, she soothes her crying Child with breast milk and lullabies,” nestles him in between her breasts, suffuses him with the touch of her body, and wraps him up in the cloak of her arms.” She pleases and appeases him,” protects her innocent Child from frightful wind and heat,” treats him with tenderness,” and “looks at him with a loving heart.30  31

With above explanation of mothers love towards her Children, Protection of Child should be initiated from the family. A well raised Child automatically generates the capability of adjusting himself not to harm others verbally, physically or emotionally

  1. Lumen, n.d.
30Tassā utumhi nhātāya, hoti gabbhassa vokkamo; Tena dohainī hoti, suhadā tena vuccati. Saṃvaccharaṃ vā ūnaṃ vā, pariharitvā vijāyati; Tena sā janayantīti, janetti tena vuccati. Thana- khīrena gītena, agapāvuraṇena ca; Rodantaṃ puttaṃ toseti, tosentī tena vuccati. Tato vātātape ghore, mamaṃ katvā udikkhati; Dārakaṃ appanantaṃ, posentī tena vuccati.” Ja. V : 317
31. Ohnuma, 2016

since he is well aware of good habits and moral practices generalize inside his family. Simply the protected Child understands the value of protecting others without extending violence toward any other living being.

The period which the Child spends until he/she becomes an adult is called as Childhood. In psychological approach, in his book The Origins of Intelligence in Children32 Jean Piaget has ex- plained cognitive development of Childhood under four main stag- es as following:
Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2)
Pre-operational stage (from age 2 to age 7) Concrete operational stage (from age 7 to age 11)
Formal operational stage (age 11+ - adolescence and adulthood)33 In Sensorimotor stage, Children begin to utilize their inborn
abilities and skills in order to experience the environment or
surrounding around them. They start to learn from senses and
gradually try to react to Environment with a growth of their
cognitive phase. Most importantly object permanence is one of main
development in this stage which means that Child understands that
objects are exist even it cannot be seen or touched.

When it comes to Pre-operational stage, Child tends to develop Egocentric mental formation since yet they cannot understand views of other people. In this stage they starts to play with symbolic play and they role-play their parents or care-takers. Their language also gradually develop in this stage. Children able to think more logically in Concrete operational stage. While kids at this age become more logical about concrete and specific things, they still struggle with abstract ideas.34 As a final stage, in Formal operational stage Children able to think about theoretical concepts as well as abstract concepts and also they are able to find solutions to some problems in a creative way. But it does not mean that their ability to develop problems is totally developed since even adults are unable to ensure it.

32 Piaget, 1952
  1. Mcleod, 2018
  2. Ibid.

In Buddhist perspective the Buddha has seen the Child as a being who has a fetterless mental condition when comparing to adults. To illustrate, in the Mahālukyasutta the Buddha has discussed the mental condition of an infant as following by comparing with adults.

For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion identity,’ so how could identity view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to identity view lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion teachings,’ so how could doubt about the teachings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to doubt lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion rules,’ so how could adherence to rules and observances arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to adhere to rules and observances lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion sensual pleasures,’ so how could sensual desire arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to sensual lust lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion beings,’ so how could ill will towards beings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to ill will lies within him. Would not the wanderers of other sects confute you with this simile of the infant?”35 36

Above explanation regarding mental condition of an infant exposes that during the first stage of Childhood (Sensorimotor stage according to Piaget) Child does not have developed cognitive ability. In short, he/she does not have ability to harm anyone since they do not have notion about lust, hatred or delusion but underlying tendency (Anusaya) is with him. At the same point,

35 Kassa kho nāma tvaṃ, mālukyaputta, imāni evaṃ pañcorambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni desitānidresi?Nanu,mālukyaputta,aññatitthiyāparibbājakāiminātaruūpamenaupārambhena upārambhissanti? Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sakkāyotipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sakkāyadiṭṭhi? Anusetvevassa [anuseti tvevassa (sī. pī.)] sakkāyadiṭṭhānusayo. Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa dhammātipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati dhammesu vicikicchā? Anusetvevassa vicikicchānusayo. Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sīlātipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sīlesu sīlabbataparāmāso? Anusetvevassa sīlabbataparāmāsānusayo. Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa kāmātipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati kāmesu kāmacchando? Anusetvevassa kāmarāgānusayo. Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sattātipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sattesu byāpādo? Anusetvevassa byāpādānusayo. Nanu, mālukyaputta, aññatitthiyā paribbājaiminā taruṇūpamena upārambhena upārambhissantī’ti? M. I.: 432
    1. Bodhi 2009

they do not have ability to defense themselves and their Protection is depended on people around them.

Through the edited book Little Buddhas: Children and Childhood in Buddhist Texts and Traditions” (2013) Venessa R. Sasson questions the Buddhas parenthood in his previous life as well as during his life as prince Siddhārtha. As the first point she questions the importance of king Vessantaras commitment to the perfection of generosity than his own two Children.37 She might be disturbed by king Vessantaras act of giving his sobbing Children to a stranger with the purpose of fulfilling perfection of generosity. But king Vessantaras commitment is far beyond than Sassons view of his act. His purpose was to find the truth of the way of ending suffering on behalf of all living beings even by dedicating his happiness as well as his Childrens happiness since Buddhism is a teaching which has final goal of it to end all kinds of suffering. At the same time again she questions the prince Siddhārthas great departure while prince Rahula was sleeping. She has claimed further that in his ultimate life, has been repeatedly cited as evidence of Buddhisms negative relationship to Children.38 But it seems that again she forgot the ultimate goal of Buddhism and the undertaking of Dhamma that is suffering in the present, but results in happiness in the future.39 Hence her argument is not valid which criticizes Buddhism as an anti-family religion because it is universal and altruistic doctrine which guides any follower to get rid of circle of birth (Saṃsāra) without considering any narrow social parameters.

When pays attention for required nutritious for Child development, the Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhayasutta discusses four kinds of food which important for the physical and psychological development of a Child as below:
Kabaliṅkāro āro (Edible food for physical health) Phasso āro (Food of Sensory Impression) Manosaṃcetanā āro (Food of Volition)

    1. Sasson, 2013: 2
    2. Ibid.
    3. Dhammasamādānaṃ paccuppannadukkhaṃ āyatiṃ sukhavikaṃ” M. I: 306

Vñāaāhāro (Food of Consciousness) 40

Healthy edible food is important for physical well-being of Child and through sensory impression Child is able to experience the environment around him. Through volitional foods his logical thinking capacity is developed and food of consciousness leads him to identify forms, smells and sounds individually. Therefore for the existence, he requires all above mentioned foods and nutrition for his protective existence.

United Nations view of Child Protection also has a wider vi- sion to protect each and every Child in the world with a special care. They believe that every Child has the right to grow up in a safe and inclusive environment.41 But they further alert that unless the world tackles the inequity in present following major problems can be arisen in 2030.42

Image 1: Major Issues which can be arisen in 2030 (Source:  https://www.unicef.org/sowc2016/)
Prevention of poverty, violence against any living being and also importance of education are broadly discussed in Buddhist teachings with practical solutions. As a teaching specified to lay people, the Silakasutta emphasizes the responsibilities of parents

    1. Ibid. : 260
    2. UNICEF, n.d.
    3. UNICEF, 2019

throughout their Childs life as following: By restraining from wrongdoing guiding the Child towards good actions training the Child in a profession
supporting the choice of a suitable spouse handing over the inheritance in due time43
In Buddhism, parents are known as the first teachers44 of Chil- dren. Even at the first time a Child sees the world, mother is the person who teaches the infant how to suck milk from her breast. Since that time, all fundamental teachings of life as well as guid- ance in later life is also given by parents though there may be some exceptional experiences which some Children face unfortunately. Therefore, the responsibilities of parents as mentioned above can influence maintaining a healthy relationship between each other especially to protect their Child inbound as well as in the society.

Importance of the life of girl Child is not valued in ancient In- dia and today also its influence can be seen in most of south Asian countries. Mānava Dharma Sāstra or Manusmṛti (Laws of Manu) is believed to be consisting of words of Brahma in the Hindu my- thology. We can find there a number of examples relevant to this discussion as following.

A female Child, young woman or old woman is not supposed to work independently even at her place of residence”45

In fact I .B. Horner thinks that womans position was low and without honour. She further clarifies that,

In the pre Buddhist days the status of women in India was on the whole low and without honour. A daughter was nothing but a source of anxiety to her parents; for it was a disgrace to them and inauspicious as well if they could not marry her; yet if they could, they were often

    1. D. III : 180
    2. Brahmāti  mātāpitaro,  pubbācariyāti  vuccare;  Āhuneyyā  ca  puttānaṃ,  paya anukampakā
      1. III : 132
    3. Manusmṛti 5/147

nearly ruined by their lavish expenditure on the wedding festivities. Nor was she of any ceremonial benefit to her father, for she was powerless to participate in his funeral rites, and in case where these had not already been insured by the birth of a son, distress at the birth of a daughter was almost unmitigated.46

Sex Selective abortion is another issue which happens mostly in South Asian countries. Female infants are selectively killed due to their gender as female is not much valued as male birth according to cultural and traditional beliefs in some societies. But there is no record in Sri Lanka on sex selective abortion, but Prof. K.K. Karunathilake has said that about 658 illegal abortions are taking place in the country daily since the countrys law bars abortions.47 But the Buddha had a totally different view about girl Child and her Protection. Once King Pasenadī Kosala was disappointed of the birth of her daughter the Buddhas advice was extraordinary different when compared with the background in early India. In the Mallisutta he has claimed to king that sometimes female offspring is better than male offspring as they are wise and virtuous.48 This view regarding female Child when they born was a big critic on narrow stereotypical views of early India influenced by some philosophers. It was a one of best steps of Buddhist tradition which crystal clearly expressed the importance of protecting girl Child while they are subjected to kill at the same time which she has born.

Every Child should able to have an applied skills before he/ she starts to have formal education. They do not have ability to protect themselves while they spend their Childhood. So assaulters can easily mislead Children by abusing them sexually, verbally, physically or emotionally due to their lack of knowledge to protect themselves. Consequently the Kāmasutta of the Aṅguttaranikāya has exposed the importance of protecting Children until they have grown up as following:

Suppose a young infant boy, ignorant, lying on his back, were to put a stick or pebble in his mouth because of his nurses heedlessness. His

    1. Horner 1989 :1
    2. Information 2016
48 Itthīpi hi ekacciyā, seyyā posa janādhipa; Medhāvinī sīlavatī, sassudevā patibbatāS. I :85

nurse would quickly attend to him and try to take it out. If she could not quickly take it out, she would brace the boys head with her left hand and, hooking a finger of her right hand, she would take it out even if she had to draw blood. For what reason? There would be some distress for the boy this I dont deny but the nurse has to do so for his good and welfare, out of compassion for him. However, when the boy has grown up and has enough sense, the nurse would be unconcerned about him, thinking: ‘The boy can now look after himself. He wont be heedless.49 50

It emphasizes the importance of protecting Children until they able to protect themselves by their own. Hence it is important to havi an appropriate social knowledge to protect themselves from outside matters before they start their formal education. As an extended fact to this point, in her article Buddhism as a Vehicle for Girls Safety and Education in Thailand (2013) Monica Lindberg Fark discusses the important of having education to safeguard themselves  subsequently:

‘The school holds onto traditional schooling that values moral knowledge and discipline, and it emphasizes the importance  of Buddhist teaching. To achieve basic education, instill good Buddhist manners, and become a good person are perceived as an individuals safeguard, completely in line with traditional Thai social values of what is considered necessary for creating a peaceful and trouble-free society’.51

As the Buddha always emphasizes requirement of moral education which guides Children to protect themselves and avoid

49. Bodhi, 2012
50.‘Yebhuyyena, bhikkhave, sattā kāmesu laḷitā Asitabyābhagi, bhikkhave, kulaputto ohāya arasmā anariyaṃ pabbajito hoti, saddhāpabbajito kulaputtoti alaṃ vacanāya. Taṃ kissa hetu? Labbhā, bhikkhave, yobbanena kāmā te ca kho yādisā vā tādisā vā. Ye ca, bhikkhave, hīnā kāmā ye ca majjhimā kāmā ye ca paṇītā kāmā, sabbe kāmā ‘kāmātveva saṅkhagacchanti. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, daharo kumāro mando uttānaseyyako dhātiyā pamādamanvāya kaṭṭha vā kaṭhala[vā mukhe āhareyya. Tamenaṃ dhāti sīghaṃ sīghaṃ manasi kareyya; ghagha manasi karitvā ghaghaāhareyya. No ce sakkueyya ghaghaāharituṃ, vāmena hatthena sīsapariggahetvā dakkhiṇena hatthena vaṅkaguliṃ karitvā salohitampi āhareyya. Taṃ kissa hetu? Atthesā, bhikkhave, kumārassa vihesā; nesā natthīti vadāmi. Karaṇīyañca kho etaṃ, bhikkhave, dhātiyā atthakāmāya hitesiniyā anukampikāya, anukampaṃ upādāya. Yato ca kho, bhikkhave, so kumāro vuddho hoti alapañño, anapekkhā dāni, bhikkhave, dhāti tasmi kumāre hoti attagutto dāni kumāro nālaṃ pamādāyāti.”
A. III :5
  1. Falk, 2013: 267

extending any kind of violence towards others is much important to establish a harmonious society. One who does not have moral qualities neither protect themselves nor others. Hence allocating facilities to have moral education is much more important to protect Children from unethical consequences. In Buddhist culture Dhamma schools are established to nourish Children with moral education by teaching them about the importance of having an ethical lifestyle. Bhikkhūs and Bhikkhuṇīs are become leaders of this weekly program and most Children from village areas are tend to attend Dhamma schools and gradually Children of urban areas are also guided by their parents with the understanding of having Buddhist education to protect their Children from their inner misleading thoughts as well as from external influence to engage in wrong behavior which can be a threat to their safety.

Article No 25 (2) of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) declares that, motherhood and Childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All Children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social Protection.52 In the same manner Buddhism provides a universally applicable teaching by concerning motherhood and Childhood as,

Just as a mother at the risk of life loves and protects her Child, her only Child, so one should cultivate this boundless love to all that live in the whole universe’53 54

Hence it highlights that mothers love as the best Protection for Children should all are required to apply for themselves for the well- being of all Children and all living beings. If this universal concept becomes generalized among the people Children live without their parents do have a better world for them without being victims.

There is a big discussion about Child ordination which emphasize it as a Child abuse. But it is needed to say that according to the instructions of the Buddha, Bhikkhūs or Bhikkhuṇīs are not

  1. UN, 2015
  2. Mills, 2015
54 “Mātā yathā niyaṃ puttamāyusā ekaputtamanurakkhe; evampi sabbabhūtesu, mānasa bhāvaye aparimāaṃ”
Snp.: 25

allowed to ordain Children as novice monks/nuns without prior permission of their parents.55 And at the beginning their age for the ordination was accepted by the Buddha as fifteen years and Children whose was under fifteen years were not allowed to go forth.56 After promulgation of this Vinaya rule, mother and father of one of closed families who supported Ven. Ananda was passed away due to Malaria by leaving their two sons who are below fifteen age. When Ven. Ananda brought up this matter to the Buddha by considering their Protection and their future he revised previously promulgated Vinaya rule for ordination as,

I allow you, monks, to let a youth of less than fifteen years of age and who is a scarer of crows go forth.57 58

ThefoundationforaboveVinayaruleistheBuddhasconsideration of Childs physical ability as well as cognitive ability to protect himself fromoutsidedisturbances.EventhoughaChildisordainedasanovice, he/she have all rights as a Child to be protected in the society. To confirm this point in Buddhist perspective, Saddhivihārikavattakat of the Mahāvaggapāḷi elaborates the responsibilities of a teacher towards his pupil as the pupil should be furthered, he should be helped by the teacher, reading teacher and pupil for preceptor and one who shares a cell, if the pupil becomes ill, he should protect him as long as life lasts; he should wait until he recovers.59 60 This responsibility of

55. Puttapemaṃ, bhante, chaviṃ chindati, chaviṃ chetvā cammaṃ chindati, cammaṃ chetvā maṃsachindati, maṃsachetvā nhāruchindati, nhāruchetvā aṭṭhichindati, aṭṭhi chetvā aṭṭhimiñjaāhacca tiṭṭhati. Sādhu, bhante, ayyā ananuññātamātāpitūhi puttana pabbājeyyu’’nti. Atha kho bhagavā suddhodanaṃ sakkadhammiyā kathāya sandassesi sadapesi samuttejesi sampahaṃsesi. Atha kho suddhodano sakko bhagavatā dhammiyā kathāya sandassito sadapito samuttejito sampahasito uṭṭhāyāsanā bhagavantaabhivādetvā padakkhiakatvā pakkāmi. Atha kho bhagavā etasminidāne etasmipakarae dhammikathakatvā bhikkhū āmantesi – ‘‘na, bhikkhave, ananuññāto mātāpitūhi putto pabbājetabbo. Yo pabbājeyya, āpatti dukkaṭassā’’ti.”
Mv. 1. :82
56.Na,  bhikkhave,  ūnapannarasavasso  dārako  pabbājetabbo.  yo  pabbājeyya,  āpatti
Ibid. 78
57. Horner, 1951
58.‘anujānāmi, bhikkhave, ūnapannarasavassaṃ dārakaṃ kākuḍepakaṃ pabbājetunti.”
  1. Horner, 1951
  2. Upajjhāyena,  bhikkhave,  saddhivihāriko  saṅgahetabbo  anuggahetabbo  uddesena

teacher is with him throughout his life and it gives tenderly Protection to novice monks/nuns as same as Children at their age gets from their parents.

In addition to above discussion Nettippakaraṇapāḷi of the Khuddakanikāya elaborates the view that the person who lives in the Dhamma is protected by the Dhamma itself and it does not lead anyone to a bad destination.61 If so there isn’t any pessimistic outcome of allowing Children to be novice monks/nuns since they are members of Buddhist dispensation which protects them and guides to end suffering of life. But it is notable to say that all above mentioned Child Protection  matters  are  arisen  due  to  behavior of some people who do not agree with Buddhist philosophical teachings but still pretend to be followers of the Buddha. Hence it is not the problem of the Buddhas teachings but another behavioral and attitudinal matter which needs serious attention and necessary actions.


Though discussion is continued to emphasize Buddhist perspective of Child Protection with reference to Therevāda Buddhism. Buddhism does not agree for any kind of violence towards any living being. Children are protected under Buddhist teaching since they are conceived and they are allowed to embrace the freedom of life as a lay person or as a monk/nun in the Buddhist dispensation. Further it guides them to be morally developed people who will be the future of human generation as well as examples for their Children.

paripucchāya ovādena anusāsaniyā. Sace upajjhāyassa patto hoti, saddhivihārikassa patto na hoti, upajjhāyena saddhivihārikasspatto dātabbo,  ussukkaṃ vā  kātabbaṃ –  kinti nkho saddhivihārikassa patto uppajjiyethāti. Sace upajjhāyassa cīvaraṃ hoti, saddhivihārikassa cīvaraṃ na hoti, upajjhāyena saddhivihārikassa cīvaradātabbaṃ, ussukkavā kātabba kinti nu kho saddhivihārikassa cīvaraṃ uppajjiyethāti. Sace upajjhāyassa parikkhāro hoti, saddhivihārikassa parikkhāro na hoti, upajjhāyena saddhivihārikassa parikkhāro dātabbo, ussukkaṃ vā kātabbaṃ kinti nu kho saddhivihārikassa parikkhāro uppajjiyethāti.
Mv. I : 49
61.‘‘Dhammo have rakkhati dhammariṃ, chattamahantayatha vassakāle; Esānisaṃso dhamme sucie, na duggatiṃ gacchati dhammarī’’ti.
Nett. : 6

There is a wide difference among Buddhist philosophy deliv- ered by the Buddha and the way people follow it. Hence one cannot criticize Buddhist doctrine by misinterpreting Buddhist teachings and observing the behavior of so-called Buddhists who are mis- leading the society by showing that they follow the teachings of the Buddha. So the problem is not in the teachings of the Buddha but with the people who follow it by misinterpreting it. Finally the key points which are emphasized through this paper can be applicable not only for Buddhist Children but also for each and every Child in the world. Society will be a better place as expected when people used to treat all Children as their own Children who need care and attention to be bloomed.


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