3 BUDDHIST  EDUCATION;  THE  ETHICAL WAY OF RESOLVING CONFLICTS

Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 12:32
by Vijay Kumar Singh




 
BUDDHIST  EDUCATION;  THE  ETHICAL WAY OF RESOLVING CONFLICTS

by Vijay Kumar Singh*







ABSTRACT

Ethics education is a topic that has received wide attention among educators. Among the issues addressed is how to teach ethics to students effectively. Educators who taught ethics initially paid most of their attention to teaching students moral sensitivity and moral judgment. Later evidence showed that subjects with high moral reasoning scores still behaved unethically. Effective ethics education should go beyond the scope of moral sensitivity and moral developmentto include ethical motivation and ethical behaviour, sometimes referred to as virtue” or character. Because of the fact that education let us know our goals and paths; it set us what to do and not to do.

In line with the Aristotelian view, practical wisdom (the capacity to perceive the right means) guides moral judgment and moral motivation. It is virtue or character, however, which determines a persons moral behavior at the end. The purpose was to help us remove our ignorance in order to upgrade with the wisdom interwoven in the teachings and also to help others toward emancipation. Therefore it is possible that it may be mistaken as it is only for mature, monks and nuns and that too regarding eschatology. But reality is that the Buddhist ethics in the form of engaged Buddhist teachings are useful to the people of all class and



*. Professor, Dr., Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
 


linked to every facets of life even for non-Buddhists. The need of the time is to link it with our day to day life through the formal channel of education and give it the interpretation of life science. With the Buddhist ethics, a child will be more focused and concentrated to his or her study and the teenagers will be more harmonious and synchronized within and also with parents, society and the adults will feel more responsive and respectful to the children and aged respectively. It is the need of the time that it should be made compulsory from the very childhood and it should not be left to become eschatology although it serves that too.

Firstly, we must understand that the Ethics and religion are the two facets of human life. Ethics is organizational, social and publicly visible actions whereas religion is altogether personal and can be observed by that practitioner only. It can be exhibited and shined in our work and thought but it itself is personal and can be seen and feel only by the practitioner. The materialistic approach, the degrees related to jobs, professional degrees, technical approaches and skill, all of the above need amalgamation of their approach towards mankind is to draw an ethical line where education is for the man, of the man and by the ethics to let it happen that is called the revolution in education. The Nālandā model of imparting education that was monastic primarily and later on opened to everyone may be taken as model system and can be infused with todays layout of syllabi.

The quest of truth itself is a complete education for a child. Rest assure, he or she will develop the habit of raising the doubt in established norms and that will create a quest of truth and this is what Buddha mean when he said that you should not follow the word because it is said by me i.e. svākhāto bhagavatā dhammo sandiṭṭhiko akāliko, ehipassiko opanayiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī ti.

Well proclaimed is the Law by the Blessed One, visible in this world, immediate, invites everybody to come and see, leads to the goal, is to be understood individually be the wise ones.

This will be the modern Buddhist Education system closely knitted with ethics in curriculum and virtue in minds. Although Buddhist Studies is a part of education in many universities in India
 


and abroad, the need of time is to link it in other subjects too. This way we will be able to achieve a comparative calm abiding and become impartial yet benevolent citizen who is ready to devote himself/herself for humanity.
***

Later Vedic period has seen the evolution of Buddhist teaching in the nick of time when there was turmoil all over the globe. In Greek, China and in India too, there were unrests in cultural ethos and those gave rise to new religious orders to fulfill the unanswered or troubled questions in the society. The development of Buddhism provided the leadership for new order in India in 6th century BCE and still doing the same. Still we need it to nail the new rivet to tighten the grip of wisdom over the darkness of ignorance and the conflicts of societies. This time it will be through the educational revolution in formal channels although the approach will be the same i.e. Ethical training. Education helps us to improve our understanding. It shows us the ways to reach to the solution of the problems we face both at individual and societal level. It is the education that unfolds the layers of ignorance and paves the way to make a choice how we want to live within ourselves and with others. Education let us know our goals and paths; it also set us what to do and not to do. Ethics education is a topic that has received wide attention among educators. Among the issues addressed is how to teach ethics to students effectively. Educators who taught ethics initially paid most of their attention to teaching students moral sensitivity and moral judgment. Later evidence showed that subjects with high moral reasoning scores still behaved unethically. Effective ethics education should go beyond the scope of moral sensitivityand moral developmentto include ethical motivation and ethical behaviour, sometimes referred to as virtue” or character. Because of the fact that education let us know our goals and paths; it set us what to do and not to do. Modern Education system has the potential to sow skill and professionalism in the learner that helps one to get the job and develop that skill for entrepreneurship. Still it lacks ethical approach in its system that is essential in order to address the core issue of all the time i.e. the conflicts. Although there are branches of study those provide solution at local and regional levels and it also
 


addresses the conflicts but the universal approach is the element that I suppose is lacking and Buddhism can provide the same. The only reason behind the universal approach of Buddhist education is that it acts upon the cause and not the result or symptoms alone.

In line with the Aristotelian view, practical wisdom (the capacity to perceive the right means) guides moral judgment and moral motivation. It is virtue or character, however, which determines a persons moral behavior at the end. The purpose was to help us remove our ignorance in order to upgrade with the wisdom interwoven in the teachings and also to help others toward emancipation. Therefore it is possible that it may be mistaken as it is only for mature, monks and nuns and that too regarding eschatology. But reality is that the Buddhist ethics in the form of engaged Buddhist teachings are useful to the people of all class and linked to every facets of life even for non-Buddhists. The need of the time is to link it with our day to day life and give it the interpretation of life science. With the Buddhist ethics, a child will be more focused and concentrated to his or her study and the teenagers will be more harmonious and synchronized among them and with parent and society and the adult will feel more responsive and respectful to the children and old aged respectively. Hence Buddhist education should be given compulsory from the very childhood and it should not be left to become eschatology although it serves that too.

The Buddhist approach to life is that one should involve in the removal of suffering; first for self and then for all sentient beings. It is pertinent to ponder that Buddhism is limited to the Education and whether this is true or not? Since Buddhist teachings are said the teachings of the Buddha hence Education word is appropriate. But the Buddha himself declared as a physician. So the better word is the Physician Teacher. Firstly, we must understand that the Ethics and religion are the two facets of human life. Ethics is organizational, social and may be group based that can be observed by other whereas religion is altogether personal and can be observed by oneself only. It can be exhibited through work and thought but it itself is personal and can be seen by the practitioner only. Hence the teachings of Buddha is twofold, at the level of religion it is personal and should be given to the mature mind. At ethical level
 


the Buddhist policies of moral values are of social, organizational value based and should be implemented from childhood by policy in Educational institutions.

The materialistic approach, the degrees related to jobs, professional degrees, technical approaches and skill, all of the above need amalgamation of their approach towards mankind is to draw an ethical line where education is for the man, of the man and by the ethics to let it happen that is called the revolution in education. But the Buddhist Education will be successful by the following:

Ethical education of Buddhism is not confined to the life beyond death or life after death or the rhetoric of the teaching we should do this or that. It is apt to raise the interest of truth in a child. The quest to know the truth itself is a complete education for a child. Rest assure, the doubt of established norms will create a quest to know the truth and this is what Buddha mean when he said that you should not follow the word because it is said by me. You should check and examine and then follow because it is you who has to cover your distance towards truth i.e. way to end the suffering. Ehipassiko.
svākhāto bhagavatā dhammo sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko opanayiko paccattaveditabbo viññūhī ti.
Translated as:

Well proclaimed is the Law by the Blessed One, visible in this world, immediate, invites everybody to come and see, leads to the goal, is to be understood individually be the wise ones.
  1. LITERATURE REVIEW

Dong (2003) in the study1 has focused on the conflict arises in an individual due to rapid developments. The author holds a view that modern day education is failing to strengthen the foundation of ethics in students. The study suggests that there is need to paradigm shift in our education system. Buddhist approach to education
 
    1. Dong Y (2003), “Buddhism: Education for a Modern World, His Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism, Volume 4, pp.284-293 Available at http://www.alice.id.tue.nl/ references/dong-2003.pdf Accessed on 02-02-2019
 


looking withinwill be helpful to build the model which produces quality and enhance the skills like self reliance among students.

Rhea (2012) in the qualitative and descriptive study2 has explored impact of Buddhism in the new schools in Australia. This paper also examined the elements which can transform and manage the internal conflict in teachers. Such kind of positive transformation eventually trickles down to the students. The findings suggest that that the mainstream education teaches the leadership and planning are taught in all schools. The thing that makes schools that are inspired by Buddhist principles brings freedoms, for teachers and students.

Aitken (2016) in the study3 has traced the history of usage of ethics in the Buddhist literature. The author describes that ethics are intrinsically linked with an individuals mental health. Through the phenomenological and ethical inquiry, the author states five elements that form a basic structure of individual experience with the world. They are contact, feeling, ascertainment, intention, and attention. The aforesaid element shapes an individuals experience. In this way, the mental domain is described not only as subjective and intentional, but also as morally significant.

Muldoon (2008) in the study4 has the ethical systems of our society i.e. Aristotelian and Buddhist Ethics. The study highlights the impact of these two systems on young people. The findings of the study reveal that the combination of both the systems is transformative as it brings the morality among young people. In addition, to facilitate both the practices, it needs a academic support.



 
    1. Rhea Zane MA (2012), “Buddhist foundations of teaching, Joint AARE APERA In- ternational Conference, Sydney , Australia. Available at https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ ED542302.pdf Accessed on 02-02-2019
    2. Aitken D.T (2016), “Experience and Morality: Buddhist Ethics as Moral Phenomenology, University of Tasmania, Australia.
    1. Muldoon A. (2008), A Comparison Of Aristotelian And Buddhist Ethics And The Implications For A “Moral WayFor Young PeopleUniversity of Glasgow, Scotland.
 


Kaman (2016) in the study5 aims to understand the main goal of Buddhist ethics and its impact on morality of an individual. The author describes that as per Indian ethics morality refers to the social and personal obligations. The authority decides what is moral and immoral. Buddhism being religion Metaphysical principles disbelieves the existence of God and puts the onus on individual to decide about the morality and immorality. The study ponders on some of the preliminary reflections in terms of ethical theory.
  1. ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION

One of the noteworthy features of Buddhist ethics education is the belief that ethics starts with a correct view, or an insight of realityat the epistemological level.6 Vardhman Mahavira has given three terms, Right View, Right knowledge and Right character but their follower has reversed the order.
  1. THE REALITY OF CONFLICT

Any conflict whether conflicts of thought, conflicts of faith, conflicts of interest, all starts with the notion of me and mine. In the absence of me and mine, no conflict can exist. It is not easy to grab the root of me and mine, but Buddhism helps in this. By realising the origination of me and mine, the base of any conflict can be resolved.
  1. BUDDHISM TRANSFERABLE

In this phenomenon world everybody and everything is non- transferable. Nobody is able to transfer his or her knowledge to else. Everybody is unique and so his suffering and happiness. Buddhism teaches us the chemistry to change your place. In Tibetan Buddhism there is a term name Dag Zhan Nyam Je. So we can learn how to learn and transform ourselves through the education of the realisation/
 
  1. Kaman R (2016) , “Early Buddhist Ethics- Its Doctrine and Discipline, IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 21, Issue 3, Ver. IV, pp 118-125 e-ISSN: 2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845
  2. Otto H. Chang, Stanley W. Davis, Kent D. Kauffman as cited in Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Volume 3 Issue 1, Accounting Ethics Education: A Comparison with Buddhist Ethics Education Framework, Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 1, no. 32, 814. Cbeta. http://www.cbeta.org/ result/normal/T01/0032_001.htm; Internet; accessed May 25, 2012.
 


teachings of the Buddha. Even though we are learning with the instruction of the Buddhist scholars and masters and reading the books, keeping in mind the explanations and interpretations, we are actually learning the way to transform our self to inside our consciousness, and this is the education that is the need of the time. There is no teaching of learning to be transformed or travelled from teacher to taught, there are only indications and ways to make you understand that this can be done since the Buddha/master has done so with the same condition as we have. The Buddha is here just ot indicate the war:-
Tumhehi kiccaĀtappaṁ Akkhātāro Tathāgatā, Patipannā Pamokkhanti, Jhāyino r Bandhanā.
    1. It is good to be atheist in order to follow the path

Theism and atheism are inner transformation in a being. It is the human who can be theist or atheist. No other being is capable. Atheist is not denouncing the God. He is just saying that I do not know. When I will know I will accept it. So the atheist is in a way a researcher who is on the way to search of the existence. When it will found will be accepted not before. But if one is simple theist he will follow and generally will not go for search himself/herself. The simple reason behind that he or she accepts that yes I follow.
    1. Deleting Ego is the first step of success in Eightfold path

Ego is described as the biggest enemy of the mankind. This is also one of those sickness that only human can bear. But to delete it or to forgo the ego, one has raised the knowledge of it otherwise in the name of Ego one may end in supporting it. Ego can be equated to darkness where one cannot able to see anything. Therefore under the influence of ego, we fail to acquire knowledge or the teachings of Dhamma. Under the influence of ego we tend to reinterpret the teachings as per our wishes and whims and also think that we are on the right path.

5. TO UNDERSTAND SUFFERING CAN PRODUCE SUFFERING CAN RESOLVE CONFLICTS

Only person with suffering can produce suffering. He or she will do it for both himself/herself and others. And it will lead to
 


conflict and not to resolve due to grasping of ego and ego related action. Whatever he or she does, it will continue to produce conflict because of ignorance. As in the second noble truth it is stated that Vedanā Pacchayā Tahā. This is universal truth. There is no exception to it. But when turning towards Dhamma, with the advancement he or she will not do like before. The entire teaching of Buddha is to remove the link that says Vedanā PacchaTahā. It should and must be turned into Vedanā PacchaPaññā, and then the entire link of dependent origination will do in new way and the chain of suffering is broken.







***

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