Buddhist values as a potential economic determinant in the development of Tuvan society

Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy. 2018;0(2) DOI 10.25178/nit.2018.2.5

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

ISSN: 2079-8482 (Online)

Publisher: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS

Inna S. Tarbastaeva (Институт философии и права Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The article actualizes the study of the influence of Buddhist values on the socio-economic development of Tuvan society. Research on economic success in contemporary world has supported the link between Buddhism and economy. After the spread of Buddhism in the West in the middle of the 20th century, ancient knowledge and practices became available to the urbanized population. Foreign researchers drew attention to their actual potential when conducting financial and industrial activities. Among Western economists, the cornerstone of the idea was laid by E. Schumacher, who published "Small is fine: an economy in which people matter" (1973). Among Asian researchers, an important contribution was made by a Thai monk and philosopher P. Paiotto. As these and other studies show, Buddhism does not encourage poverty, nor call for a rejection of material wealth. It is incorrect to interpret it as an ascetic religion. Buddhist texts contain direct indications concerning the way of earning money and the meaning of well-being. Modern teachers also give advice to laypeople about economic activity. Although in Buddhism practitioners strive, first of all, for spiritual goals —such as liberation from suffering or achieving Buddhahood, laymen are included in social life and have to provide for themselves and their family, which the religious teaching has to account for. Buddhists believe that wealth cannot bring true happiness. Therefore, for a practicing layman, achieving a high level of material well-being is not a life goal. The article presents a summary of the conclusions contemporary economists, psychologists and neurobiologists arrive at, confirming that the empirical correlation between the increase in incomes and happiness is insignificant. Some examples of how Buddhist values help entrepreneurs are also provided. For instance, as a result of faith in the law of karma, there is a greater degree of honesty in business interaction, and a long-term orientation toward doing business (rather than simply enriching oneself) emerges. Feeling that nothing is permanent helps make risky decisions necessary in business. Buddhist practices of managing emotional states also preserve their relevance. Many global corporations (Google, Twitter, Ebay) implement internal programs on awareness practices, which helps employees cope with daily stress and fatigue. Such conclusions inform the authors’ turn to the Tuvan community, where Buddhism is a traditional religion. At present, the prestige of Buddhism is growing in Tuvan society. This is confirmed by the attention the religion receives from the highest-profile public officials of the region, athletes, artists and other influential people in the republic. Among young people, there is a keen interest in the study of Buddhist philosophy. There is also a budding community of laymen who have received modern education and are also competent in the field of Buddhism.. Thus, the Buddhist approach to material values in the Western scientific community is recognized as a manifestation of sanity. The authors make optimistic conclusions that the younger generation of Tuvans in the long term will be able to apply their spiritual values in their economic practices.