Buddhist concept of austerity


The concept of Buddhist austerity against overconsumption

The concept of austerity taught in Buddhism is very helpful in solving the problems caused by modern consumerism. In the modern consumption pattern, there are solutions in the concept of Buddhist austerity to bring the modern consumerism on the right track, which has produced millions of people who do not eat even a single meal a day and a very small number of people who are engaged in overconsumption by reaping the maximum benefits of technology.

First of all, we must recognize what austerity is. The quality of not wanting many things or being happy with what we have is called austerity. As stated in the Karaniya Metta Sutra, it is another characteristic of austerity that there is little work (appakiccho) and lightness of conduct (sallahukautti) i.e. not looking for many extraneous things.

In Buddhist society, austerity is a quality that is highly valued. The basic requirements that apply to maintaining a monk's life in austerity are the four austerities of Chivara, Pindapatha, Senasana and Gilanapacchaya. These basic needs for the monk are met by the Buddhist laity.

The basic needs of lay society are food, housing, clothing and health facilities. There are also many secondary needs for the lay people. And many duties and responsibilities have been assigned to the layman in the society. (Sigalovada Sutra) Here, money or economy has become a major force in lay society.

It is clear from the teachings of Lord Buddha that austerity is relative to each other. Buddhist austerity is revealed to be relative to each occasion and person in the fact that the punna monk who went to Sunaparanta did not refuse to wear shoes and it did not harm austerity.

Buddhism rejects avarice and overconsumption. The Agganya Sutra makes it clear that the growth of avarice without austerity leads to the loss of happiness and the creation of conflicts. Also, it is explained in the Chakkavattiseehanada Sutra that wishing for unlimited resources leads to gluttony or over-consumption, resulting in disease and chaos and unrighteousness.

According to the book Foundation of Economics, the fulfilment of human needs by using goods and services is called consumption. A person finds pleasure or satisfaction in the fulfilment of needs. And the consumption level of the family is determined by the income level of the family. Even so, how many problems have arisen in society's going to spend beyond its income?

But in order to meet the unlimited human needs by using a limited amount of resources, we have to face the organic economic problem of scarcity. Many questions have arisen on the problem of distribution of resources to satisfy human needs. Modern economists call this consumption process as modern consumption.

Buddhism teaches that today's world is at the highest level of physical development, but along with physical development, there should be spiritual development. Lord Buddha, who appreciates the development of both worldly and transcendental meanings, showed the way. Buddhism points out that wealth should be earned from a young age, as poverty is a sorrow for the lustful layman.

The world is divided into developed and underdeveloped, developed and underdeveloped, rich and poor. These developed rich developed countries are enjoying the basic needs of man such as food, housing, clothing and health as well as secondary needs such as education and transportation and humanitarian needs in the highest way. And they are living at the highest level of industrial, scientific and technological development.

They enjoy communication, fun and leisure in the highest way and live a luxurious life. Even though the comforts are enjoyed to the maximum, the factors affecting the decline of man such as murders, heinous crimes, rape, divorces, drugs, mental illness, generational and war conflicts are also at their peak. Various problems have to be faced in fulfilling the needs of luxury.

Beyond basic human needs The modern advertising network has succeeded in inculcating a pattern of hedonistic consumption. It is a common feature today that the consumer society is controlled by advertisements. Man has no idea what he should buy, and he has accepted without question the artificial needs which the merchant produces anew every day.

In this way, the entire population is controlled by a very few. Consumers who have been captivated by the advertising of today's society are fooled by the marketing tricks and are dancing at the hands of the salesman like mind-blowing puppets. The modern advertising network has also used psychological methods to train people for a lifestyle of luxury.

In order to live happily in such a society, one must understand the futility and problematic nature of overconsumption. By working in the austerity taught in Buddhism, one should work to live a life full of happiness, free from problems and discomfort.

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