For cultural Wednesday, the interns of Sarvodaya USA have read and compiled thoughts on one of Sarvodaya’s recommended readings, Buddhist Economics by A.T. Ariyaratne.
The book Buddhist Economics challenges its readers to take a step back and truly understand what drives their decision-making. A.T. Ariyaratne defines the modern economy as one that is focused on consumption and greed. The term “Buddhist economics” represents a lifestyle of working to maximize satisfaction by using “vigorous effort and great enthusiasm” through “lawful and just means.” A.T. Ariyaratne believes that if people can truly enjoy their jobs they can embrace the “bliss of leisure.”
This book addresses that this mindset is not always easy to live solely by because of the many pressures that exist in the modern world. We do not need to choose between the two extremes of being a modern economist or a Buddhist economist. Instead, A.T. Ariyaratne suggests that we all find the ”Middle Way.” This “Middle Way” will be the use of wealth as a form of liberation, without allowing attachment to wealth and materialistic items define one’s liberation.
Sarvodaya believes that every person, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, and religion can help to strengthen their community, and will in turn make the world a better place. This belief is integrated well into the book Buddhist Economics because with this traditional mindset, an individual will be empowered through their honest work to improve not only their lives, but also the lives of everyone around them.
For access to this book, follow the link below: