Buddhism and the State

1) Early Buddhism was largely made up of monks and nuns that left society to live as renunciates and form their own communities. The example of Buddha’s “great renunciation” is the archetype.
2) Buddhism, for the most part, has enjoyed a close relationship with kings and rulers wherever it has been found in Asia. The example of Ashoka’s conversion and support of the sangha is the archetype.
Simply put, the statements seem to be in opposition i.e. arguing for different aspects to the nature of Buddhism. How can “Buddhism” both separate itself from society while at the same time have a close relationship with the earthly power of kings and rulers?



Sample Solution