The Compassionate Gift of Vice: Śāntideva on Gifts, Altruism, and Poverty

Journal of Buddhist Ethics 20:702-734 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The Mahāyāna Buddhist thinker Śāntideva tells his audience to give out alcohol, weapons and sex for reasons of Buddhist compassion, though he repeatedly warns of the dangers of all these three. The article shows how Śāntideva resolves this issue: these gifts, and gifts in general, attract their recipients to the virtuous giver, in a way that helps the recipients to become more virtuous in the long run. As a consequence, Śāntideva does recommend the alleviation of poverty, but assigns it a much smaller significance than is usually supposed. His views run counter to many engaged Buddhist discussions of political action, and lend support to the “modernist” interpretation of engaged Buddhist practice.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2018-06-26
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
128 ( #29,876 of 51,738 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #15,256 of 51,738 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.