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

Journal of Buddhist Ethics 20:702-734 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Śāntideva.Amod Lele - 2009 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Bile & Bodhisattvas: Śāntideva on Justified Anger.Nicolas Bommarito - 2011 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 18:357-81.
Person and Gift According to Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II.Elizabeth Salas - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):99-124.


Added to PP

236 (#58,275)

6 months
30 (#54,887)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Amod Lele
Boston University

Citations of this work

The Metaphysical Basis of Śāntideva's Ethics.Amod Lele - 2015 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 22:249-283.

Add more citations