Kalyãṇamitta in Buddhism and Western Philosophy : Integration for Enhancement of Unanimity in Thai Society

Phramaha Pairat Dhammadipo, Phramaha Duangden Thitañāno, Pataraporn Sirikanchana, G.T. Maurits Kwee

Abstract


This research is a documentary research work that has integrated the synthesis of the analytical analysis of the idea of Kalayãṇamitta in Buddhism, and the idea of friendship in the philosophical writings of three western philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, and Immanuel Kant and the information/data obtained by in-depth interview. The in-depth interview and observation focused on the roles of Kalayãṇamitta and friendship in the process of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence at local level, at Pracharat Community, Moo Baan Nakoak, Tambon Srisongrak, Amphur Muang, Leuy Province, and at national level, Prajadhitpok’s Institute. for the application of research results in the process of reconciliation in Thailand. The researcher finds that the idea of Kalyãṇamitta in Buddhism and friendship in western philosophy are the foundation of peaceful coexistence at local level and is a necessary component in process of reconciliation at national level. The researcher maintains that a reconciliation needs the moral virtue of forgiveness. It is the virtue that paves way for the offender to repent for the crime he/ she has committed and to move forward on the road of self-development. For the victim of the offence, forgiveness is a great merit making. It is an abstinence from violent retaliation to other living things by all evil means, and is the expression of utmost loving-kindness. This deed will brings the forgiver a great merit and leads them to sustainable happiness. Western philosophy confirms this same belief that forgiveness will lead to the promotion of sustainable peaceful co-existence.

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