Instructor Date Social Movements The Sri Lankan Sarvodaya Shramadana movement is a program of economic development that is defined reinterpreted values of Buddhist. The movement was founded in 1958 by A. T. Ariyaratne a high school teacher at a prestigious Buddhist school called Nalanda College in Colombo, Sri Lanka…
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The word Shramadana on the other hand means the act of giving one’s labor devoid of material rewards since the reward is attained in the form of good karma for future purposes, and peace of mind (Bond and Danilyn, 168). The movement have over the years progressed to become one of the most influential indigenous Nongovernmental Organization in Sri Lanka, having its own programs as well as strategies of development .it was incorporated as a national movement by an Act of parliament passed in 1972. The Sarvodaya Shramadana movement rejected both capitalist and communist model of development; the capitalist model heartens competition, individualism, affluence, and consumerism while communist on the other hand encourages use of violent revolution as well as institutional social economic structures that are state imposed. The movement thus seeks a middle ground to socio economic development, putting more emphasis on missions that are associated with developing harmony among different ethnic groups, venerating cultural survival, projects for preserving biodiversity, community economics, and organic agriculture. The vision of Sarvodaya Shramadana movement of providing a new social order is founded on Ghandis’ principles of non-violence, which are in congruence with Buddha Dharma teaching. These teachings and ethos are also in conformity with the principle in Buddhist which is to the effect that a person who takes care of his spiritual well-being thinks about others, in addition a person who concerned about others cares for his spiritual well being (Premasiri 5). The movement acknowledges four philosophies of personality development as the core pillars of Buddhist rural culture in Sri Lanka. These four principles include: sympathetic joy, loving kindness, equanimity, and compassion (Bond and Danilyn, 169). The principles of Sarvodaya are therefore founded on detachment from desire, sensation of suffering as well as compassion. According to Hoang, the movement believes that, socio-economic development and the religion of Buddhism are not necessarily conflicting (14). This is however true as long as the values enshrined in Buddhism control, delimits as well as shape the goals and means of socio economic development. The movement is not in any way opposed to the welfare movement of the people but rather to the welfare state which denies people their inventiveness. As such, the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement encourages a society in which the members of such community design and implement their own welfare work while the state authority responsibility is just limited to encouraging as well s inspiring the society in their responsibilities as well as to give a helping hand where need arises. According to the movement, the initial step towards attaining social economic development and indeed everything is access to work. It emphasizes that people should strive towards double emancipation according to the teachings of Buddhism. This double liberation involves the liberation of the whole community from any form of unwarranted socio-economic conditions or circumstances using ways that are not violent. Secondly, by means of liberation can be found attained by freeing an individual’s mind from its own limitations. The double liberation according to the movement can be achieved by sharing, getting involved in the community holistic dev elopement, and by participating
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