By Prawase Wasi
The Venerable Bhikkhu Buddhadasa’s attainment of 80 years of age in May 1986 is a cause for Buddhist celebration. For he is a rare phenomenon in the history of Buddhism. With time, understanding and interpretation of religions can go much astray from their original essence. It needs the very wise ones to reinterpret them for contemporaries. Acharn Buddhadasa belongs to this group of very rare individuals with extraordinary intelligence. His voluminous teachings and styles have profound effects on the vision of a great number of people.
The Thai Inter-Religious Commission for Development is pleased to be able to publish this book as a humble homage to the great sage. The Commission thanks Donald K. Swearer, Christian and Buddhadasa scholar, who has performed splendidly in bringing this book out. The theme he has chosen is very timely. The people in the world seem to be left with only two political choices, capitalism or socialism. These are too narrow and do not offer solution to present day world crisis. Actually, the crisis is precipitated by the two opposing choices.
Acharn Buddhadasa suggests Dhammic Socialism as a better alternative. The Thai Inter-Religious Commission for Development hopes that this book will stimulate the English readership to pay more attention to the more voluminous works of this great sage. Only when we together are wiser can peace and development prevail.