An important aspect omitted, though implied, when Fundamental Human Rights were identified for universal acceptance half a century ago is the basic Human Right to Peace, Security and Prosperity. Even as violence gains ground and terrorism ascends to be the most daunting danger facing humanity, the importance of transforming the prevailing culture of armed conflict and multiple forms of violence to a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding becomes patent.
This paper commences with a brief overview of mechanisms in force and efforts made in different quarters to ensure peace, security and prosperity to every human being. It then proceeds to look for inspiration, insights and guidance, which the teachings of the Buddha and twenty-six centuries of Buddhist history can give us.
The Buddha’s most eloquently and comprehensively expressed views are examined along with his active interventions in conflict prevention and resolution. The Buddha’s absolute path to peace is undoubtedly his unequivocal soteriological or salvific message of self-cultivation and mental perfection leading to the ultimate goal of peace and happiness in Nibbana – the end of suffering. But the Buddha was also conscious of the need of humanity for peace, security and prosperity here and now in this world.
How the traditional Buddhist ideals, wisdom and values continue to apply to this modern age is further illustrated with copious quotes from Grand Master Hsing Yun’s insights on peace and equality.
The conclusion of this analysis is that the Buddhist perspective so expressed is not only relevant but also most urgently needed as a corrective to current international and national efforts to ensure peace, security and prosperity through socioeconomic, educational, spiritual, moral and cultural regeneration of humanity.