The Resemblances of the Concept of Love in Theravada Buddhist Philosophy and Stoicism: A Comparative Study

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHICAL & SCIENTIFIC TEXTS eJOURNAL, Vol. 4, No. 12: 25 Sep 2019

11 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2019 Last revised: 28 Sep 2019

See all articles by Anawat Bunnag

Anawat Bunnag

Mahidol University - Faculty of Liberal Arts

Date Written: August 2, 2019

Abstract

In Theravada Buddhist Philosophy, love exists as psychological activities that can be called by many names such as Sineha or romantic love, Karma or erotic love, Pema or family love, Metta or compassionate love etc. Variety of love is also categorized into lower kinds and higher kinds of love. Lower kind of love refers to those psychological activities that demand possession of the objects that we love while higher kinds refers to psychological activities that extends goodness to others. However, love, as well as everything, is governed by the Law of Impermanence, meaning that it occurs, comes into being and then cease to be. The highest form of love in Buddhism is, presumably, called Chanta (the will) or the love of dharma which is the highest truth and the wisdom to be free from all attachments. Similarly, the Stoic philosophers (c.300 B.C.-c. 300 A.D.) try to live their lives according to their ideal state of happiness (Eudaimonia) by avoiding the emotions such as desire, pain, grief, fear and passion. The Stoics hold that such feelings are caused by false judgements and that the wiseman who had attained moral and intellectual perfection would not undertake them. The later stoic philosophers such as Seneca and Epictetus, emphasize the doctrine that the wiseman is entirely resilient to misfortune and that virtue is satisfactory condition for happiness. Thus, passionate or romantic love is an unnecessary condition for human to attain happiness. In this research paper, the researcher attempts to identify the commonalities in the concept of love of two ancient school of thoughts, one from the western and the other from the eastern part of the world. The result will support at the international level, the expansion of knowledge in the field of philosophy of love.

Keywords: Concept of Love in Stoicism, Buddhist’s love, Love in Buddhist philosophy, Stoic and love, Stoic’s Concept of love

Suggested Citation

Bunnag, Anawat, The Resemblances of the Concept of Love in Theravada Buddhist Philosophy and Stoicism: A Comparative Study (August 2, 2019). ANCIENT PHILOSOPHICAL & SCIENTIFIC TEXTS eJOURNAL, Vol. 4, No. 12: 25 Sep 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3446101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3446101

Anawat Bunnag (Contact Author)

Mahidol University - Faculty of Liberal Arts ( email )

Sirividhaya Building, 6th floor
999 Phuttamonthon 4 Rd.
Salaya, Nakornpathom 73170
Thailand

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