Buddhist Support for Human Rights

An analysis of Buddhist affirmations of human rights might begin in India, the birthplace of Buddhism. There in 1956 a Hindu, B. R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism and took some four million other untouchables with him. (1)

Sangharakshita, a Buddhist who played an important role in the mass conversion movement that Ambedkar set in motion, writes of Ambedkar that: "In the end, after years of unsuccessful struggle for the basic human rights of his people, he was forced to recognize that there was going to be no change of heart on the part of the Caste Hindus, and that the casteless, "Protestant" Hinduism of which he had sometimes spoken so enthusiastically was only a dream." (2)

As early as 1935 Ambedkar had threatened to leave Hinduism, when in a speech to a conference of the depressed classes he "spoke bitterly of the failure of their attempts to secure their basic human rights as members of the Hindu community." (3) Ambedkar had considered conversion to Sikhism, but finally admitted that only the personalities of the Buddha and Christ captivated him. However, because the caste system was observed in the Christian churches of Southern India and the Christian community had not fought against social injustice, he turned to Buddhism. (4)

Ambedkar wrote that his philosophy was "enshrined" in three words: liberty, equality, and fraternity. "Let no one however say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution. I have not. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha." (5) Robert Aiken agrees that "the Buddha's own teaching was egalitarian and democratic to the core." (6)

Fraternity is only another name for democracy, which is "essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards [one's] fellow men." (7) Buddha transformed attitudes of respect and obedience contained in the ethnic Hindu notion of dharma into a universal morality. By admitting members of lower castes and women into the Bhikshu Sangha, the Buddha took "concrete steps to destroy the gospel of inequality." (8)

Ambedkar argued that for Buddhists the dharma is that "universal morality which protects the weak from the strong, which provides common models, standards, and rules, and which safeguards the growth of the individual. It is what makes liberty and equality effective...." (9) For Ambedkar, fraternity "is nothing but another name for brotherhood of men which is another name for morality. This is why the Buddha preached that Dhamma is morality and as Dhamma is sacred so is morality." (10)

Many Buddhists are reluctant to identify the dharma with human rights. Buddhist scholar Masao Abe writes that "the exact equivalent of the phrase 'human rights' in the Western sense cannot be found anywhere in Buddhist literature." (11) The Western concept of human rights concerns only humans. By marked contrast, in Buddhism "a human being is not grasped only from the human point of view, that is, not simply on an anthropocentric basis, but on a much broader trans-homocentric, cosmological basis. More concretely, in Buddhism human beings are grasped as a part of all sentient beings or even as a part of all beings, sentient and nonsentient, because both human and nonhuman beings are equally subject to transiency or impermanency. (12)

Therefore, the human self is also impermanent, or relative. "The notion of absolute self-identity or substantial, enduring selfhood is an unreal, conceptual construction created by human self-consciousness. Buddhism calls it maya, or illusion, and emphasizes the importance of awakening to no-self by doing away with this illusory understanding of the self." (13)

Though self and nature are different from one another on the relative level, "on the absolute level they are equal and interfuse with one another because of the lack of any fixed, substantial selfhood." (14) Thus Buddhism, Abe tells us, differs radically from the monotheistic religious traditions. "In the Judeo-Christian tradition the problem of human rights and human duty to other people must be considered in relation to the exclusive commandment of the supreme God, whereas in Buddhism the same problem should be grasped in relation to all living beings in the universe. This difference entails that in Buddhism conflict between human rights and religious freedom becomes much less serious.... (15)

It also means that for Buddhists nature is no more subordinate to human beings than human beings to nature. Buddhism offers an ecological view of life: "Under the commandment 'Not to destroy any life,' the rights of animals and plants are as equally recognized as are human rights." (16)

On the basis of this Buddhist analysis, Abe makes the following recommendations to foster human rights and overcome religious intolerance. First, attachment to doctrine and dogma should be eliminated, for this is the cause of intolerance. Second, wisdom rather than justice should be emphasized, as this is the basis of compassion and love. Third, monotheistic traditions must come to understand the Oneness of ultimate reality in a nondualistic way in order to avoid exclusivistic and intolerant attitudes toward other traditions. (17)

Similarly, Kenneth Inada acknowledges the importance of human rights, but suggests that for Buddhists human rights are "ancillary to the larger or more basic issue of human nature." (18) Human nature is understood as part of the process of "relational origination paticcasamupada," which is the greatest doctrine of Buddhism: "It means that, in any life-process, the arising of an experiential event is a total, relational affair. A particular event does not arise in a vacuum, nor does it result by the imposition of external forces of elements. It is a unique arisal which is vitally dependent on or related to all the elements present within the surroundings. Thus, in the process there is nothing which is fragmentary or has any gaps, since it relates with the complete fullness of all the elements present. Each relationship is full insofar as the process is concerned. This means that relational origination is a most concrete way in which life-process goes on." (19)

This is the Dhamma, for the Buddha said: "He who sees relational origination sees the Dhamma and he who sees the Dhamma sees relational origination." (20) Therefore, "there is an intimate and vital relationship of the Buddhist norm or Dhamma with that of human rights." (21)

The Bodhisattva personifies the ideal existence, for it goes to the heart of human nature: "In its concern for fellow beings, it demonstrates the best concrete illustration of the doctrine of relational origination--in which every being is involved in every other being...It is not only the beginnings of harmony with other beings, but more important, the sustenance of harmony within the changing ambient world." (22) The Bodhisattva ideal reminds us that there is no actual, individual experience, for it "speaks to us of "equality, liberty, and security from the total perspective." (23)

Human rights are an extension of human nature. Thus in the Buddhist perspective they flow from right human relations. "Human rights are legal matters which can be legislated, but only to a certain extent, especially so in a divided world. Human nature, however, is an existential matter which can neither be legislated nor measured; therefore, one must resort to persuasion and self-realization in order to seek one's unique existence." (24)

Inada concludes that "when governments, singly or in consortium, are able to provide an ambience conducive to individual life-fulfillment by way of an open and free contact to all, the question of human rights based on human nature should be eased considerably, if not solved." (25)

Taitetsu Unno asserts: "The fact that the Buddhist tradition in its past history has had little to say about personal rights in the current sense of the term does not mean that Buddhists were not concerned with human well-being, with the dignity and autonomy of the spirit." (26) Moreover, he argues that contemporary Buddhism "must clarify what it has to offer to the concept of personal rights and its realization for all people." (27)

The key to the Buddhist contribution, Unno believes, is its notion of the human person. The human person is a part of the interdependence of all life. Thus the Buddhist teaching of no-self (anatman) makes possible an appreciation of persons as more than entities or individuals. This awareness liberates a person from the enslaving concepts and practices of culture and religion, such as those imposed by the Hindu tradition of caste. "By negating the metaphysical basis of traditional values and practices the Buddha affirmed instead the crucial nature of human conduct and virtus [sic] as determining what is truly human. He also stressed reliance on the powers of analysis and autonomous reason and rejected revelation, authority, and tradition as sources of knowledge." (28)

The Sangha was to model this image of the human person, as "a society of equals--regardless of birth or lineage or whether one was rich or poor, man or woman." (29) People are human in relation to others and nature, by virtue of their conduct and character.

Rights are a reflection of this interdependent reality. When one realizes the interconnectedness of all life, one realizes that rights are fundamental not only for people but equally for all sentient beings, as well as for nature itself. Thus Unno asserts: "respect for the individual and the recognition of rights is not a static but a dynamic fact which makes it imperative that as we affirm our own individual rights we must also be willing to give up ourselves in order to affirm the rights of others. When, however, we affirm only our own rights at the expense of the rights of others--including the rights of humanity over nature, one nation or one race over another, one belief or view over others--we become tyrannical and oppressive." (30)

Only with such an understanding of interdependent reality will assertions of human rights contribute to a society of equals. For only in this way will we see that the person is not "one among the many, but one as the absolute subject, the negation of the many; and the many is not simply a collection of ones, but many as the common good, the negation of separate ones going their different ways." (31)

While the Bodhisattva is exceptional, all persons may live with a sense of gratitude for the interdependence of reality in the recognition that "one lives by virtue of the working and sacrifices of countless others, including the blessings of nature." (32) The common Japanese expression "Okagesama" reflects just this kind of humble gratitude.

Thus, from a Buddhist perspective, human rights need to be grounded in what today might be described as an ecological view of nature and humanity, and rights need to be conceived for other forms of life and not just for humans, if the ego-centeredness often associated with personal rights is to be avoided. In this respect, religion has often been a stumbling block: "The most subtle forms of disguised self-centeredness appear in all world religions; we see it in sectarianism and triumphalism, classism and sexism. How can we root out this radical egocentricity, all the more difficult because it is affirmed in noble language? How can we affirm plurality, cherishing our own beliefs without negating those of others? Good will and tolerance have been inadequate as evidenced in the world today. What is necessary is a new understanding of reality, a new vision of the ideal community, based on the interdependence and interconnectedness of life...." (33)

Unno concludes "that it is necessary for contemporary Buddhism to come forth with a clear a unequivocal statement on personal rights," (34) to aid in the development of an adequate foundation for human rights.

Similarly, Robert Thurman argues that the Buddhist experience has much to offer human rights considerations: "the principles of human rights were all there in the Buddha's earliest teachings" and were embodied in the Sangha; however, they never led to an institutional democracy until modern times, and then only when there was outside help." (35) Thurman asserts: "The Buddhist 'individual,' as a living, relative, social, conventional being emerges as the center of the Buddha's Teaching since there is no such thing as an unchanging, ultimate, isolated, intrinsically identifiable 'individual'." (36)

Thus in Buddhism "the individual human who possess rights is presented as a spiritual as well as physical being of unique accomplishments and valuable opportunities. We have earned our rights through suffering and transcending egotism in the sea of evolution, and no one can deprive us of them, since no one conferred them upon us. Societies cease to be truly human when they cease to acknowledge that each individual's fulfillment is the purpose of the whole. And humans are free also to give away their rights in furtherance of the fulfillment of others. Indeed it is by the supreme generosity of giving even one's life that one evolved into a human out of lower forms. Thus talk of rights quickly passes over into talk of responsibilities, as the self-fulfilled (that is, enlightened as to selflessness) individual automatically wills to share that happiness of release with others by aiding them in their own quest of enlightenment." (37) As persons assume responsibility, there is less need to talk about or enforce human rights.

Thurman argues that several texts provide the foundation for a Buddhist social philosophy and notes that the stone-carved edicts of Emperor Ashoka (third century B.C.E.) set forth five basic principles of Buddhist politics: "(1) individualistic transcendentalism, (2) nonviolent pacifism, (3) religious pluralism with an educational emphasis, (4) compassionate welfare paternalism, and (5) reliance on a powerful central authority to affirm the rights of individuals over claims of intermediate groups." (38) He also discusses Tibet as a "long-term Buddhist experiment" in "furthering human social and cultural rights." (39)

Apart from these theoretical considerations, Buddhists have begun to speak of human rights in various ways. (40) Buddhists protest "human rights violations" in China, Tibet, Laos, and Korea. (41) Buddhists join with other members of religious traditions in conferences concerned with human rights. (42) Buddhists participate in resolutions on human rights, such as the Seoul Declaration of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, which declared: "Human dignity must be safeguarded by human rights, through which human dignity can be fully manifested." (43)

The late U Thant, a Burmese Buddhist who served as Secretary-General of the UN, on at least one occasion reiterated Eleanor Roosevelt's comment that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the "Magna Carta of Mankind." (44) Furthermore, he wrote of the family: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society. It follows that any choice and decision with regard to the size of the family must irrevocably rest with the family itself, and cannot be made by anyone else. But this right of parents to free choice will remain illusory unless they are aware of the alternatives open to them. Hence, the right of every family to information and the availability of services in this field is increasingly considered as a basic human right and as an indispensable ingredient of human dignity." (45)

In a statement that clearly reflects Buddhist philosophy, at least as articulated by Abe and Inada, U Thant urged: "We must all foster and encourage a climate of opinion in which human rights can flourish. We must be alive to any encroachment upon the rights and freedoms of any individual. And, above all, we must practice tolerance, and respect the rights and freedoms of others." (46)

Dr. Tilokasundari Kariyawasam, President of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Women and Deputy Director General of Education in Sri Lanka, also strongly supports human rights: "Buddhism is an all pervading philosophy and a religion, strongly motivated by human rights or rights of everything that exists, man, woman, animal and the environment they live in." (47) She writes of the influence of Buddhist thought on the woman "as an individual born free and equal in dignity and rights," claims that the "rights, the Buddhist woman has enjoyed for centuries are revolutionary and daring," and suggests that concern "for human rights is seen in the efforts of women to ensure great equality of access to and participation in Buddhism.'" (48)

Thai Buddhist Sulak Sivaraksa, in writing of the Sangha as an ideal for human society, translates the basic ethical precepts of Buddhism into modern terms. He suggests that the precept to speak the truth is taking new collective forms today: "Out of the networking of the global peace, justice and human rights movements arises a radical discourse, a pluralistic, insurgent understanding, a dynamic truth which threatens the power of the forces of violence, greed and ignorance." (49) As a Buddhist he asserts: "The defense of human rights and justice takes ethical precedence over national sovereignty." (50) Thus he urges Buddhist involvement in international issues, the United Nations, and development in the Third World. (51)

Moreover, in a Sri Lankan village Buddhists and Roman Catholics have found a common cause in human rights. In 1981, before a thousand people gathered to celebrate the triple light festival of Vesak, recalling the birth, enlightenment and the mahaparinibbana of the Buddha, a Christian speaker suggested: "if we violate human rights for food, clothing, shelter, justice, then we violate the first precept: pranatipata vera mani sikkha_...." (52) The Venerable Kotaneluwe Upatissa of the ancient Happoruwa temple, who was present for the festival at Suba Seth Gedara on this occasion, replied: "Let me say that this Catholic priest expounded dhammawell." (53)

Similarly, when Buddhists and Christians joined together to seek help for farmers who had lost their harvest due to severe drought, the Venerable Alutwela Piyananda--although pressured by local officials not to participate in the petition--affirmed instead his unity with the Christians in their common cause: "For whom did Jesus live and die? for man. For whom did the Buddha work? for man, for men and women. Now let us get together and work for human rights." (54)

Thus Buddhists do affirm human rights, as central to their understanding of the dharma and the living out of the Buddhist precepts. Despite the conceptual difficulties of justifying human rights, as central to Buddhist faith, at least some Buddhists find human rights language expressive of their religious commitment to the Three Refuges: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

It may not be surprising then to find exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, suggesting that "we all have an equal right to be happy" (55) because of our common humanity: "This shared humanness and thus the shared aspiration of gaining happiness and avoiding suffering, as well as the basic right to bring these about, are of prime importance." (56) Thus he concludes that "Universal responsibility is based on an understanding of the desire, the right, and the possibility of achieving happiness for all beings. When we recognize the importance of this outlook, a true sense of compassion becomes possible, and, eventually, a natural reality." (57)

For Buddhists, recognition and protection of human rights may be seen not only as the fruits of wisdom and compassion but as means of attaining both.


1 Four hundred thousand converted with him, one hundred thousand more converted after his cremation. As his ashes were distributed around India, hundreds of thousands of others converted. Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism (Glasgow, Scotland: Windhorse Publications, 1986), 162-63.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., 60.

4 Ibid., 68.

5 Quoted in Dhananjay Keer, Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission, 2nd ed. (Bombay: 1962), 106. In Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism, 76.

6 Robert Aiken, "The Lay Zen Buddhist Sangha in the West," The Pacific World, New Series no. 4 (Fall 1988):77.

7 Dr. Baba Saheb B. R. Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, 1 (Bombay: 1979), 57. Quoted in Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism, 113.

8 B. R. Ambedkar, Buddha and the Future of His Religion, 3rd ed. (Jullundur: 1980), 7. Quoted in Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism, 109.

9 Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and Buddhism, 157.

10 Ambedkar, The Buddha and His Dhamma, 2nd ed. (Bombay, 1974), 234. Quoted in Sangharakshita, Ambedkar and His Religion, 156.

11 Masao Abe, "Religious Tolerance and Human Rights: A Buddhist Perspective," in Religious Liberty and Human Rights in Nations and in Religions, ed. Leonard Swidler (Philadelphia: Ecumenical Press, Temple University, 1986), 202.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid., 204.

14 Ibid., 205.

15 Ibid. Ali A. Mazrui argues that the three monotheistic religious traditions contribute to the process of psychic subhumanization which precedes human rights violations, for these monotheisms create the "greater danger to human rights," that is, "the dichotomy between 'us' and 'them'." He concludes: "Western civilization has become increasingly secularized, yet its two greatest challenges are, on one side, militantly monotheistic (Islam) and, on the other, self-consciously atheistic (Marxism). But Marxism, Western civilization and Islam are in any case interrelated. The dialectic in Marxism is dualistic; so is the constant tension between good and evil in both Christianity and Islam. The map of world power today is a map covered by Islam, Western civilization and Marxist systems. All three cultural universes betray the historic and normative impact of monotheism and its derivative patterns of cognition. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was of God, and the Word was God.' But perhaps the word was of man, and the word was man. And in the beginning were the rights of man." Mazrui, "Human Rights and the Moving Frontier of World Culture," in Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, 243 and 264.

16 Ibid., 205.

17 Ibid., 206-11.

18 Kenneth K. Inada, "The Buddhist Perspective on Human Rights," in Human Rights in Religious Traditions, 70. Saneh Chamarik makes the same argument in "Buddhism and Human Rights," in Human Rights Teaching 2, no. 1 (1981), 14-20.

19 Ibid., 70.

20 Majjhima-nikaya, I, 190-91. The Collection of the Middle Length Sayings, trans. I. B. Horner (London: Luzac & Co., 1954), 1, 236-37. Quoted in Inada, "The Buddhist Perspective on Human Rights," 71.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid., 75.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid., 76.

25 Ibid.

26 Taitetsu Unno, "Personal Rights and Contemporary Buddhism," in Human Rights and the World's Religions, 129.

27 Ibid., 130.

28 Ibid., 131.

29 Ibid.

30 Ibid., 140.

31 Ibid.

32 Kenko Futaba argues that this sense of gratitude is central to the teachings of Shinran, who founded the Jodo Shinshu community on the principle of equality: "Any power structure that trampled on human dignity was absolutely contrary to the Nembutsu way which proclaimed equality of all human beings." Shinran's objective "was to realize Buddhahood and live dynamically in the flow of history in harmony with Amida's Primal Vow. Thus, he opened a world where all peoples could live equally in truth. He took issue with any social condition that obstructed the realization of human dignity--the complete fulfillment of the human person in the way of the Buddha." Kenko Futaba, "Shinran and Human Dignity: Opening an Historic Horizon," The Pacific World, New Series no. 4 (Fall 1988):57-58. This translation by Rev. Kenryu T. Tsuji is the first chapter of a book entitled All of Shinran (Shinran no Subete), edited by Kenko Futaba.

33 Ibid., 145.

34 Ibid.

35 Robert A. F. Thurman, "Social and Cultural Rights in Buddhism," in Human Rights and the World's Religions, 148.

36 Ibid., 150. Similarly, Henry Rosemont, Jr. maintains that the Confucian concept of the person, as "the totality of roles" one lives "in relation to specific others," is contrary to the Western notion of a freely choosing individual who has rights. Rosemont, "Why Take Rights Seriously? A Confucian Critique," in Human Rights and the World's Religions, 177.

37 Ibid., 152-53.

38 Ibid., 156. Aryasanga's The Stages of the Bodhisattva, trans. Jampel Thardod et al. (American Institute of Buddhist Studies, manuscript translation), sanctions revolutions against an oppressive king; Nagarjuna's Friend Epistle and Jewel Rosary of Royal Advice, written to the Satavahana King Udayi in the second century C.E. contains detailed prescriptions for government according to Buddhist principles; The Teaching of the Manifestations of Liberative Strategies in the Repertoire of the Bodhisattvas, which survives only in Tibetan and Chinese versions, conveys the teachings of Satyavadi on good government; and the Universal Vehicle Scripture of Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Ten Wheels of Government describes all of social life from a Buddhist perspective. See Thurman, "The Politics of Enlightenment," Lindisfarne Letter (1975) and "Buddhist Social Activism," Eastern Buddhist (1983), and also Ven. Samdong Rinpoche, "Social and Political Strata in Buddhist Thought," in Samdong Rinpoche, Social Philisophy of Buddhism (Sarnath, 1972).

39 Ibid., 161.

40 See Bhikshu Shih Tao-an, "La Doctrine du Bouddha et les Droits de l'Homme," Revue des Droits de 

l'Homme/Human Rights Journal 10, nos. 1-2 (1977):5-13.

41 "A North American Buddhist Resolution on the Situation in Asia," prepared for the Conference on World Buddhism in North America by Buddhists Concerned for Social Justice and World Peace (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Zen Lotus Society, 10 July 1987).

42 "Seeking Solidarity Beyond Religious Differences: World Conference on Religion and Peace Discusses Disarmament, Development, and Human Rights," Dharma World (Special Issue October 1986):50-51.

43 Asian Conference on Religion and Peace III Held in Seoul," Dharma World 13 (September/October 1986):7. Two pages earlier in the same issue, in an article entitled "Promotion of Human Dignity and Humanization," it was reported that "Discussion focussed on the religious significance of human dignity, from which concepts of human rights originate."

44 Quoted in Egan Schwelb, Human Rights and the International Community: The Roots and Growth of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948-1963 (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1964), 7. See U Thant, View from the UN(Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1978).

45 U Thant, Population Newsletter, April 1968, 43. Quoted in Human Rights Aspects of Population Programs: With Special Reference to Human Rights Law (Paris: UNESCO, 1977), 111.

46 Quoted in The International Observance: World Law Day--Human Rights: 1968 (Geneva: World Peace through Law Center, 1968), 37.

47 Tilokasundari Kariyawasam, "Feminism in Theravada Buddhism," paper presented at the conference, "Buddhism and Christianity: Toward the Human Future," Berkeley, Calif., 8-15 August 1987, 1.

48 Ibid., 3-4. See also pages 8 and 9, where she writes of equal rights "as to marriage, during marriage, womanhood etc." and of rights "of freedom of peaceful assembly and association." Emphasis in the original.

49 Sulak Sivaraksa, "Being in the World: A Buddhist Ethical and Social Concern," paper presented at the conference, "Buddhism and Christianity: Toward the Human Future," Berkeley, Calif., 8-15 August 1987, 6.

50 Ibid., 7.

51 See also Sulak Sivaraksa, "Buddhism and Development--A Thai Perspective," Ching Feng 26, nos. 2-3 (August 1983):123-33.

52 Rev. Dr. Michael Rodrigo, O.M.I., "An Example of Village Dialogue of Life," paper presented at the conference, "Buddhism and Christianity: Toward the Human Future," Berkeley, Calif., 8-15 August 1987, 3. Tragically, Dr. Rodrigo became a martyr for human rights soon after returning to Sri Lanka from the Berkeley conference, for he was killed in an ambush by those opposed to his work for village reform.

53 Ibid., 4.

54 The Sarvodaya movement in Sri Lanka employs Buddhist concepts to undergird the basic human rights of villagers. See Joanna Macy, Dharma and Development: Religion as Resource in the Sarvodaya Self Help Movement(West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press, 1983).

55 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Hope for the Future," in The Path of Compassion: Contemporary Writings on Engaged Buddhism, ed. Fred Eppsteiner and Dennis Maloney (Berkeley, Calif.: Buddhist Peace Fellowship, 1985), 2.

56 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "Spiritual Contributions to Social Progress," in The Path of Compassion, 10. In a speech on 15 June 1988 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the Dalai Lama called for "respect for human rights and democratic ideals" in Tibet and pledged that a Tibetan government would adhere "to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Reprinted by the U.S. Tibet Committee. The Dalai Lama received the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

57 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "The Principle of Universal Responsibility," in The Path of Compassion, 17.

This paper appeared as "Buddhist Affirmations of Human Rights" in Buddhist Christian Studies Vol. 8, pp. 13-19, copyright 1988 by University of Hawaii Press.

 bob@rtraer.com © Robert Traer 2016