This book deals with the concept of Crime and Punishment as found in the Buddhist tradition. The author selects the Pall texts regarded as the oldest extant sources of the Buddhists, and carefully collects his information from this original data. In the past, Indologists, Philologists, Orientalists and students of Religion have made use of such data in order to illustrate areas of their chosen interests. This is the first time that the Pall sources and their commentaries are analysed by a scholar coming from the discipline of Sociology and Criminology. in addition to this, he is also well-versed in the Oriental languages. The Buddhist Criminal Justice system is a unique institution of which we are not yet fully informed. The validity of the law as given in the Vinaya Pitaka or the Basket of disciplinary injunctions for monks and nuns as well as for the laymen is observed when the laws are shorn off their sociological underpinnings connected with the community-life of monks. The law is based on the Middle Path leading to the ultimate evolutionary perfection of human beings. How is justice conceived by the Buddha? What sort of a Criminal Justice system was in Existence at the time? What is the nature of Buddhist Jurisprudence? Is there a Buddhist theory of Penology? What are the criteria and dimensions used in defining Crime? How was punishment and rehabilitation conceived in Buddhist law and theories of punishment? In short, what comparison could one notice in the Buddhist system of Criminal Justice and the different Criminal Justice systems existing in the modern world? The revealing and refreshing study as contained in this volume should motivate other Criminologists and Sociologists to analyse further the Buddhist tradition in the future.
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