Does Asian countries has Buddhist law in their parliament/government? Is there thing like this? As we can see that Asian countries like Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Mongolia, South-Korea, North-Korea, Hongkong. In these counties mostly people are Buddhist so I've to know if there is Buddhist law for parliament or government for Buddhist country. And if there what is it or what it'd be?

2 Answers 2


The guiding principles of an ideal king it to follow is the Dasavidha-rājadhamma

  1. Dāna (charity) — being prepared to sacrifice one's own pleasure for the well-being of the public, such as giving away one's belongings or other things to support or assist others, including giving knowledge and serving public interests.

  2. Sīla (morality) — practicing physical and mental morals, and being a good example of others.

  3. Pariccāga (altruism), being generous and avoiding selfishness, practicing altruism.

  4. Ājjava (honesty) — being honest and sincere towards others, performing one's duties with loyalty and sincerity to others.

  5. Maddava (gentleness) — having gentle temperament, avoiding arrogance and never defaming others.

  6. Tapa (self controlling) — destroying passion and performing duties without indolence.

  7. Akkodha (non-anger) — being free from hatred and remaining calm in the midst of confusion.

  8. Avihimsa (non-violence) — exercising non-violence, not being vengeful.

  9. Khanti (forbearance) — practicing patience, and trembling to serve public interests.

  10. Avirodhana (uprightness) — respecting opinions of other persons, avoiding prejudice and promoting public peace and order.

King Asoka incorporated this into his rule and perhaps some other monarchs historically.

Sri Lankan constitution does gives the following provision.

The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA (As amended up to 15th May 2015) Revised Edition – 2015

Thai Monarchy seem to have it engrained:

Thai concepts of monarchy have their origins in Sukhothai, founded in the early part of the 13th century and generally regarded as the first truly independent Thai kingdom. Here, particularly under the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great (1275-1317), was born the ideal of a paternalistic ruler alert to the needs of his people and aware of the fact that his duty was to guide them. Such forms part of Dasavidha-rājadhamma, or the ten precepts of kingship, which – rooted in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism – encompasses such virtues as willingness to give and sacrifice for a greater good, morality, honesty, open-mindedness, diligence, compassion, perseverance and righteousness.

Thai Monarchy

But not sure the Dasavidha-rājadhamma is directly found in the constitution or any legislature any of the modern day Buddhist countries. At least it is not the case in Sri Lanka. Mainly because the constitution and legislature is modeled what was inherited from the British rule and constitutions and legislation of other countries.

  • Sorry if this is a contentious question but does it mean when you say that, for example, Thailand or Bhutan "do not have Buddhist law in their parliament/government"?
    – ChrisW
    May 10, 2017 at 10:29
  • @ChrisW I mean, I want to know if there's Buddhist law for Buddhist country and if there then what is it.
    – Swapnil
    May 10, 2017 at 10:38
  • @Swapnil That is why I'm asking Suminda to explain why he claims that countries "don't have this in law".
    – ChrisW
    May 10, 2017 at 10:41
  • @ChrisW I think there's no regulation and compulsion to follow law/rules because Buddhism is peace and liberty. Isn't it? And maybe because of politics.
    – Swapnil
    May 10, 2017 at 10:46
  • 1
    Buddhism is not a law imposed. There are Sheela or 'way of life' which Buddhists voluntarily follow, which would help in realizing Nibbhana. One follows because s/he wants to. If everyone in a country follows Buddhist way of life 100% there would be no need for laws. Self discipline through understanding is the key.
    – Sampath
    May 16, 2017 at 13:45

Upasaka Swapnil,

Upasaka asked 'Does Asian countries has Buddhist law in their parliament/government?'

Not sure (possible worthy a question and research) but as far as my person perceives it seems to be that the Kingdom of Cambodia, the land of the Khmer (khema, meaning land, person at peace, refuge) is actually the last/only country left which tries to stick firm to Dhamma-Vinaya and always proves laws agains Vinayas objectives but of course going in many ways against modern values and modern tendency, jet tolerating all as far as possible and not causing inconsistency and splitting, not to speak about violence. Upasaka Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena listed good qualities have great value in the frame of possibilities.

Not sure in how far such can be still traced in Sri Lanka (which is since longer social democratic, if right informed) and Burma (possible similar to Sri Lanka). Thailand has already given up sticking to precepts and upholding Dhamma-Vinaya, as far as perseived. No idea about Laos.

But my person is not much informed about such things and didn't made any detail researches, so just as far as personal perceived.

Generally it's clear that it gets darker an soon this religion will have disappeared with only trading copies left.

(Not given for trade, exchange, stacks or entertainment, but as means for liberation)

  • 1
    Thank you "Bhante" for your invaluable time and efforts.
    – Swapnil
    Jun 16, 2019 at 11:56

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