An Analytical Study of Āyu and Causes Leading to Its Deterioration and Prosperity in Buddhist Scriptures

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Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay


Bhutan, having been the Vajrayana Buddhist Kingdom since the 8th century, has been
greatly shaped in the light of governance, culture, and lifestyle. The Buddhist influence on
human development in Bhutan has come from two sources: governance and leaders. The
exemplar of a Buddhist monarch is the chakravartin, the universal wheel-turning king, an
inspiration among Bhutanese monarchs. The Ten Duties of the King are also applicable to
the leaders. A model Buddhist ruler is an agent of Avalokitesvara, the deity of compassion
and a leader is expected to possess three qualities, compassion, strength, and knowledge. The
ultimate value of governance in Bhutan is happiness instead of material goal such as GDP.
Influenced by the Buddhist perspective that happiness should be built on wholesome mindful
life, the ideals of governance in Bhutan was formulated by the Fourth King as GNH, which
is a development framework applied to official plans and programs. Bhutan is launching
GNH business certification to be applied to business and corporations. Under the concept of
GNH, ecological integrity has also been highly emphasized. The Lord Buddha’s dharma
was ultimately about how human beings ought to live, which has been of direct relevance
to human development. The Lord Buddha’s teachings bout behavioral, verbal and mental
actions that would lead to happiness and wellbeing are the main basis of human development
in Vajrayana Buddhism. HDI prompted by the UN and Sufficiency Economy of Thailand,
similar to GNH, are also somehow related to human development with Buddhist concepts.

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How to Cite
Tshering Tobgay, L. D. (2018). An Analytical Study of Āyu and Causes Leading to Its Deterioration and Prosperity in Buddhist Scriptures. The Journal of International Association of Buddhist Universities (JIABU), 11(3), 354–364. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay, Honorable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan

Tshering Tobgay served as the leader of the opposition party in the National Assembly of Bhutan from 2008 to 2013 and as prime minister from 2013 to 2018.

Tobgay was a civil servant before he joined active politics. He was the first official to resign from his work to take part in his country's transition to a parliamentary democracy. He was responsible for establishing the People's Democratic Party as the first registered political party in Bhutan, and he continues to serve as its president.

As an advocate of Gross National Happiness, Tobgay has spoken about conservation, climate change, poverty, democracy and happiness in various international conferences.

Tobgay has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's in public administration from Harvard University. He is married to Tashi Doma and has two children. He enjoys volunteering, reading, trekking, bicycling, jogging, archery, yoga, music, and drama.


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