This succinct Vaṇijjāsuttaṃ depicts those five trades that should get shunned completely and remain off limits for any follower of the Buddha’s path. Although some of these trades often result in substantial profit, it is also these very trades that produce a maximum of direct or indirect suffering to beings. In the Kandarakasutta1
the Buddha gives an example of someone following such a profession and uses the expression: ‘paraparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto
’ – ‘being involved in the practice of torturing others’:Katamo ca, bhikkhave, puggalo parantapo3 paraparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto?
- And how, Bhikkhus, does someone qualify himself as a person, who tortures others and is involved in the practice of torturing others? - Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo orabbhiko4 hoti sūkariko sākuṇiko5 māgaviko6 luddo macchaghātako7 coro coraghātako goghātako8 bandhanāgāriko9 ye vā panaññepi keci kurūrakammantā10. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, puggalo parantapo paraparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto
- Here, Bhikkhus, a certain person is either a butcher of sheep or of pigs, a fowler, a trapper, a huntsman, a fisherman, a thief, an executioner, a prison warden, or anyone who follows such kind of cruel occupation. This is called someone who qualifies himself as a person, who tortures others and is involved in the practice of torturing others. …
summarizes thus: Male and female lay followers who have thus gone for refuge, should establish themselves in morality, purify it by undertaking austere practises, abandon the five (forbidden) trades to make a livelihood rightfully and justly; and having reached the state of a lotus lay follower, by fulfilling every day the ten bases of pure actions12
should abandon the faults that produce an impediment and maintain mundane and supramundane achievements