English translation 3.6.6

3.6.6 The Buddha's advice to Laypeople (part 2)*

(Loyal friends) ……There are four loyal friends, O’ son of a householder: One, who is a supporter should be seen as loyal friend; one, who remains the same during happy and difficult times should be seen as loyal friend; one, who provides beneficial advice should be seen as loyal friend; and one, who is full of sympathetic goodwill should be seen as loyal friend.

There are four reasons why one, who is a supporter, should be seen a loyal friend: He takes care in case of carelessness; he protects one’s possessions in case of carelessness; he provides refuge in case of fear and in case of any urgent errand to be undertaken he provides with twice as much. These are the four reasons why one, who is a supporter, should be seen as a loyal friend.

There are four reasons why one, who remains the same during happy and difficult times, should be seen as a loyal friend: He shares his secrets; he keeps secrets to himself; he does not forsake one during hardship and he would sacrifice his own life for one. These are the four reasons why one, who remains the same during happy and difficult times, should be seen as a loyal friend.

There are four reasons why one, who provides beneficial advice, should be seen as a loyal friend: He keeps one away from evil; he enjoins one in doing good; he informs about things not heard and he points the path to heaven. These are the four reasons why one, who provides beneficial advice, should be seen as a loyal friend. 

There are four reasons why one, who is full of sympathetic goodwill, should be seen as loyal friend: He does not rejoice in one’s misfortune; he rejoices in one’s fortune; he hinders anyone who speaks bad about one and praises who speaks in one’s favour. These are the four reasons why one, who is full of sympathetic goodwill, should be seen as loyal friend.

(Section about the protection of the six directions): And how, O’ householder’s son does the ariyasāvako protect the six directions? The six directions should be considered in this way: One’s mother and father should be understood as the eastern quarter; one’s teachers as the southern; one’s wife and children as the west; one’s friends and companions as the north; one’s servants (and employees) as the nadir and ascetics and Brahmins as the zenith.

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a son should minister upon mother and father as the eastern quarter: By ‘having received their support I will support them’; ‘I will perform duties for them’; ‘I will maintain the lineage and tradition’; I will prove worthy of the inheritance’ ‘after their passing away I will give donations on behalf of the dead’. And there are five ways in which, householder’s son, mother and father thus ministered upon by their son protecting the eastern quarter should support him out of compassion: They restrain him from evil; inspire him to do good; teach him some skills; find a suitable wife for him and when the time comes, hand over his inheritance to him. These are the five ways in which, householder’s son, mother and father thus ministered upon by their son protecting the eastern quarter support him out of compassion. In this way the eastern quarter is fully protected, made safe and free from fear. 

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a pupil should minister upon his teacher as the southern quarter: by rising in salutation; by waiting on him; by inquisitiveness to learn; by serving him; by perfecting the skills that were taught. And there are five ways in which, householder’s son, a teacher thus ministered upon by his pupil protecting the southern quarter should support him out of compassion: educate him well so he gets well trained; help him to grasp what has been taught; develop him thoroughly in all skills; recommend him amongst friends and companions; protect him from all sides. These are the five ways in which, householder’s son, a teacher thus ministered upon by his pupil protecting the southern quarter should support him out of compassion. In this way the southern quarter is fully protected, made safe and free from fear.

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a husband should minister upon his wife as the western quarter: by respecting her; by not disparaging her; by not being unfaithful; by handing over full authority to her; by bestowing adequate embellishment. And there are five ways in which a wife, thus ministered upon as the western quarter should support him out of compassion: By properly attending to her work; by duly looking after the servants in a sympathetic manner; by not being unfaithful; by taking good care of the provisions; by skilfully and industriously fulfilling her duties. These are five ways in which a wife, thus ministered upon as the western quarter should support him out of compassion. In this way the western quarter is fully protected, made safe and free from fear.

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a clansman should minister upon friends and colleagues as the northern quarter: By distributing gifts, upholding kind speech; by supporting their welfare; by maintaining impartiality; by acting in accordance to his words. And there are five ways in which friends and colleagues, thus ministered upon as the northern quarter should support him out of compassion: By taking care of him in case of indolence; by looking after his property in case of his indolence; by offering him refuge in case of fear; by not deserting him in case of trouble and by taking care of his family. These are the five ways in which friends and colleagues, thus ministered upon as the northern quarter should support him out of compassion. In this way the northern quarter is fully protected, made safe and free from fear.

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a nobleman should minister upon servants and workers as the nadir: By arranging their work in accordance to their abilities; by providing them properly with food and wages; by supporting them in case of illness; by sharing with them special delicacies and allowing them appropriate time off. And there are five ways in which servants and workers, thus ministered upon as the nadir should support the nobleman out of compassion: By getting up before him; by getting to bed after him; by accepting the remuneration given by him; by performing their work appropriately and by taking care about his report and renown. These are the five ways in which servants and workers, thus ministered upon as the nadir should support the nobleman out of compassion. In this way the nadir is fully protected, made safe and free from fear.

There are five ways in which, householder’s son, a clansman should minister upon ascetics and Brahmins as the zenith: By upholding kindness in physical action; by upholding friendliness in speech; by maintaining metta in mind and by keeping their doors open for them and by providing them accordingly with food. And there are five ways in which ascetics and Brahmins thus ministered upon as the zenith should support the clansman out of compassion: They restrain him from evil; inspire him to do good; they show compassion and benevolence to him in their thoughts; they teach him in what he hasn’t heard and establish him in what he has heard; they point out the way to heaven. These are five ways in which ascetics and Brahmins thus ministered upon as the zenith should support the clansman out of compassion. In this way the zenith is fully protected, made safe and free from fear.

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Siṅgālasuttaṃ: Siṅgāla + suttaṃ: Siṅgāla + sutta


Last modified: Saturday, 5 March 2016, 9:08 AM