Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 3.6.7

Earning one’s Bread honestly by the Sweat of one’s Brow 


‘‘Uṭṭhātā1 kammadheyyesu, appamatto vidhānavā2;

Samaṃ kappeti jīvikaṃ, sambhataṃ3 anurakkhati.

Saddho sīlena sampanno, vadaññū vītamaccharo;

Niccaṃ maggaṃ visodheti, sotthānaṃ samparāyikaṃ4.

Iccete aṭṭha dhammā ca, saddhassa gharamesino;

Akkhātā saccanāmena, ubhayattha sukhāvahā.

Diṭṭhadhammahitatthāya, samparāyasukhāya ca;

Evametaṃ gahaṭṭhānaṃ, cāgo puññaṃ pavaḍḍhatī’’ti.5

Energetic in one’s profession; vigilant in one’s engagements;

Living a balanced life and protecting what one has earned;

Full of faith; endowed with Sīla; benevolent and no miser;

Continuously purifying the path and gaining blessings in future states;

These are the eight conditions for a householder full of faith;

Thus revealed by the One who is truly so called 

Are those which lead to happiness in both the states:

To happiness and welfare in this life and to happiness in the future states,

Living a householder’s life in this way generosity and merit get enhanced. 

The previous introductions along with the respective suttas focused on the importance of avoidance of unwholesome livelihood by explaining the respective rationales behind them. An ariyasāvako examines his volition and corroborates that no intention to harm evokes any negative activity; he verifies under the three aspects of ‘tikoṭiparisuddhaṃ’ that no visible negative side-effects of his livelihood and professional activity may occur6; and he establishes righteousness in all respect. So the first part of the Buddha’s advice: “Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako micchā-ājīvaṃ pahāya!” gets successfully implemented. 

The following suttas now intend to highlight support for its second part: “Sammā-ājīvena jīvitaṃ kappeti!” While the Siṅgālasutta in the preceding lesson has stressed the importance of having loyal friends, of administering to parents, teachers, family, friends, employees and ascetics the Dīghajāṇusuttaṃ designates four crucial constituents of wholesome livelihood: 

  • uṭṭhānasampadā - accomplishment of unwavering effort
  • ārakkhasampadā  - accomplishment of vigilance
  • kalyāṇamittatā - keeping beneficial friendship
  •  samajīvitā  - leading a balanced livelihood 

While the last lesson concluded by giving emphasis on the importance of staying away from the impact of evil immoral friends and companions, this lesson commences with pointing to opposite - the importance of possessing moral companions and principled friends. These kalyāṇamittā do not only play a crucial role in the lives of the Bhikkhus but do so likewise in the conduct of a layperson. Encountering and upholding such friendship will be supportive for maintaining a wholesome, good and healthy life with least disturbances. 

When Ānanda once asked the Buddha about the importance for a Bhikkhu of having virtuous friends - kalyāṇamittā7, - the Buddha replied that having virtuous people as friends, companions and colleagues actually constituted the whole of the holy life. With supportive kalyāṇamittā it could be expected that the Bhikkhu will pursue and develop the Eightfold Noble Path: “Sakalamevidaṃ, ānanda, brahmacariyaṃ, yadidaṃ– kalyāṇamittatā kalyāṇasahāyatā kalyāṇasampavaṅkatā. Kalyāṇamittassetaṃ, ānanda, bhikkhuno pāṭikaṅkhaṃ kalyāṇasahāyassa kalyāṇasampavaṅkassa– ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati.”8 The Buddha also highlighted the importance for every Bhikkhu to cultivate the qualities of a kalyāṇamitto within himself as one of the ten factors for the Dhamma to remain unblemished.9 

Likewise the Siṅgālasutta underscores how significant it is for every householder to assure beneficial friendship and loyal friends - mittā suhadā – and relates the various reasons mentioned in the previous lesson. In the same way the Dīghajāṇusuttaṃ emphasizes the value for a layman to uphold and keep wholesome friendship - kalyāṇamittatā

Now, what are the specifications of a kalyāṇamittata for a householder? The sutta describes their characteristic qualification: ...... ‘saddhāsampannā, sīlasampannā, cāgasampannā, paññāsampannā – tehi saddhiṃ santiṭṭhati sallapati sākacchaṃ samāpajjati’ - ......‘established in faith, established in sīla, established in generosity and established in pañña – with those he associates, communicates and discusses’. 

Beneficial friends serve as inspiration and support, because the layman prompts himself to be like them, he: …… ‘tries to match with the saddhā of the faithful, with the sīla of the virtuous, with the cāga of the generous and with the pañña of the wise’ – ‘yathārūpānaṃ saddhāsampannānaṃ saddhāsampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ sīlasampannānaṃ sīlasampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ cāgasampannānaṃ cāgasampadaṃ anusikkhati, yathārūpānaṃ paññāsampannānaṃ paññāsampadaṃ anusikkhati’.

That fulfilment of these four accomplishments offers the path to the final goal for any householder is corroborated in the Pattakammasuttaṃ10. Here the Buddha provides a further range of explanation in respect to paññāsampadā by pointing to the necessity to subdue all the hindrances and he concludes: ……’Vicikicchā cittassa upakkilesoti, iti viditvā vicikicchā cittassa upakkileso pahīno hoti. Ayaṃ vuccati, gahapati, ariyasāvako mahāpañño puthupañño āpātadaso11 paññāsampanno. Ayaṃ vuccati, gahapati, paññāsampadā’.12 – ‘Doubt is a great defilement of the mind, having realized doubt as mental corruption gets abandoned. This is called, householder, a Noble Disciple of great wisdom, of far reaching wisdom, one who sees what is within his range, one who is established in wisdom. This, householder, is called, paññāsampadā’.

May the troubled world of today get blessed with householders attaining this goal!

[1] uṭṭhātā: striving, exerting oneself

[2] vidhānavā: vidhāna + vā: arrangement 

[3] sambhataṃ: sam + bhataṃ: together + brought up; stored: provisions, wealth

[4] samparāyikaṃ: future state

[5] These summarizing verses conclude the present Dīghajāṇusuttaṃ, Aṅguttaranikāyo, Aṭṭhakanipātapāḷi, Dutiyapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Gotamīvaggo 

[6] see lesson 3.6.3 Parābhavasuttaṃ

[9] Bhaṇḍanasuttaṃ, Akkosavaggo, Dasakanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo

[10] Pattakammavaggo, Dutiyapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Aṅguttaranikāyo, Catukkanipātapāḷi

[11] āpātadaso: āpāta + daso: seeing what is within the range

[12] For more details here see introduction to 3.6.14 Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ cont.


Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.6.7

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Last modified: Tuesday, 9 August 2022, 6:47 PM