English translation 3.6.7

3.6.7 Earning One’s Bread by the Sweat of Ones’s Brow Honestly*

At one time the Bhagavā was dwelling amongst the Koliyan at the Koliyān-area near a town named Kakkarapattaṃ. There a young Kolian by the name of Dīghajāṇu approached the Bhagavā, having approached he greeted the Bhagavā respectfully and sat down at one side. Having sat down at one side Dīghajāṇu, the young Kolian adressed the Bhagavā: “We are, Bhante, householders, living a life of enjoyment in sensual pleasures, being engaged with family responsibilities, are enjoying sandalwood from Kāsi, are adorning ourselves with garlands, scents and perfumes and receive gold and silver. May, O’Bhante, the Bhagavā teach the Dhamma to us for our welfare and happiness in this very life and for our welfare and happiness in the next life!”

“There are four constituents, Byagghapajja, that lead to the welfare and happiness of a clansman in this very life. What are the four? 

They are: accomplishment of unwavering effort, accomplishment of vigilance, upholding beneficial friendship and leading a balanced livelihood.

What is accomplishment of steadfast effort? Here, Byagghapajja, in which ever way a clansman earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by employment under the king, or by any other kind of craft — he performs these skillful and diligently. Established in the ability to discriminate proper methods he fulfills and arranges his duties. This, Byagghapajja is called the accomplishment of steadfast effort.

What is the accomplishment of vigilance?

Here, Byagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder posesses, having obtained it by his vigorous effort, collected by the strength of his arm, by the sweat of his brow, honest and acquired by righteous means — that he protects well by guarding and watching it: ‘May neither kings seize it, thieves not steal it, fire not damage it, nor water drown it, nor inimical heirs remove it. This, Byagghapajja is the accomplishment of vigilance.

What is upholding beneficial friendship?

Here, Byagghapajja, in whatsoever village or town a householder may dwell, with whatever householders or their sons, either young and well established in morality or old and well established in morality, established in faith, established in sīla, generous and established in pañña – with those he associates, communicates and discusses. 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. This, Byagghapajja, is called upholding beneficial friendship.

What is a balanced livelihood?

Here, Byagghapajja, a clansman knowing his income and his expenses fully well he leads a balanced life, neither living in excess nor niggardly, by thinking: ‘Thus my income will maintain excess over my expenses and my expenses will not exceed my income’. It is just like, Byagghapajja, an appraiser or an appraiser’s apprentice when holding a scale knows very well: ‘By that much it is bending down, by that much it is moving up’, in the same way a clansman knowing his income and his expenses fully well leads a balanced life, neither living in excess nor niggardly, by thinking: ‘Thus my income will maintain excess over my expenses and my expenses will not exceed my income’.

If this clansman, Byagghapajja, leads a life in excess, one will say about him: ‘This clansman eats up his wealth like an eater of figs’. If he leads a life too miserly, one will say about him: ‘This clansman starves himself to death’. Therefore, Byagghapajja, a clansman knowing his income and his expenses leads a balanced life, neither living in excess nor niggardly, thinking: ‘Thus my income will stand in excess of my expenses and my expenses will not exceed my income.’ This is what is called, Byagghapajja, leading a balanced livelihood.
Likewise, Byagghapajja, wealth that has been accumulated has four sources of corruption. These are: being obsessed with women; getting addicted to drinking; getting addicted to gambling and upholding evil friendship, maintaining corrupt company and endorsing unwholesome comradeship. It is just like a large water-reservoir which has four inlets and four outlets. A man would block the inlets but open the outlets, and sufficient rains were not supplied. In the same way, Byagghapajja, that one can expect that large water-reservoir to decrease and not to increase, likewise wealth that has been accumulated has four sources of corruption: being obsessed with women; getting to drinking; getting addicted to gambling and upholding evil friendship, maintaining bad company and endorsing unwholesome comradeship.

Likewise, Byagghapajja, wealth that has been accumulated has four sources of increase.

These are: avoiding womanizing; avoiding drinking; avoiding gambling and upholding supportive friendship, maintaining good company and endorsing wholesome comradeship. It is just like a large water-reservoir which has four inlets and four outlets. A man would open the inlets but block the outlets, and sufficient rains were supplied. In the same way, Byagghapajja, that one can expect the large water-reservoir to increase and not to decrease, likewise wealth that has been accumulated has four sources of increase: avoiding womanizing; avoiding drinking; avoiding gambling and upholding good friendship, maintaining good company and endorsing wholesome comradeship.

These are the four things, Byagghapajja, if developed by a clansman lead to wellfare in this very life and lead to happiness in this very life.

There are four further qualities, Byagghapajja, that if developed by a clansman lead to welfare in the next life and lead to happiness in the next life. What are the four? They are accomplishment in saddhā, accomplishment in sīla, accomplishment in cāga and accomplishment in pañña

And what, Byagghapajja, is accomplishment in saddhā? Here, Byagghapajja, a clansman upholds full faith. He is devotedly endowed in the faith of the Buddha’s enlightenment thus: ‘Such truly is he, the Bhagavā, freed from impurities, having destroyed all mental defilements, fully enlightened by his own efforts, perfect in theory and in practice, having reached the final goal, knower of the entire universe, incomparable trainer of men, teacher of gods and humans, the Buddha, the Blessed One’. This, Byagghapajja, is called: Accomplishment in saddhā.

And what, Byagghapajja, is accomplishment in sīla? Here, Byagghapajja, a clansman having abandoned killing, lives a life abstaining from the destruction of life. Having abandoned taking what is not given he lives a life abstaining from what is not given. Having abandoned sexual misconduct he lives a life abstaining from sexual misconduct. Having abandoned false speech he lives a life abstaining from lying. Having abandoned drinking liquor, wine or other besotting drink that cause negligence he lives a life abstaining from liquor, wine or other besotting drink as opportunity for heedlessness. That, Byagghapajja, is what is called accomplishment in sīla.

And what, Byagghapajja, is accomplishment in cāga? Here, Byagghapajja, a clansman lives in a house with his mind freed from the stain of stinginess, freely generous, openhanded, taking pleasure in giving, devoted to charity and joyfully sharing and donating. That, Byagghapajja, is what is called accomplishment in in cāga.

And what, Byagghapajja, is accomplishment in pañña? Here, Byagghapajja, a clansman has wisdom; he is endowed with the wisdom related to arising and passing, which is noble, conducive to penetration and leading to the destruction of all suffering. That, Byagghapajja, is what is called accomplishment in pañña.  

These are the four qualities, Byagghapajja, that if developed by a clansman lead to welfare in the next life and lead to happiness in the next life.

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Dīghajāṇusuttaṃ: Dīghajāṇu + suttaṃ: Dīghajāṇu + sutta


Last modified: Wednesday, 4 May 2016, 3:14 PM