Part 8: THE WORLD AROUND YOU

 

8.1 Wealth and Happiness

Happiness of Ownership

A householder has wealth acquired by energetic striving, won by strength of arm and sweat of brow, justly and lawfully. When he thinks of this he gains happiness and satisfaction.

~A. II: 68


Happiness of Having Wealth

A householder has wealth justly and lawfully won, and with it he does many good deeds and experiences worldly pleasure in a respectable way. When he thinks of this he gains happiness and satisfaction.

~A. II: 68

 

Happiness of Freedom from Debt

A householder owes no debt, large or small to anyone, and when he thinks of this he gains happiness and satisfaction.

~A. II: 68

 

Happiness of Blamelessness

The noble disciple is blessed with blameless action of body, speech and mind, and when the thinks of this he gains happiness, confidence here and hereafter.

~A. II: 68

 

Four Kinds of Treasure that People Accumulate

1/ Angasama Nidhana: Utilitarian possessions for living like gold, money, valuable jewelry and other things,

2/ Jangama Nidhana: Portable possessions for use away from home like cattle and other living things,

3/ Thavara Nidhana: Immovable property e.g. land, and dwelling.

4/ Anugamika Nidhana: Store of merits that follow us like our shadow from this life to the next as inheritance (Kamma) to support us.

~Kh. 48

 

Four Kinds of People - How they Attend to Their Duties

1/ Those who look after themselves and ignore others’ welfare,

2/ Those who look after others and ignore their own welfare,

3/ Those who neglect their own as well as others’ welfare and

4/ Those who look after themselves as well as others.

~A. II: 94

 

Four Wishes Hard to Win

1/ May wealth come to me by lawful means!

2/ Being wealthy, may I, my relatives and teachers win good fame!

3/ May I, my relatives and teachers enjoy long life!

4/ After death, may I be reborn in a happy heavenly world!

Four Conditions Conducive to Fulfilling Wishes

1/ Perfection of faith (confidence in the Buddha)

2/ Perfection of virtue (observing Five Precepts)

3/ Perfection of generosity

4/ Perfection of wisdom (by clearing the mind of covetousness, malice, sloth and torpor, distraction and flurry, doubt and wavering)

~A. II: 66

 

Four Duties for One’s Own Happiness

1/ Utthana Sampada: Skillfulness, efficiency, earnestness and energy.

2/ Arakkha Sampada: Protection of income from thieves and natural disasters.

3/ Kalyana Mittata: Having reliable friends.

4/ Sama Jivikata: Spending reasonably and living within one’s means.

~A. IV: 280f

 

Nothing for You to Claim as Yours

‘So also, bhikkhus, the body is not yours, renounce it. Renouncing will be to your good, to your happiness. Feeling is not yours ... Perception is not yours ... Mental activities are not yours ... Consciousness is not yours, renounce it. Renouncing it will be to your good, to your happiness.’

~S: 22

 

Four Kinds of People - How They Mould Their Lives

Those who go from darkness to darkness: While leading a miserable life they commit more evil,

Those who go from light to darkness: While enjoying their lives with previous good kamma they commit more evil,

Those who go from darkness to light: By knowing that they are suffering in this life for their previous bad kamma, they try to cultivate nobility in their lives, and

Those who go from light to light: While experiencing a pleasurable life, they do more meritorious deeds to gain more happiness in their future lives.

~S. I: 93

 

Proper Use of Hard-earned Wealth

1/ A man contrives to make himself happy along with his parents, children and wife, servants, workmen, friends and comrades,

2/ He secures his wealth against all misfortunes,

3/ He performs his (fivefold) duties to relatives, guests, departed ones, petas, to the government, and to devas, and

4/ He offers necessities to recluses and brahmins to purify and to calm his mind.

~A: 61

 

Danger of Intoxicants

Six dangers of being addicted to liquor:

1/ Loss of wealth,

2/ Increase in quarrels,

3/ Ill-health,

4/ Loss of reputation,

5/ Indecent exposure, and

6/ Impaired intelligence.

~D. III: 182

 

Causes of Dissipating Wealth

a/ Intoxicating drink,

b/ Frequenting the streets at unseemly hours,

c/ Haunting places of ill-repute in search of sensual amusement,

d/ Gambling,

e/ Associating with evil friends, and

f/ Idleness.

~D. III: 182

 

Division of Income

The wise man divides his income into four parts:

a/ One portion he uses for his needs,

b/ Two portions for his business, and

c/ The fourth portion he saves for times of emergency.

~D. III: 188

 

8.2 Service to Others

You are Related to the World by Six Quarters

(The Cardinal Points of Your World)

East: Parents

South: Teachers

West: Wife and Children

North: Friends and companions

Nadir: Servants and work people

Zenith: Religious teachers and brahmins

~D. III: 191-192

 

A role model of a person’s relationship with society helps one to organize one’s life to maintain the best relationships with society. In fact, one has twelve relationships with society, because relating oneself to society is always reciprocal.

 

What are the Real Duties Toward Parents?

Two persons to whom you can never repay your debt. What two?

Your father and your mother. Even if you were to carry them on your back and live a hundred years, supporting them, anointing them with medicine, bathing and massaging them, cleaning them, even this would not repay them. Even if you were to give them absolute rule over the whole world, this would not repay them. And why?

Because parents do much for their children - they bring them up, nourish them, they introduce them to the world. But whoever encourages his ignorant parents to realize the truth, his immoral parents to be virtuous, his stingy parents to be generous, his foolish parents to be wise, such a one by so doing does repay, does more than repay his parents.

~A. I: 61

 

Children’s Duties to Parents

1/ Support them in every possible way,

2/ Perform those duties they have to perform,

3/ Maintain the lineage and tradition of the family, and

4/ Look after the inheritance and give alms (perform religious rites) on their behalf when they are dead.

~D. III: 189

 

Duties of Pupils to Teachers

1/ Rise from the seat (in respect),

2/ Wait upon them,

3/ Be eager to learn,

4/ Give personal service if necessary, and

5/ Pay attention when they are teaching.

~D. III: 189

 

Duties of Husband to His Wife

1/ Give her due respect; show courtesy, and

2/ Be faithful to her; provide her with adornment (jewelry) etc.

~D. III: 190

 

Duties of Wife to Her Husband

1/ Do her duties well,

2/ Show hospitality to attendants,

3/ Show her fidelity,

4/ Look after her husband’s earnings and household affairs, and

5/ Show skill and industry in all her husband’s dealings.

~D. III: 190

 

Parents’ Duties to Children

1/ Restrain them from evil,

2/ Direct them towards good,

3/ Train them in a profession,

4/ Arrange suitable marriages for them,

5/ And in due time, hand over the inheritance.

~D. III: 189

 

Duties Toward Friends and Peers

1/ Be generous,

2/ Be courteous,

3/ Be benevolent,

4/ Treat them as you treat yourself, and

5/ Be as good as your word.

~D. III: 190

 

Duties of Employer to Employees

1/ Assign them work according to their abilities,

2/ Supply them with food and wages,

3/ Attend to them in sickness,

4/ Share with them unusual delicacies, and

5/ Grant leave at correct times.

~D. III: 191

 

Duties Toward Religious Teachers

1/ Treat them with affection in gesture, speech and mind,

2/ Let your house be opened to them, and

3/ Supply their temporal needs.

~D. III: 191 

 

Duties of a Ruler

Rulers are expected to have a disposition of genuine love and care for the people at large. The king should occupy the position of a parent to his subjects. The four hospitalities explain the way the king should care for his subjects and express his good will.

1/ Dana: generosity

2/ Piya vacana: kind words

3/ Athacariya: commitment to the welfare of the people

4/ Samanattara: a sense of equality with the people

Jataka 1: 260, 399

 

How a Teacher Returns His Pupil’s Love

1/ Trains him in his speciality,

2/ Provides him with more experience in what he has studied,

3/ Thoroughly instructs him in other fields of studies,

4/ Nurture him a good reputation among friends and companions, and

5/ Provides for his safety in every quarter.

~D. III: 189

 

How Friends and Peers Express Their Love to Each Other

1/ Protect him when he is off his guard,

2/ On such occasions, guard his property,

3/ Provide him security when he is in danger,

4/ Do not forsake him when he is in trouble, and

5/ Show consideration for his family.

~D. III: 190

 

How an Employee should Show His Love to His Employer

1/ Attend to work early,

2/ Leave late after the master,

3/ Be content with the wages given,

4/ Perform duties well, and

5/ Speak in praise of the master and spread his good name.

~D. III: 191

 

How Religious Teachers Look After the Householder

1/ They restrain him from evil,

2/ They exhort him to good,

3/ They love him with kindly thought,

4/ They teach him what he had not heard,

5/ They correct and purify him when he is wrong, and

6/ They must show the correct path for him to gain happiness and salvation.

~D. III: 191 

 

Be Wise When You Serve Others

‘Do not neglect your own spiritual development and mental purity when you are going to serve others.’

~Dh: 166

 

Mind Your Own Business

‘One should not accuse, regarding the faults of others,

Those things done and left undone.’

‘One should constantly be aware of one’s own deeds, (duties) both committed an omitted.

~Dh: 50

 

Do Not Do Evil for the Sake of Anybody

‘Neither for the sake of oneself

Nor for the sake of another should one do wrong.

Not even for the sake of acquiring wealth,

Kingdom or children, should one do wrong.

One who follows this advice is indeed virtuous, wise and noble.’

~Dh:84

 

8.3 Uncertainty in Worldly Conditions

Nature of Worldly Conditions

a/ Labho: gain

b/ Alabho: loss

c/ Ayaso: ill-fame

d/ Yaso: fame

e/ Ninda: blame

f/ Pasansa: praise

g/ Sukha: happiness

h/ Dukkha: sorrow

Gain, loss and so forth take possession of the mind and hold sway there. Men welcome gain and rebel again loss, welcome fame and rebel against ill-fame. Thus, overcome by compliance and hostility, man confronts sorrow, lamentation, pain, misery and tribulation.

‘Gain, loss, fame and ill-fame,

Blame, praise, happiness and sorrow,

Impermanent are these things among men.

Not lasting but subject to change.’

~A. IV: 153

 

Four Wheels of Prosperity

The chariot of mankind and of devas moves toward development and prosperity, if it is equipped with the four wheels -

1/ Living in a suitable place,

2/ Self-discipline, and

3/ Associating with good people,

4/ Good merits done in the past.

~A. II: 31

 

Count Your Blessings

‘Health is the best gains,

Contentment is the best wealth;

A trusty friend is the best kinsman,

Nibbana is the supreme bliss.’

~Dh: 204

 

Blessing Supreme

‘Touched by the vicissitudes of the world,

Whose mind is unshaken,

Free from grief and stain,

That’s a blessing supreme.’

~SN: 268

 

Live Happily

‘Happily, indeed, do we live without hate

among the hateful,

We live free from hatred amidst hateful men’.

~Dh: 197

 

Live with Pure Mind

‘Happily indeed, do we live,

without impediments.

Feeders of joy shall we be even

as the gods of the Radiant Realms.’

~Dh: 200

 

No One is Wholly Blamed or Praised

‘Both now and in the past,

It has always been thus, O Atula!

They blame those who are silent,

They blame those who speak much,

And they blame those who speak in moderation.’

‘There is no one who is not blamed,

There never was,

There never will be;

Nor is there now,

A person who is wholly blamed or praised.’

~Dh: 227-228

 

Be Calm in Praise or Blame

‘As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind,

Even so the wise are not ruffled by praise or blame.’

~Dh: 81

 

Why Some Families Rise While Others Fall

‘Whatsoever families, monks, having attained greatness of possessions, fail to last long, because they seek not for what is lost, they repair not the decayed, they eat and drink to excess, they put in authority a woman or a man that is immoral.’

‘Whatsoever families ... fail to last long, all of them do so because of these four reasons or one or other of them.’

‘Whatsoever families, monks, do last long, all of them do so because they seek for what is lost, repair the decayed, eat and drink in moderation, and put in authority a virtuous woman or man.’

‘Whatsoever families ... do last long, all of them do so because of these four reasons or one or other of them.’

~A: 11

 

Problems in the Household Life

‘A den of strife is household life

And filled with toil and need;

But free and high as the open sky

Is the life the homeless lead.’

~SN: 35

 

Idleness Ruins Life

‘A young and strong person,

Who does not strive,

When he should strive,

Who is given to idleness,

Who is loose in his purpose and thoughts

And who is lazy -

that idler never finds the way to wisdom.’

~Dh: 155

 

The Real Fool

‘The fool who is aware of his foolishness is wise at least to that extent. But a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed.’

~Dh: 63

 

Be a Shepherd to Your Fellowmen

‘Just as a cow with a young calf, while she is pulling the grass keeps an eye on the calf - even so, monks, it is truly fitting for a man endowed with right view that he should look out for those manifold things that are to be done for his fellow beings on the Path.’

~A. I: 324

 

8.4 Happiness of the Community

Ten Kinds of Human Duties

1/ Minister to the needs of parents.

2/ Attend to the welfare of children.

3/ Cherish and look after wives.

4/ Maintain mutual understanding and strength in married life.

5/ Attend to the needs of relatives.

6/ Respect the elders.

7/ Remember the Devas and invite them to share the happiness of merits.

8/ Remember the departed ones by performing meritorious deeds and transferring the merits to them.

9/ Live up to society’s civil and moral codes.

10/ Lead a righteous way of life.

~A: 10

 

Human Beings Belong to Four Groups

1/ Those who suffer throughout their lives are as if in hell.

2/ Those who lead a miserable and unfortunate existence are as if in the suffering spirit world.

3/ Those who suffer from fear and harbor anger are like animals.

4/ Those who lead respectable lives by upholding human dignity are real human beings.

~Puggala Pannatti

 

Seven Conditions for a Community’s Growth

1/ Hold well-attended gatherings frequently.

2/ Assemble and disperse peacefully.

3/ Enact or repeal laws constitutionally.

4/ Respect and seek the counsel of elders.

5/ Uphold the honor of women and maidens.

6/ Respect and honor existing places of worship as their forefathers have done.

~D. II: 74-75

 

Duties to Fulfill for Gaining Higher Achievements

Ten factors nourish the ten things that are desirable, liked, charming and hard to win in the world.

1/ Energy and exertion nourish wealth.

2/ Finery and adornment nourish beauty.

3/ Doing things at the proper time nourishes health.

4/ Healthy friendship nourishes virtue.

5/ Restraint of the senses nourishes the holy life.

6/ Not quarreling nourishes friendship.

7/ Repetition nourishes great knowledge.

8/ Lending an ear and asking questions nourishes wisdom.

9/ Study and examination nourish the teachings.

10/ Living rightly nourishes rebirth in the heavenly worlds.

~A. V: 136

 

The Cause of Fighting is Nothing but Selfish Craving

‘Verily, due to selfish craving,

Conditioned through selfish craving,

Impelled by selfish craving,

Entirely moved by selfish craving,

Kings fight with kings,

Princes with princes,

Priests with priests,

Citizens with citizens,

Mother quarrels with son,

Son with father,

Brother quarrels with sisters,

Sister with brothers,

And friends quarrel with friends.

Thus given dissension, quarreling and fighting,

They fall upon one another with fists,

sticks, or weapons.

And thereby they suffer death or deadly pain.’

~M. I: 86

 

Rulers Must Be Righteous

‘When kine (cattle) are crossing, if the bull goes straight,

They all go straight because his course is straight.

So among men, if he who’s reckoned best

Lives righteously, the others do so too.

The whole realm dwells in happiness

If the ruler lives aright.’

~A. II: 75; GS. II: 85

 

Attend to the Sick

The Buddha set a noble example by attending to the sick Himself and exhorting His disciples with the memorable words:

‘He who ministers unto the sick ministers unto me.’

~VIN. IV: 301

 

Brahma (God) and Parents

‘Brahma, monks, is a term for mother and father. ‘First teacher’, monks, is a name for mother and father. ‘Worthy of offerings’, monks, is a term for mother and father. Because mother and father do much for their children; they bring them up, nourish and introduce them to the world.’

~A. I.: 131

 

8.5 Antagonism

Hatred Never Ceases by Hatred

‘In this world,

hatred can never be appeased by hatred.

Hatred can only be appeased by love.

This is the Eternal Law.’

~Dh: 5

 

Kill Your Anger

‘Slay anger and you will be happy.

Slay anger and you will not sorrow.

For the slaying of anger in all its forms

With its poisoned root and sweet sting -

That is the slaying the nobles praise.

With anger slain one weeps no more.’

~S. I: 161

 

Anger is Ugly

‘How ugly is the angry man!

His sleep is without comfort;

Despite his wealth he is always poor.

Filled by anger as he is,

He wounds by acts of body and speech.’

~A. IV: 96

 

With Whom do You Get Angry?

a/ My good friend, in getting angry with this man, with what are you angry?

b/ Are you angry with the hairs of his body?

c/ Or nails, bones, flesh, skin, etc?

d/ Or are you angry with the four elements of his body, namely, earth, water, fire and air?

e/ Or with the five aggregates of forms, feeling, perception, mental elements and consciousness?

f/ Or are you angry with his five sense faculties or their activities?’

~VISM.

 

How Does Anger Arise?

By thinking:

a/ So-and-so has done me harm,

b/ He is doing me harm,

c/ He is going to do me harm,

d/ So-and-so has done harm to those who are dear to me,

e/ He is doing harm to those who are dear to me,

f/ He is going to do harm to those who are dear to me,

g/ So-and-so has done good to those who are against me,

h/ He is doing good to those who are against me,

i/ He is going to do good to those who are against me, and

j/ Besides the above, anger arises without any particular reason.

In order to control anger arisen, one has to think in the manner:

‘So-and-so has done harm to me. It can’t be helped. Possibly, it is his act, not mine. Anger should not arise in me because of him.’ He should also stop the anger that arises without any particular reason.

The last one, groundless anger seems hard to control. It is not aimed at a particular individual. People get angry at trivial things; for thing it is meaningless to be angry at things, one has to stop that habit right away through mindfulness.

~A. V: 150-151

 

Thoughts of an Ill-tempered Person

‘Monks, seven things gratify and help an enemy wishing ill to befall a woman or a man who is angry.’

1/ An angry person wishes for his enemy -

‘Let him be ugly.’

Since he is overwhelmed by anger and subjected to anger, he becomes ugly though he may live well-dressed and adorned.

2/ Then he wishes -

‘Let him live with suffering.’

Despite an angry person being equipped with all sorts of luxuries, he lives with suffering because he is subjected to anger.

3/ Again he thinks -

‘Would that he might not prosper.’

Assuming he thinks rightly, in fact he thinks negatively. That conduces to his suffering and misfortune for many a day.

4/ He wishes for his enemy -

‘Let him have no wealth.’

Even though he earns some wealth by hard labor, it will be taken back by the state because of anger.

5/ Further he wishes -

‘Let my enemy have no fame.’

Thus being over-whelmed by anger, even if he had won trivial fame before, he becomes derived of it because of anger.

6/ He thinks of his rival -

‘Let him be without friends.’

But, all his relatives and friends avoid him, because he is ill-tempered.

7/ Then he wishes -

‘Let my enemy be reborn in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, even in hell.’

But this person motivated by anger, misconduct’s himself in deed, in word and thought. Having such an attitude in the mind, he will be reborn in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, even in hell.

‘These, monks, are seven things which are gratifying and helpful to an enemy.’

~A. IV: 93f

 

How to Face an Angry Man

‘For the mindful one there is always good;

For the mindful one happiness increases,

For the mindful one things go better,

Yet he is not freed from enemies.

But he who both day and night

Takes delight in harmlessness,

Sharing love with all that live,

Finds enmity with none.

Knowing that the other person is angry,

One who remains mindful and calm,

Acts for his own best interest

And for the other’s interest, too.’

~SN: 266

 

Overcome Your Resentment

1/ Loving kindness should be developed towards a person with whom resentment arises -

This is how resentment for that person should be counteracted.

2/ Compassion should be developed towards a person with whom resentment arises -

This is how resentment for that person should be counteracted.

3/ Equanimity should be developed towards a person with whom resentment arises -

This is how resentment for that person should be counteracted.

4/ The forgetting and ignoring of a person with whom resentment arises should be practiced - This is how resentment for that person should be counteracted.

5/ Ownership of kamma should be reflected on in respect of a person with whom resentment arises, in this way -

He is the owner of his kamma,

heir to his kamma,

born of his kamma,

related to his kamma,

abides and supported by his kamma,

whatever kamma he will do,

whether good or evil,

of that he will be the heir.

This is how resentment for that person should be counteracted.

~A. III: 185

 

How to Overcome Resentment

1/ Think of some good qualities in him,

2/ Talk with him gently and politely,

3/ Think that you are also going to create bad kamma by harboring enmity towards him, and

4/ Think that by polluting you own mind through enmity, you harm yourself too.

~The Author

 

Be Gentle and Tranquil

‘A certain monk is very gentle, very tranquil so long as disagreeable ways of speech do not assail him. But when disagreeable ways of speech assail the monk it is then that he is to be called gentle, is to be called tranquil.’

~ M. I: 126

 

Be Like the Earth

‘Monks, as a man might come along bringing a shovel and basket, and might speak thus: “I will make this great earth not earth”, so he digs here and there, tosses it here and there, spits here and there, stales here and there, thinking, “You are becoming not-earth, you are becoming not-earth.” Could that man make this great earth not-earth?’

‘No, Lord. This great earth is deep, it is immeasurable, it is not easy to make it not-earth.’

‘Herein, monks, you should train yourselves thus: “Neither will our minds become perverted nor will we utter an evil speech, but kindly and compassionately will we dwell, with a mind like the earth - that whole world with a mind like the earth - far-reaching, widespread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence.”’

~M. I: 127

 

Let Your Mind be Like the Sky

A man might come along bringing various colors and might speak thus:

‘I will draw material shapes in the sky and make them appear.’

‘Could that man make material shapes appear in the sky?’

‘No, Lord, the sky is without shape, it is viewless.’

‘Train yourself, monks, “We will live having suffused the whole world with a mind like the sky, widespread, immeasurable, without enmity.”’

~M. I: 128

 

Be Free from Enmity

A man might come bringing a burning grass-torch and might speak thus:

‘I, with this burning grass-torch will set fire to the river Ganges, I will make it scorch up.’

‘Could that man set fire to the river Ganges?’

‘No, Lord, river Ganges is deep, it is immeasurable. It is not possible to set fire with a burning grass-torch.’

‘Train yourself, monks, “We will live having suffused the whole world with a mind like the river Ganges,... without enmity.”’

~M. I: 128

 

Parable of the Saw

‘Monks, as cruel thieves might carve one limb from limb with a double-handled saw, yet even then whoever sets his mind at enmity, he, for this reason, is not a follower of my teaching.’

‘Monks, consider frequently this parable of the saw.

~M. I: 129

 

8.6 Friends

Better to Live Alone in the Absence of a Trustworthy Companion

‘If you can find a trustworthy companion

With whom to walk, both virtuous and steadfast,

Then walk with him, content and mindfully,

And overcoming any threat of danger.

If you can find no trustworthy companion

With whom to walk, both virtuous and steadfast,

Then, as a king who leaves a vanquished kingdom,

Walk like a tusker in the woods alone.

Better it is to walk alone.

There is no fellowship with fools.

Walk alone, harm none, and know no conflict;

Be like a tusker in the woods alone.’

~M. III: 154

 

Selfish Love is the Cause of All Our Problems

‘Sorrow and mourning in the world,

Or suffering of every sort,

Happen because of one’s selfish love,

But happen not when there is none.

Happy are they and sorrowless

That have no selfish love in the world

Whoso seeks the sorrowless dispassion,

Should have no selfish love in the world.’

~Ud: 92

 

Seven Qualities of a Good Friend

1/ He gives what is hard to give.

2/ He does what is hard to do.

3/ He bears what is hard to bear.

4/ He reveals his own secret.

5/ He keeps others’ secrets.

6/ He does not leave the friend who is in distress.

7/ He does not despise when the friend is ruined.

~A. IV: 30

 

Real Good Friends

‘What is a good friend to the wayfarer?

What is the good friend living at home?

What is a good friend where need has risen?

What is a good friend in the life to come?’

‘Companion is a good friend to the wayfarer,

Mother is the good friend living at home,

A comrade’s help where there has risen need,

Is a good friend and yet again,

And meritorious deeds wrought by one’s self: -

That is a good friend in the life to come.’

~S. I: 36

 

Avoid Selfish Friends

‘A friend who always wants to take.

A friend who says but doesn’t do.

A friend who uses flattering words.

A friend who joins you in wrong -

These four friends are really foes

And 1 who is wise, having understood this

will avoid them from afar

As if they were a dangerous road.’

~D. III: 186

 

Associate with Reliable Friends

‘A friend who always lends a hand.

A friend in both sorrow and joy.

A friend who offers good counsel.

And a friend who sympathies too -

These are four kinds of true friends

And 1 who is wise, having understood this

Will always cherish and serve such friends

Just as a mother tends her only child.’

~D. III: 187

 

How to Become a Righteous Friend

The King, Kosala Pasenadi, was advised by the Exalted One:

‘If you lead a diligent life, court ladies will say: “Our king is diligent. Let us live likewise.”’

‘Your court nobles, country men, will follow the same. Living in diligence, yourself will be guarded and preserved, also your house of women, your treasury and store houses.’

Becoming diligent, benefits oneself and others. Diligence is the way to become a good friend to others.

~S. I: 88

 

The Noble Dhamma is Reserved for Righteous Friends

‘The Noble Dhamma is well-proclaimed by me (the Exalted One). It is for him, who is an intimate, an associate of that which is righteous. But it is not for one who associates with the wicked.’

~S. I: 87

 

A Religious Life

Venerable Ananda:

‘Half of this life in religion consists in righteous friendship, righteous intimacy, righteous association.’

The Exalted One:

‘Not so, Ananda! The whole of this life in religion consists in righteous friendship, righteous intimacy, righteous association.’

~S. I: 88; S. V: 2

 

The Friend Most Superior

‘It is because, I (the Tathagata) am a friend of what is righteous that beings liable to rebirth are delivered from rebirth. Beings liable to aging, sickness, death, grief, sorrow and suffering are relieved from them.’

~S. I: 88

 

The Advantages of Genuine Friendship - Mittanisamsa

He who maintains genuine friendship (truthfulness and loyalty towards friends) will, whenever he goes far out of his home:

a/ Receive abundant hospitality. Many others will be benefited through him.

b/ Be honored by whatever country, village or town he visits.

c/ Not be overpowered by robbers. Royalty will not look down upon him - he will triumph over all his enemies.

d/ Return home with feelings of amity, rejoice in the assemblies of people and become the chief among his kinsmen.

e/ Receive hospitality for being hospitable to others; being respectful of others he will receive respect. He will enjoy both praise and fame.

f/ Receive gifts for being a giver himself. Being respectful to others, he himself is respected and so gains prosperity.

g/ Gain a good reputation and be radiant as a deity. Never will prosperity forsake him.

h/ Attract much wealth. What is sown in the field will flourish. The fruit of that which is sown he will enjoy.

i/ Be protected and come off unharmed from accidents or dangers.

j/ Not be overthrown by enemies just as the deeply rooted banyan tree cannot be overturned by the wind.

~J. VI: 10

 

Blind World

‘Blind is the world

Few are those who clearly see

As birds escape from a net

Few go to a blissful state.’

~Dh: 174

 

Poverty Can Become the Cause of Crimes

a/ The economic condition of the people should be improved;

b/ Grain and other facilities for agriculture should be provided for farmers and cultivators;

c/ Capital should be provided for those traders’ engaged in business;

d/ Adequate wages should be aid to those who are employed

e/ When people are thus provided for with opportunities for earning a sufficient income, they will be contented, will have no fear or anxiety,

f/ And consequently the country will be peaceful and free from crime.

~D.: 26

 

The Real Friends

Your persons should be reckoned as foes in the likeness of friends: the rapacious person; the man who pays lip service only to a friend; the flatterer; the wastrel.

a/ Of these the finest is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend on four grounds: he is rapacious; he gives little and expects much; he does what he has to do out of fear; he pursues his own interests.

b/ On four grounds the man who pays lip-service only to a friend is to be reckoned: as a foe in the likeness of a friend he makes friendly professions as regards the past; he makes friendly professions as regards the future; the only service he renders is by his empty sayings; when the opportunity for service arises he shows his unreliability.

c/ On the four grounds the flatterer is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: he approves your bad deeds, as well as your good deeds; he praises you to your face, and in your absence he speaks ill of you.

d/ On four grounds the wastrel is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: he is your companion when you go drinking; when you frequent the streets at untimely hours; when you haunt shows and fairs; when you gamble.

e/ The friends who should be reckoned as good-hearted (friends) are four: the helper; the friend who is constant in happiness and adversity, the friend of good counsel, the sympathetic friend.

f/ The friend who is helper is to be reckoned as good hearted on four grounds: he protects you when you are taken unawares; he protects your property when you no there to protect it; he is a refuge to you when you are afraid; when you have tasks to perform he provides twice as much help as you may need.

g/ The friend who is constant in happiness and adversity is to be reckoned as good-hearted on four grounds: he tells you his secrets, he does not betray your secrets, in your troubles he does not forsake you; for your sake he will even lay down his life.

h/ The friend of good counsel is ... good-hearted on four grounds: he retrains you from doing wrong; he enhoins you to (do what is) right, from him you learn what you had not learnt before; he shows you the way to heaven.

i/ The friend who is sympathetic is to be reckoned as good-hearted on four grounds: he does not rejoice over your misfortunes; he rejoices with you in your prosperity; he restrains those who speak ill of you; he commends those who speak well of you.

~D. Sigalovada Sutta

 

 

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