Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: HT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Household Life

25/06/202016:22(Xem: 1970)
Household Life

duc the ton 34a

HOUSEHOLD LIFE

Ven. Balangoda Anandamaitreya

A talk given at Dharmavaijaya Vihara, in Los Angeles,
on 2nd October 1990

Some scholars who have read very little of Buddhist literature have stated that Buddhism is a religion meant only for persons that have renounced household life. Still others have tried to show it as a kind of pessimistic religion. Some others due to their prejudice or poor knowledge of Buddhism, have tried from their opinionatedness to prove that Buddhism is a kind of religion hostile to worldly progress.

But the unprejudiced and broad-minded scholars have honestly and openly praised it and declared its greatness and practicability for every stage of life. One of the great Pali scholars, the late Mrs. Rhys Davids has said in the introduction to the English translation of Sigalovada-suttanta in Digha-nikaya:

“This Suttanta is called the Vinaya of the Houseman. Hence… in one who practises what he has been taught in it, growth is to be looked for, and not decay, and truly we may say even now of this Vinaya, or the code of discipline, so fundamental are the human interests involved, so sane and wide is the wisdom that envisages them, that the utterances are as fresh and practically as binding today and here as they were then at Rajagaha. Happy would have been the village or the clan on the banks of the Ganges, where the people were full of the kindly spirit of fellow-feeling, the noble spirit of justice which breathes through these naïve and simple sayings. Not less happy would be the village, or the family on the banks of the Thames today, of which this could be said”.

This world is like a school in which there are beings of varied mental levels. A teacher uses toys and pictures and the like when he teaches the children of the kindergarten section. To the boys of the middle forms are taught lessons suitable to their standard. To the students of the highest forms are taught lessons dealing with higher subjects like higher mathematics etc.

The Lord Buddha saw the world as a school of many forms and gave his instructions suitable to the mental levels of his hearers.

One day a poor Brahmin came to the Lord Buddha and said “Master Gautama, I am a poor person and am going to a distant city seeking a job with a view to earn some wealth. Will you kindly give me some instruction in order to be successful in my job.” The Lord agreed and instructed him on the way to success in his works. Some time passed and the Brahmin returned as a man of riches.

On another occasion the Lord on his tour of service to the world arrived at a village called Veludvara-gama. The villagers came to him and said “Lord, we are householders following varied jobs for maintenance of our families, and thereby we are full of responsibilities. We have no time to devote to higher religious practices. We expect from you some instructions only for two things, to live our present life in peace and to be born into a happy state after death.”

The Lord saw their mental tendency and gave an instruction suiting their need.

Now let us see what the Lord has said concerning the accumulation of wealth.

One day the Lord addressed Anathapindika, one of his lay devotees, and said:

“Householder, there are five merits of earning wealth. What are the five?

A wealthy person can live a healthy, happy and long life supplying all his needs. This is the first merit of the wealth.

A wealthy person can look after his parents when they are sick or old or in need of his support. This is the second merit of the wealth.

A wealthy person can support his wife and children supplying all their needs, This is the third merit of the wealth.

A wealthy person can help his relatives, friends, servants and others. This is the fourth merit of the wealth.

There are recluses and priests who have given up household life and devoted their time for higher religious practices. As they depend on the support of the laity, a wealthy person could support them and become a sharer of their virtues which would conduce him to be born into a happy state after death. This is the fifth merit of wealth.”

In the Mangala Sutta the Lord has expounded 38 beatitudes out of which, to look after parents, is an important one which has been mentioned in the Sutta in his own words as “Mata-pitu-upatthanam”. The next one is “Putta-darassa sangaho” which means “To look after wife and children is a beatitude.”

Natakananca sangaho” to treat relatives and friends is another beatitude.

In many a place the Lord has advised his followers of “Ubhayattha-patipada” to work for the well being both of oneself and of others.

According to some religions it is hard for a rich man to enter heaven. But according to Buddhism it is easier for a rich man to enter heaven, if he properly spends his wealth, fulfilling his duties. It is not wealth but miserliness and other wrong ways that obstruct the way to heaven. So the Lord Buddha said:

Na ve kadariya – deva – lokam vajanti” which means “Certainly the miserly cannot go to heaven (whether they are rich or poor).”

The Lord praising the wealthy who are generous has said:

Datva ca bhutva ca yathanubhavam Anindito saggamupeti thanam

This means “The generous rich man gives or helps others and enjoys himself, too, and is praised here and will go to heaven after death.”

Now the question is “How should one earn wealth? What has the Lord said about it?”

In many a discourse like Ujjaya-SuttaVyagghapajja – SuttaSigalovada – Sutta, instructions for being successful in earning wealth, as expounded by the Lord, have been mentioned in detail.

One day Vyagghapajja the Koliyan asked the lord for some instruction concerning success in life here and hereafter. The Lord instructed him on how to be successful and happy in both the lives.

“To be successful in business and other affairs in this life, the Lord said, ‘a person should be endowed with four things’ namely Utthana-sampadaarakkha-sampadakalyanamittata and samajivikata. Here the first one is utthana sampada which means ‘achievement of indefatigable effort.’ A businessman should be energetic and active. He should try to live closer to the nature, not fearing slight cold, slight heat, slight rain and the like. Sometimes he may fail in his effort, due to obstacles, but by that much he should not loose his courage. He should try over and over again. At last he will be successful. ‘At every step’, the Lord said, “he should be mindful, far-seeing and cautious.”

The second thing a businessman should be possessed of has been expounded by the word “arakkha-sampada” which means “the achievement of awareness”. This implies to be careful in not wasting what one earns. The Lord said that there were many ways which would bring decay to one’s wealth and therefore one should be careful and vigilant in keeping one’s wealth. Sometimes fire or flood and the like might consume his wealth. Sometimes one’s ill-disposed heirs would try to take away one’s wealth. If one falls into bad habits of gambling, debauchery in sex and drunkenness, before long one would be dragged down to poverty. One should be loyal to the government, otherwise one’s wealth would possibly be confiscated. As there are so many ways to a person’s degradation, he must be vigilant and very careful in not wasting his wealth.

The third thing an earner should be possessed of is “Kalyana – mittata” which means, to have good companions, who instruct, help and encourage him in carrying out his business. Suppose he could not find out good companions, then he should be careful not to fall into association with persons of evil ways. It is better to keep oneself to oneself and carry out one’s business alone.

No ce labhetha nipakam sahayam… eko care khagga-visana-kappo” is the Lord’s advice, which means “If you could not find a good companion, go on alone like a unicorn, and never have contact with a bad companion.”

A person’s kind parents and relatives or teachers, monks, recluses or priests, whosoever are wise and compassionate, who hope his success are his good friends or companions.

The fourth point is “Samajivikata” which means ‘even or simple way of living’. A person who continues his business should spend his money very carefully. His expenditure should not exceed his income. A salesman who carries his scales, when he holds up the balance is watchful and sees that by so much it had dipped down or by so much it has tilted up. In the same way a person who follows any kind of business must be watchful so that his expenditure should not exceed his income, otherwise he would be unsuccessful in his effort. If a person with small income imitates thee ways of rich men of high income and tries to live on a grand scale, he will not be able to continue long the same way and fall into insolvency and his business will be a failure. Therefore the lord advised every earner to live his life as simple as possible. This does not mean that he should live meanly. If his income is great and if he lives meanly as a stingy person, his effort in earning wealth is useless. In his expending he should be neither too high nor two low. This is what the Lord has meant by ‘even way of living’.

In Sigalakovada-sutta (in Digha-nikaya), we see the Lord’s advice to youth Sigalaka with reference to using one’s income in the following stanza:

“Ekena bhoge bhunjeyya, dvihi kamman payojaye. Catutthm ca nidhapeyya, apadasu bhavissati.”

“Let him divide the income into four portions. Out of the four, one portion should be used for his daily expenses. Two portions should be used for the progression of his business. One portion should be deposited carefully for the use in future in the case of any failure or bankruptcy.”

The Lord has never praised poverty. He has said “Daliddiyam dukkham loke kamabhogino” which means “Poverty is an ordeal for a person living a household life who enjoys pleasures”.

Thus the Lord’s advice to householders was to try to earn wealth and to spend it in proper way and thus to live a useful life.

Speaking about the merchant who would be successful in this business the Lord said:

“A salesman should know the quality of goods he buys, he should know their price and the amount of profit he gains on the sale of those goods. He should be skilled in the art of buying and selling. He should be honest and trustworthy so that highly rich persons would deposit their money under his care.

On another occasion the Lord said that a trader should be active in his business throughout all the three parts of the daytime: morning, noon and afternoon and that if he be inactive and lazy he would not be successful.

There are some Persons, simple-living and contented with a little amount of income. They do not want to become rich as they like to live a simple life But if a person expects to do a great service, to help the people who are in need of his help, he should try to earn much wealth by right means, he should be virtuous and energetic. A real follower of the Lord, that expects to earn wealth, will certainly be a rich man before long, if he vigilantly follows the Lord’s instructions.

Once when the Lord visited the village Pataligama, he addressed his lay devotees and said that the really virtuous person was vigilant and energetic and thereby would be successful in his business and earn a great mass of wealth.

According to Buddhism, poverty may be a result either of a past Karma or of a present Karma or of the both. But most of such Karmas can be suppressed and overcome by wise and far-seeing steps one takes at present life.

“Atthekaccani pap-kammani payoga-sampatti-patibalhani”. “There are certain unwholesome karmas which can be suppressed and overcome by means of wise and strong steps taken in this life (Mahaniddesa). Most often it depends on the present situation that a past Karma good or bad rises up and finds opportunity to give its result. Therefore the effort that is made at present is the pre-eminant cause of a person’s progress or failure in the case of the majority of people. “Utthahatha ma pamadattha (get up, loiter not) is the Lord Buddha’s frequent advice to the world.

Let us see further what the Lord Buddha has said concerning wealth and other necessities of life.

“Brethren, these ten things desirable, pleasing and charming, are hard to achieve in this world. What are the ten” Wealth, brethren, is desirable, pleasing and charming, but hard to achieve in the world. Beauty…, health…, virtues…, holy religious life…, true friends…, erudition… wisdom… genuine Dhamma… to be born in heavens…, each of these things is desirable, pleasing and charming, but hard to achieve.”

“Brethren, to these ten things desirable, pleasing and charming and hard to achieve in the world, ten things are obstacles. What ten? Laziness and lack of activity is the obstacle to wealth. Lack of finery and lack of adornment are the obstacles to beauty. Following unhygienic ways is the obstacle to health. Association with persons of foul character is the obstacle to virtues. Unrestraint of senses is the obstacle to life of holy celibacy. Deceiving is the obstacle to friends. Lack of recitation and re-reading is the obstacle to erudition. Not to listen and not to ask question sis the obstacle to wisdom. Lack of practice and contemplation is the obstacle to achievement of true. Dhamma. Getting on to evil way is the obstacle to birth in heavens.”

A person who expects to achieve success either in the worldly or in the religious life should get out of and avoid these obstacles and follow the way of growth and success as follows:

The Lord said:

“Brethren, by increasing in ten growths the Aryan disciple (a noble lay follower of a Buddha) grows in the Aryan growth, takes hold of the essential, takes hold of the best for his person. What ten? He grows in landed property, in wealth and granary, children and wife in servants and workmen, in four-footed beasts (i.e. cattle and sheep); he grows in faith, and virtue, in erudition and in generosity and wisdom.”

Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
03/05/2021(Xem: 6478)
One day, Little Pebble went to his teacher, and said, ‘Master, my friend’s dog Tiger died.’ The look on Little Pebble’s face told the old monk that he was troubled. ‘Little one, do you have any questions?’ ‘Master, where did Tiger go?’ ‘Where did you come from?’ asked the old monk. ‘From my mummy’s tummy.’ ‘And where did Mummy come from?’ Little Pebble couldn’t think of an answer. The Master regarded his young disciple for a moment, then said, ‘Remember, when you made shapes with mud and named them Mummy, Daddy, Master?’
03/05/2021(Xem: 4533)
“Calling forth the Great Compassion, we are one with our True Nature; that which is directly Buddha, also indirectly Buddha. Oneness with the Triple Treasure, endless, joyous, perfect being. Morning thought is Kuan-Shih-Yin, evening thought is Kuan-Shih-Yin. All present thoughts arise from Mind, no thought exists apart from Mind.” These are the words of the Ten Verse Life-Prolonging Kuan-Yin Sutra. Who is reciting them? A few blocks away, an old man is crying out for help and someone hears. He is a brother, sister, father, mother from a previous life. A phone is picked up and then there are footsteps running towards the sound, “Help me! Help...” Someone sees the old man sitting on the top step, near the front door of his house.
03/05/2021(Xem: 4831)
No past, no present, no future. All created things arise and pass away. All names and labels dissolve. You can observe this in meditation practice and, in experiencing impermanence in life and so-called death. At the conclusion of the Diamond Sutra, it is said that, this is how we should view our conditioned existence: as a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.
03/05/2021(Xem: 4139)
Today I sit alone in a house. The government of the country in which I live has requested that I stay here in isolation for the health and safety of the community both here and abroad. Countless others are doing the same thing, except that some call it a forced lock down, or an obstacle to their free movement. I see this as an opportunity to practice. The Buddha taught that the suffering connected with birth, sickness, old age and death is a fact of life for sentient beings in Samsara. But so is the possibility of transcendence from Samsaric suffering. So, for a practitioner, the question is not just “Why?” but also “How?” Why do I/we suffer and, how do I/we overcome suffering? The answer to the former is found in intuitively recognizing (the 3 Poisons): harmful habits of attachment, anger and ignorance; and the answer to the latter lies in resolving to study and practice the Noble Eightfold Path (the antidote) and, fully realizing Buddhahood for the benefit of a
03/05/2021(Xem: 4162)
In the Dhammapada, the Buddha says, “What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.” The Covid-19 pandemic has given many millions of people worldwide time to reflect on their lives and habits of thought, speech and action. I know quite a few who have found a refuge of peace in their gardens. Cultivating, planting seeds, adding water and nutrients all help in maintaining a healthy garden. They are also a necessary part in taking care of our bodies. But what about the mind? Generosity, ethics, loving-kindness, compassion, meditative concentration and wisdom are the food for our inner spiritual garden. Without them there is no harvest, no fruit of Awakening, Buddhahood.
03/05/2021(Xem: 3793)
As a child my parents encouraged questions, as did my Heart Lama. However, the latter person gave me two questions to ask before speaking: “will what I am wanting to say, and the way I say it, be helpful or harmful to myself/others? Also, does the question come from ‘I don’t know’ (beginner’s mind), or from a place of judgement and opinions?” The aim was/is to cultivate the mind to be like an empty vessel, not one filled to the brim and overflowing where nothing new can enter.
31/03/2021(Xem: 2428)
Today, once again, I have another opportunityto talk to you through this online Dharma Talk, proposed by Master Hui Siong. He is Vice President of the World Buddhist Sangha Counciland General-Secretary for Chinese Language Department. He is alsoabbot of Beeh Low See Temple, Mahakaruna Buddhist Center and Vihara Mahavira Graha Medan Temple in Singapore and Indonesia. The connections which lead to this opportunity could be traced back through the founding Congress of the WBSC in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1966 and the second Congress held at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Saigon, Vietnam in 1969 by the Most Venerable Thich Tam Chau, co-founder of WBSC. At that time, I had just moved from Hoi An to Saigon; so I did not have theopportunity to participate.
25/02/2021(Xem: 2224)
Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year, on the 12 February 2021 of western calendar. From the faraway Germany, I have had the honor of being invited by the most Venerable Master Hui Siong, abbot of Beel Low See Temple in Singapore and other temples in Malaysia and Indonesia, to have a talk online with you all today. First, I want to thank Master Hui Siong for the invitation, also his secretary miss Jackie and all of you for this opportunity. Buddha has taught us that everything arises with conditions, and the true nature of everything is emptiness. I am sure, as Buddhists, you are familiar with this teaching. He also taught us other teachings, according to Theravada traditions such as: impermanence, suffering and non-self or according to Mahayana traditions: impermanence, suffering, emptiness and non-self. No matter which traditions, these teachings are the common guidelines for us to practice Buddhism. So, when things as sufferings arise, how do we approach and deal with i
12/08/2020(Xem: 4616)
Hungry Ghosts is a suspenseful, character-driven ghost story with heart, humour and scares. Set in contemporary Melbourne during the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, when the Vietnamese community venerate their dead, four families find themselves haunted by ghosts from the past. As these hauntings intensify, they threaten to unleash their deepest fears and expose secrets long buried. Through an ensemble of characters, both Vietnamese and Anglo, Hungry Ghosts explores the concept of the inherent trauma we pass down from one generation to the next, and how notions of displacement impact human identity - long after the events themselves. Can you ever really leave behind the trauma of your past? Is it possible to abandon both spiritual and physical culture, or does it form part of your fundamental DNA? To free themselves and those they love, each character in Hungry Ghosts must atone for their sins and confront their deepest fears or risk being swallowed by the shadows of their p
08/07/2020(Xem: 9972)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not over yet. We need to keep looking after ourselves and our community to stop the virus spreading. Due to increased cases in Victoria, some restrictions have changed. From 22 June 2020: · You cannot have more than five visitors in your home · You cannot gather outdoors with more than 10 people · Schools, libraries, places of worship and businesses remain open · Stay close to home and do not travel if possible
facebook youtube google-plus linkedin twitter blog
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association of Victoria
Tu Viện Quảng Đức | Quang Duc Monastery
Senior Venerable Thich Tam Phuong | Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
Address: Quang Duc Monastery, 105 Lynch Road, Fawkner, Vic.3060 Australia
Tel: 61.03.9357 3544 ; Fax: 61.03.9357 3600
Website: http://www.quangduc.com ; http://www.tuvienquangduc.com.au (old)
Xin gửi Xin gửi bài mới và ý kiến đóng góp đến Ban Biên Tập qua địa chỉ:
quangduc@quangduc.com , tvquangduc@bigpond.com
VISITOR
103,409,225