AN 8.54 Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta:

AN 8.54
PTS: A iv 281
Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: Conditions of Welfare
translated from the Pali by
Narada Thera
Alternate translation: Thanissaro
Translator's note: In this sutta, the Buddha instructs rich householders how to preserve and increase their prosperity and how to avoid loss of wealth. Wealth alone, however, does not make a complete man nor a harmonious society. Possession of wealth all too often multiplies man's desires, and he is ever in the pursuit of amassing more wealth and power. This unrestrained craving, however, leaves him dissatisfied and stifles his inner growth. It creates conflict and disharmony in society through the resentment of the underprivileged who feel themselves exploited by the effects of unrestrained craving.
Therefore the Buddha follows up on his advice on material welfare with four essential conditions for spiritual welfare: confidence (in the Master's enlightenment), virtue, liberality and wisdom. These four will instill in man a sense of higher values. He will then not only pursue his own material concern, but also be aware of his duty toward society. To mention only one of the implications: a wisely and generously employed liberality will reduce tensions and conflicts in society. Thus the observing of these conditions of material and spiritual welfare will make for an ideal citizen in an ideal society.
Thus have I heard. Once the Exalted One was dwelling amongst the Koliyans,[1] in their market town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dighajanu,[2] a Koliyan, approached the Exalted One, respectfully saluted Him and sat on one side. Thus seated, he addressed the Exalted One as follows:
"We, Lord, are laymen who enjoy worldly pleasure. We lead a life encumbered by wife and children. We use sandalwood of Kasi. We deck ourselves with garlands, perfume and unguents. We use gold and silver. To those like us, O Lord, let the Exalted One preach the Dhamma, teach those things that lead to weal and happiness in this life and to weal and happiness in future life."

Conditions of Worldly Progress

"Four conditions, Vyagghapajja,[3] conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four?
"The accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).
"What is the accomplishment of persistent effort?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.
"What is the accomplishment of watchfulness?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means — such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.
"What is good friendship?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever village or market town a householder dwells, he associates, converses, engages in discussions with householders or householders' sons, whether young and highly cultured or old and highly cultured, full of faith (saddha),[4] full of virtue (sila), full of charity (caga), full of wisdom (pañña). He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the wisdom of the wise. This is called good friendship.
"What is balanced livelihood?
"Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
"Just as the goldsmith,[5] or an apprentice of his, knows, on holding up a balance, that by so much it has dipped down, by so much it has tilted up; even so a householder, knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
"If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with little income were to lead an extravagant life, there would be those who say — 'This person enjoys his property like one who eats wood-apple.'[6] If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with a large income were to lead a wretched life, there would be those who say — 'This person will die like a starveling.'
"The wealth thus amassed, Vyagghapajja, has four sources of destruction:
"(i) Debauchery, (ii) drunkenness, (iii) gambling, (iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers.
"Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and outlets, if a man should close the inlets and open the outlets and there should be no adequate rainfall, decrease of water is to be expected in that tank, and not an increase; even so there are four sources for the destruction of amassed wealth — debauchery, drunkenness, gambling, and friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers.
"There are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth: (i) abstinence from debauchery, (ii) abstinence from drunkenness, (iii) non-indulgence in gambling, (iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with the good.
"Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and four outlets, if a person were to open the inlets and close the outlets, and there should also be adequate rainfall, an increase in water is certainly to be expected in that tank and not a decrease, even so these four conditions are the sources of increase of amassed wealth.
"These four conditions, Vyagghapajja, are conducive to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life.

Conditions of Spiritual Progress

"Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in his future life. Which four?
"The accomplishment of faith (saddha-sampada), the accomplishment of virtue (sila-sampada), the accomplishment of charity (caga-sampada) and the accomplishment of wisdom (pañña-sampada).
"What is the accomplishment of faith?
"Herein a householder is possessed of faith, he believes in the Enlightenment of the Perfect One (Tathagata): Thus, indeed, is that Blessed One: he is the pure one, fully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, well-gone, the knower of worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, all-knowing and blessed. This is called the accomplishment of faith.
"What is the accomplishment of virtue?
"Herein a householder abstains from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and from intoxicants that cause infatuation and heedlessness. This is called the accomplishment of virtue.
"What is the accomplishment of charity?
"Herein a householder dwells at home with heart free from the stain of avarice, devoted to charity, open-handed, delighting in generosity, attending to the needy, delighting in the distribution of alms. This is called the accomplishment of charity.
"What is the accomplishment of wisdom?
"Herein a householder is wise: he is endowed with wisdom that understands the arising and cessation (of the five aggregates of existence); he is possessed of the noble penetrating insight that leads to the destruction of suffering. This is called the accomplishment of wisdom.
"These four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in his future life."
Energetic and heedful in his tasks, 
Wisely administering his wealth, 
He lives a balanced life, 
Protecting what he has amassed. 
 
Endowed with faith and virtue too, 
Generous he is and free from avarice; 
He ever works to clear the path 
That leads to weal in future life. 
 
Thus to the layman full of faith, 
By him, so truly named 'Enlightened,' 
These eight conditions have been told 
Which now and after lead to bliss.

Notes

1.
The Koliyans were the rivals of the Sakyans. Queen Maha Maya belonged to the Koliyan clan and King Suddhodana to the Sakyan clan.
2.
Literally, 'long-kneed'
3.
'Tiger's Path'; he was so called because his ancestors were born on a forest path infested with tigers. Vyagghapajja was Dighajanu's family name.
4.
Saddha is not blind faith. It is confidence based on knowledge.
5.
Tuladharo, lit., 'carrier of the scales.'
6.
Udumbarakhadaka. The Commentary explains that one who wishes to eat wood-apple shakes the tree, with the result that many fruits fall but only a few are eaten, while a large number are wasted.
Provenance:
©1985 Buddhist Publication Society.
From Everyman's Ethics: Four Discourses by the Buddha (WH 14), translated by Narada Thera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1985). Copyright © 1985 Buddhist Publication Society. Used with permission.
This Access to Insight edition is ©1997–2011.
Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge and, in the case of reprinting, only in quantities of no more than 50 copies; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. For additional information about this license, see the FAQ.
How to cite this document (one suggested style): "Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: Conditions of Welfare" (AN 8.54), translated from the Pali by Narada Thera. Access to Insight, 14 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.054.nara.html . Retrieved on 26 December 2011.
 
AN 8.54
PTS: A iv 281
Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: To Dighajanu
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Alternate translation: Narada
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans. Now the Koliyans have a town named Kakkarapatta. There Dighajanu[1] the Koliyan went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "We are lay people enjoying sensuality; living crowded with spouses & children; using Kasi fabrics & sandalwood; wearing garlands, scents, & creams; handling gold & silver. May the Blessed One teach the Dhamma for those like us, for our happiness & well-being in this life, for our happiness & well-being in lives to come."
[The Blessed One said:] "There are these four qualities, TigerPaw, that lead to a lay person's happiness and well-being in this life. Which four? Being consummate in initiative, being consummate in vigilance, admirable friendship, and maintaining one's livelihood in tune.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in initiative? There is the case where a lay person, by whatever occupation he makes his living — whether by farming or trading or cattle tending or archery or as a king's man or by any other craft — is clever and untiring at it, endowed with discrimination in its techniques, enough to arrange and carry it out. This is called being consummate in initiative.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in vigilance? There is the case when a lay person has righteous wealth — righteously gained, coming from his initiative, his striving, his making an effort, gathered by the strength of his arm, earned by his sweat — he manages to protect it through vigilance [with the thought], 'How shall neither kings nor thieves make off with this property of mine, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?' This is called being consummate in vigilance.
"And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship.
"And what does it mean to maintain one's livelihood in tune? There is the case where a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' Just as when a weigher or his apprentice, when holding the scales, knows, 'It has tipped down so much or has tipped up so much,' in the same way, the lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' If a lay person has a small income but maintains a grand livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman devours his wealth like a fruit-tree eater.'[2] If a lay person has a large income but maintains a miserable livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman will die of starvation.' But when a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income,' this is called maintaining one's livelihood in tune.
"These are the four drains on one's store of wealth: debauchery in sex; debauchery in drink; debauchery in gambling; and evil friendship, evil companionship, evil camaraderie. Just as if there were a great reservoir with four inlets and four drains, and a man were to close the inlets and open the drains, and the sky were not to pour down proper showers, the depletion of that great reservoir could be expected, not its increase. In the same way, these are the four drains on one's store of wealth: debauchery in sex; debauchery in drink; debauchery in gambling; and evil friendship, evil companionship, evil camaraderie.
These are the four inlets to one's store of wealth: no debauchery in sex; no debauchery in drink; no debauchery in gambling; and admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie. Just as if there were a great reservoir with four inlets and four drains, and a man were to open the inlets and close the drains, and the sky were to pour down proper showers, the increase of that great reservoir could be expected, not its depletion. In the same way, these are the four inlets to one's store of wealth: no debauchery in sex; no debauchery in drink; no debauchery in gambling; and admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.
"These, TigerPaw, are the four qualities that lead to a lay person's happiness and well-being in this life.
"There are these four qualities that lead to a lay person's happiness and well-being in lives to come. Which four? Being consummate in conviction, being consummate in virtue, being consummate in generosity, being consummate in discernment.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in conviction? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones has conviction, is convinced of the Tathagata's Awakening: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge and conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine and human beings, awakened, blessed.' This is called being consummate in conviction.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in virtue? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking life, abstains from stealing, abstains from illicit sexual conduct, abstains from lying, abstains from taking intoxicants that cause heedlessness. This is called being consummate in virtue.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in generosity? There is the case of a disciple of the noble ones, his awareness cleansed of the stain of miserliness, living at home, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in being magnanimous, responsive to requests, delighting in the distribution of alms. This is called being consummate in generosity.
"And what does it mean to be consummate in discernment? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising and passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This is called being consummate in discernment.
"These, TigerPaw, are the four qualities that lead to a lay person's happiness and well-being in lives to come."
 
Heedful at administering 
or working at one's occupation, 
maintaining one's life in tune, 
one protects one's store of wealth. 
A person of conviction, 
consummate in virtue, 
magnanimous, free of selfishness, 
constantly clears the path 
 to security in the lives to come. 
Thus for one who seeks the household life, 
these eight qualities, leading to welfare & happiness 
both in this life & in lives to come, 
have been declared by the one 
whose name 
is truth. 
And this is how, for householders, 
generosity & merit increase.

Notes

1.
= "LongShin".
2.
Commentary: one who shakes more fruit off a tree than he can possibly eat.
Provenance:
©1995 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
This Access to Insight edition is ©1995–2011.
Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. For additional information about this license, see the FAQ.
How to cite this document (one suggested style): "Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: To Dighajanu" (AN 8.54), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 4 July 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.054.than.html . Retrieved on 26 December 2011.
 





<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]