Book Five, Part V—Vinaya for the Laity

1. *Vinaya for the Wealthy* -- 2. *Vinaya for the Householder* -- 3. *Vinaya for Children* -- 4. *Vinaya for Pupils* -- 5. *Vinaya for Husband and Wife* -- 6. *Vinaya for Master and Servant* -- 7. *Conclusions* -- 8. *Vinaya for Girls*

§ 1. Vinaya for the Wealthy


    1. The Blessed Lord did not elevate poverty by calling it a blessed state of life.
    2. Nor did he tell the poor that they may remain content, for they will inherit the earth.
    3. On the contrary: he said riches are welcome. What he insisted upon is that the acquisition of riches must be subject to Vinaya.


    1. Once Anathapindika came to where the Exalted One was. Having come, he made obeisance to the Exalted One, and took a seat at one side, and asked, "Will the Enlightened One tell what things are welcome, pleasant, agreeable, to the householder, but which are hard to gain?"
    2. The Enlightened One, having heard the question put to him, said, "Of such things the first is to acquire wealth lawfully.
    3. "The second is to see that your relations also get their wealth lawfully.
    4. "The third is to live long and reach great age.
    5. "'For a true householder for the attainment of these three things, which in the world are welcome, pleasant, agreeable, but hard to gain, there are also four conditions precedent. They are the blessing of faith, the blessing of virtuous conduct, the blessing of liberality, and the blessing of wisdom.
    6. "The blessing of faith and belief consist in the supreme knowledge of the Tathagata which teaches, 'This is He, the Exalted One, the Holy One, the Supremely Awakened One, the perfect in Knowledge and in Conduct, the Auspicious, the Knower of all the worlds, the Incomparable Trainer of men, the Teacher of Devas and men.'
    7. "The blessing of virtuous conduct which abstains from taking life, thieving, unchastity, lying, and partaking of fermented liquor.
    8. "The blessing of liberality consists in the householder living with mind freed from the taint of avarice, generous, open-handed, delighting in gifts, a good one to be asked, and devoted to the distribution of gifts.
    9. "Wherein consists the blessing of wisdom? Ye know that a householder who dwells with mind overcome by greed, avarice, ill-will, sloth, drowsiness, distraction, and flurry, commits wrongful deeds, and neglects that which ought to be done, and by so doing is deprived of happiness and honour.
    10. "Greed, avarice, ill-will; sloth and drowsiness; distraction, and flurry and doubt, are stains of the mind. A householder who gets rid of such stains of the mind acquires great wisdom, abundant wisdom, clear vision, and perfect wisdom.
    11. "Thus to acquire wealth legitimately and justly, earned by great industry, amassed by strength of the arm, and gained by sweat (of the brow), is a great blessing. The householder makes himself happy and cheerful, and preserves himself full of happiness; also make parents, wife and children, servants and labourers, friends and companions, happy and cheerful, and preserves them full of happiness."

§ 2. Vinaya for the Householder

    On this matter the Buddha's thoughts are embodied in his discourse with Sigala.
    1. At one time the Exalted One was in the Squirrels' Feeding-ground in Velu Vana, in Rajagraha.
    2. Now at this time young Sigala, a householder's son, rising betimes, went forth from Rajagraha, and with wet hair and wet garments and clasped hands uplifted, paid worship to the several quarters of earth and sky--to the east, south, west, and north, to the nadir and the zenith.
    3. And the Exalted One early that morning dressed himself, took his bowl and robe, and entered Rajagraha seeking alms. He saw young Sigala worshipping and asked him, "Why do you worship the several quarters of earth and sky?"
    4. "My father, when he was dying, said to me, 'Dear son, you should worship the quarters of earth and sky. So I, sir, honouring my father's word, worship in this wise.'"
    5. "But how can this be the true religion of a man of the world? " asked the Blessed One. "What else can be the religion of man?" replied Sigala. "If there is, it would be an excellent thing if the Exalted One would tell me what it is."
    6. "Hear then, young householder, give ear to my words, and I will tell you what it is." "So be it, Sir," responded young Sigala. And the Exalted One said:
    7. "A religion, to be a religion of man, must teach him to shun bad conduct. The destruction of life, the taking of what is not given, licentiousness, and lying speech, are the four vices of conduct which he must avoid.
    8. "Know ye, Sigala, evil deeds are done from motives of partiality, enmity, stupidity, and fear. If he is not led away by these motives, he will do no evil deed.
    9. "A religion, to be religion of man, must teach him not to dissipate his wealth. Dissipation of wealth results from being addicted to intoxicating liquors, frequenting the streets at unseemly hours, haunting fairs, being infatuated by gambling, associating with evil companions, the habit of idleness.
    10. "There are, Sigala, six dangers which follow from being addicted to intoxicating liquors: actual loss of wealth, increase of quarrels, susceptibility to disease, loss of good character, indecent exposure, impaired intelligence.
    11. "Six are the perils from frequenting the streets at unseemly hours: he himself is without guard or protection, and so also are his wife and children, so also is his property; he, moreover, becomes suspected as the doer of undiscovered crimes, and false rumours fix on him, and many are the troubles he goes out to meet.
    12. "Six are the perils from the haunting of fairs: he is ever thinking, where is there dancing? Where is there singing? Where is there music? Where is recitation? Where are the cymbals? Where the tam-tams?
    13. "Six are the perils for him who is infatuated with gambling: as winner he begets hatred, when beaten he mourns his lost wealth; his actual substance is wasted; his word has no weight in a court of law; he is despised by friends and officials; he is not sought after by those who would give or take in marriage, for they would say that a man who is a gambler cannot afford to keep a wife.
    14. "Six are the perils from associating with evil companions: any gambler, any libertine, any tippler, any cheat, any swindler, any man of violence is his friend and companion.
    15. "Six are the perils of the habit of idleness: he says it is too cold and does no work, he says it is too hot and does no work, he says it is too early or too late and does no work, he says 'I am too hungry' and does no work, he says 'I am too full' and does no work. And while all that he should do remains undone, new wealth he does not get, and such wealth as he has dwindles away.
    16. "A religion, to be a religion of man, must teach him to know who is a true friend.
    17. "Four are they who should be reckoned as foes in the likeness of friends; to wit, a rapacious person, the man of words not deeds, the flatterer, and the fellow-waster [=companion in dissipation].
    18. "Of these, the first is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend, for he is rapacious, he gives little and asks much, he does his duty out of fear, he pursues his own interests.
    19. "A man of words who is not a man of deeds is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: for he makes a friendly profession as regards the past, he makes [a] friendly profession as regards the future, he tries to gain your favour by empty sayings; when the opportunity for service has arisen, he avows his disability.
    20. "The flatterer is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: for he both consents to do wrong, and dissents from doing right; he praises to your face; he speaks ill of you to others.
    21. "So also the fellow-waster companion is to be reckoned as a foe in the likeness of a friend: for he is  your companion when you frequent the streets at untimely hours, he is your companion when you haunt shows and fairs, he is your companion when you are infatuated with gambling.
    22. "Four are the friends who should be reckoned as sound at heart: the helper; the friend who is the same in happiness and adversity; the friend of good counsel; the friend who sympathises.
    23. "The friend who is a helper is to be reckoned as sound at heart: because he guards you when you are off your guard, he guards your property when you are off your guard; he is a refuge to you when you are afraid; when you have tasks to perform he provides a double supply of what you may need.
    24. "The friend who is the same in happiness and adversity is to be reckoned as sound of heart: because he tells you his secrets; he keeps secret your secrets; in your troubles he does not foresake you; he lays down even his life for your sake.
    25. "The friend who declares what you need to do is sound of heart: because he restrains you from doing wrong, he enjoins you to do what is right, he informs you of what you had not heard before, he reveals to you the way of heaven.
    26. "The friend who sympathises is to be reckoned as sound at heart: because he does not rejoice over your misfortunes; he rejoices over your prosperity; he restrains anyone who is speaking ill of you; he commends anyone who is praising you." Thus speaks the Exalted One.
    27. "Instead of teaching him to worship the six quarters, a religion which is a religion of man must teach him to respect and revere his parents, his teachers, his wife and children, his friends and companions, his servants and workmen, and his religious teachers."

§ 3. Vinaya for Children

    1. "A child should minister to his parents, saying: 'Once supported by them, I will now be their support, I will perform duties incumbent on them; I will keep up the lineage and tradition of my family, I will make myself worthy of my heritage.' For the parents show their love for him, they restrain him from vice, they exhort him to virtue, they train him to a profession, they contract a suitable marriage for him, and in due time they hand over his inheritance."

§ 4. Vinaya for Pupils

1. "A pupil should minister to his teachers by rising from his seat, in salutation by waiting upon them, by eagerness to learn, by personal service, and by attention when receiving their teaching. For, teachers love their pupil, they train him in that wherein he has been well trained, they make him hold fast that which is well held, they thoroughly instruct him in the lore of every art, they speak well of him among his friends and companions. They provide for his safety in every quarter."

§ 5. Vinaya for Husband and Wife

    1. "A husband should minister to his wife by showing respect, by courtesy, by faithfulness, by handing over authority to her, by providing her with adornment. For the wife loves him, her duties are well performed: by hospitality to the kin of both, by faithfulness, by watching over the goods he brings, and by skill and industry in discharging all her business.
    2. "A clansman should minister to his friends and companions by generosity, courtesy, and benevolence, by treating them as he treats himself, and by being as good as his word. For his friends and familiars love him, they protect him when he is off his guard, and on such occasions guard his property; they become a refuge in danger; they do not forsake him in his trouble, and they show consideration for his family."

§ 6. Vinaya for Master and Servant

    1. "A master should minister to his servants and employees by assigning them work according to their strength, by supplying them with food and wages, by tending them in sickness, by sharing with them unusual delicacies, by granting leave at times. For servants and employees love their master: they rise before him, they lie down to rest after him; they are content with what is given to them, they do their work well, and they carry about his praise and good fame.
    2. "A clansman should minister to religious teachers by affection in act and speech and mind, by keeping open house to them, by supplying their temporal needs. For religious teachers restrain him from evil, they exhort him to good, they love him with kindly thoughts, they teach him what he had not heard, they correct and purify what he has heard."

§7. Conclusions

    1. When the Exalted One had thus spoken, Sigala, the young householder, said this: "Beautiful, Lord, beautiful! As if one should set up again that which had been overthrown, or reveal that which had been hidden; or should disclose the road to one that was astray, or should carry a lamp into darkness, saying: 'They that have eyes will see!' Even so hath the Truth been manifested by the Exalted One in many ways.
    2. "And I, even I, do go to him as my refuge, and to the Truth and to the Order. May the Exalted One receive me as his lay-disciple, as one who has taken his refuge in him from this day forth as long as life endures."

§ 8. Vinaya for Girls

    1. Once the Exalted One dwelt near Bhaddiya in Jatiya Wood; and there Uggaha, Mendaka's grandson, paid him a visit and, after saluting, sat down at one side. So seated, he said to the Exalted One:
    2. "Lord, let the Exalted One accept a meal at my house tomorrow, he as fourth (with us three)."
    3. The Exalted One accepted by his silence.
    4. Then Uggaha, seeing the Exalted One had accepted, rose from his seat, saluted, and took his leave, keeping the Exalted One on his right.
    5. Now when the night was over, the Exalted One, robing himself in the morning, took his bowl and cloak and went to Uggaha's house, and there sat down on the seat made ready. And Uggaha served with his own hand. and satisfied the Exalted One with plenty of food.
    6. And when the Exalted One had removed his hand from his bowl, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:
    7. "Lord, these girls of .mine will be going to their husbands' families; Lord, let the Exalted One counsel them, let the Exalted One advise them, for their good and happiness for many a day!"
    8. Then the Exalted One spoke to them and said: "Wherefore, girls, train yourselves in this way: 'To whatsoever husband our parents shall give us--wishing our weal, seeking our happiness, compassionate--because of compassion for him we will rise up early, be the last to retire, be willing workers, order all things sweetly. and be gentle-voiced.' Train yourselves thus, girls.
    9. "And in this way also, girls: 'We will honour, revere, esteem. and respect all who are our husband's relatives, whether mother or father, recluse or godly man' and on their arrival will offer them a seat and water.' Train yourselves thus, girls.
    10. "And in this way also. girls: 'We will be deft and nimble at our husband's home-crafts, whether they be of wool or cotton, making it our business to understand the work so as to do and get it done.' Train yourselves thus, girls.
    11. "And in this way also, girls: 'Messengers and workfolk. we will know the work of each by what has been done, their remissness by what has not been done; we will know the strength and the weakness of the sick; we will divide the hard and soft food, each according to his share.' Train yourselves thus, girls.
    12. "And in this way also, girls: 'The money, corn, silver and gold that our husband brings home, we will keep safe, watch and ward over it, and act as no robber, thief, carouser, wastrel therein.' Train yourselves thus, girls."
    13. On hearing this advice, the daughters of Uggaha felt exceedingly happy and were grateful to the Lord.


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