We all work hard, earn money to live a happy, content and peaeful life.
The Sigalovada Sutra is a fine a set of teachings towards the lay people given to a merchant who sought the Buddha’s advice on how to live a virtuous everyday life. It is a comprehensive life system suitable for any sophisticated society stating how to handle wealth, family, friends, work, sex, saving money, entertainment and even popularity.
The Buddha states that we should work and take pride with the work that we do and that the wise gathers wealth just like the bees move and strive to pile up their wealth, like an ant-hill is piled-up. This continues further to illustrate four steps in balancing money.
Having gathered wealth like this, enough for his family and home, He can divide his wealth in four ways, which will bind his friends;
- Ekena bhoge bhuñjeyya
With one part he should enjoy his wealth for his consumption needs.
- Dvīhi kammaṁ payojaye
With two parts he should manage his work for future investment, education and growth
- Catutthañ-ca nidhāpeyya, āpadāsu bhavissati.
The fourth he should deposit and save, to be used against misfortune.
This is the best advice that any financial advisor can provide. The advice continues to explain five things to be done with the first quarter;
- Personal and family use – support of spouse, children, parents, servants and visiting family friends.
- Benefit of friends – including the entertainment of guests and clients.
- Invest in security and investment.
- The five fold offering to the relatives, guests, the departed, the government and devas.
- Supporting worthy religion.
The Buddha has shown that there are four types of happiness that one can obtain with the proper engagement in economic affairs in terms of earning and spending.
- Atthi Sukha – Happiness of being economically successful with wealth accrued by proper righteous means and being content with your wealth.
- Bhoga Sukha – Happiness of being able to enjoy the wealth with family, relations, guests and friends while performing religious duties and paying the dues to the government.
- Anaṇa Sukha – Happiness of being able live within means without getting indebted to anyone with peace of mind.
- Anavajja Sukha – Happiness generated when one reflects on own immaculate economic conduct without resorting to unjust ways of getting rich.
Thus, it becomes clear that Buddhism encourages people to become rich the right way and enjoy what one has earned according to dhamma.
Happiness should be the way of life and not the ultimate goal.
Best wishes for a peaceful Vesak!
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