Modus.Ponens wrote:Thanks tilt. I'm more relieved. Still, it's not a prohibition to all monks. But monks of course should follow the Buddha's example. I wonder if the Buddha didn't want social agitation by strictly forbiding monks or lay people to have slaves.
There's also a passage that seems to have a different notion of slave than we in the west do:
In five ways should a master minister to his servants and employees:
by assigning them work according to their ability,
by supplying them with food and with wages,
by tending them in sickness,
by sharing with them any delicacies,
by granting them leave at times.
I can't see anything about 'slaves' in the passage you quote - neither 'servants' nor 'employees' are slaves, however much we grumble about our bosses being slave-drivers
so why do you think you have found 'a different notion of slave'?
Anyway, there is no guarantee that any of those three words - slave, servant, employee - corresponds exactly to any of the social relationships the Buddha was talking about. Some of our really old terms, like serf, villein, vassal or peasant, may be a better match.