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What is right Livelihood? - Dhamma Wheel

What is right Livelihood?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
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What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:16 am

I am reading a book titled “The art of living” by S.N. Goenka. Page 61,He says:
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Thus any livelihood that requires killing :( , whether of human beings or of animals, is clearly not right livelihood.

But even if the killing is done by others and one simply deals in the parts of slaughtered animals. their skins, flesh, bones and so on , still this is not right livelihood.
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I do not agree with the sentences which are high lighted in black. This seems to be extreme. As a lay person it will be impossible for me to work in a restaurant or a supermarket etc.

What are your thoughts and understanding?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:31 am

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:41 am

Maṃsavaṇijjāti sūkaramigādayo posetvā tesaṃ vikkayo.
Trading in meat means, having raised pigs or deer, etc., he sells them.

In my opinion this would include any kind of living-being sold for its meat or hide, but not if sold for other purposes, e.g. oxen for pulling carts, horses for riding, or dogs for pets or work.

Working in a shop or supermarket that sells meat is not included. Why? Because the staff are not selling the meat, they are only filling shelves, or working on the checkout. The supermarket owners or shop-keepers are the ones who are buying the meat for resale. Likewise, if one is asked to work on the wine counter, and is serving customers who ask for wine, spirits, or beer, then one is not "trading in intoxicants."

However, if one is working on a commission, or if one owns a corner shop that sells intoxicants or meat, then one is trading in and profiting from the sale of intoxicants or meat.

I think what Goenka says is right. The farmer who raises the livestock, the slaughterman who kills it, and the trader who purchases the animal products are all profiting from trade in meat (maṃsavaṇijjā).

However, it goes too far to say that checkout staff, or stockroom and delivery staff are trading in meat (or intoxicants).
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

SarathW
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:43 am

Ven Pesala
Could you translate the commentory for me? :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Mojo
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Mojo » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:29 pm

What about the person who cooks the meat in a restaurant or a hospital?

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David N. Snyder
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:28 pm

Image




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Mojo
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Mojo » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:55 am


SarathW
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:28 am

Ven Pesala/ David

I need further clarification. In McDonalds they purchase chicken and cook it and sell. Compare this to a fish and chip shop run by a small business man.
Can you explain who is doing the wrong lively hood? Are both,small businessman or nither?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

SarathW
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:16 am

Ven Pesala
Thanks. Mc Donald is owned by thousand of shareholders, super funds, governments etc. This is not a practical solution and discriminate the poor small business person trying to look after his family.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:24 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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manas
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby manas » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:46 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

SarathW
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:27 am

Ven Pesala
Thanks. I am still missing or do not understand some thing here.

It is impossible to run a business now days without having goods made from animal parts. Our shoes, cloths (even monks silk robes), food (ice cream), medicine. (fish oil), fertilizer (blood and born) are all contain some form of animal body parts. Even in medical field, animal and human body parts are used for body reconstructions.

I buy meat from the corner store and consume them. If I tell the owner of the shop that he is not having a right lively hood, he will call me a hypocrite!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Kamran
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Kamran » Sun May 19, 2013 4:17 am

Last edited by Kamran on Sun May 19, 2013 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun May 19, 2013 5:15 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

binocular
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby binocular » Sun May 19, 2013 2:14 pm


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fivebells
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby fivebells » Sun May 19, 2013 4:24 pm

From a practical perspective, right livelihood is any way of providing for yourself which you cannot currently anticipate causing you enough drama to disturb your meditation practice. Whether a given job is right livelihood may change as your practice progresses.

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retrofuturist
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 19, 2013 11:42 pm

Greetings bhante,

Thank you for your informative contributions to this topic.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

SarathW
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:19 am

This is going to be a very hard one on my progress in the path. Our family is engaged in restaurant business.
Naturally we cook meat and sell them. It is so hard now days to find a business without animal by products.
I gave a hard copy of this discussion to the monk in my temple. He said that I am in right livelyhood as far as animal are not killed to my order.
So if I just by meat from the super market and cook them and sell, then I am in right livelihood.

I am still not sure of what my position is!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is right Livelihood?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:55 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)


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