Buddhism for daily conduct
From Sigalovada Suttra...
A young person named Sigala used to worship to six directions. He had got an advice from his father, before the father's death. Sigala was worshiping to north, east, south, west, up and down daily. Lord Buddha said "this is not the proper way. You should worship in a proper manner."
Those directions Lord Buddha mentioned are
- East - Parents
- South - Teachers
- West - Husband, wife, children
- North - Relatives, friends, neighbours
- Up - clergy, monks
- Down - servants
East - Parents - We should obey, love them. We should be respectful to them. Parents should be looked after by children when they are old.
South - Teachers - We should obey, help our teachers. The best worship to our teachers is studying well.
West - Husband, wife, children - One should be respectful to his or her partner, and his or her ideas and should love, help to each other. Parents should love, look after their children and should give them a good education.
North - Relatives, friends, neighbours - We should respect, help them. A good relationship should be made by us with them.
Up - clergy, monks - A good person should respect to clergy, monks. We should get advices from them to success our lives. They should be looked after by us.
Down - Servants - Servants should be paid properly by their masters. We should thank them when they finish work well. They should be looked after by masters.
Worshiping these six directions doesn't mean bow for them. Its meaning is making a good relationship between us and them. Then, it will help us for our social, family well-being.
Five Precepts (Pancha Sila)
These five precepts are not commands. Because, every precepts begins with "I observe the precept to refrain from...". They are good for us and our society. It is suitable for every person.
- Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami - I observe the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
- Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami - I observe the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
- Kamesu michchachara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami - I observe the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
- Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami - I observe the precept to refrain from telling lies.
- Suramerayamajjapamadtthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami - I observe the precept to refrain from intoxicating drugs and drinks.
The five precepts should be considered separately.
We shouldn't kill any living creatures. Because, we like our life and we have a right to live. We never expect early death. Also every animal being and human being likes to live and has a right to live. They don't expect to die early. We should respect to their lives. So, we shouldn't kill living creatures either by committing the act oneself, leading others to kill, or approving of or participating in act of killing.
We like our money and properties. Others like their money and properties. We respect to other's properties. We shouldn't misuse money, properties belongings to the public or other person.
Rape, adultery, and other abnormal sexual behaviour cause physical and mental injuries to others. We should be respectful to others and their relationships. The effects of sexual misconduct are having enemies, sexually transmitted diseases, always being hatred. So, we must refrain from sexual misconduct.
Respect the truth. Telling lies causes bad results and misunderstandings other than good results. If you tell the truth, others look at you as you are a good person. They believe you.
Taking intoxicants such as drugs, alcohol, etc. causes harmful effects to our health. It will hurt others as well. We will lose our consciousness, attention. Intoxicants are a major problem to the society, family, properties and your economy. So, we should refrain from intoxicants.
These five precepts can be followed by any lay man or woman for his or her well-being.
Buddhism for personal well-being
There are four teachings in Buddhism for well-being of a person.
- One should have ability to learn and perform his or her occupation efficiently. He or she should lead others to work efficiently. (Utthana Sampada)
- Property and money should be protected. (Arakkha Sampada)
- Live with honest, intelligent, amiable friends. (Kalyana Miththatha)
- Earn the amount what is needed. Don't waste. (Samajeevikatha)
There are another four teaching in Buddhism for well-being of a person after death. It is important at the next place of birth. Those are,
- Believe the Lord Buddha, his good qualities and Buddhism. (Saddha)
- Observe the five precepts. (Sila)
- Relieve from desire, give others as you can. (Chaga)
- Improve intelligence which helps to relieve from sorrow, suffering. (Panna)
How to use your earnings
Lord Buddha advised people to spend their earnings efficiently.
- 1/4 of earnings - for daily expenditure
- 1/2 of earnings - for businesses, industries
- 1/4 of earnings - for savings
Lay person's comforts according to Buddhism
There are four comforts which are achieved by a lay person.
- Sufficient riches that was earned by means of virtue.
- Expending of riches for own family, relatives, friends, oneself and virtue.
- If there is no incurred debt, it is a comfort itself.
- Spending a pure life without any bad actions performed by means of mind, body, and words.
First three are associated with riches. Forth one is a spiritual comfort. Lord Buddha said that the fourth one was the most important one. Economical development is not a true or perfect development, if it is achieved without any spiritual foundation.
The ten Principles of a good government
There should be ten good qualities in a ruler for the development of a country.
- Giving (Dana)
- Having moral conduct (Sila)
- Having sacrifice (Parichchaga)
- Honesty (Ajjava)
- Kindness, tenderness (Majjava)
- Simple life (Thapa)
- Wrathless ness (Akkodha)
- Non-violence (Avihinsa)
- Patience (Khanthi)
- Being without objections (Avirodha)
1. Giving (Dana)
The ruler should not be covetous. He or she should give riches for the development of the population.
2. Having moral conduct (Sila)
The ruler should follow at least the five precepts mentioned before. He or she should have virtuousness.
3. Having sacrifice (Parichchaga)
The ruler should gift everything he or she can for the development of the country.
4. Honesty (Ajjava)
The ruler should be honest and independent.
5. Kindness, tenderness (Majjava)
The ruler should have kindness and tenderness. He or she should be calm.
6. Simple life (Thapa)
The ruler should have a simple life without excessive comforts.
7. Wrathless ness (Akkodha)
The ruler should not have hatred. He or she should have no enemies.
8. Non-violence (Avihinsa)
The ruler shouldn't be violent. He or she should avoid wars and should develop peace.
9. Patience (Khanthi)
The ruler should have patience. He or she should face objections and disgrace without being impatient.
10. Being without objections (Avirodha)
The ruler should respect the opinion of the population. He or she should not object the development of the country.