Buddhist advice on earning and consumption

Buddhism is not a religion that ignores the worldly life. Buddhism has not forgotten the layman who spends his life feeding his wife and children while engaging in the ways of making money. Therefore, the teachings of Buddha constantly include instructions to make the domestic life better.

Among the factors necessary to lead a successful lay life, wealth takes the main place. That is why it is mentioned in Buddhism that having enough wealth is happiness. In order to get that happiness, a person needs to be engaged in some kind of work. It is not mentioned in the Buddha's Buddhism that the Lord Buddha preached that one should not think of making one's prosperity unrighteous.

In the Vyaggapajja Sutra preached for laymen, there are mentions of several jobs that can be righteously engaged, among them agriculture, trade, cattle management, security service, government service and other technical skills can be mentioned. 

One can do a job in an unrighteous way, for example, even though trade is a righteous occupation, it can be shown that it is being done unrighteously by using fake weighing scales.

But those who wish to get wealth through righteous means are very rare in the world. The person who follows Buddhism is always tempted to earn wealth righteously without committing any violent acts. It is mentioned in the Pattakamma Sutra that a pious and wise person can earn wealth in this way.

It is not enough to choose a suitable source of income to earn wealth, he needs to work hard and have the determination to overcome the necessary obstacles and move forward. 

The need to come forward to work even if your hands are tired and sweating is mentioned in the Pattakamma Sutra as well as in the Vyagapajja Sutra. The Lord Buddha said that diligence is a necessary resource for a lay person.

Engaging with effort in one's chosen pious work is Uttana Sampada. One thing to consider in earning wealth is what one earns it for. One should earn wealth not for hoarding and keeping. 

These requirements are considered to be used for the following purposes.

1. Providing for the comfort of their own and their parents' children's employees and friends. 

2. Utilization in various calamities.

3. Fulfilling duties to relatives, strangers, deceased, government and God. 

4. Donation to the meritorious charity.

When earning wealth with these goals, a consumption pattern is prepared based on those facts. It is the Buddhist tradition to prepare plans taking into account various duties, not only considering oneself or one's family. The Sigalovada Sutra clearly explains that the wealth earned while preparing such plans should be divided into four parts.

Expenditure that exceeds the level of income in consumption is not appropriate even if there is a high level of income and not spending on necessities. Keeping the two budgets at a sustainable level without falling into both extremes is called symbiosis.

In this way, this type of consumption pattern can be built only if the earned wealth is protected without going to the mouth of destruction. Therefore, the need to have a formal program to protect the wealth has been shown in the protection tradition of the Vyaggapajja Sutra. 

It describes well that the wealth should be protected from external dangers such as being burnt by fire, being carried away by water, being kidnapped by thieves, being confiscated, etc.

Likewise, it is mentioned in the Vyaghapajja Sutra as well as in the Sigalovada Sutra that wealth is destroyed due to wrong behavior and improper association of the person. 

Liquor, gambling, womanizing, excessive fun, improper travel, indolence, and association with misguided friends are things that destroy wealth, so we should be determined to avoid them.

It is clear from this how Buddhism directs our attention to a consumption pattern of carefully protecting the wealth earned through pious work and spending it in a planned manner for one's own needs.

Because of this, this is a time when our attention should be focused on this process.

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  1. But Wealth is troubling life, let us achieve middle way and have peace