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    (A good spouse)

    To be partners in life, good spouses should not only have pleasant sensual attributes, but also possess the qualities and observe the principles of conduct listed below:

    A. The compatible couple: there are principles for partners in life to ensure their compatibility, providing a firm foundation for a long married life, called the four qualities for a good match (samajivi-dhamma):

    1. Sama-saddha: having compatible faith; they uphold the same religion, revere the same objects of worship, concepts, beliefs or principles, and share the same lines of interest-they are equally firm in all these or can reach agreement on them.
    2. Sama-sila: having compatible morality; they have conduct, morality, ethics, manners and upbringing which are harmonious or compatible.
    3. Sama-caga: having compatible generosity; they are in accord, not conflict, with each other in their generosity, hospitality, munificence, sacrifice, and readiness to help others.
    4. Sama-panna: having compatible intelligence; they are sensible and can understand each other; they can at least reason with each other.
    5. (A.II.60)

    B. Sweet couples and bitter couples: or "blessed couples and doomed couples," are partners who have qualities, tendencies, conduct and responses to each other that make their lives either, on the positive side, mutually supportive or compatible, or, on the negative side, barely endurable or downright miserable. In this regard, there is the teaching on the seven kinds of wives, as follows:

    1. Vadhaka-bhariya: the murderous wife; a wife who does not live happily with her husband, who disparages him and thinks of destroying him.
    2. Cori-bhariya: the thieving wife; a wife who squanders all her husband's wealth.
    3. Ayya-bhariya: the domineering wife; a wife who is lazy and doesn't attend to her duties; she is foul-mouthed and vulgar, and likes to dominate her husband.
    4. Mata-bhariya: the motherly wife; a wife who looks to her husband's well-being and attends to his needs, taking care of the money that he acquires and seeing that it is not squandered.
    5. Bhagini-bhariya: the sisterly wife; a wife who respects and loves her husband as a younger sister loves her brother; she is gentle and deferential, and tends to agree with her husband.
    6. Sakhi-bhariya: the comradely wife; a wife who is like a friend, loyal to her husband; when she greets her husband she is happy; she deports and conducts herself well; she has fine manners and is a friend who readily shares her husband's thoughts and feelings.
    7. Dasi-bhariya: the servile wife; a wife who lives under her husband's thumb, and who passively endures his beatings and abuse.
    8. (A.IV.91)

    According to the teachings, a wife should look at herself and ask herself what kind of wife she is now and what kind of wife she should be. For a man, this teaching might be used as a principle for exploring his own character to see which kind of wife he is most suited to, and to examine a potential partner to see whether or not she is suited to him.

    There are also many different kinds of husbands, in regard to which a parallel can be drawn to the seven kinds of wives.

    C. The couple sharing in goodness: the four principles for leading the household life (gharavasa-dhamma) can be used by a couple in the following ways:

    1. Sacca: truthfulness; being truthful and faithful to each other in thoughts, speech and deeds.
    2. Dama: training; exercising restraint, training themselves to correct faults, resolve differences, adapt to each other and improve themselves.
    3. Khanti: patience; being firm, stable and patient; not reacting impulsively to each other's affronts; enduring difficulties and hardships and overcoming obstacles together.
    4. Caga: sacrifice; being thoughtful, able to give up personal comfort for the sake of one's partner by, for example, foregoing sleep in order to nurse him or her in sickness; also being kind and generous, not uncharitable, to the relatives and friends of one's partner.
    5. (S.I.215)

    D. The couple sharing responsibility help and serve each other according to the teachings given on the rearward of the six directions as follows:

    A husband serves his wife by:

    1. Honoring her in accordance with her status as his wife.
    2. Not disparaging her.
    3. Not committing adultery.
    4. Giving her control of household concerns.
    5. Giving her occasional gifts of ornaments and clothing.

    A wife honors her husband by:

    1. Keeping the household tidy.
    2. Being helpful to the relations and friends of both sides of the family.
    3. Not committing adultery.
    4. Safeguarding any wealth that has been acquired.
    5. Being diligent in all her work.
    6. (D.III.192)

    E. A sympathetic husband: There are a number of conditions peculiar to a woman about which a husband should be considerate and to which he should respond with care and sympathy. They are:

    1. She must be parted from her kin despite her young age to live with her husband's family: the husband should make her feel at home.
    2. She has a monthly period, which sometimes causes vacillations in her physical and mental states: the husband needs to understand this.
    3. She may be with child, at which times she needs special care and attention, both physical and mental.
    4. She may give birth, which is an extremely painful and even life-threatening time: the husband should look after his wife as if her suffering were his own.
    5. She must submit to the wants of her husband: the husband should not do just as he pleases, but appreciate her attention and respond to it thoughtfully.
    6. (After S.IV.239)

    (A good head of family)

    A head of family, in addition to practicing in accordance with the qualities and principles already mentioned, for example by knowing how to make a living, should also abide by certain principles concerning responsibility for his family in the following ways:

    A. Ensuring the stability of the family line by practicing according to the principles for sustaining family prosperity, or causes for a family's prosperity and longevity, known as the four kula-cira hiti-dhamma:

    1. Nattha-gavesana: when things are lost or used up, he replenishes them.
    2. Jinna-patisankharana: when things are old and damaged, he restores and repairs them.
    3. Parimita-panabhojana: he knows moderation in eating and using.
    4. Adhipacca-silavanta-thapana: he places a moral and virtuous woman or man in charge of the household.
    5. (A.II.249)

    B. Honoring the people who are like fire: the following people are like fire-if one behaves toward them properly, great benefit can arise, but if one relates to them wrongly great harm can result, like burning oneself with fire. Thus one should act [toward them] as the ancient fire worshippers who took pains to tend the fires they worshipped caringly, cautiously, attentively and properly, out of respect and awe. These people are called aggi-paricariya (fires to be tended: people who must be worshipped by giving them attentive care and the respect proper to their position, like the fire of a fire worshipper):

    1. Ahuneyyaggi-"the fire deserving of offerings": father and mother.
    2. Gahapataggi-"the fire of the householder": wife, children and dependents.
    3. Dakkhineyyaggi-"the fire worthy of gifts": virtuous priests or monks, who teach and uphold righteousness, who practice rightly, and who are not heedless or deluded.
    4. (D.III.217)

    C. Attending to one's children: as a parent, one should be aware of the three kinds of children, and arrange education and training for them in order to ensure that they develop in the best way. They are:

    1. Abhijata-putta: the child who excels his or her parents, and is superior to them.
    2. Anujata-putta: the child who follows his or her parents, and is equal to them.
    3. Avajata-putta: the child who falls short of his or her parents, who drags the family down into ruin.
    4. (It.62)

    D. Maintaining the duties of a parent: helping children according to the principles of conduct for parents, who are described as the "forward direction," by:

    1. Cautioning and protecting them from evil.
    2. Nurturing and training them in goodness.
    3. Providing an education.
    4. Seeing to it that they obtain suitable spouses.
    5. Providing allowances and bequeathing the inheritance to them at the proper time.
    6. (D.III.191)

    E. Being a good citizen: the family is the basic social unit and is a factor for social and national prosperity and security. Thus, a good head of family should also be a good citizen by conducting himself according to the principles outlined in Chapter 12, point E.

    (A worthy heir)

    A family's successor, in addition to inheriting the wealth and family name, must also take over various duties and adopt certain virtuous qualities which are related to preserving the family lineage. In the first place, as a good heir, he should abide by the following principles:

    A. Opening the doorway to growth and progress: practicing according to the six conditions that are a doorway to benefit and happiness or the practices that are like a gateway of victory opening onto advancement in life (vaddhana-mukha), as follows:

    1. Arogya: maintaining good health; having the greatest wealth, which is the absence of illness in both mind and body.
    2. Sila: being possessed of discipline; conducting oneself well and properly, creating no trouble in the community.
    3. Buddhanumata: having a good example; studying and emulating great, enlightened beings.
    4. Suta: learning to be really learned; learning and seeking knowledge so as to be truly versed in one's subject; taking an interest in keeping updated.
    5. Dhammanuvatti: doing only what is right and good; firmly establishing oneself in righteousness; conducting both one's personal life and work with rectitude.
    6. Alinata: being energetic and diligent; being ardent, not given to discouragement or sluggishness; constantly striving forward.
    7.  (J.I.366)

    B. Shutting off the channels of ruin: steering clear of the practices that are channels to ruin and destruction, and which lead to the dissipation of wealth, known as the six pathways to ruin (apaya-mukha):

    1. To be addicted to drink and drugs, which has six hazards:

    1. Wealth visibly dissipates.
    2. Brawls are caused.
    3. Health is impaired.
    4. Reputation is harmed.
    5. Indecent exposure and shamelessness result.
    6. Intelligence is reduced.

    2. To be always revelling in nightlife, which has six hazards:

    1. One's self is not protected.
    2. Wife and children are not protected.
    3. Wealth is not protected.
    4. One is susceptible to suspicion and doubt.
    5. One is exposed to slander and rumor.
    6. It leads to trouble of many a kind.

    3. To be bent on entertainment, which has a harmful effect on work because one is always preoccupied with forms of entertainment and wasting time frequenting them: where there is dancing, singing or music, there one goes.

    4. To be addicted to gambling, which has six hazards:

    1. When one wins, one gains enemies.
    2. When one loses, one bemoans one's lost wealth.
    3. Wealth visibly dissipates.
    4. One's word is not respected in meetings.
    5. One is an object of contempt for one's friends
    6. One is not favored as a potential partner in life because one could not be trusted to raise a family

    5. To consort with evil people, which has the harmful effect of turning one into an evil person just like any of the six kinds of evil persons one associates with: that is, having friends that lead one into becoming a gambler, a womanizer, a drunkard, a forger, a trickster or a hood.

    6. To be chronically lazy, which has the harmful effect of causing one to give all kinds of excuses for putting off the work that should be done; new wealth does not arise, and old wealth dissipates. The six excuses for not working are "too cold," "too hot," "too late," "too early," "too hungry," and "too full."


    C. Cementing relationships with one's parents: as a son or daughter, one should honor one's parents, who are compared to the "forward direction," in the following ways:

    1. Having been raised by them, one looks after them in return.
    2. One helps them in their work.
    3. One continues the family line and tradition.
    4. One behaves as is proper for an heir.
    5. When they have passed away, one performs meritorious acts and dedicates the merits to them.
    6. (D .III.191)

    D. Having the guarantee of a life that will progress: The Buddha stated that children are the foundations of the human race. The sons and daughters of a family are the children of a society. They should be given training which provides them with a basic capital for preparing them to advance in their education and life development to become valuable members of society. This can be achieved by instilling in them the qualities known as the auroras of a good life, or the dawn of education, of which there are seven, as follows:

    1. Seeking out sources of wisdom and good examples.
    2. Having discipline as a foundation for life development.
    3. Having a heart that aspires to learning and constructive action.
    4. Dedicating oneself to training for the realization of one's full human potential.
    5. Adhering to the principle of conditionality; seeing things according to cause and effect.
    6. Establishing oneself in heedfulness.
    7. Thinking wisely so as to realize benefit and see the truth.

    For explanations, see Introductory Section: Human Beings and Being Human, 1. Man, the Noble Being.

    (True friends and false friends)

    Our association with friends is important, having a great influence on our advancement and regression in life. Thus we should be aware of the main teachings on friends. Listed here are the teachings on those who should be associated with and those who should not, and the principles through which friends should relate to each other:

    A. False friends: one should know the four kinds of false friends, or enemies in the guise of friends (mitta-patirupaka), as follows:

    1. The out-and-out robber, one who only takes from his friend (harajana), has four main features:

    1. He thinks only of getting.
    2. He gives little in the hope of getting much.
    3. Only when he is in danger does he help his friend.
    4. He is a friend only for his own profit.

    2. The smooth talker (vaciparama) has four main features:

    1. He is only good at talking about that which is done and gone.
    2. He is only good at talking about that which has not yet come.
    3. He offers help that is ineffectual.
    4. When his friend needs help, he makes excuses.

    3. The flatterer (anupiyabhani) has four main features:

    1. He consents to [his friend's] doing wrong.
    2. He consents to his doing right.
    3. He sings his praises to his face.
    4. He runs him down behind his back.

    4. The leader to ruin (apayasahaya) has four main features:

    1. He is a companion in drinking.
    2. He is a companion in night life.
    3. He is a companion in frequenting shows and fairs.
    4. He is a companion in gambling.

    B. True friends: one should know the four kinds of true friends, or friends at heart (suhada-mitta), as follows:

    1. The helping friend (upakaraka) has four main features:

    1. When his friend is off guard, he guards him.
    2. When his friend is off guard, he guards his property.
    3. In times of danger, he can be a refuge.
    4. In times of need, he gives more than asked for.

    2. The friend through thick and thin (samanasukhadukkha) has four main features:

    1. He confides in his friend.
    2. He keeps his friend's secrets.
    3. He does not desert his friend in times of danger.
    4. He will give even his life for his friend's sake.

    3. The good counselor (atthakkhayi) has four main features:

    1. He restrains his friend from doing evil or harm.
    2. He encourages his friend in goodness.
    3. He makes known to his friend what he has not heard before.
    4. He points out the way to prosperity and happiness.

    4. The loving friend (anukampi) has four main features:

    1. When his friend is unhappy, he commiserates.
    2. When his friend is happy, he is happy for him.
    3. When others criticize his friend, he comes to his defense.
    4. When others praise his friend, he joins in their praise.
    5. (D.III.185)

    C. Reciprocal friendship: friends should support each other according to the practices in the teachings on the "left direction"  listed below:

    One should treat friends as follows:

    1. Share with them.
    2. Speak kindly to them.
    3. Help them.
    4. Be constant through their ups and downs.
    5. Be faithful and sincere.

    Friends reciprocate as follows:

    1. When their friend is off guard, they protect him.
    2. When their friend is off guard, they protect his property.
    3. In times of danger, they can be a refuge.
    4. They do not desert their friend in times of need.
    5. They respect their friend's family and relations.
    6. (D.III.189)

    (Employee and employer)

    People who work together in the capacity of employee and employer should relate to each other properly in accordance with their duties, so that good relations are maintained and the work proceeds smoothly, by abiding by the principles of conduct outlined in the teachings on the "lower of the six directions" as follows:

    A. An employer should support his servants and employees by:

    1. Assigning them work in accordance with their strength, sex, age, and abilities.
    2. Paying them wages commensurate with their work and adequate for their livelihood.
    3. Granting them fringe benefits by, for example, providing medical care in times of sickness.
    4. Sharing with them a portion of any special profits that may accrue.
    5. Giving them appropriate holidays and time to rest.

    B. An employee helps his employer by:

    1. Starting work before him.
    2. Stopping work after him.
    3. Taking only what is given by the employer.
    4. Doing his job well and seeking ways to improve on it.
    5. Spreading a good reputation about his employer and his business.


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