PEOPLE AND PEOPLE
13. THE PARTNER
(A good spouse)
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:
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):
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.
Sama-sila: having compatible morality; they have conduct,
morality, ethics, manners and upbringing which are harmonious or compatible.
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.
Sama-panna: having compatible intelligence; they are sensible and
can understand each other; they can at least reason with each other.
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:
Vadhaka-bhariya: the murderous wife; a wife who does not live
happily with her husband, who disparages him and thinks of destroying him.
Cori-bhariya: the thieving wife; a wife who squanders all her
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dasi-bhariya: the servile wife; a wife who lives under her
husband's thumb, and who passively endures his beatings and abuse.
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.
also many different kinds of husbands, in regard to which a parallel can be
drawn to the seven kinds of wives.
couple sharing in goodness:
the four principles for leading the household life (gharavasa-dhamma)
can be used by a couple in the following ways:
truthfulness; being truthful and faithful to each other in thoughts,
speech and deeds.
training; exercising restraint, training themselves to correct faults,
resolve differences, adapt to each other and improve themselves.
patience; being firm, stable and patient; not reacting impulsively to
each other's affronts; enduring difficulties and hardships and overcoming
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.
couple sharing responsibility help and serve each other according to the teachings given on
the rearward of the six directions as follows:
serves his wife by:
her in accordance with her status as his wife.
her control of household concerns.
her occasional gifts of ornaments and clothing.
honors her husband by:
the household tidy.
helpful to the relations and friends of both sides of the family.
Safeguarding any wealth that has been acquired.
diligent in all her work.
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.
- 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.
- She has a
monthly period, which sometimes causes vacillations in her physical and
mental states: the husband needs to understand this.
- She may be
with child, at which times she needs special care and attention, both
physical and mental.
- 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.
- 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.
14. THE KEEPER OF THE LINEAGE
(A good head of family)
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:
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:
Nattha-gavesana: when things are lost or used up, he replenishes them.
Jinna-patisankharana: when things are old and damaged, he restores and
Parimita-panabhojana: he knows moderation in eating and using.
Adhipacca-silavanta-thapana: he places a moral and virtuous woman or man
in charge of the household.
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
Ahuneyyaggi-"the fire deserving of offerings": father and mother.
Gahapataggi-"the fire of the householder": wife, children and
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.
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:
Abhijata-putta: the child who excels his or her parents, and is superior
Anujata-putta: the child who follows his or her parents, and is equal to
Avajata-putta: the child who falls short of his or her parents, who
drags the family down into ruin.
Maintaining the duties of a parent:
helping children according to the principles of conduct for parents, who are
described as the "forward direction," by:
and protecting them from evil.
and training them in goodness.
- Seeing to
it that they obtain suitable spouses.
allowances and bequeathing the inheritance to them at the proper time.
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.
15. THE FAMILY SUCCESSOR
(A worthy heir)
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:
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:
maintaining good health; having the greatest wealth, which is the
absence of illness in both mind and body.
being possessed of discipline; conducting oneself well and properly,
creating no trouble in the community.
Buddhanumata: having a good example; studying and emulating
great, enlightened beings.
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.
Dhammanuvatti: doing only what is right and good; firmly
establishing oneself in righteousness; conducting both one's personal life
and work with rectitude.
being energetic and diligent; being ardent, not given to discouragement
or sluggishness; constantly striving forward.
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
1. To be
addicted to drink and drugs, which has six hazards:
- Brawls are
- Health is
exposure and shamelessness result.
Intelligence is reduced.
2. To be
always revelling in nightlife, which has six hazards:
- One's self
is not protected.
- Wife and
children are not protected.
- Wealth is
- One is
susceptible to suspicion and doubt.
- One is
exposed to slander and rumor.
- 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:
- When one
wins, one gains enemies.
- When one
loses, one bemoans one's lost wealth.
- One's word
is not respected in meetings.
- One is an
object of contempt for one's friends
- One is not
favored as a potential partner in life because one could not be trusted to
raise a family
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."
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:
- Having been
raised by them, one looks after them in return.
- One helps
them in their work.
continues the family line and tradition.
- One behaves
as is proper for an heir.
- When they
have passed away, one performs meritorious acts and dedicates the merits to
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:
- Seeking out
sources of wisdom and good examples.
discipline as a foundation for life development.
- Having a
heart that aspires to learning and constructive action.
oneself to training for the realization of one's full human potential.
- Adhering to
the principle of conditionality; seeing things according to cause and
Establishing oneself in heedfulness.
wisely so as to realize benefit and see the truth.
explanations, see Introductory Section: Human Beings and Being Human, 1.
Man, the Noble Being.
16. THE COMPANY ONE
(True friends and false friends)
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:
one should know
the four kinds of false friends, or enemies in the guise of friends (mitta-patirupaka),
out-and-out robber, one who only takes from his friend (harajana),
has four main features:
thinks only of getting.
gives little in the hope of getting much.
when he is in danger does he help his friend.
- He is
a friend only for his own profit.
(vaciparama) has four main features:
- He is
only good at talking about that which is done and gone.
- He is
only good at talking about that which has not yet come.
offers help that is ineffectual.
his friend needs help, he makes excuses.
flatterer (anupiyabhani) has four main features:
consents to [his friend's] doing wrong.
consents to his doing right.
sings his praises to his face.
runs him down behind his back.
leader to ruin
(apayasahaya) has four main features:
- He is
a companion in drinking.
- He is
a companion in night life.
- He is
a companion in frequenting shows and fairs.
- He is
a companion in gambling.
one should know
the four kinds of true friends, or friends at heart (suhada-mitta),
(upakaraka) has four main features:
his friend is off guard, he guards him.
his friend is off guard, he guards his property.
times of danger, he can be a refuge.
times of need, he gives more than asked for.
friend through thick and thin (samanasukhadukkha) has four
confides in his friend.
keeps his friend's secrets.
does not desert his friend in times of danger.
will give even his life for his friend's sake.
(atthakkhayi) has four main features:
restrains his friend from doing evil or harm.
encourages his friend in goodness.
makes known to his friend what he has not heard before.
points out the way to prosperity and happiness.
(anukampi) has four main features:
his friend is unhappy, he commiserates.
his friend is happy, he is happy for him.
others criticize his friend, he comes to his defense.
others praise his friend, he joins in their praise.
friends should support each other according to the practices in the
teachings on the "left direction" listed below:
should treat friends as follows:
kindly to them.
constant through their ups and downs.
faithful and sincere.
reciprocate as follows:
their friend is off guard, they protect him.
their friend is off guard, they protect his property.
times of danger, they can be a refuge.
do not desert their friend in times of need.
respect their friend's family and relations.
17. THE WORKER AND THE BOSS
(Employee and employer)
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
employer should support his servants and employees by:
them work in accordance with their strength, sex, age, and abilities.
them wages commensurate with their work and adequate for their
them fringe benefits by, for example, providing medical care in times of
with them a portion of any special profits that may accrue.
them appropriate holidays and time to rest.
employee helps his employer by:
work before him.
work after him.
only what is given by the employer.
- Doing his
job well and seeking ways to improve on it.
a good reputation about his employer and his business.