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Buddha’s Teachings in the Pali Canon: Eight Factors that Result in Material and Spiritual Happiness


Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings recorded in the Pali Canon are extremely useful and appropriate for ordinary Buddhist professionals to lead gratifying and satisfying lives.

In AN 8.54 Dighajanu Sutta: Conditions of Welfare, a rich ordinary Buddhist called Vyagghapajja looked for the Buddha’s suggestions on how to have weal and happiness as an ordinary Buddhist professional in this and future life times.

The Buddha then taught him the Eight Factors that will result in material and spiritual happiness. There for 4 factors that result in material happiness and 4 factors that result in spiritual happiness.

So, what are the Eight Factors? Let us discover straight from AN 8.54 Dighajanu Sutta: Conditions of Welfare itself:

Four Factors that Result in Material Happiness

Factor # 1: Persistent Effort

“Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a homeowner makes his living, whether by farming, by trading, by raising livestock, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other type of craft– at that he ends up being experienced and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment regarding the correct methods and implies; he has the ability to perform and assign (tasks). This is called the achievement of consistent effort.

Factor # 2: Watchfulness

“Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a homeowner is in ownership of, acquired by dint of effort, gathered by strength of arm, by the sweat of his eyebrow, justly gotten by best ways– such he hubbies well by securing and viewing so that kings would not take it, burglars would not take it, fire would not burn it, water would not bring it away, nor ill-disposed successors eliminate it. This is the achievement of watchfulness.

Factor # 3: Good Friendship

“Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever town or market town a homeowner dwells, he associates, speaks, engages in conversations with homeowners or homeowners’ boys, whether young and extremely cultured or old and extremely cultured, filled with faith ( saddha), filled with virtue ( sila), filled with charity ( caga), filled with knowledge ( pañña). He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the knowledge of the smart. This is called great relationship.

Factor # 4: Balanced Livelihood

“Herein, Vyagghapajja, a homeowner understanding his earnings and expenditures leads a well balanced life, neither parsimonious nor elegant, understanding that therefore his earnings will stand in excess of his expenditures, however not his expenditures in excess of his earnings.

“Just as the goldsmith, or an apprentice of his, understands, on holding up a balance, that by a lot it has actually dipped down, by a lot it has slanted up; nevertheless a homeowner, understanding his earnings and expenditures leads a well balanced life, neither parsimonious nor elegant, understanding that therefore his earnings will stand in excess of his expenditures, however not his expenditures in excess of his earnings.

Four Factors that Result in Spiritual Happiness

Factor # 5: Faith

“Herein a homeowner is had of faith, he thinks in the Enlightenment of the Perfect One (Tathagata): Thus, undoubtedly, is that Blessed One: he is the pure one, completely informed, endowed with understanding and conduct, well-gone, the knower of worlds, the matchless leader of males to be tamed, the instructor of gods and males, all-knowing and blessed. This is called the achievement of faith.

Factor # 6: Virtue

“Herein a homeowner avoids eliminating, taking, sexual misbehavior, lying, and from intoxicants that trigger infatuation and heedlessness. This is called the achievement of virtue.

Factor # 7: Charity

“Herein a homeowner dwells at house with heart devoid of the stain of avarice, dedicated to charity, open-handed, thrilling in kindness, taking care of the clingy, thrilling in the circulation of alms. This is called the achievement of charity.

Factor # 8: Wisdom

“Herein a homeowner is smart: he is endowed with knowledge that comprehends the emerging and cessation (of the 5 aggregates of presence); he is had of the worthy permeating insight that causes the damage of suffering. This is called the achievement of knowledge.



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