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2

Letters to Perera Family

[ EL. 112 ]

6 August 1956

Dear Mr. Perera, You ask me whether it is all right to trade in opium and ganja. This is what the Buddha says: — There are, monks, these five trades that should not be carried on by an upåsaka. Which five? Trading in weapons, trading in living creatures, trading in flesh, trading in intoxicants, trading in poisons. These, monks, are the five trades that should not be carried on by an upåsaka. (Aπguttaranikåya V,xviii,7) You also ask me if your repeated failure in your business undertakings is due to bad kamma in the past. I think that it very probably is so. Here is another Sutta: — (The Venerable Såriputta speaks to the Buddha:) ‘What, Bhante, is the reason why the trade that one man undertakes is a complete failure, and why the trade that another man undertakes does not come up to expectation, and why the trade that yet another man undertakes does come up to expectation, and why the trade that still another man undertakes exceeds expectation?’ (The Buddha replies:) ‘Here, Såriputta, someone goes up to an ascetic or a monk and invites him saying, ‘Tell me what you need, Bhante’. Then he does not give what is expected of what he promised. If this man, when he dies, is reborn again in this world, then whatever trade he undertakes does not come up to this level of failure.1 Or again, Såriputta, someone goes up to an ascetic or monk and invites him saying, ‘Tell me what you need, Bhante’. Then he gives less than

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Early Letters (Seeking the Path - Ñāṇavīra Thera)  

Seeking the Path consists of Ñāṇavīra's extensive correspondence with Ñaṇamoli Thera from 1954-1959. These letters shed considerable light o...

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