Aṇguttara Nikāya

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Aṇguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipata

The Book of Fives

Sutta 177

Vaṇijjā Suttaṃ


Translated from the Pāḷi
Michael M. Olds



Translators Introduction

Notice here the use of broad general or generic terms for the various occupations thus rendering the list less subject to time. 'Swords' is to imply weapons. It could have been 'knives', but knives are sometimes not used as weapons. Trade in living beings implies more than the slave trade and includes trade in animals raised for slaughter. Trade in 'limbs' or 'members' (parts) points to the role of the butcher.



[1][pts][than] I Hear Tell:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Sāvatthi-town, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park, came-a revisiting.

There, to the Beggars gathered round, he said:


And: "Broke Tooth!" the Beggars gathered round responded.

Then Bhagava said:

"Five, beggars, are the trades[1] that should not be undertaken by a lay follower.

What five?

Trade in swords,
trade in living beings,
trade in limbs,
trade in maddening drugs,
trade in poisons.

These are the five trades, beggars, that should not be undertaken by a lay follower."


[1] Vaṇijjā. Trade. Sattha- swords, weapons; satta- living beings, human slaves, animals raised for slaughter, probably even animals raised for farm labor, possibly even pets; maṃsa- limbs, members, (meat), 'parts'; majja- maddening drugs, alcohol, intoxicants, any substance resulting in people loosing good judgment; visa- poisons.


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