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MN 99 From… Subhasutta: With Subha

“…Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Laypeople succeed in the system of the skillful teaching, not renunciates.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, student, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. I don’t praise wrong practice for either laypeople or renunciates. Because of wrong practice, neither laypeople nor renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching. I praise right practice for both laypeople and renunciates. Because of right practice, both laypeople and renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching.”

“Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Since the work of the lay life has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is very fruitful. But since the work of the renunciate has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is not very fruitful.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, too, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful.

And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Farming. And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it is farming. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Trade. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it’s trade.

The lay life is like farming in that it’s work with many requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful. The renunciate life is like trade in that it’s work with few requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful.”…


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