Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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salayatananirodha
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Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:09 am

I have been thru some of the older threads on the issue what is wrong livelihood and do not feel as if I have a clear answer on this topic.
I will ask about a job I am considering applying to as an example. It is for a receptionist at a pest control company.
I don't have any desire to support the pest control industry and it is something I'm against
But this job as far as I know doesn't require killing, and it pays better than my current job.
I have heard about wage labor not being as prevalent in ancient india, so maybe we have to take this in context of the suttas on wrong livelihood. I have read forumers' opinions here about whether it is okay to work for example as a server who serves food and alcohol or whether it is okay to be a bartender
If possible, I would like to steer away from what we feel is correct and present sutta(/vinaya?) specific references to help clarify the matter. I also have duties at my current job I'm not completely comfortable with, so even if I do or don't apply for the job, I want to know because this has been a lurking question for me. To what extent can you be involved in wrong livelihood and not be stained by it; where is there perhaps a line drawn
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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sunnat
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by sunnat » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:22 am

Volition. Intention. Compassion.

SarathW
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by SarathW » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:24 am

The way I understand, working as a receptionist for a pest control company is not wrong livelihood.
Make sure that you are not expose to poison.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by DooDoot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:24 am

Sounds fine to me. The last pest controller I used I was very satisfied with (although they did not kill any pests). I can't let termites break the 2nd precept and eat my house therefore I must call King Yama every two years to ensure the termites are not breaking the 2nd precept. :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Volo
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by Volo » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:51 am

Imo if the job is not connected with killing/preparing (purchasing) poison, etc it should be fine. It would be like selling food or clothes to a killer. You are supporting him in a way, but you are not responsible for his crimes.

dharmacorps
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:11 pm

I'm not so sure. You'd be working with poisons (which is a whole matter in and of itself), and you would be a messenger of ordering someone to kill. For example, someone calls the exterminator, and asks (basically) the exterminator to kill insects/pests in their household. You then pass along that order to the exterminator and facilitate the killing. Although it isn't your intention to kill, you are passing along the order to kill so I am not sure this job could be considered right livelihood. Do you have any other options for employment?

sunnat
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Re: Need some further clarification of wrong livelihood

Post by sunnat » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:41 am

Use the fundamental principles to make your decision. What is your volition.

If you are a bhikku you have already made the decision. As a layperson the decision may be different.

There is doubt in you. Doubt is a hindrance.

___

"Not to do any evil, To cultivate good, To purify one's mind" -- This is the advice of the Buddhas.
- Dhammapada

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