Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

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LG2V
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Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by LG2V » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:40 am

The main sutta that is cited in favor of this claim is MN 117:
"[5] Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. This is one's right view. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain. This is wrong livelihood.
Here's the Pali:
Tatra bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti. Kathañca bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti: micchāājīvaṃ micchāājīvoti pajānāti. Sammāājīvaṃ sammāājīvoti pajānāti. Sāssa hoti sammādiṭṭhi.

Katamo ca bhikkhave, micchāājīvo: kuhanā lapanā nemittikatā nippesikatā lābhena lābhaṃ nijigiṃsanātā1 ayaṃ bhikkhave, micchāājīvo.
I am curious. How far does the phrase, "Pursuing gain with gain" extend? Is it purely charging interest, taking debts, or investment in general? What about investing in stocks or bitcoin/altcoin? It seems that the broadest interpretation would mean putting money into anything you suspect will appreciate in value, which doesn't seem to be the case in my opinion.

What do you all think?
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chownah
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:10 am

I'm not sure that pursueing gain with gain has anything to do with charging intereset for a loan......what does it mean anyway?
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:05 am

LG2V wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:40 am
The main sutta that is cited in favor of this claim is MN 117:
"[5] Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. This is one's right view. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain. This is wrong livelihood.
I am curious. How far does the phrase, "Pursuing gain with gain" extend?
This paragraph in MN 117 appears to pertain to monks rather than to laypeople; (for laypeople, see DN 31, below). 'Pursuing gain with gain' is provided an explanation in the Visuddhimagga & appears to mean using what is given to obtain more gains; such as giving away alms food to laypeople to increase one's reputation & benefaction:
65. ”Herein, what is pursuing gain with gain? Seeking, seeking for, seeking out, going
in search of, searching for, searching out material goods by means of material goods,
such as carrying there goods that have been got from here, or carrying here goods that
have been got from there, by one bent on gain, honour and renown, by one of evil
wishes, a prey to wishes—this is called pursuing gain with gain.”19 (Vibh 352–53)

82. `In the description of pursuing gain with gain: pursuing is hunting after. Got
from here is got from this house. There is into that house. Seeking is wanting. Seeking
for is hunting after. Seeking out is hunting after again and again. The story of
the bhikkhu who went round giving away the alms he had got at first to children
of families here and there and in the end got milk and gruel should be told here.
Searching, etc., are synonyms for “seeking,” etc., and so the construction here should
be understood thus: going in search of is seeking; searching for is seeking for; searching
out is seeking out.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf
:candle:
LG2V wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:40 am
Is it purely charging interest, taking debts, or investment in general?

Usury is the action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest. The teachings would not appear to not look upon usury favourably or ideally given they say indebtedness is bondage:
And what is the bliss of debtlessness? There is the case where the son of a good family owes no debt, great or small, to anyone at all. When he thinks, 'I owe no debt, great or small, to anyone at all,' he experiences bliss, he experiences joy. This is called the bliss of debtlessness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
:candle:
LG2V wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:40 am
What about investing in stocks or bitcoin/altcoin? It seems that the broadest interpretation would mean putting money into anything you suspect will appreciate in value, which doesn't seem to be the case in my opinion.
Bitcoin appears to be a Ponzi scheme (where someone gets stuck holding the bag) because there is nothing to stop the creation of more crypto-currencies. Its ironic inflationary money-printing is one of the rationales for Bitcoin yet Bitcoin is also mere printing of currency out of thin air.

As for investing in productive assets, Buddhism is not against this, as show in the following quote:
The wise and virtuous shine like a blazing fire.
He who acquires his wealth in harmless ways
like to a bee that honey gathers,
riches mount up for him
like ant hill's rapid growth.

With wealth acquired this way,
a layman fit for household life,
in portions four divides his wealth:
thus will he friendship win.

One portion for his wants he uses,
two portions on his business [investment] spends,
the fourth for times of need he keeps.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nara.html

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LG2V
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by LG2V » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:00 am

@DooDoot Thank you. Wow, that was a great explanation. It makes so much sense. You're super smart. :twothumbsup:

Yeah, I think that usury was the wrong term for me to use. I thought that it meant lending in general. I forgot that it meant predatory lending. Nonetheless, you hit the nail on the head in answering my question. Thanks.
Last edited by LG2V on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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chownah
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:52 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:05 am
The teachings would not appear to not look upon usury favourably or ideally given they say indebtedness is bondage:
And what is the bliss of debtlessness? There is the case where the son of a good family owes no debt, great or small, to anyone at all. When he thinks, 'I owe no debt, great or small, to anyone at all,' he experiences bliss, he experiences joy. This is called the bliss of debtlessness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about indebtiness....seems it is just talking about debtlessness. I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about bondage at all.
Do you have some other reference in mind which says that indebtedness is bondage? Seems to me that indebtedness can only be bondage if a legal system makes it so.
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm

chownah wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:52 am
I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about indebtiness....seems it is just talking about debtlessness.
:roll:
LG2V wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:00 am
Wow, that was a great explanation.
@LG2V. I am glad to see you easily comprehended, without trouble, the great explanations in the Pali suttas :) . Below are other quotes to consider:
Poverty is called
suffering in the world;
so, too, is getting into debt.

A poor person, in debt,
partaking of sensuality, suffers hardship.
Then they hound him
and put him into bondage:
the painful
bond for one longing to gain
sensual pleasures.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an6.45
Kevaṭṭa, suppose a man were to take a loan and apply it to his business, and his business were to succeed, so that he could pay back his old debts and would have enough money left over to maintain a wife. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn11

chownah
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by chownah » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:52 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm
chownah wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:52 am
I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about indebtiness....seems it is just talking about debtlessness.
:roll:
I don't understand this reply....please explain.
chownah

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LG2V
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by LG2V » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:17 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm

@LG2V. I am glad to see you easily comprehended, without trouble, the great explanations in the Pali suttas :) . Below are other quotes to consider:
Poverty is called
suffering in the world;
so, too, is getting into debt.

A poor person, in debt,
partaking of sensuality, suffers hardship.
Then they hound him
and put him into bondage:
the painful
bond for one longing to gain
sensual pleasures.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an6.45
Kevaṭṭa, suppose a man were to take a loan and apply it to his business, and his business were to succeed, so that he could pay back his old debts and would have enough money left over to maintain a wife. He would reflect on this, and as a result he would become glad and experience joy.

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn11
Thanks a ton DooDoot. This is very good advice.
Here are some excellent sites for giving free Dana (Click-Based Donation):
http://freerice.comhttp://greatergood.com/www.ripple.orgwww.thenonprofits.com

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by chownah » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:55 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:52 am
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:05 am
The teachings would not appear to not look upon usury favourably or ideally given they say indebtedness is bondage:
And what is the bliss of debtlessness? There is the case where the son of a good family owes no debt, great or small, to anyone at all. When he thinks, 'I owe no debt, great or small, to anyone at all,' he experiences bliss, he experiences joy. This is called the bliss of debtlessness.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about indebtiness....seems it is just talking about debtlessness. I don't see how the quote you brought says anything about bondage at all.
Do you have some other reference in mind which says that indebtedness is bondage? Seems to me that indebtedness can only be bondage if a legal system makes it so.
chownah
I'm still wondering if you have a reference which supports your claim that the teachings say that indebtedness is bondage. You made an inarticulate post which I don't understand and you made another post which doesn't support that claim.

Do you have a refernce which supports your claim that the teachings say that indebtedness is bondage?

Does anyone have such a reference?
chownah

perkele
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Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by perkele » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:29 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:55 am
Does anyone have such a reference?
chownah
AN 6.45 - Ina Sutta: Debt wrote:
"Monks, for one who partakes of sensuality, poverty is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And a poor, destitute, penniless person gets into debt. For one who partakes of sensuality, getting into debt is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And a poor, destitute, penniless person, having gotten into debt, owes interest payments. For one who partakes of sensuality, interest payment is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person owing interest payments does not pay interest on time, they serve him notice. For one who partakes of sensuality, being served notice is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person, being served notice, does not pay, they hound him. For one who partakes of sensuality, being hounded is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person, being hounded, does not pay, he is put into bondage. For one who partakes of sensuality, bondage is suffering in the world."

...

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Is usury a form of wrong livelihood?

Post by chownah » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:46 pm

perkele wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:29 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:55 am
Does anyone have such a reference?
chownah
AN 6.45 - Ina Sutta: Debt wrote:
"Monks, for one who partakes of sensuality, poverty is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And a poor, destitute, penniless person gets into debt. For one who partakes of sensuality, getting into debt is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And a poor, destitute, penniless person, having gotten into debt, owes interest payments. For one who partakes of sensuality, interest payment is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person owing interest payments does not pay interest on time, they serve him notice. For one who partakes of sensuality, being served notice is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person, being served notice, does not pay, they hound him. For one who partakes of sensuality, being hounded is suffering in the world."

"Yes, lord."

"And when a poor, destitute, penniless person, being hounded, does not pay, he is put into bondage. For one who partakes of sensuality, bondage is suffering in the world."

...
This shows quit clearly that it is partaking of sensuality which is the root of the suffering.....and it shows that if one does not pay then one is put into bondage......just as I said in a previous post it is the legal system which brings bondage to indebtedness...it is not inherent in indebtedness....it is inherent in the legal system if it exists or not inre indebtedness......and typically if you pay then there is no bondage.
chownah

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