Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Buddha’s Teachings on Prosperity - Preface

At Home, At Work, In the World

Preface

Determined to bring benefit and happiness to a great number of people, the Buddha established a well-organized society. This social movement attracted hundreds of thousands of men and women who belonged to all social classes.

The Buddha’s new society consisted of two groups, ordained disciples and lay followers, both of which he considered equally important. While the Buddha made every effort to lead his ordained disciples to the highest spiritual progress, he also made every effort to guide his lay followers toward prosperity, wisdom, and inner peace—yet history seems to have largely buried this part of his guidance!

The passage of twenty-six centuries has obscured the Buddha’s teachings for the lay community—and often what reference can be found makes these teachings seem insignificant or presents them in a way that can be misleading. This book intends to restore them to prominence, with context and clarity. Breaking through historical and cultural barriers, it traces what the Buddha actually taught for the benefit of his lay followers, and regroups and elucidates his teachings on lay life.

Numerous requests from various quarters, especially from the audiences of my public talks, sowed the seeds of this book on the Buddha’s philosophy and guidance of lay life. Considering the scarcity of similar works and the usefulness of such a book to society, I ventured to undertake the task. This book is the result.