Contrary to misconceptions held by certain quarters that Buddhism, with its spirit of tolerance and particularly in its practice of meditation, does not encourage its followers to work hard and to be industrious. The Buddha , in his many discourses, in fact strongly encouraged his followers not to be idle and indolent but to work hard and to be industrious so as to accumulate wealth through righteous means to maintain economic stability.
Whilst encouraging the accumulation of wealth, the Buddha incidentally warned his followers not to violate any ethical or religious principles in so doing. He also advised that man should not become a slave to the mere accumulation of wealth just for accumulation for sake but to protect it without neglect and waste. He advised that wealth should serve as an adequate means of livelihood for the family, should be utilized to assist relatives and friends where necessary, and to help the poor and needy as charitable acts.
In his discourse on various types of happiness in relation to wealth, the Buddha gave four practical classifications of happiness as follows:
– Happiness in the possession of wealth through righteous and legitimate means
– Happiness through the proper and correct usage of accumulated wealth;
– Happiness in the knowledge free from indebtedness to anyone;
Happiness in the knowledge that no illicit or illegitimate means had been employed in the course of accumulating wealth and that no one had been harmed or injured in so doing.