Now at that time, young Sigala, a householder's son, rising early in the morning, departing from Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worshipped with joined hands the various quarters — the East, the South, the West, the North, the Nadir, and the Zenith.
"Wherefore do you, young householder, rising early in the morning, departing from Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worship, with joined hands these various quarters — the East, the South, the West, the North, the Nadir, and the Zenith?"
"My father, Lord, while dying, said to me: The six quarters, dear son, you shall worship. And I, Lord, respecting, revering, reverencing and honoring my father's word, rise early in the morning, and leaving Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worship with joined hands, these six quarters."
"How then, Lord, should the six quarters be worshipped in the discipline of the noble? It is well, Lord, if the Exalted One would teach the doctrine to me showing how the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble."
And the Exalted One spoke as follows:
"Inasmuch, young householder, as the noble disciple (1) has eradicated the four vices in conduct, (2) inasmuch as he commits no evil action in four ways, (3) inasmuch as he pursues not the six channels for dissipating wealth, he thus, avoiding these fourteen evil things, covers the six quarters, and enters the path leading to victory in both worlds: he is favored in this world and in the world beyond. Upon the dissolution of the body, after death, he is born in a happy heavenly realm.
(1) "What are the four vices in conduct that he has eradicated? The destruction of life, householder, is a vice and so are stealing, sexual misconduct, and lying. These are the four vices that he has eradicated."
(2) "In which four ways does one commit no evil action? Led by desire does one commit evil. Led by anger does one commit evil. Led by ignorance does one commit evil. Led by fear does one commit evil.
Whoever through desire, hate or fear, Or ignorance should transgress the Dhamma, All his glory fades away Like the moon during the waning half. Whoever through desire, hate or fear, Or ignorance never transgresses the Dhamma, All his glory ever increases Like the moon during the waxing half.
(3) "What are the six channels for dissipating wealth which he does not pursue?
(a) "indulgence in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness; (b) sauntering in streets at unseemly hours; (c) frequenting theatrical shows; (d) indulgence in gambling which causes heedlessness; (e) association with evil companions; (f) the habit of idleness.
(i) he himself is unprotected and unguarded, (ii) his wife and children are unprotected and unguarded, (iii) his property is unprotected and unguarded, (iv) he is suspected of evil deeds, (v) he is subject to false rumours, (vi) he meets with many troubles.
(i) the winner begets hate, (ii) the loser grieves for lost wealth, (iii) loss of wealth, (iv) his word is not relied upon in a court of law, (v) he is despised by his friends and associates, (vi) he is not sought after for matrimony; for people would say he is a gambler and is not fit to look after a wife.
(e) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely: any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his friend and companion.
"He does no work, saying:
(i) that it is extremely cold, (ii) that it is extremely hot, (iii) that it is too late in the evening, (iv) that it is too early in the morning, (v) that he is extremely hungry, (vi) that he is too full.
"Who plays with dice and drinks intoxicants, goes to women who are dear unto others as their own lives, associates with the mean and not with elders — he declines just as the moon during the waning half.
"But he who does not regard cold or heat any more than a blade of grass and who does his duties manfully, does not fall away from happiness."
"These four, young householder, should be understood as foes in the guise of friends:
(1) he who appropriates a friend's possessions, (2) he who renders lip-service, (3) he who flatters, (4) he who brings ruin.
(i) he makes friendly profession as regards the past, (ii) he makes friendly profession as regards the future, (iii) he tries to gain one's favor by empty words, (iv) when opportunity for service has arisen, he expresses his inability.
(i) he is a companion in indulging in intoxicants that cause infatuation and heedlessness, (ii) he is a companion in sauntering in streets at unseemly hours, (iii) he is a companion in frequenting theatrical shows, (iv) he is a companion in indulging in gambling which causes heedlessness."
"These four, young householder, should be understood as warm-hearted friends:
(i) he guards the heedless, (ii) he protects the wealth of the heedless, (iii) he becomes a refuge when you are in danger, (iv) when there are commitments he provides you with double the supply needed.
The friend who is a helpmate, the friend in happiness and woe, the friend who gives good counsel, the friend who sympathises too — these four as friends the wise behold and cherish them devotedly as does a mother her own child.
One portion for his wants he uses, two portions on his business spends, the fourth for times of need he keeps.
"The following should be looked upon as the six quarters. The parents should be looked upon as the East, teachers as the South, wife and children as the West, friends and associates as the North, servants and employees as the Nadir, ascetics and brahmans as the Zenith.
(i) Having supported me I shall support them, (ii) I shall do their duties, (iii) I shall keep the family tradition, (iv) I shall make myself worthy of my inheritance, (v) furthermore I shall offer alms in honor of my departed relatives.
(i) they restrain them from evil, (ii) they encourage them to do good, (iii) they train them for a profession, (iv) they arrange a suitable marriage, (v) at the proper time they hand over their inheritance to them.
(i) they train them in the best discipline, (ii) they see that they grasp their lessons well, (iii) they instruct them in the arts and sciences, (iv) they introduce them to their friends and associates, (v) they provide for their safety in every quarter.
(i) by being courteous to her, (ii) by not despising her, (iii) by being faithful to her, (iv) by handing over authority to her, (v) by providing her with adornments.
(i) she performs her duties well, (ii) she is hospitable to relations and attendants (iii) she is faithful, (iv) she protects what he brings, (v) she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.
(i) by liberality, (ii) by courteous speech, (iii) by being helpful, (iv) by being impartial, (v) by sincerity.
(i) they protect him when he is heedless, (ii) they protect his property when he is heedless, (iii) they become a refuge when he is in danger, (iv) they do not forsake him in his troubles, (v) they show consideration for his family.
(i) by assigning them work according to their ability, (ii) by supplying them with food and with wages, (iii) by tending them in sickness, (iv) by sharing with them any delicacies, (v) by granting them leave at times.
(i) they restrain him from evil, (ii) they persuade him to do good, (iii) they love him with a kind heart, (iv) they make him hear what he has not heard, (v) they clarify what he has already heard, (vi) they point out the path to a heavenly state.
"In these six ways do ascetics and brahmans show their compassion towards a householder who ministers to them as the Zenith. Thus is the Zenith covered by him and made safe and secure." Thus spoke the Exalted One. And when the Master had thus spoken, he spoke yet again:
Since these four winning ways The wise appraise in every way, To eminence they attain, And praise they rightly gain.
"Excellent, Lord, excellent! It is as if, Lord, a man were to set upright that which was overturned, or were to reveal that which was hidden, or were to point out the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold a lamp amidst the darkness, so that those who have eyes may see. Even so, has the doctrine been explained in various ways by the Exalted One.
kamma-kilesa, lit., 'actions of defilement.'
These are the four agati, 'evil courses of action': chanda, dosa, moha, bhaya.
Crimes committed by others.
A kind of amusement.
The Pali original has here "six causes" as two compound words and one double-term phrase are counted as units.
Dhammapada v. 49: "As a bee, without harming the flower, its color or scent, flies away, collecting only the honey..."
This portion includes what is spent on good works: gifts to monks, charity, etc.
"The symbolism is deliberately chosen: as the day in the East, so life begins with parents' care; teacher's fees and the South are the same word: dakkhina; domestic cares follow when the youth becomes man, as the West holds the later daylight; North is 'beyond' (uttara), so by help of friends, etc., he gets beyond troubles." — (Rhys Davids)
This is a sacred custom of the Aryans who never forgot the dead. This tradition is still faithfully observed by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka who make ceremonial offerings of alms to the monks on the eighth day, in the third month, and on each anniversary of the demise of the parents. Merit of these good actions is offered to the departed after such ceremony. Moreover after every punna-kamma (good action), a Buddhist never fails to think of his parents and offer merit. Such is the loyalty and the gratitude shown to parents as advised by the Buddha.
lit., 'the folk around' (parijana).
"Sigalovada Sutta: The Discourse to Sigala" (DN 31), translated from the Pali by Narada Thera. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.nara.html .