Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 15: Existence and Inexistence

4. Two Kinds of Work

1. Thus I have heard: One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “There are two kinds of work.[1] What are the two? They are Dharma work and material work. Monks, the best kind of work doesn’t go beyond the Dharma work.

3. Therefore, monks, you should always train in Dharma work and not in material work. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

4. When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.


  1. two kinds of work. C. 二業. C. 業 could be read as “deeds,” but it seems awkward in this context. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 30 August 2023