Two Notions of Poverty in the Pāli Canon

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 3 1996

Two Notions of Poverty in the Pāli Canon

Mavis Fenn
McMaster University

The paper is divided into two sections. The first focuses on an analysis of the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda Sutta, a sutta that provides the most extensive discussion of poverty as deprivation in the Nikāyas. Poverty in this text is primarily a socio-political issue that effects the spiritual development of all members of society. The second section of the paper focuses on the notion of poverty as simplicity, a notion associated with renouncers who are akiñcana, “without anything,” “lacking possessions.” Central to this section is an analysis of the Aggañña Sutta.

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