What are the teachings from Pali canon on negotiation in a business or social context? I have read tips such as not to make a false negative attitude on someone's property and acquire it. It is a form of stealing. Or sometimes the buyer will make techniques not to pay the real value. It is also a form of stealing according to Buddhist texts. So my concern is on how to negotiate on things/price such that all the parties involved get happy. I will be really grateful for an answer with some references from Pali Canon or from the teachings of a Buddhist scholar. Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


In the Sigalovada Sutta the Buddha gives the following advice regarding wealth creation

He who acquires his wealth in harmless ways

like to a bee that honey gathers,

riches mount up for him

like ant hill's rapid growth

So the bee gains from the flower and the flower remains as radiant as ever after the bee has visited. The bee doesn't just buzz off leaving the flower an absolute wreck. From that I would suggest that the important point is that during the negotiation neither party is harmed at the end. Negotiation is a part of business and a part of life that many lay followers must engage in but nevertheless it is an activity that should not cause harm.

As an aside, Bhikkhu Basnagoda Rahula's book The Buddha's teaching on Prosperity gives much more of the Buddhas advice on wealth and wealth creation which you may find interesting.

  • Thank you for the perfect answer, I really needed the answer for this, I think I got the core of the verse after your explanation, "neither party is harmed at the end". It's the necessary condition in negotiation. Value for one or more parties may be a contributing factor for an exchange. Thank you again for the clean and perfect answer!
    – seeker
    Aug 17, 2015 at 14:19

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