Having read "...is an ethical duty to acquire knowledge in order to improve our understanding", my person thought to investigate the matter in frame of the Dhamma. Against this sentence stands the common public idea and advertising of "knowledge, info, is a common right".

What does the Buddha say, right view accounts, in relation whether understanding is a "bring-duty, debt" (Bringschuld, [Jura] debt to be discharged at creditor's domicile, duty to inform the colleagues) or a "gain duty, debt" (Holschuld, [JURA] debt to be discharged at the domicile of the debtor /obligation to be performed at the place of business of the debtor)?

Does one with right view think "I have/would have a right for knowledge and understanding" or "I have/would have to make sacrifices to gain knowledge and understanding?

Of course one can use google to help investigating.

[Of course not at all given for trade and exchange, but as means for liberation from this corrupt wheel]

  • Please provide some support (evidence, reference, quote) for this generalizing assertion: "stands the common public idea and advertising of "knowledge, info, is a common right"" - where does this idea stand? Is it really common?
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:00
  • 1
    I guess it's crossed wires -- in context, Peter might have been saying "we have a duty to understand" in order to avoid being harmful -- whereas the OP's idea when posting that topic was maybe about, something like, its being blameworthy to post answers which are merely well-intentioned but ignorant.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:32
  • This means knowning the things that relate to the issues people are facing to get along.
    – Yvain
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 23:59
  • If not knowing that "one gains what one gives" yes, householder @Yvain . Beings are not aware of their dependency, not aware of goodness and foolishness is the cause of suffering, may one be pride as one likes. Giving downward tends downwardly.
    – user11235
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 5:13
  • @Samana Johann your answer is really innapropriate. Not to say wrong. You call me a housekeeper and you just don't know. I have no time for this go and seek the ones you lost back in the days, i'm too far away from your misconceptions.
    – Yvain
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 14:25

3 Answers 3


In some cases it seems like a Bringschuld -- e.g. the "debt" (of gratitude) which you owe to your parents is apparently to be repaid "to" your parents (so, by analogy, "at the creditor's domicile").

I think that when the Buddha taught, it was out of compassion -- and the way to "repay" that was by practising properly and benefiting -- so for example the Buddha requested or advised (in MN 103) that the monks should not quarrel amongst themselves. Perhaps you'd call that a Holschuld, i.e. an action performed by the monks in their own place and time.

Finally, assuming that Rahula gained understanding as a result of "reflecting" on his actions as described in MN 61 -- I'm not sure I see any "debt", at all, associated with that.

  • The Buddha and his generations of noble disciples gave out of compassion would be a great and protective observation, indeed. No duty at all did they have.
    – user11235
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 23:33

'Sacrifices' is puthujjana dharma, as follows:

And what is right view that is accompanied by defilements, has the attributes of good deeds, and ripens in attachment? ‘There is meaning in giving, sacrifice, and offerings...' MN 117

'Householders, if wife and husband want to see each other in both this life and the next, they should be equals in faith, ethical conduct, sacrifice (caga) and wisdom...' AN 4.55

'Sacrifice' is, for example, what a husband does so he can win the sexual favour of his wife.

If we think we are 'sacrificing' something, this means we still value the object of sacrifice.

Where as the Path is from dispassion. When there is dispassion & disenchantment towards all of the world (as the Buddha taught), there is nothing of value to sacrifice.

For example, Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Issac to please his worldly God. Where as the Buddha left his son to attain Nibbana (freedom from the world).

  • I'm not sure that the caga in that context means giving to each other, i.e. trading among themselves for each other's sexual favour. I interpreted it as, a married couple or family being generous towards others in (and outside of) society. The "sacrifice" meaning of caga is more Hindu, isn't it, i.e. "offerings" to a God?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:18

"ethical duty to acquire knowledge in order to improve our understanding" means, if we stay stupid, we will create bad karma (trouble) for everyone , therefore we must learn, in order to understand what to do.

"Must learn" - there is no debt here.

"Must learn" - there is no common right.

If we don't learn, we will keep getting everyone in trouble. That's what this means.

  • "Acquire" means "get", not "share".
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 8:27

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