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A while ago I remember reading part of the Pail Canon where it gave a comprehensive list of professions the Buddha considers not right livelihood. It has things like fortune tellers in the list. I remember the list was quite anachronistic in parts but also very interesting and instructive. Can anyone give that reference and perhaps copy in the original text if it isn't too long.

Also is there an equivalent list of professions that would be considered right livelihood in the Pail Canon.

Many Thanks

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An introduction to Right Livelihood on accesstoinsight references very short definitions of right and wrong livelihood for lay followers. And in fact I've never yet found a detailed description of right and wrong livelihood, beyond these quotes. You can also infer some ethical rules from what the Sigalovada Sutta says about Workers; and from RIght Livelihood being on the "ethics" branch of the Eight-fold path.

The "not right livelihood which include things like fortune tellers in the list" might be from here, The Great Section on Virtue in Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life (note that these are said to be 'wrong' for "contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith"):

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as: reading marks on the limbs [e.g., palmistry]; reading omens and signs; interpreting celestial events [falling stars, comets]; interpreting dreams; reading features of the body [e.g., phrenology]; reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice; offering fire oblations, oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil; offering oblations from the mouth; offering blood-sacrifices; making predictions based on the fingertips; geomancy; making predictions for state officials; laying demons in a cemetery; placing spells on spirits; earth-skills [divining water and gems?]; snake-skills, poison-skills, scorpion-skills, rat-skills, bird-skills, crow-skills; predicting life spans; giving protective charms; casting horoscopes — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as: determining lucky and unlucky gems, staffs, garments, swords, arrows, bows, and other weapons; women, men, boys, girls, male slaves, female slaves; elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, cows, goats, rams, fowl, quails, lizards, rabbits, tortoises, and other animals — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as [forecasting]: the rulers will march forth; the rulers will not march forth; our rulers will attack, and their rulers will retreat; their rulers will attack, and our rulers will retreat; there will be triumph for our rulers and defeat for their rulers; there will be triumph for their rulers and defeat for our rulers; thus there will be triumph this one, defeat for that one — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as [forecasting]: there will be a lunar eclipse; there will be a solar eclipse; there will be an occultation of [a conjunction of the moon or a planet with] an asterism; the sun and moon will be favorable; the sun and moon will be unfavorable; the asterisms will be favorable; the asterisms will be unfavorable; there will be a meteor shower; there will be a flickering light on the horizon [an aurora?]; there will be an earthquake; there will be thunder coming from dry clouds; there will be a rising, a setting, a darkening, a brightening of the sun, moon, and asterisms; such will be the result of the lunar eclipse ... the rising, setting, darkening, brightening of the sun, moon, and asterisms — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as [forecasting]: there will be abundant rain; there will be a drought; there will be plenty; there will be famine; there will be rest and security; there will be danger; there will be disease; there will be freedom from disease; or they earn their living by accounting, counting, calculation, composing poetry, or teaching hedonistic arts and doctrines [lokāyata] — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as: calculating auspicious dates for marriages — both those in which the bride is brought home and those in which she is sent out; calculating auspicious dates for betrothals and divorces; for collecting debts or making investments and loans; reciting charms to make people attractive or unattractive; curing women who have undergone miscarriages or abortions; reciting spells to bind a man's tongue, to paralyze his jaws, to make him lose control over his hands, or to bring on deafness; getting oracular answers to questions addressed to a spirit in a mirror, in a young girl, or to a spirit medium; worshipping the sun, worshipping the Great Brahmā, bringing forth flames from the mouth, invoking the goddess of luck — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these.

"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as: promising gifts to deities in return for favors; fulfilling such promises; demonology; reciting spells in earth houses [see earth skills, above]; inducing virility and impotence; preparing sites for construction; consecrating sites for construction; giving ceremonial mouthwashes and ceremonial baths; offering sacrificial fires; administering emetics, purges, purges from above, purges from below, head-purges; ear-oil, eye-drops, treatments through the nose, ointments, and counter-ointments; practicing eye-surgery [or: extractive surgery], general surgery, pediatrics; administering root-medicines and binding medicinal herbs — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."

"A monk thus consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Just as a head-anointed noble warrior king who has defeated his enemies sees no danger anywhere from his enemies, in the same way the monk thus consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk is consummate in virtue.

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The five types of wrong livelihood:

  1. Weapons dealing
  2. Human trafficking (slavery, prostitution)
  3. Intoxiciant dealing
  4. Poison dealing
  5. Any work dealing with meat -- AN 5.177

Wrong Action in One's Livelihood

  1. Scheming
  2. Persuading
  3. Hinting
  4. Belittling
  5. Pursuing gain with gain

-- MN 117

Wrong Livelihood for Contemplatives

  1. reading marks on the limbs [like palmistry]
  2. reading omens and signs
  3. interpreting celestial events
  4. interpreting dreams;
  5. reading marks on the body
  6. reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice
  7. offering fire oblations
  8. oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil
  9. offering oblations from the mouth
  10. offering blood-sacrifices
  11. making predictions based on the fingertips
  12. geomancy
  13. laying demons in a cemetery
  14. placing spells on spirits
  15. reciting house-protection charms
  16. snake charming, poison-lore, scorpion-lore, rat-lore, bird-lore, crow-lore
  17. fortune-telling based on visions
  18. giving protective charms
  19. interpreting the calls of birds and animals ... [The list goes on and on]

-- DN 2

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