The Bodhisatta was once a teacher, famed across the land. One of his students, a virtuous boy, asked him how people get ahead in the world. The Bodhisatta answered that there are four qualities that help people become prosperous: acting arrogant and angry, slandering people, being deceptive, and being unkind. The student did not approve of these wicked behaviors and vowed to live a religious life as an ascetic, which he did until the day he died.
In the Lifetime of the Buddha
The student was an earlier birth of one of the Buddha’s disciples. One day he asked Sariputta, one of the Buddha’s top disciples, how someone becomes prosperous. Sariputta answered that there are four qualities that help people become wealthy: acting arrogant and angry, slandering people, being deceptive, and being unkind. The disciple did not approve.
When Sariputta told the Buddha about this conversation, the Buddha told him this story so he knew that it was not the first time this disciple had disapproved of this selfish way of life.