A Message from the Buddha to the CEO’s of Amazon, Google, Starbucks et al.

The estimated wealth of Larry Page, 40, co-founder of Google is $20.3 billion
The estimated wealth of Howard Schultz, 59, founder of Starbucks is $1.6 billion
The estimate wealth of Jeff Bezos , 49, founder of Amazon is $22.1 billion.
(see previous blog on corporate greed through corporate tax avoidance)


The Buddha said: “Abandon the taking of what is not given, one abstains from what is not given. One arises in the world for the welfare of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare and happiness of people (It. 84)

“When you know for yourselves, when these things are blameless, these things are wholesome, these things are praised by the wise, these things, if undertaken and practised, lead to welfare and happiness, then you should engage in them.”

A person who is without greed, not overpowered by greed, his thoughts not controlled by greed, he will abstain from the destruction of life and the taking of what is not given. AN 3:65

It is of great benefit, luminous and pervasive, to abstain from what is not given and dwell with honest hearts, to abandon false speech, to be reliable and trustworthy and not deceive the world.

What is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is the root of the unwholesome. One entirely abandons this underlying tendency and the conceit “I am.”

When one has understood desire (for gratification, performance, money, power etc), the causes and conditions for desire, the cessation and the way to the cessation, then one has arrived at the right view.

Someone is old, aged, burdened with years, advanced with life, has come to the last period. ‘I am old, aged, burdened. It is no longer easy for me to acquire new wealth or to augment wealth already acquired. I am afflicted, suffering, gravely ill.

‘I had many friends, relative, colleagues and companions. Gradually, they have dwindled away. It is no longer easy for me to acquire new wealth. One has to leave all and pass away.'”


The ruler approached the Buddha with a chronic pain. The Buddha asked: “Can you command your relatives, friends, colleagues and companions to share your pain or do you have to experience it alone?

“I have to experience this pain alone.”

“Didn’t you ever see a woman or man, 80, 90 or 100 years old, frail, bent , crooked, leaning on a stick, shakily going along, ailing, youth and vigour gone, with broken teeth, grey and scanty hair or bald, wrinkled with blotched limbs.”

“Yes, I have seen this,” said the wealthy and powerful man.

“You are an intelligent and mature person. You, too, are subject to old age and cannot escape it.

“Didn’t you ever see a woman or a man who was sick and in pain, seriously ill, lying in his or her own filth, having to be lifted by some and put to the bed by others?”

“Yes, I have seen this,” said the wealthy man.

“Did it not ever occur to you ‘I too am subject to illness and cannot escape it.

“Did you not see a corpse, one, two or three days old, swollen, discoloured and festering?” Asked the Buddha.

“I have seen this.”

“Did it not occur to you, an intelligent and mature person, ‘I, too, am subject to death and cannot escape it. Did you not say to yourself ‘Let me now do noble deeds with body, speech and mind.’”
AN. 3.35


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