Householder (Buddhism)

In the Pāli Canon, householders received diverse advice from the Buddha and his disciples.

Core householder practices include undertaking the Five Precepts and taking refuge in the Three Jewels. In addition, the canon nurtures the essential bond between householders and monastics still apparent today in southeast Asian communities.

Buddha's advice to Buddhist laywomen is contained mostly in the Anguttara Nikaya 8:49; IV 269-71. His advice was as follows:

The Buddha also gave advice on householders' financial matters. In the Anguttara Nikaya (4.61; II 65-68) it is said that the Buddha stated that there are four worthy ways in which to spend one's wealth:

The following are examples of individuals who are explicitly identified as a "householder" in multiple suttas:


Other individuals who are not explicitly identified in the suttas as "householder" but who, by the aforementioned broader criteria, might be considered a householder include:

Below common contemporary lay Buddhist practices are summarized. Some of these practices — such as taking Refuge and meditating — are common to all major schools. Other practices — such as taking the Eight Precepts or the Bodhisattva Vows — are not pan-Buddhist.

For Theravada Buddhists, the following are practiced on a daily and weekly basis:

Special day practices: Upholding the eight precepts, listening to teachings, supporting Sangha, repentance, performing offering ceremonies to sentient beings

Special day practices: Eight precepts, listening to teachings, offering ceremonies.

Other practices: Studying texts, receiving initiations and personal practice instructions from the teacher.

Note 1: gahapati is given as "upper middle class", see The winds of change, Himanshu P. Ray, Delhi 1994, p. 20