Ud 6.2, Patislla Sutta, contains a teaching the Buddha gave to King Pasenadi Kosala. It’s perhaps most famous for ending with the following verse:
One should not make an effort everywhere,
should not be another’s hireling,
should not live dependent on another,
should not go about
as a trader in the Dhamma.
The last clause (should not go about as a trader in the Dhamma) is often quoted as evidence that one shouldn’t charge for dhamma teachings. However, reading the full verse, it seems like it also forbids people from accepting employment (“should not be another’s hireling”) or living off of others charity (“should not live dependent on another”). It seems like anything short of self-employment would be forbidden. Is that right, or am I missing something here?
It’s annoying because the verses don’t seem to be related to the context of the Udana, so it’s hard to learn anything from the context. Apparently SN 3.11 has a parallel passage that contains a different verse, one that fits the context better. So it seems like the Udana verse may very well have had a different origin, which makes it hard to see the original meaning. Any thoughts?