Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings (Sn 2.4)

Tibetan Buddha
In the Maha-mangala Sutta, the Buddha describes the ‘greatest blessings’ in life and how to attain them. According to the Buddha, there are 38 ‘greatest blessings’ – not the shallow and changeable blessings of luck and fortune but blessings which are of genuine and lasting importance. By making the effort to obtain these blessings, we can create our own good fortune and move gradually closer to the supreme blessing of Nibbana. This is the main purpose and objective of the Mangala Sutta…


 


 

In the Maha-mangala Sutta, the Buddha describes the ‘greatest blessings’ in life and how to attain them. According to the Buddha, there are 38 ‘greatest blessings’ – not the shallow and changeable blessings of luck and fortune but blessings which are of genuine and lasting importance. By making the effort to obtain these blessings, we can create our own good fortune and move gradually closer to the supreme blessing of Nibbana. This is the main purpose and objective of the Mangala Sutta. [1].

 

SN 2.4
MAHA-MANGALA SUTTA: BLESSINGS
translated from the Pali by
Narada Thera

 

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at Anathapindika’s monastery, in Jeta’s Grove, near Savatthi. Now when the night was far spent, a certain deity whose surpassing splendor illuminated the entire Jeta Grove, came to the presence of the Exalted One and, drawing near, respectfully saluted him and stood at one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Exalted One in verse:

“Many deities and men, yearning after good, have pondered on blessings. Pray, tell me the greatest blessing!”

[The Buddha:]

Tibetan Buddha

“Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise; and to honor those who are worthy of honor — this is the greatest blessing.

To reside in a suitable locality, to have done meritorious actions in the past and to set oneself in the right course — this is the greatest blessing.

To have much learning, to be skillful in handicraft, well-trained in discipline, and to be of good speech — this is the greatest blessing.

To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.

To be generous in giving, to be righteous in conduct, to help one’s relatives, and to be blameless in action — this is the greatest blessing.

To loathe more evil and abstain from it, to refrain from intoxicants,[12] and to be steadfast in virtue — this is the greatest blessing.

To be respectful, humble, contented and grateful; and to listen to the Dhamma on due occasions — this is the greatest blessing.

To be patient and obedient, to associate with monks and to have religious discussions on due occasions — this is the greatest blessing.

Self-restraint, a holy and chaste life, the perception of the Noble Truths and the realisation of Nibbana — this is the greatest blessing.

A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing.

Those who thus abide, ever remain invincible, in happiness established. These are the greatest blessings.”
______________

NOTES

[1] ‘A Life of Blessings: The Mangala Sutta‘, Just Be Good.Net
<http://www.justbegood.net/Blessings11Life01.htm>

[2] ‘Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings’ (Sn 2.4), translated from the Pali by Narada Thera. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.04.nara.html>

[3] Image:  ‘Tibetan Buddha’, exhibited in Liverpool World Museum and photographed by PJL 2014

 



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