Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/19/2010

Maha Mangala Sutta: Blessings

One of my favorite suttas ever is the Mangala Sutta. I’ve aways appreciated its directness and how I have always been able to turn to it as a reminder of the blessings that I have already enjoyed in this life and the direction to which I should incline the mind for my long term benefit. Of all the suttas that I’m familiar with it is the Mangala sutta that I associate most strongly with the practice of mudita. Simply by reflecting on the blessings listed and whether the person to whom you are sending mudita has a share in any of them seems to me an excellent practice. In the past, I’ve used (at the suggestion of a teacher) the paramis which worked well but had no basis in the Sutta pitaka (I’ve become admittedly biased in that direction). Anyhow, I’ve included the Piyadassi Thera translation below and will let you know if anything particularly noteworthy comes of this experiment. Be well!

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika’s monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one’s father and mother; to cherish one’s wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life, the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”

Here is an link to a video this sutta:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijshNb7Mt0M

Source:

“Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings” (Snp 2.4), translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera. Access to Insight, June 7, 2009,http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.04.piya.html.

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Responses

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