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Discourse on the hightest blessings (Mangala Sutta)

by Thich Nhat Hanh

I heard these words of the Buddha at one time when the Lord was staying at Savatthi at Anathapindika’s Monastery in the Jeta Grove. Late at night, a Deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole of Jeta Grove shine radiantly. After paying respects to the Buddha, the Deva asked him a question in the form of a verse:  “Many gods and men are eager to know What are the greatest blessings Which bring about a peaceful and happy life. Please, Tathagata, will you teach us?”

(This is the Buddha’s answer):

• Not to be associated with the foolish ones, To live in the company of wise people, Honouring those who are worth honour— This is the greatest blessing.

• To live in a good environment, To have planted wholesome seeds, And to realize that you are on the right path— This is the greatest blessing.

• To have a chance to learn and grow, To be skillful in your profession or craft, Practicing precepts and loving speech— This is the greatest blessing.

• To be able to serve and support your parents, To cherish and love your family and To have a vocation which brings you joy— This is the greatest blessing.

• To live honestly, generous in giving, To offer support to relatives and friends, Living a life of blameless conduct— This is the greatest blessing.

• To clearly avoid unwholesome actions, Not caught by alcoholism or drugs, To diligently walk on the path of good— This is the greatest blessing.

• To be humble and polite in manner, Grateful, content with a simple life, Not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma— This is the greatest blessing.

• To persevere and be open to change, Make regular contact with monks and nuns, And to fully participate in Dharma discussions— This is the greatest blessing.

• To live diligently and attentively, To perceive the Noble Truths, And to realise Nibbana— This is the greatest blessing.

• To live in the world With mind and heart undisturbed, With all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace— This is the greatest blessing.

“The one who accomplishes this Is unvanquished wherever they go, Stable and free at any time— Happiness lives within oneself.”

Mangala Sutta,  Sutta Nipata 1,

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