Texts — Maṅgala Sutta: Discourse on Protection with Blessings


By Venerable Uttamo Thera(尊者 鄔達摩 長老)


1. Asevanā ca bālanaṁ:Not consorting with fools.
2. Panditanañ – ca sevanā:Consorting with the wise.
3. Pūjā ca pūjanīyānaṁ:Paying homage to those worthy of homage.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

4. Patirūpa – desa-vāso ca:Living in a civilized land.
5. Pubbe ca kata-puññatā:Having made merit in the past.
6. Atta-sammā-panidhica:Directing oneself rightly.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is this highest protection with a blessing.

7/8. Bāhu-saccañ-ca sippañ-ca:Broad knowledge, skill.
9. Vinayo ca susikkhito:Well-mastered discipline.
10. Subbhāsitā ca yā vācā:Well-spoken words.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

11. Mātā-pitu-upatthānaṁ:Support for one’s parents.
12. Putta-dārassa saṅgaho:Assistance to one’s wife and children.
13. Anakula ca kammanta:Consistency in one’s work.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

14/15. Dānañ-ca dhamma – cariyā ca:Giving, living in rectitude.
16. Ñātakānañ-ca saṅgaho:Assistance to one’s relatives.
17. Anavajjāni kammāni:Blameless deeds.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

18. Āratī viratī pāpā:Avoiding, abstaining from evil.
19. Majja-pānā ca saññamo:Refraining from intoxicants.
20. Appamādo ca dhammesu:Being heedful of the qualities of the mind.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

21/22. Gāravo ca nivāto ca:Respect, humility.
23/24. Santutthī ca katañ-ñutā:Contentment, gratitude.
25. Kālenna dhammassavanaṁ:Hearing the dhamma on timely occasions
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

26/27. Khantī ca sovacassatā:Patience, compliance.
28. Samanānañ-ca dassanaṁ:Seeing contemplatives.
29. Kālena dhamma-sākacchā:Discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

30/31. Tapo ca brahma-cariyañ-ca:Austerity, celibacy.
32. Ariya-saccāna-dassanaṁ:Seeing the Noble Truths.
33. Nibbāna-sacchikiriyā ca:Realizing Unbinding.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

Phutthassa loka-dhammehi,:A mind that, when touched by the ways of the world,
34. Cittam yassa na kampati:Is unshaken.
35/36/37. Asokam virajaṁ khemaṁ:Sorrowless, dustless, secure.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

Etādisāni katvāna,
Sabbattham-aparājitā;
Sabbattha sotthiṁ gacchanti
Tan-tesaṁ maṅgalam-uttaman-ti

Everywhere undefeated
when acting in this way,
people go everywhere in well-being:
This is the highest protection with a blessing.

Nearly all the Theravadin Buddhists heard this sutta chanting before. The Buddhist children learned it from monasteries and schools. At the time of the Buddha men and deities pondered, discussed and argued about the true meaning of blessings (maṅgala). Different people had a different view, and they could not agree to 12 years debates. They went to the Buddha for his answer, and he was staying in Sāvatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.

The Buddha gave the answers to different kinds of blessings from mundane to supramundane levels. Buddhists recite it for blessings and free of dangers. Reciting is reminding us and for contemplation. The most important point is put into practice. All the Buddha's teachings were nearly on human beings and the human mind. It was more like education than a religion. A being born into the human world has two ways to choose and walk along on one of the paths.

One is downfall and failures. The other is development and success. These are the unwholesome and wholesome ways or negative and positive ways. All of them are related to the law of actions (kamma) or cause and effect. To choose the right one, we need wholesome education and have to rely on the teachings of the Buddha, noble beings, and ancient sages.

(It is also interesting to compare some of the mundane blessings mentioned by the Buddha with some of the teachings of the ancient Chinese sages. There were some similarities between them. Maybe this was one of the reasons Chinese people easily accepted Buddhism when it was spreading into China.)

We are learning the Maṅgala Sutta by heart even at a young age as children. But we are still distancing ourselves with it from the practical way of life. (It was the same as most Chinese with Di Gi Gui-Chinese Virtue Standards. Chinese moral or ethical education was handed down from ancient time until the end of the Ching Dynasty.) Therefore we have to study and learn it and then use it in daily life.


cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4702&p=36769#p36769 (posted on 2019-09-11)


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