Secure (Maṅgala Sutta – Protection with Blessing)

By Venerable Uttamo Thera(尊者 鄔達摩 長老)

To understand secure or security before: we need to understand what is insecure or insecurity? The Pali word khemaṁ is for secure. Something secure is safety or protected from dangers & harms. So insecure is not safe or not protected from dangers & harms. Man has body & mind. For ordinary people, the body affects the mind, & vice versa.

If we have the physical body, it will never be secure. At least it will never escape from aging, sickness & death. Even the Buddha & other noble beings could not escape from the dangers & harms done by others. Mara – the evil one, Devadatta, Ciñcamānavikā, etc. harmed the Buddha by physically & verbally.

Mahāmogallana was killed by the bandits. Mahakala upasaka – a stream-winner (sotāpanna) was beaten to death by people who accused him as the thief. (In one of his past lives out of lust for a woman & with fault accusation he killed the woman’s husband & took her by force. This evil action following him up to this life & he had to pay for his kammic debt. How many times in saṁsāra others killed him in this way nobody knows?)

Why all living beings have no security in the rounds of existence? There are many reasons for it. The most important reason is loka dhammas are following behind everyone. Every being wants happiness & security. But everyone in the rounds of existence had done all sorts of kammas.

Most beings cannot control their minds because they do not have the chances to meet the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha. They do not know the Dhamma & without any practice. Majority of people are chasing the worldly dhamma (loka dhamma) & at the same time, these dhammas are following or chasing them. It was like they & the loka dhammas were playing hide & seek games. Noble beings are not playing hide & seek game with the worldly dhamma. Only they still have the physical bodies that cannot escape from them.

So here the 37th protection with a blessing on security is not the physical body, but the mind. Especially it is the mind of an arahant. It is like the other blessings; 34th is unshaken, 35th is sorrowless & 36th is dustless are representing the arahant’s mind. Even though the physical body of the arahant is still not secure, his mind is secure.

Only by passing away into Nibbāna element that Buddha & arahants were secure. Therefore the khandhas are the source of insecurity. So every being with the khandhas will never be in the security. There are four bonds (yoga) which bind the beings that making them unsafe.

These are the causes of suffering for the khandhas. These are the bond of sensual desire (kāmayoga), the bond of attachment to existence (bhavayoga), the bond of wrong views (ditthiyoga) & the bond of ignorance (avijjāyoga). If combined, become greed (lobha), wrong views (ditthi) & delusion (moha), the 3 unwholesome mental states. The same defilements (i.e., bonds) are also called taints (āsavā) & floods (oghā).

The four taints; the taint of sensual desire (kāmāsava), the taint of attachment to existence (bhavāsava), the taint of wrong views (ditthāsava) & the taint of ignorance (avijjāsava).

The four floods; the floods of sensual desire, attachment to existence, wrong views & ignorance (kāmogho, bhavogho, ditthogho & avijjhogho). These are called floods (ogha) because they sweep beings away into the ocean of existence. They are also called bonds (yoga) because they yoke beings to suffering & do not allow them to escape.

Therefore, a mind that, when touched by the ways of the world (loka dhamma), is unshaken; sorrowless, dustless & secure is the arahant’s mind. All these mind qualities only come by practice. Even ordinary Buddhists who know the Dhamma & practice can develop it into certain levels. So that we can overcome the loka dhamma or reduce their powers which affect our minds.

The Buddha ended his discourse on Blessing of Protection with the following verse:

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

This is the power of the pure & free mind. There is no protection with blessing higher than that. The Buddha delivered the discourse on Blessings & gave the right answers from the mundane levels to supramundane level to the deities was quite amazing. Except for a Buddha, nobody could give this kind of teaching.

So, truly, he was the teacher of gods & human beings. I am sure everyone wants blessing & protection. Everyone has to start with oneself first. The Buddha’s teaching was on man or mind centered, not on God or gods centred. If on God or gods centred human beings cannot solve any problem & correct the ills of the world.

Therefore, all the teachings are practical & applicable. Only we study it & follow it with an unwavering mind. Without developing within oneself, we cannot protect ourselves & others. Each person has to do his duty rightly & skilfully so that problems will be solved. With the right & wise educations only we can solve the human problems from the family, society & government levels to international level.

We can help & save human beings only with wholesome education. Not by inventing new things based on greed, hatred & delusion. Unwholesome dhammas never bring happiness & peace to human beings. These are the outcomes of the today world situation.

cited from (posted on 2019-11-22)

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