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Fit for Great Wealth and Happiness: Maha-Mangala Sutta
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Gabriel Bonmati
Strive for gentleness and find enrichment and blessings.

Fit for Great Wealth and Happiness

Here are Buddha's teachings on how to get fit for great wealth and happiness. The Maha-Mangala Sutta tells how. Mangala (blessing), is what yields happiness and prosperity. The text is cherished and a find. It sums up Buddhist ethics, individual and social. The thirty-eight blessings told of in it, serve as majestic, general guides throughout life. The work starts with the value of avoiding bad company for the sake of good enough living and having a basis of spiritual progress, and ends with telling of the clear mind. Ideals set forth may bring progress for the individual and the society, nation and mankind.

Here we find family morality expressed in most elegant verses. A happier household life should be won after following these injunctions as long as it takes, so as to make one's essential conditions fruitful.

At least three more ancient suttas expound a life fit for progress of laypersons. They are:

The notes below are often rooted in handed-over Commentaries. Such commentaries often detail and specify vital factors, but not all of them seem appropriate in general or altogether fit for modern living. One may simplify some parts along with the commentator work for the sake of skilled adaptations.

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On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at Anathapindika's monastery, in Jeta's Grove, near Savatthi. When the night was far spent, a certain deity drew near and stood at one side of Buddha, saying: "Do tell me the greatest blessing!"

[Buddha said:]

"Not to associate with the foolish [1], but to associate with the wise; and to honour those who are worthy of honour.

1. The foolish are not only to the stupid and uncultured, but also the depraved and wicked in thought, word and deed.

To live in a suitable place [2], to have done meritorious actions in the past and to set oneself in the right course [3]

2. Where good people live and do good, (the ten meritorious deeds, where sound righteousness and gist conforming to Buddha's teachings are living.
3. Conforming to handy (skilful) living and development in moral, largely in consonance with the eightfold path Buddha enumerates.

To have much learning, to be skilful in handicraft [4] well-trained in discipline [5] and to be of good speech [6].

4. Crafts endorsed to a Buddhist do not cause harm and injure living beings, with nothing unfair to them.
5. Discipline in thought, word and deed. Morality consists in such as things to go for and things to avoid. To cultivate good and cleanse one's mind, one should be honest, truthful, and upright. Fair sex is OK also. Along with these positive activities comes ceasing from evil and refrain from injuring living being. One is simply to abstain from what works bad, even though it might look good at first, not only what is plainly immoral and unwholesome actions, such as being untruthful, slanderous, abusive, all too frivolous, killing, stealing and abusing others sexually. — Ten unwholesome, unwelcome and possibly defiling factors are named akusala-kammapatha. They are killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, slander, harsh speech, useless talk, covetousness, ill will, and false views. In addition, a Buddhist monk is not to transgress the code of the monk's rules, and its added, stricter injunctions.
6. Good speech is suited to the occasion, is truthful, friendly, profitable and essential and kind enough to count.

To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in a peaceful occupation.

To be generous in giving, to be righteous in conduct [7] to help one's relatives, and to be blameless in action.

7. Righteous conduct consists in doing good in thought, word and deed: freeing the mind of greed, ill-will and wrong views; avoiding speech that is untruthful, slanderous, abusive and [too] frivolous; and dropping acts of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.

To loathe more evil and abstain from it, to refrain from intoxicants [8] and to be steadfast in virtue.

8. Alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

To be respectful [9], humble, contented and grateful; and to listen to the Dhamma on due occasions.

9. Treating others with sufficient grace.

[Proper] self-restraint [10], a holy and chaste life, the perception of the Noble Truths and the realisation of Nirvana.

10. Proper self-restraint is neither too lax nor too severe, and serves a deeper purpose: that of inner development and success enough in the world. Some aspects of sense-based living are all right as long as inner or dormant energies do not suffer. Regenerative acts, and doing what increases health reserves, are OK and should be pursued heartily. Basically, what is of the heart is usually fit.

A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune [11] freed from sorrow, cleansed from defilements, liberated from fear.

Basic conditions that conform to success should be aimed at. And gain, honour, praise, and joy are preferable to their counterparts.

Those who live in such a way should get happy as time goes by. These are the thirty-eight blessings.

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Maha-mangala Sutta, Literature  

Based on Narada Thera, tr. "Maha-mangala Sutta". (Sutta Nipata, vv. 258-269). In The Light of the Dhamma. The Wheel Publication No. 14. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society, 1985. On-line adaptation: Access to Insight edition 1995.
www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/narada/wheel014.html

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