Discourses of the Buddha
Discourse on Blessings 
famous text, cherished highly in all Buddhist lands, is a terse
but comprehensive summary of Buddhist ethics, individual and social.
The thirty-eight blessings enumerated in it, are an unfailing
guide on life's journey. Rightly starting with "avoidance
of bad company" which is basic to all moral and spiritual
progress, the Blessings culminate in the achievement of a passion-free
mind, unshakable in its serenity. To follow the ideals set forth
in these verses, is the sure way to harmony and progress for the
individual as well as for society, nation and mankind.
"The Maha-Mangala Sutta shows that the Buddha's instructions
do not always take negative forms, that they are not always a
series of classifications and analysis, or concerned exclusively
with monastic morality. Here in this sutta we find family morality
expressed in most elegant verses. We can imagine the happy blissful
state household life fattained as a result of following these
injunctions." (From The Ethics of Buddhism by S. Tachibana,
Colombo 1943, Bauddha Sahitya Sabha).
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling
at Anathapindika's monastery, in Jeta's Grove, near Savatthi.
Now when the night was far spent, a certain deity whose surpassing
splendour illuminated the entire Jeta Grove, came to the presence
of the Exalted One and, drawing near, respectfully saluted him
and stood at one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Exalted
One in verse:
"Many deities and men, yearning after good, have pondered
blessings. Pray, tell me the greatest blessing!"
"Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate
wise; and to honour those who are worthy of honour this
To reside in a suitable locality, to have done meritorious
actions in the past and to set oneself in the right course 
is the greatest blessing.
To have much learning, to be skillful in handicraft,
well-trained in discipline,  and to be of good speech 
is the greatest blessing.
To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children,
be engaged in peaceful occupation this is the greatest
To be generous in giving, to be righteous in conduct, to
one's relatives, and to be blameless in action this is
To loathe more evil and abstain from it, to refrain from
intoxicants, and to be steadfast in virtue this is
To be respectful, humble, contented and grateful; and to
listen to the Dhamma on due occasions  this is the
To be patient and obedient, to associate with monks and to have
religious discussions on due occasions this is the greatest
Self-restraint, a holy and chaste life, the perception of
Noble Truths and the realisation of Nibbana this is the
A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow
freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated 
the greatest blessing.
Those who thus abide, ever remain invincible, in happiness
established. These are the greatest blessings."
(Derived mainly from the Commentaries)
 This Sutta appears in the Sutta-Nipata (v.258ff) and in the
Khuddakapatha. See Maha-Mangala Jataka (No. 453). For a detailed
explanation see Life's Highest Blessing by Dr. R.L. Soni,
WHEEL No. 254/256.
lit., 'He who gives alms to the helpless'; his former name was
Sudatta. After his conversion to Buddhism, he bought the grove
belonging to the Prince Jeta, and established a monastery which
was subsequently named Jetavana. It was in this monastery that
the Buddha observed most of his vassana periods (rainy
seasons -- the three months' retreat beginning with the full-moon
of July). Many are the discourses delivered and many are the incidents
connected with the Buddha's life that happened at Jetavana. It
was here that the Buddha ministered to the sick monk neglected
by his companions, advising them: "Whoever, monks, would
wait upon me, let him wait upon the sick." It was here that
the Buddha so poignantly taught the law of impermanence, by asking
the bereaved young woman Kisagotami who brought her dead child,
to fetch a grain of mustard seed from a home where there has been
with modern Sahet-Mahet, near Balrampur.
to the Commentary, mangala means that which is conducive
to happiness and prosperity.
 This refers
not only to the stupid and uncultured, but also includes the wicked
in thought, word and deed.
 Any place
where monks, nuns and lay devotees continually reside; where pious
folk are bent on the performance of the ten meritorious deeds,
and where the Dhamma exists as a living principle.
the right resolve for abandoning immorality for morality, faithlessness
for faith and selfishness for generosity.
 The harmless
crafts of the householder by which no living being is injured
and nothing unrighteous done; and the crafts of the homeless monk,
such as stitching the robes, etc.
means discipline in thought, word and deed. The commentary speaks
of two kinds of discipline -- that of the householder, which is
abstinence from the ten immoral actions (akusala-kammapatha),
and that of the monk which is the non-transgression of the offences
enumerated in the Patimokkha (the code of the monk's rules)
or the 'fourfold moral purity' (catu-parisuddhi-sila).
speech that is opportune, truthful, friendly, profitable and spoken
with thoughts of loving-kindness.
conduct is the observance of the ten good actions (kusala-kammapatha)
in thought, word and deed: freeing the mind of greed, ill-will
and wrong views; avoiding speech that is untruthful, slanderous,
abusive and frivolous; and the non- committal acts of killing,
stealing and sexual misconduct.
abstinence from alcohol and intoxicating drugs.
monks (and of course also to the clergy of other religions), teachers,
parents, elders, superiors, etc.
 For instance,
when one is harassed by evil thoughts.
(tapo): the suppression of lusts and hates by the control
of the senses; and the suppression of indolence by the rousing
i.e. conditions which are necessarily connected with life in this
world; there are primarily eight of them: gain and loss, honour
and dishonour, praise and blame, pain and joy.
of these three expressions refers to the mind of the arahant:
asoka: sorrowless; viraja: stainless, i.e. free
from lust, hatred and ignorance; khema: security from the
bonds of sense desires (kama), repeated existence (bhava),
false views (ditthi) and ignorance (avijja).
 The above-mentioned