Thus have I heard:
On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika’s monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse :
- ‘Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.
- Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honour those worthy of honour – this is the highest blessing.
- To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction – this is the highest blessing.
- Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech – this is the highest blessing.
- To support one’s father and mother; to cherish one’s wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations – this is the highest blessing.
- Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds – this is the highest blessing.
- To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts – this is the highest blessing.
- Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha, – this is the highest blessing.
- Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma – this is the highest blessing.
- Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana – this is the highest blessing.
- The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life (2), the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure – this is the highest blessing.
- Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere – To them these are the highest blessings.’