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:
1. ‘Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.
2. Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honour those worthy of honour – this is the highest blessing.
3. 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.
4. Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech – this is the highest blessing.
5. 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.
6. Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds – this is the highest blessing.
7. To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts – this is the highest blessing.
8. Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha, – this is the highest blessing.
9. Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma – this is the highest blessing.
10. Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana – this is the highest blessing.
11. 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.
12. Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere – To them these are the highest blessings.’
1. Khp. 2; Sn. 46 under the title Mangala sutta; cf. Mahamangala Jataka No. 452. 2. The vicissitudes are eight in number: gain and loss, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and blame, joy and sorrow. This stanza is a reference to the state of mind of an Arahant, the Consummate One.