Mangala Sutta

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The Mangala Sutta (Burmese: မင်္ဂလသုတ် Mingala thoke, Thai: มงคลสูตร, Khmer: មង្គលសូត្រ mongkhol sut, Sanskrit "mahāmaṅgalasūtra", "महामङ्गलसूत्र", Tibetan "བཀྲ་ཤིས་ཆེན་པོའི་མདོ།") is a discourse (Pali: sutta) of the Buddha on the subject of 'blessings' (mangala, also translated as 'good omen' or 'auspices' or 'good fortune').[1] In this discourse, the Buddha describes 'blessings' that are wholesome personal pursuits or attainments, identified in a progressive manner from the mundane to the ultimate spiritual goal. In Sri Lanka this is known as "Maha Mangala Sutta" and this sutta considered to be part of "Maha Pirith".

This discourse is recorded in Theravada Buddhism's Pali Canon's Khuddaka Nikaya in two places: in the Khuddakapāṭha (Khp 5), and in the Sutta Nipāta (Sn 2.4).[2] In the latter source, the discourse is called the Mahāmangala Sutta. It is also traditionally included in books of 'protection' (paritta). It is also found in the Tibetan Canon, in the Kangyur (བཀའ་འགྱུར།).

Content[edit]

The discourse was preached at Jetavana Temple in answer to a question asked by a deva as to which things in this world could truly be considered blessings (mangalāni). The sutta describes thirty-eight blessings in ten sections,[3] as shown in the table below:

Gp.1 Not associating with fools Associating with the wise Expressing respect to those worthy of respect
Gp.2 Living in an amenable location Having meritorious deeds (Good Karma) in one's past Setting oneself up properly in life
Gp.3 Learnedness Artfulness Self-discipline Artful speech
Gp.4 Filial piety Cherishing one's children Cherishing one's spouse Not leaving work undone
Gp.5 Generosity Dhamma practice Caring for extended family Blameless work
Gp.6 Avoiding unwholesomeness Not drinking intoxicants Non-recklessness in the Dhamma
Gp.7 Respect Humility Contentment Gratitude Listening regularly to Dhamma teachings
Gp.8 Patience Openness to Criticism Sight of a True Monk Regular discussion of the Dhamma
Gp.9 Practising Austerities Practising the Brahma-faring Seeing the Four Noble Truths Attainment of Nirvana
Gp.10 Mind free of Worldly Vicissitudes Sorrowlessness Free of Subtle Defilements Blissful Mind


Traditional context[edit]

The post-canonical Pali Commentary [4] explains that at the time the sutta was preached there was great discussion over the whole of Jambudvipa regarding the definition of blessings. The devas heard the discussion and argued among themselves till the matter spread to the highest Brahmā world. Then it was that Sakka suggested that a deva should visit the Buddha and ask him about it.

This sutta is one of the suttas at the preaching of which countless devas were present and countless beings realized the Truth.[5]

Uses[edit]

The sutta is often recited, and forms one of the commonest pieces of chanting used for the Paritta. To have it written down in a book is considered an act of great merit.[6]

History[edit]

King Dutthagamani once attempted to preach the Mangala Sutta at the Lohapasada, but he was too nervous to proceed.[7]

The preaching of the Mangala Sutta was one of the incidents of the Buddha's life represented in the Relic Chamber of the Ruwanwelisaya.[8]

See also[edit]

  • Paritta (Buddhist Protective Discourses)

References[edit]

  1. ^ For example, Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 513, entry for "Mangala" (retrieved 08-28-2008 from "U. Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:3740.pali) translates mangala as 'good omen, auspices, festivity.'
  2. ^ Sn, pp. 46f
  3. ^ Khp.pp.2f
  4. ^ KhpA.vii.; SnA.i.300
  5. ^ SnA.i.174; BuA.243; AA.i.57,320
  6. ^ MA.ii.806
  7. ^ Mhv.xxxii.43
  8. ^ Mhv.xxx. 83

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

[* Chandrabodhi chants the Mahamangala Sutta and other suttas in an 'Indian style' at [1] and Sangharakshita reads the Mahamangala and Karaniyametta suttas, although with other readings from the Pali Canon at [2] both retrieved from freebuddhistaudio.com