Thursday, June 3, 2010

Maha Mangala Sutta

A revision of my second attempt at translation from Pali. The very popular and beautiful Maha Mangala Sutta:

The Discourse on Protective Blessings.

1.
Thus have I heard. One time the Bhagavan was dwelling at Jetavana, in Anathapinika's vihara. Then a Devata (female other-worldly being) in the early hours of morning, her great radiance lighting up the whole of Jeta's grove, approached the Bhagava. Having approached and paid homage to the Bhagava she stood to one side and addressed him in verse:

2.
"Many devas and humans have wondered about protective blessings,
desiring well-being. Tell, then, the high protective blessing."

{the Buddha}:

3.
"Not befriending fools, instead befriending the wise;
Giving reverence to those worthy of it: 
This is a high protective blessing.

4.
Living in a cultured place, having made merit in the past, 
Directing oneself rightly: 
This is a high protective blessing.

5.
Broad learning, practical skill, 
Well-mastered self-discipline, beautiful speech: 
This is a high protective blessing.

6.
Taking care of one's parents, cherishing one's spouse and children, 
Consistency in one's work: 
This is a high protective blessing.

7.
Giving, living with integrity, 
Assisting one's relatives, deeds that are blameless: 
This is a high protective blessing.

8.
Avoiding, abstaining from evil; 
Refraining from intoxicants, being heedful of what's real: 
This is a high protective blessing.

9.
Respect, humility, contentment, 
Gratitude, taking opportunities to hear Dhamma: 
This is a high protective blessing.

10.
Patience, openness to instruction, 
Seeing contemplatives, taking opportunities to discuss Dhamma: 
This is a high protective blessing.

11.
Ascesis, living the holy life, 
Seeing the Noble Truths, realizing Nibbana: 
This is a high protective blessing.

12.
When touched by the ways of the world, 
A mind that is unshaken, sorrowless, dustless, secure: 
This is a high protective blessing.

13.
Everywhere undefeated when acting in this way, 
People go everywhere in well-being: 
This is their high protective blessing.

 Notes: Mangala refers to a blessing in the sense of a protection or charm. It is often rendered either as protection or as blessing, I opted for "protective blessing". If one doesn't understand that the Buddha is teaching that qualities of mind and behaviour are the true protective charms the force of the whole sutta is lost.

I consulted the versions of Ajaan Thanissaro, Piyadassi Thera, Narada Thera and RL Soni, available at accesstoinsight.org

Maṅgalasuttaṃ
1. Evaṃ me sutaṃ – ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Atha kho aññatarā devatā abhikkantāya rattiyā abhikkantavaṇṇā kevalakappaṃ jetavanaṃ obhāsetvā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi. Ekamantaṃ ṭhitā kho sā devatā bhagavantaṃ gāthāya ajjhabhāsi –
2.
‘‘Bahū devā manussā ca, maṅgalāni acintayuṃ;
Ākaṅkhamānā sotthānaṃ, brūhi maṅgalamuttamaṃ’’.
3.
‘‘Asevanā ca bālānaṃ, paṇḍitānañca sevanā;
Pūjā ca pūjaneyyānaṃ [pūjanīyānaṃ (sī. syā. kaṃ. pī.)], etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
4.
‘‘Patirūpadesavāso ca, pubbe ca katapuññatā;
Attasammāpaṇidhi [atthasammāpaṇīdhī (katthaci)] ca, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
5.
‘‘Bāhusaccañca sippañca, vinayo ca susikkhito;
Subhāsitā ca yā vācā, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
6.
‘‘Mātāpitu upaṭṭhānaṃ, puttadārassa saṅgaho;
Anākulā ca kammantā, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
7.
‘‘Dānañca dhammacariyā ca, ñātakānañca saṅgaho;
Anavajjāni kammāni, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
8.
‘‘Āratī viratī pāpā, majjapānā ca saṃyamo;
Appamādo ca dhammesu, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
9.
‘‘Gāravo ca nivāto ca, santuṭṭhi ca kataññutā;
Kālena dhammassavanaṃ [dhammassāvaṇaṃ (ka. sī.), dhammasavanaṃ (ka. sī.)], etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
10.
‘‘Khantī ca sovacassatā, samaṇānañca dassanaṃ;
Kālena dhammasākacchā, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
11.
‘‘Tapo ca brahmacariyañca, ariyasaccāna dassanaṃ;
Nibbānasacchikiriyā ca, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
12.
‘‘Phuṭṭhassa lokadhammehi, cittaṃ yassa na kampati;
Asokaṃ virajaṃ khemaṃ, etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ.
13.
‘‘Etādisāni katvāna, sabbatthamaparājitā;
Sabbattha sotthiṃ gacchanti, taṃ tesaṃ maṅgalamuttama’’nti.
Maṅgalasuttaṃ niṭṭhitaṃ.

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