||What are the factors
that are conducive for ones happiness [Mangala]? - Maj. Gen. Ananda Weerasekera
He was seated on a rock looking at the flowing water of the river. Meththa
,the young girl approached him once again ,sat beside him and asked Father, what
are you watching?
'Daughter, I am looking at this water. See, how clear it
is. We could see the shells, pebbles and the fish very clearly. It is because the water is
clear and it is not dirty. The old man answered.
So! What ? Meththa asked.
We, too as human beings should be pure within us,
like this water. We should not be dirty. Our Mind, Body and Speech should be pure. Then we
will be happy, not soiled and will progress in life. Said the old man.
No, I cannot understand you. How can we, as lay
people be so pure and progressive cried Meththa.
Meththa The old man answered. 'It is a long
lesson. We shall try to learn step by step. First, We should know the things that are
conducive for our happiness.
Oh! In other words, those things that are
contributory for ones welfare and advancement Meththa nodded.
Precisely! Old mans face was
brightened. you know Meththa, Buddha used the term "
Mangala" to mean what we discussed now.
Once when Buddha was staying in Sawatthi, in the Jetha
grove at the park of Anathapindika, a radiant deity approached Buddha during mid night,
illuminating the entire area with bright light. Having worshiped ,the deity sat beside and
spoke to Buddha in this manner.
"Venerable Sir! Many gods and human beings are
pondering about the factors that are contributory for the advancement of their day to day
life. The factors that are contributory to achieving the worldly happiness, or what is
auspicious for them. Sir, may you with compassion for them spell out these factors."
In response the Buddha set out the following:-
- Not associating fools,
- Associating the wise,
- Respecting the respectable,
- Living in a suitable environment,
- Having acquired merit in the
- Establishing perfect self
- Having profound knowledge and
being learned in their respective arts, crafts, trades or profession ,
- Having, disciplined and well
trained mind, body and speech.,
- Having words which are well
- Respectively attending on
ones mother and the father.
- Affectionately looking after
ones wife and children.
- Employment in blameless trades
and businesses as a living,
- Generosity and living a life with
- Caring for ones relatives,
- Engaging in blameless activities,
- Avoiding and abstaining from
unwholesome acts bodily and by speech.
- Abstaining from consuming
- Being conscious of and having no
delay in doing wholesome deeds.
- Paying respect to those who are
respectable and being humble,
- Being contented with what one has
and showing gratitude to whom it is due i.e. teachers, parents and elders etc,
- Listening to the Doctrine of
Buddha (Dhamma) at appropriate times,
- Practising forbearance, patience
- The sight of recluses having
wisdom and with no defilements.
- Having discussions on the
Doctrine of Buddha at appropriate times,
- Abstaining from satisfying the
senses in an immoral way and making an effort to live a moral life,
- Seeing or realising the four
- Realising Nibbana, attaining
- When affected by worldly
conditions, i.e. Profit and loss, praise and blame, fame and ill-repute etc if ones
- doesnt get purterbed,
- Is free from sorrow,
- Is pure and free from lust,
hatred and delusion,
- is secure.
Then the Buddha said "having done what has been
said before, wherever they go, in this world or the world beyond, they will be undefeated
and be happy. These are the factors that contribute for ones highest advancement or
the Mangala factors for them"
"Interesting! Father does it mean that I have to
run away from the fools hereafter" asked Mettha.
"No my dear daughter,some terms need little more
clarification. Let me explain briefly some of the most important factors mentioned
- Not to associate
fools means not to keep company with unintelligent, immoral people who
could influence you to think wrongfully, commit unwholesome acts, and to use wrong speech.
However you may assist or guide a fool with compassion but never seek his advice.
- Living in a suitable
environment includes living in areas which does not habour immoral
activities or where one could conveniently engage himself in wholesome activities and
which are conducive to leading a life according to the teachings of Buddha.
means having a disciplined mind, body and speech.
- Well spoken words
- Abstaining from lying.
- Abstaining from harsh words.
- Not to carry tales.
- Abstaining from idle chatter and gossip.
- Looking after the mother
and father means,
- to provide food, cloths shelter, medicine and other means
- Pay more personal attention and support them when they
- Worshipping, paying homage and respecting them.
- Living up to their expectations in protecting the family
traditions and the inherited wealth.
- Even after their death one should gift and share the
merits gained by him through such gifting with the departed parents.
- Blameless trades
means, abstaining from the 5 blameless trades. They are:
- Selling human beings for slavery.
- Selling or otherwise dealing in arms and war like
- Selling poison.
- Rearing or selling animals for slaughter.
- Selling intoxicants.
- Living a moral and good
life means leading a life with the following restraints.
- killing ,
- indulging in extreme sense pleasures,
- carrying tales
- using harsh speech,
- idle chatter,
- embracing wrong faiths/views
- control lust and greed,
- Non hatred,
"Meththa!, do you remember what I have taught you
in regard to the obligations of a husband to his wife and of a father to his children
"Yes, of course!" She answered.
" that is what is meant by Looking after the wife and children in this
"Excellent father, I now understand that it is not
impossible for lay people like me to be pure and yet be happy in life.
Meththa knelt down and worshiped the old man and walked
Answered in accordance with
The way of life
taught by Buddha.
Major General Ananda Weerasekera.
from Mangala Sutta Digha Nikaya
back to Meththa's