Evaṁ me sutaṁ. Ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ viharati Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Atha kho aññatarā devatā abhikkantāya rattiyā abhikkantavaṇṇā kevalakappaṁ Jetavanaṁ obhāsetvā yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami. Upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā ekamantaṁ aṭṭhāsi. Ekamantaṁ ṭhitā kho sā devatā Bhagavantaṁ gāthāya ajjhabhāsi.
Thus have I heard: On one occasion, the Blessed One was living in Sāvatthi at Jetavana at Anāthapiṇḍika’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 to one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:
1. Bahū devā manussā ca – Maṅgalāni acintayuṁ
Ākaṅkhamānā sotthānaṁ – Brūhi maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Many deities and humans longing for happiness have pondered on the questions of blessings. Pray, tell me what are the highest blessings?
2. Asevanā ca bālānaṁ – Paṅḍitānañ ca sevanā
Pūjā ca pūjanīyānaṁ – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Not to associate with the foolish but to associate with the wise and to honor those worthy of honor these are the highest blessings.
3. Patirūpadesavāso ca – Pubbe ca katapuññatā
Attasammāpaṇīdhi ca – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
To reside in a suitable locality to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction these are the highest blessings.
4. Bāhusaccañca sippañca – Vinayo ca susikkhito
Subhāsitā ca yā vācā – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Vast learning, skill in handicraft, well grounded in discipline and pleasant speech these are the highest blessings.
5. Mātāpitū upaṭṭhānaṁ – Puttadārassa saṅgaho
Anākulā ca kammantā – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
To support one’s father and mother, to cherish one’s wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations these are the highest blessings.
6. Dānañca dhammacariyā ca – Ñātakānañ ca saṅgaho
Anavajjāni kammāni – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Generosity, righteous conduct, giving assistance to relatives, and doing blameless deeds these are the highest blessings.
7. Ārati virati pāpā – Majjapānā ca saññamo
Appamādo ca dhammesu – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and to be diligent in practising the Dhamma these are the highest blessings.
8. Gāravo ca nivāto ca – Santuṭṭhī ca kataññutā
Kālena dhammasavanaṁ – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Paying reverence to those who are worthy of reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma these are the highest blessings.
9. Khantī ca sovacassatā – Samaṇānañca dassanaṁ
Kālena dhammasākacchā – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Patience, obedience, meeting monks and timely discussions on the Dhamma these are the highest blessings.
10. Tapo ca brahmacariyañca – Ariyasaccānadassanaṁ
Nibbāṇasacchikiriyā ca – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
Self-control, chastity, understanding the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbāna these are the highest blessings.
11. Phuṭṭhassa lokadhammehi – Cittaṁ yassa na kampati
Asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ – Etaṁ maṅgalamuttamaṁ
The mind that is not touched by the ups and downs of life; the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless and secure these are the highest blessings.
12. Etādisāni katvāna – Sabbatthamaparājitā
Sabbattha sotthiṁ gacchanti taṁ – Tesaṁ maṅgalamuttaman’ti.
Those who have achieved these blessings are victorious everywhere, and they succeed in all their goals. For them, these are the highest blessings.