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Maṅgala Sutta

Taught at Jetavana in answer to a question asked by a deva as to which are the auspicious things (maṅgalāni) in the world. The sutta describes thirty-eight auspicious things such things as the avoidance of fools, association with the wise, honouring those worthy of honour, etc. (Khp.pp.2 f)

The Commentary (KhpA.vii; SNA.i.300) explains that at the time the sutta was taught there was great discussion over the whole of Jambudīpa regarding the constitution of maṅgala. The devas heard the discussion and argued among themselves until the matter spread to the highest Brahma world. Then it was that Sakka suggested that a devaputta should visit the Buddha and ask him about it.

It is the fourth sutta of the Cūḷa Vagga of the Suttanipāta. The sutta is also called the Mahāmaṅgala. It is one of the suttas at the teaching of which countless devas were present and countless beings realised the Truth (SNA.i.174; BuA.243; AA.i.57,320).

The sutta is often recited, and forms one of the most common of the protection discourses (Paritta). To have it written down in a book is considered an act of great merit (MA.ii.806).

It is said (Mhv.xxxii.43) that once Duṭṭhagāmaṇī attempted to teach the Maṅgala Sutta at the Lohapāsāda, but he was too nervous to proceed.

The teaching of the Maṅgala Sutta was one of the incidents of the Buddha’s life represented in the Relic Chamber of the Mahā Thūpa (Mhv.xxx. 83).

See also Mahāmaṅgala Jātaka.

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