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The Greatest Good Fortune—Bhikkhu Brahmali

The Group of Suttas

The Greatest Good Fortune

This is what I have heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying at Sāvatthī in the Jeta Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. On that occasion, as the night was coming to an end, a certain god of great beauty approached the Blessed One while illuminating the whole Jeta Grove. After bowing to the Blessed One, they stood to one side and spoke a verse:

“Many gods and humans,
Desiring well-being,
Are seekers of good fortune:
Please tell me the greatest good fortune.”

“Not to associate with fools,
But to associate with the wise,
And to honour those worthy of honour:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“To live in a suitable place,
Having previously done good karma,
And to apply oneself in the right way:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“To be educated and to have a vocation,
To be well-trained in one’s chosen field,
And to speak words that are well-spoken:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“To support one’s mother and father,
To cherish one’s partner and children,
And to have a job without stress:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“Generosity and an upright life,
Kindness towards one’s relatives,
And the doing of blameless deeds:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“To refrain from what is unwholesome,
To abstain from all intoxicants,
And to be steadfast in good qualities,
This is the greatest good fortune.

“Respect and humility,
Contentment and gratitude,
And the timely hearing of Dharma:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“Being patient and easy to correct,
The seeing of monks and nuns,
And timely discussion on Dharma:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“Asceticism and the spiritual life,
Insight into the noble truths,
And the seeing for oneself of Nirvana:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“A mind that remains unshaken
By the ups and the downs of the world,
Sorrowless, stainless and safe:
This is the greatest good fortune.

“Having performed these things,
Nowhere can they be conquered—
They are secure wherever they go.
This is their greatest good fortune.”