Blessing

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A blessing (maïgala) is a protective power usually imparted by repeating certain words, flicking special water, being touched with holy objects or by certain hand gestures. The Buddha was sceptical of the efficacy of this type of blessing. As with other issues, he taught that the best way to acquire ‘blessings’, ‘protection’ or ‘good luck’ is to be virtuous, honest and kind. In the famous Discourse on Blessing, the Maïgala Sutta, from the Sutta Nipàta he says; ‘Generosity, being just, supporting one’s family and acting blamelessly, this is the greatest blessing. Disapproving of and rejecting evil, refraining from alcohol, watching one’s own mind – this is the greatest blessing. Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude and listening to the Dhamma from time to time – this is the greatest blessing’ (Sutta Nipata 263-5).

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