To have much learning,
to be skillful in handicraft,
well-trained in discipline,
and to be of good speech
this is the greatest blessing.
In the next verse of the Mangala sutta, the Buddha advised that being equipped with good knowledge and being skillful in what one does for a living is the greatest blessings.
Everyone of us needs a livelihood to survive and it is a very practical advice for all of us. However, it is equally important to note that the Buddhist philosophy also emphasize the quality of our knowledge and skill. How do we use our knowledge and skills.
As a Buddhist, we shouldn’t harm others or ourselves while pursuing our livelihood. Nor should we engage in malicious sabotage or unrighteousness to win our daily bread.
If we work in an office, then backstabbing our colleague for career advancement would be a curse instead of a blessing.
Well trained in discipline means that we follow / adhere to the Buddhist ethics that Buddha set for us.
If we are lay disciples, we follow the precepts for the layman and if we are monastic disciples, then we should follow the rules of the monastic order.
Well tained also mean that we are resolute in our commitment and cannot be easily swayed from our path.
Good speech is an art in itself and is hard to perfect.
It means that we speak only at the right time.
We speak words that are truthful and friendly.
Our words bring benefits to others and ourselves.
Last but not leaset, our words are spoken out of good intentions.
If we can do all these, then we should be confident that blessings will come to us.
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