The Buddha’s Verse on Health, Wealth, Friendship and Happiness
Arōgyā paramā lābhā
santuṭṭhi paramaṁ dhanaṁ
vissāsa paramā ñāthi
Nibbānaṁ paramaṁ sukhaṁ
A healthy mind is the greatest gain,
Contentment is the greatest wealth,
A trustworthy friend is the best of kin,
Unconditional Freedom is the highest bliss.
(The Buddha: Dhammapada verse 204)
Have you ever taken the time to pause and ponder on What is the Focus, Form and Function of your Life?
What are we hoping to fulfill with our life? ‘What is a life well lived and what is the result of a life well lived?
Indeed, what is it that we aspire to or make the meaning, worthwhile gain or goal of our life?
Given that we all are alive; that we have life, it can be most important to consider these questions above and then check in and see if we are indeed leading our life in accordance with the result that we are wanting or expecting.
While the appreciation of the results of a life well lived may vary from person to person, the Buddha’s words in the Verse above from a collection of Verses called the Dhammapada, offers a wonderful statement of what may be considered worthwhile and important for us as human beings.
This Verse expresses a perennial wisdom in that it transcends time, place, customs, culture, gender and age.
The Verse states what is important in four main areas of our life – Health, Wealth, Relationships and Happiness.
We note that much of our current culture would see other things as important in those four domains. These might include: Physical Health and Beauty; Financial Success; Lots of fun-loving Friends; Sensory Pleasure as Happiness.
What the Buddha has stated in his Verse are in the domain of Psychological and Spiritual things rather than the ways and values of ‘the world’ or ‘worldliness’. This takes into consideration that whilst physical and material things are important and can bring some degree of pleasure and happiness, they are subject to change and demise. They are conditioned and conditional and thus not a sure, safe refuge or a reliable investment of our precious time and energy. The verse expresses what we may know, we just need to take it to heart and actualise it.
Take some time in being Mindful and Meditative to feel into each of the four statements of the Buddha.
- What does this statement mean for me?
- If the statement does align with my values, then how am I bringing this to fruition in my life?
- If something is hindering fulfilling the value the statement expresses, what can I do about this?
- Anything else I would like to feel or note about the statements or the Buddha’s Verse as a whole?