Ja 84 The Story about the Doors to Welfare

In the present a precocious youth seeks his spiritual welfare. The Buddha tells how he did the same in a previous life, and what advice the Bodhisatta had given him then, as now (full story).

1. Ārogyam-icche, paramañ-ca lābhaṁ,
Sīlañ-ca vuddhānumataṁ sutañ-ca,
Dhammānuvattī ca alīnatā ca:
Atthassa dvārā pamukhā chaḷete ti.

Desire good health, which is the greatest gain, virtue, approval by elders, learning, conformity to the Dhamma, striving: these six gateways are the entrance to welfare.

In this connection, desire good health, which is the greatest gain. “Dear, the first, designated as good health, is the greatest gain, it should be desired,” thus he speaks explaining the meaning. In this connection, good health is called healthiness and lack of disease of body and mind. In the body disease is always found, Lit: never not found. English, however, does not like double negatives. one is able to generate the gain of wealth, but not able to enjoy it. But with a lack of disease these two are possible. In the mind the disease of defilements is always found, one is able to generate the gain of the absorptions and so on, but not to enjoy what was gained through these attainments. With this lack of health what was not gained, that gain is not acquired, that gain is worthless, without these what is not gained, that gain is acquired, that gain is said to be worthwhile, good health is what is known as the greatest gain. Of all things that is the first to be desired. This is one gateway to welfare, this is the meaning here.

Virtue means virtuous behaviour, with this he points out good worldly conduct.

Approval by elders means approval by the wise, virtuous elders. With this he points out the advice given by teachers endowed with knowledge.

Learning means learning dependent on reason. With this he points out being deeply learned and useful in this world.

Conformity to the Dhamma means compliance to the threefold dhamma of good conduct. Good conduct in body, speech and mind. Avoiding the dhamma of bad conduct, he points out compliance with the dhamma of good conduct.

Striving means striving with arrogance in the mind. He points out superiority, excellence, a lack of distortion in the mind.

These six gateways are the entrance to welfare, welfare is called development, his entrance upon mundane and transmundane welfare these are the foremost, the supreme, the six skilful doors, the foremost attainments.