“Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth”

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Health is the greatest gift,
contentment is the greatest wealth,
a trusted friend is the best relative,
Liberated mind is the greatest bliss.

This one’s very common and it’s legitimate. It’s verse 204 of the Dhammapada, in a translation by Narada Maha Thera. He has

Health is the greatest gift,
contentment is the greatest wealth,
a trusted friend is the best relative,
Nibbana is the greatest bliss.

“Nibbana” has been changed to “liberated mind” in the Facebook version, but that’s fair enough, since it makes the verse understandable to non-Buddhists without significantly changing the meaning.

Buddharakkhita in Access to Insight, has:

Health is the most precious gain
and contentment the greatest wealth.
A trustworthy person is the best kinsman,
Nibbana the highest bliss.

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3 thoughts on ““Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth””

  1. It’s the use of the word ‘gift’ in the top quotation that I don’t agree with. It had always sounded odd to me (gift from whom?), and when I finally came across the other version (which used ‘gain’), it made complete sense right away.
    ‘Gain’ seems to imply that one’s earning of good karma resulted in the achievement of good health, whereas ‘gift’ makes it look like somebody blessed or granted you with it. Or maybe they just meant that it’s a gift to your present self from your past self and I’m just overthinking this.
    I hope that my english is not too bad.
    Thank you so much for this website, by the way.

    1. Your English is excellent, and you’re welcome for the site. The word “gift” in English doesn’t always imply a giver. To say, for example, that someone has a gift or is gifted no doubt originally implied God as the giver, but that no longer applies for many people. The same vocabulary can apply for many benefits people receive, from children to a sunny day. I can see your objection, but it doesn’t resonate strongly with me.

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