2:4  Protection

This sutta is identical with Khp 5.

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then a certain deva, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta’s Grove, went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to him, she stood to one side. As she was standing there, she addressed him with a verse.

“Many devas & humans beings

give thought to protection,

desiring well-being.

Tell, then, the highest protection.”

The Buddha:

“Not consorting with fools,

consorting with the wise,

paying homage to those worthy of homage:

This is the highest protection.

Living in a civilized land,

having made merit in the past,

directing oneself rightly1:

This is the highest protection.

Broad knowledge, skill,

well-mastered discipline,

well-spoken words:

This is the highest protection.

Support for one’s mother & father,2

assistance to one’s wife and children,

consistency in one’s work:

This is the highest protection.

Generosity, living in rectitude,

assistance to one’s relatives,

deeds that are blameless:

This is the highest protection.

Avoiding, abstaining from evil;

refraining from intoxicants,

being heedful of mental qualities:

This is the highest protection.

Respect, humility,

contentment, gratitude,

hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions:

This is the highest protection.

Patience, composure,

seeing contemplatives,

discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions:

This is the highest protection.

Austerity, celibacy,

seeing the noble truths,

realizing unbinding:

This is the highest protection.

A mind that, when touched

by the ways of the world,3

is unshaken, sorrowless, dustless, at rest:

This is the highest protection.

When acting in this way,

everywhere undefeated,

people go everywhere in well-being:

This is their highest protection.”

vv. 258–269

Notes

1. These are three of the four “wheels” leading to wealth and prosperity. See AN 4:31.

2. See AN 2:31–32.

3. Ways of the world (lokadhamma): gain, loss, status, loss of status, praise, criticism, pleasure, pain. See AN 8:6 and AN 4:192.

See also: SN 3:5; AN 3:110; AN 4:128; AN 10:17