The Greatest Protection

The Buddha was living near Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove at Anathapindika’s monastery. One night he was visited by an angel that glowed so bright that he lit up the entire grove. He approached the Buddha with great respect and said, “Many men and gods have considered the question, ‘What is the best protection?’”

The Buddha replied, “Avoid spending time with fools. Instead, spend time with wise people. Respect the wise. This is the best protection.

“Live in a good location. Having done good in the past, aim to do good in the future. This is the best protection.

“A good education, skill at trade, virtue, being well spoken. This is the best protection.

“Caring for mother, father, wife, and children. To have a peaceful profession. This is the best protection.

“Generosity, upright living, helping one’s family, and clean living.This is the best protection.

“Avoiding evil, avoiding alcohol and drugs, diligence in virtue. This is the best protection.

“Respect, humility, contentment, and gratitude. Listening to the teachings of the Buddha. This is the best protection.

“Patience and obedience. Spending time talking with monks about religion. This is the best protection.

“Self control, chastity, understanding the 4 Noble Truths, and nibbana. This is the best protection.

“A mind not troubled by the ups and downs of life, not sad, pure, free from fear. This is the best protection.

“For those who have done these things live in safety. These are the best protections.”

-Khuddaka Nikāya, Mangala Sutta

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