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Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.5 Attarakkhita Sutta
Self-Protected

How do we protect ourselves?

At the city of Sāvatthī…

Seated to one side, King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Just now, Bhante, while I was alone in my room, this thought came to mind, ‘Who are those who protect themselves? And who are those who don’t protect themselves?’ Then it occurred to me, ‘Those who do bad by body, speech, and mind don’t protect themselves. Even if they’re protected by a troop of elephants, horses, vehicles, or bodyguards, they still don’t protect themselves. Why is that? It is because such protection is external and not internal. That’s why they don’t protect themselves. Those who do good by body, speech, and mind do protect themselves. Even if they’re not protected by a troop of elephants, horses, vehicles, or bodyguards, they still protect themselves. Why is that? It is because such protection is internal and not external. That’s why they protect themselves.’”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true! Those who do bad by body, speech, and mind don’t protect themselves. Even if they’re protected by a troop of elephants, horses, vehicles, or bodyguards, they still don’t protect themselves. Why is that? It is because such protection is external and not internal. That’s why they don’t protect themselves.

“Also great king, those who do good by body, speech, and mind do protect themselves. Even if they’re not protected by a troop of elephants, horses, vehicles, or bodyguards, they still protect themselves. Why is that? It is because such protection is internal and not external. That’s why they protect themselves.’”

The Buddha:

“Restraint of the body is good;
restraint of speech is good;
restraint of the mind is good;
restraint everywhere is good.
A person who is ashamed of wrong doing, and restrained everywhere,
is said to be ‘the one who is protected’.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.5 Attarakkhita Sutta: Self-Protected

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