The Book of Protection

By Venerable Piyadassi Thera

The Four-fold Reflection of a Monk

(Paccavekkhana) (1)

1. Wisely reflecting do I wear the robe, only in order to protect myself from cold, heat, gadflies, mosquitoes, wind and sun and from snakes; and also as a constant covering for my modesty.

2. Wisely reflecting I will partake of food not for pleasure of it, not for the pride (resulting from physical strength obtainable), not for adornment, not for beautifying the body, but merely to maintain this body, to still the hunger, and to enable the practice of the holy life; also to resist the pangs of hunger (due to previous want of food), and to resist the pain (resulting from excess of food). Thus will my life be maintained free from wrong doing and free from discomfort.

3. Wisely reflecting I will make use of lodgings only in order to protect myself from cold and heat, from gadflies and mosquitoes; from wind and sun, from snakes, and also as a constant protection against the rigours of climate, and in order to realize that ardent desire for seclusion (which begets mental concentration).

4. Wisely reflecting I will make use of medicine only as an aid to eliminate bodily pains that have arisen, and also to maintain that important condition, freedom from disease.

1. M. i. p. 10; cf. A. ii. 40; M. 53.