Ekottarikāgama 21.10

Security

Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the monks:

“There are three things that are inevitably insecure. Which three? Inevitably insecure are a) one’s body, b) one’s life and c) one’s property. These, monks, are the three things that are inevitably insecure.

“Now, monks, in regard to the three things being inevitably insecure, one should search for three kind of skilful means so as to realise three kinds of complete security. Which are the three? There are the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security in regard to a) one’s body, b) life and c) property that are inevitably insecure.

“And what is the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security a) in regard to one’s body that is inevitably insecure? It is reverence, worship and, in due time, enquiring into the Dharma. This is the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security in regard to one’s body …

“What is the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security in regard to b) one’s life that is inevitably insecure? As for this, when a son or daughter of good family, as long as life lasts, does not kill any living being, does not brandish either a sword or a cudgel, being always guided by modesty and with a heart full of friendliness and compassion encompassing all living beings; when, as long as life lasts, he or she does not steal, is always intent upon generosity and with a heart unstained by stinginess, when, as long as life lasts, he or she is neither licentious nor induces others to be so; as long as life lasts, does not tell lies being always intent upon absolute honesty and without cheating anybody in the world; … and does not drink alcohol, thereby avoiding getting befuddled and thus being able to maintain observance of the Buddha’s moral training. This is the skilful means of someone in quest of security in regard to one’s life …

“What is the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security in regard to c) one’s property that is inevitably insecure? As for this, when a son or daughter of good family, as long as life lasts, is always intent upon generosity towards Śramaṇas, brahmin ascetics and all those living in poverty, giving food to those who require it, providing broth to those who need it, providing robes, food, lodging, medicine for treating the sick, accommodation and a place to live either in a city or in a suburb; when he or she, as long as life lasts, supplies indeed everything that is needed. Suchlike is the skilful means of someone in quest of complete security in regard to one’s property that is inevitably insecure. It is, monks, by dint of these three kinds of skilful means that one aspires to the three kinds of complete security in regard to the three kinds of inevitable insecurity just mentioned.”

Then the exalted One uttered the following verses:

“Knowing that one’s body is inevitably insecure and that,
Of course, the same holds true of one’s life, and that
One’s property is subject to loss, one should aspire
To complete security. It is extremely difficult to obtain a
Human body; before long one’s life comes to an
End and the fate of one’s property will be destruction.
So one should happily be intent upon generosity.”

After listening to the Buddha’s words, the monks were pleasaed and respectfully applied themselves to practice.