PAST REFLECTION

Past reflection

It is necessary to reflect every time robes, food, senāsana and gilanpasa are used. It is difficult to do so. Bhikkhūs often utilize the four requisites without reflection due to reasons such as forgetfulness. It is necessary to reflect anytime before dawn on the following day, on all requisites used without reflection during the day. If a day passes without reflection it falls into the category of Icaparibhoga, it is of no use to reflect tomorrow, on requisites utilised today. Past reflection is something to be done on requisites used on a daily basis. Pay respects to the triple gem in the evening and reflect on requisites used from dawn up to that time. Requisites used thereafter, must be reflected upon, before the next dawn. It is also proper to wake up before dawn and reflect on requisites used during the entire day. It is good to reflect before retiring at night. Those who are unable to wake up before dawn should get used to contemplating at least at that time.

Past reflection on robes

I wore the robes today to overcome the cold, overcome heat, to overcome possible harm from flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun and poisonous creatures such as centipedes and scorpions. To cover parts of the body, which, if not covered, will cause shame.

Past reflection on food

I consumed food today, not for enjoyment, not to develop manly strength, not to fatten the body, not even to beautify the body. I consumed this food in order to maintain body and life, to overcome the pain of hunger, to undertake practice in the Bhuddha sāsana and carry on life over a long period. Consuming food in this manner overcomes my hunger. The pain caused by over eating does not arise. It enables to continue life over a long period. This consumption of food not being an improper supply of food becomes a proper consumption of food. Consumption of food in this manner enables healthy living.

Past reflection on senāsana

 I utlised this senāsana today to overcome cold. To overcome heat. To overcome harm from flies, mosquitos, sun, wind and serpants. To overcome harm from dangerous climatic conditions. To keep the mind fixed on one object without allowing it to move on to several objects.

Past reflection on gilanpasa

 I consumed gilanpasa today only to overcome ailments and pains in my body. This reflection is enough for a bhikkhu to avoid icaparibhoga. It is very good if reflection is done as elements and as loathsome. Those who desire to do so should learn reflection stanzas given at various places earlier and reflect accordingly. Most defilements are removed by reflection as elements and as loathsome. It is very useful for yogis who practice vipassanā (insight) meditation. Bhikkhu ideas are lost and lay ideas developed by many who have gone forth, defilements such as greed and conceit are strengthened; many requisites are sought and stored, tend to collect money, tend to acquire requisites not suited for bhikkhūs, all due to utilization of requisites without reflection. It is the reflection that becomes a strong reason to develop and strengthen bhikkhu qualities and bhikkhu ideas.

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