The Perfection of Morality - Virtue of Bodhisatta I

We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct”, in the “Miscellaneous



“Now comes the method of practising the perfection of virtue (síla).

Since the Great Man desires to adorn beings

with the adornment of the virtue of the omniscient,

at the beginning he must first purify his own virtue.

Herein, virtue is purified in four modes:


1. by the purification of one’s inclinations (ajjhasayavisuddhi);

2. by the undertaking of precepts (samadhana);

3. by non-transgression (avítikkamana);

4. by making amends for transgressions (patipkatikarana).”


In this way we can check síla in our daily life. We should know whether our síla

is pure. We read:


“For someone who is dominated by personal ideals,

is naturally disgusted with evil through the purity of his own inclinations

and purifies his conduct by arousing his inward sense of shame (hiri).

Someone else who is dominated by consideration for the world, afraid of evil,

purifies his conduct by receiving precepts from another person

and by arousing his sense of moral dread (ottappa).

Both establish themselves in virtue through non-transgression. 

But if, due to forgetfulness, they sometimes break a precept,

through their sense of shame and moral dread, respectively,

they quickly make amends for it through the proper means of rehabilitation.”


Topic 278