The Perfection of Morality - Ascetic Akitti’s sila III

Akitti was steadfast in generosity, he did not hesitate because of avarice. He did

not long for anything in life, not even for something very slight. This is the

perfection of sincerity. We read:


“The ascetic Akitti was unshakable in generosity

while he offered his sodden Kara leaves for three consecutive days.

He fulfilled the perfection of loving-kindness, metta,

by his disposition to give assistance to all beings.

He fulfilled the perfection of equanimity, upekkha,

by evenmindedness or neutrality,

not being disturbed by controversial conduct of people or by trying events.”


Sakka begged for food for three consecutive days, but the ascetic Akitti was

unshakable in his determination to give, and he gave, no matter who was

asking. We read:


“As regards the perfection of panna,

he knows which dhammas are beneficial conditions

for the fulfilment of the perfections and which are not.

He abandons the dhammas which are not beneficial

and he directs his practice towards those which are beneficial.

When Sakka knew the disposition of the ascetic Akitti,

he offered a boon,

whereupon the Great Being, the ascetic Akitti,

explained the Dhamma with regard to the receiving of boons.”


Further on in the Commentary we read:


“Sakka noticed that the ascetic Akitti dwelt in contentedness.

He asked him:

‘What, great Brahmin, are you wishing for,

that you are dwelling here all alone in the heat?’ ”


Sakka interrogated Akitti because he wanted to know about his sincerity in

practising virtue to the highest degree, so that even Sakka called him great

Brahmin. We read:


“Akitti answered, ‘Sakka, King of the devas,

rebirth is dukkha,

the breaking up of the body is dukkha,

and dying with delusion is dukkha.

Therefore I dwell here all alone.’


Sakka answered: ‘Well spoken Kassapa,

you express this very well.

I will give you a boon, choose whatever you wish.’ ”


Topic 278