The Perfection of Morality - Ascetic Akitti’s sila IV

One may have wonder what this means. Here the firm determination for the

development of kusala is shown of the ascetic Akitti who wishes for a boon.

The boon that he wishes for are all ten perfections. We read:


“The ascetic Akitti said, ‘Sakka, lord of the devas,

you have offered me a boon.

People who have children, a wife,

possessions and all kinds of pleasant things,

are attached to them,

even though their attachment does not cause any harm.

However, I wish to be free from all degrees of attachment to such things.

That is the boon I would like to have.’ ”


This shows that he had a precise understanding of his cittas: he did not wish to

have attachment even if it would not cause any harm. Someone who has no firm

determination in the development of the perfections may believe that attachment

makes life comfortable and pleasant, and that, so long as attachment does not

cause any harm, there is no danger in it. However, Akitti wanted to be free from

all attachment. This is the steadfastness in kusala to the degree of a perfection.

We read:


“Thereupon Sakka said, ‘You have well spoken, Kassapa.

What else do you wish for?’”


Do we wish for a boon that will be a condition for kusala to become more

steadfast, just as in the case of Akitti? What he just asked was not sufficient yet.

The following boon that the ascetic Akitti wished for shows again the meaning of

kusala to the degree of a perfection. We read that Akitti said:


“ ‘Sakka, the lord of all devas has offered me a boon.

Lands, goods and gold, cows, horses, slaves and relatives decay and pass away.

May I not have such unsatisfactoriness.’ ”


The loss of possessions is akusala vipaka, the result of akusala kamma that has

been performed by oneself. There will not be such loss if one does not commit

akusala kamma. We read that Akitti asked as a boon:


“ ‘May there be not any akusala kamma that could cause such loss.’


Sakka said, ‘Kassapa, what else do you wish?’


The ascetic Akitti said, ‘Please give me this boon:

may I not see or hear a fool nor be in his company,

and may I not like to converse with him.’


Sakka asked, ‘What is the reason Kassapa,

that you do not like fools nor wish to see them?’ ”


Topic 278