The Perfection of Morality - Ascetic Akitti’s sila VI



Sakka asked, ‘What else do you wish for?’

 

The ascetic Akitti said, ‘When the night is spent and the sun, the ruler of the world, rises,

may divine food and holy mendicants appear,

and may the food that I will offer not become exhausted.

May I not repent my deed but give with a pure mind.

This is a boon I wish for.’

 

Sakka asked, ‘What else do you wish for?’

 

The ascetic Akitti said, ‘Sakka, King of the Devas,

if you want to give me a boon, may you not visit me again.’ ”

 

This is the last boon the ascetic Akitti asked for. This shows that he was not

heedless with regard to the akusala he had accumulated. Sakka was most

surprised because everybody wishes to see sons and daughters of devas,

divine beings. Some people develop kusala to the degree of calm in order to

see devas. But the ascetic Akitti wished that Sakka would not visit him again.

We read:

 

“Sakka said, ‘Many people wish to see, because of their righteous conduct, sons and daughters of devas.

What is the danger in seeing me?’

 

The ascetic Akitti answered, ‘I may transgress my vow of asceticism

when I see the appearance of devas,

beings who are full of glory and delightful to the senses.

This is the danger in seeing you.’

 

Thereupon Sakka said, ‘This is good, revered one,

from now on I shall not visit you again’ and he departed.

 

The Bodhisatta dwelt in the same place during his whole life.

After he passed away he was reborn in the world of the Brahma.

The reverend Anuruddha was Sakka,

the Buddha was the ascetic Akitti.”

 

The ascetic Akitti was heedful, he did not want to see what could be a danger to

him. We can learn a lesson from this story, we should consider the perfections

with regard to our own life. We have a long way to go in order to attain the

realization of the four noble Truths and the eradication of defilements. If we do

not understand what the perfections really are, we do not have firm

determination to study the Dhamma in order to have right understanding,

to apply the Dhamma and to practise it with sincerity, which is the perfection of

truthfulness. We should study and practise without being disturbed by the

worldly conditions of gain, loss, honour, dishonour, praise, blame, happiness

and misery. If we are unshakable by these worldly conditions, we are beginning

to develop the perfections so that they become more firmly established.

 

Topic 278



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