Ja 290 The Story about the Enquiry into Virtue

In the present a brahmin seeks to find out if the king favours him for his birth, or for his goodness, so he starts stealing a penny a day from the king. When the king finds out he decides to punish him, until the brahmin explains his actions. The Buddha tells a story of similar happenings in a past life.

1. Sīlaṁ kireva kalyāṇaṁ, sīlaṁ loke anuttaraṁ,
Passa ghoraviso nāgo, sīlavāti na haññati.

Virtue, it seems, is lovely, virtue in the world is unsurpassed, look at the poisonous snake, being virtuous he is not hurt.

2. Sohaṁ sīlaṁ samādissaṁ loke anumataṁ sivaṁ,
Ariyavuttisamācāro yena vuccati sīlavā.

I will undertake that blessèd virtue approved of in the world, through being noble in behaviour one is called virtuous.

3. Ñātīnañ-ca piyo hoti, mittesu ca virocati,
Kāyassa bhedā sugatiṁ upapajjati sīlavā ti.

Being dear to his relatives, he shines brightly amongst his friends, the virtuous at body’s break up arises in a good state.

In this connection, virtue means virtuous behaviour.

It seems, this is a particle with the meaning of hearsay.

Lovely means beautiful.

Virtue, it seems, is lovely, so the wise say, this is the meaning.

Look, he speaks to himself.

He is not hurt means he does not harrass another, and he is not harassed by others.

I will undertake means I will undertake. It appears that samādissaṁ is short m.c. for samādiyissaṁ, which is the middle form. samādiyissāmi being the active form.

Blessed virtue approved of, safe and fearless, so it is welcomed by the wise.

Through being … he is called, through whatever virtue that person is virtuous, behaving according to the practice of the noble Buddhas and so on, through being noble in behaviour is said, that behaviour I will undertake, this is the meaning.

He shines brightly means he shines brightly like a bonfire of the top of a mountain.