Thag 12:1  Sīlavat

Here master the virtue

that in this world is well-mastered,

for virtue, when cultivated,

brings every consummation near.

Wise, one should protect one’s virtue,

aspiring to three pleasures:

praise, the gaining of wealth,

and—after death—rejoicing in heaven.

The virtuous one, through restraint,

acquires many friends,

while the unvirtuous one, practicing evil,

from friends is estranged.

The unvirtuous person gains

disrepute & dishonor;

the virtuous person, always,

repute, honor, & praise.

Virtue is the beginning, the establishing,

the mother of what is fine,

the foremost of all qualities:

Therefore virtue should be purified.

Virtue is also control, restraint,

the delight of the mind,

the ford of all Buddhas:

Therefore virtue should be purified.

Virtue:     an incomparable strength.

Virtue:     the ultimate weapon.

Virtue:     the highest adornment.

Virtue:     an astounding coat of mail.

Virtue:     an imposing bridge.

Virtue:     an unexcelled fragrance.

Virtue:     the highest fragrant ointment

by which one wafts

this direction & that.

Virtue:     the supreme provision.

Virtue:     the ultimate food for the journey.

Virtue:     the highest vehicle

by which one goes1

this direction & that.

Right here he gains blame,

and after death, in deprivation,

he’s unhappy at heart:

Everywhere the fool

is unhappy at heart,

not concentrated on virtues.

Right here he gains honor

and after death, in heaven,

is happy at heart:

Everywhere the enlightened one

is happy at heart,

well-concentrated on virtues.

Here virtue is supreme,

but one with discernment is the ultimate.

Among human beings & devas

one conquers

through virtue & discernment.


1. Reading yāti with the PTS and Sinhalese editions. The Thai has vāti—“wafts”—which seems to be a mistake.