Title- The Smell of “Sila” Morality Is the Sweetest of All Florals


“Sila” means restraining one’s bodily and verbal actions, maintaining good moral conduct. One who observes morality avoids doing evil actions either physically or verbally. All human beings should observe the five moral precepts well just as they wear nether garments well. It is essential that everyone be endowed with good morality. So everyone should observe the five moral precepts. For other higher moral precepts (Uposatha Sila), the more one can observe them, the greater the benefits will be. The merit of morality surpasses that of charity. One who is endowed with morality will be reborn in fortunate existences throughout the round of rebirths, Samsara.

Explanation of Sila

(1) The Meaning of Sila“Sila” is a pali word (term). The nature, habit, noble moral behavior, etc., are the meanings of Sila. Keeping the bodily actions, verbal actions properly and purely are called observing Sila well.

(2) Names of Sila– There are many kinds of Sila, namely, five precepts, eight precepts, etc.

(3) The Characteristics of Sila– Sila is the most wonderful jewellery or ornament for personal adornment. It is also the sweetest smell. Therefore Sila is shown in many ways in the books as follows:

~~~Silam yogissa lankaro, silam yogissa mandanam, silehi lankato yogi, mandane aggatam gato~~~


Meaning: Sila is a simple ornament, the most wonderful ornament of the meditator yogi. The way of wearing (adoring) Sila is the most wonderful adornment of all.

~~~Candanam tagaram vapi, uppalam atha vassiki, etesam gandhajatanam, silagandho anuttaro~~~


Meaning: The smell of “Sila” morality is the sweetest of all flowers, sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus, jasmine.

~~~Appamatto ayam gandho, yvayam tagara candanam, yo ca silavatam gandho, vati devesu uttamo~~~

Meaning: The smell of rhododendron, or sandalwood is little. The fame of the virtuous spreads sweetly in deva abodes, etc.

Thus grandly mentioned the characteristics of Sila.

(4) The Advantages of Sila– Observing Sila will bring about good advantages as follows:

Because of unforgetfulness much wealth will be obtained.
Good fame will be attained.
Can approach the audience bravely.
Dies without wavering.
After timely death, attains to celestial abode and enjoys happiness.


{Sutta Mahava, Mahaparinibbana Sutta}

Moreover, the Sila observer can obtain good benefit such as pleasant joy. The pleasant joyful person gets joy, small pitipamojja. The joyful person gains great interest (piti) ; the great interest holder gets calmness of body and mind; the person who has the calmness gets happiness; the happy one gets Samadhi, concentration of the mind. The one who has the concentration of the mind realizes yathabuta nana knowledge (the vipassana knowledge of there exists only mind and matter). One who realizes that nana knowledge will be bored or tired of samsara dukkha, rounds of suffering, and strong vipassana insight, namely nibbana or magga-phala nana. One who realizes that nana will attain the Path which is free from clinging; one who realizes the Path will attain the arahatta phala fruition called vimutti. One who attains that fruition will attain the paccavekkhana nana which reflects the path, the fruition and nibbana. One who attains that paccavekkhana nana can attain the absolute bliss of nibbana.

{Ang, 3-505}

As the Sila observer is observing moral precepts, he can get good benefits not only in the present and next existence but also the benefit of attainment to nibbana. Hence “Sila” is mentioned as “The Beginning 0f All Goodness, Kusala”.

Related Articles:

Title- Morality Is More Beneficial Than Charity (Dana Vs Sila)
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