Virtue

Sīla (SN 47.21)

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Ānanda and the Venerable Bhadda were dwelling at Paṭaliputta in the Cock’s Park. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Bhadda emerged from seclusion, approached the Venerable Ānanda, and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Venerable Ānanda:
“Friend Ānanda, as to the wholesome virtues spoken of by the Blessed One, what is the purpose for which they were spoken of by him?”
“Good, good, friend Bhadda! Your intelligence is excellent, your ingenuity is excellent, your inquiry is a good one. For you have asked me: ‘Friend Ānanda, as to the wholesome virtues spoken of by the Blessed One, what is the purpose for which they were spoken of by him?’”
“Yes, friend.”
“Those wholesome virtues spoken of by the Blessed One were spoken of by him for the purpose of developing the four establishments of mindfulness. What four? Here, friend, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body … feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.
“Those virtues spoken of by the Blessed One were spoken of by him for the sake of developing these four establishments of mindfulness.”

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