A Discourse On The Sīlavanta Sutta – Mahāsi Sayādaw (eng)



Translator’s Preface
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Among many outstanding discourses expounded by the Venerable Aggamahāpaṇḍita Mahāsi Sayādaw, the Vammika Sutta is one of the most interesting discourses that reveals the Truth of the Buddha’s Dhamma in a simple, effective way and in unequivocal terms. The brilliant light of the Mahāsi Sayādaw’s teachings has expelled the darkness or the dim ambiguities of certain highly philosophical dhamma which are not ordinarily and easily comprehensible to a man of average intelligence.

This lovely discourse originally taught by the Buddha has been elucidated by the author, the Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw, to become a newly developed idea of his own. It reveals in a very brief and striking way the genius of the Omniscient Buddha. In it you will find the fundamental religious concepts ornamented with a wide variety of aphorisms and lively short stories, which though concisely narrated leaving out what are irrelevant to the practical aspect of the dhamma, will be found really interesting and invaluable.

The exposition takes the trend of a new style of expression relating to the prime importance of the practice of vipassanā meditation which is essential for all mankind to escape from the fetters of human
passions. The Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw has precisely presented the practical method of insight meditation in this discourse, with brilliant touches which would surely bring an enthusiastic reader a
step closer to nibbāna. This statement is not an exaggeration. Reading through this Sutta, one may perhaps be aroused with curiosity as to what are the fifteen riddles posed by Venerable Kumāra Kassapa on the advice given by a brahmā god and what are the answers as elucidated by the Blessed One.

Treatment of this Sutta with lucid explanation is beautifully blended with the genius of the author. The translation truthfully rendered will, it is hoped, give a delightful reading particularly to those who understand English language and who have a bent in Buddhist philosophy. It may perhaps even encourage them to take refuge in the Triple Gem of Buddhism and seek for real peace and happiness by experimenting vipassanā meditation.

The light of the Buddhadhamma is still shining. Reality is indescribable. The Buddha, whose purpose in life was the attainment Translator’s Preface vii of Enlightenment, had taught to us with all-embracing love and compassion to be always “mindful and self-possessed” refraining from mental and emotional attachment to all nature of things which are ephemeral, particularly, the material body (rūpa), which is prone to decay, suffering and death. The method of eliminating human passions (kilesa) has been candidly explained in this Sutta for you to follow in accordance with the well-known phrase:

“Even the Buddhas only point the way and the individual must work out his own salvation with diligence.”

May you all be able to follow the right path, free from all hindrances and strive after nibbāna to bring all your passions to an end.

Min Swe
(Min Kyaw Thu)
Buddha Sāsana Nuggaha Organization