Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Sallekha Sutta

Last night, Ajaan had me translate on-the-spot, the introduction to a discourse on the Sallekha Sutta, by Mahasi Sayadaw, into Thai for him to listen. Since it is a very important subject, I thought it worth posting here too:

A true follower of the Buddha should have few desires. He should be content with what he has and he should try to lessen his defilements.

He should have little desire for material possessions or attendants. He should not want to speak of his accomplishments in the study of scriptures or in the practice of meditation. He should keep the depth of his learning or his spiritual attainments to himself. A true Ariya (the Noble One) does not reveal his spiritual insight although he wants to share it with other people. It is only the religious impostor who calls himself an Ariya or an Arahat.

Contentment is also essential to spiritual development. ?One should be satisfied with whatever one has, whether good or bad. Equally essential is the effort to lessen one?s defilements (kilesa). The self-training leading to this goal forms the subject of Sallekha sutta. The sutta is beneficial to meditators and non-meditators alike; it is helpful to all those who wish to overcome immoral desires and cultivate good, wholesome desires.