Sasravashila, Sāsravaśīla, Sasrava-shila: 1 definition



Sasravashila means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Sāsravaśīla can be transliterated into English as Sasravasila or Sasravashila, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (S) next»] — Sasravashila in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Sāsravaśīla (सास्रवशील) refers to “impure morality”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 36.—Accordingly, “impure morality is of two kinds: i) the morality of discipline (saṃvara-śīla); ii) the morality connected with the meditative stabilizations (samādhisahāgata-śīla)”.

Impure morality (sāsravaśīla) is similar to pure morality and, in harmony with it, implements causes and conditions for salvation. This is why the sages praise it jointly. Suppose that, in a band of brigands, someone rebels and comes to confide in me. Brigand though he was, now he is coming to me and I must welcome him. I am able to use him to destroy the thieves. Why should one not remember that these thieves that are the negative emotions (kleśa) are in the ramparts of the threefold world (traidhātuka-nagara)?

These roots of good (kuśalamūla) constituting impure morality (sāsravaśīla) that are called heat (uṣmagata), summits (mūrdhan), patience (kṣānti) and supreme worldly dharmas (laukikāgra-dharma) are indeed superior to other good-impure (kuśalasāsrava) dharmas. This is why the Yogin uses them: it is thanks to them that he can destroy the brigands that are the disturbing emotions (kleśa) and that he can obtain the precious pure dharma (anāsrvadharma) that is the duḥkhe dharmajñānakṣānti. That is why this impure morality (sāsravaśīla) is praised by the sages.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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