Ja 86 Sīlavīmaṁsanajātaka
The Story about the Enquiry into Virtue

In the present a brahmin seeks to find out if the king favours him for his birth, or for his virtue, so he starts stealing a penny a day from the king. When the king finds out he decides to punish him, until the brahmin explains his actions. The Buddha tells a story of similar happenings in a past life.

1. Sīlaṁ kireva kalyāṇaṁ, sīlaṁ loke anuttaraṁ,
It seems virtue is excellent, virtue is highest in the world,

Passa ghoraviso nāgo, sīlavāti na haññatī ti.
See the fierce poisonous cobra, virtuous, it was not destroyed.

Tattha, {1.371} sīlaṁ kirevā ti,
In this connection, it seems virtue,

kāyavācācittehi avītikkamasaṅkhātaṁ ācārasīlam-eva.
virtuous behaviour that is reckoned not to transgress by way of body, speech and mind.

Kirā ti anussavavasena vadati.
It seems is said because of what had been heard.

Kalyāṇan-ti sundarataraṁ.
Excellent means most agreeable.

Anuttaran-ti jeṭṭhakaṁ sabbaguṇadāyakaṁ.
Highest means the chief, which gives all (other) virtues.

Passā ti attanā diṭṭhakāraṇaṁ abhimukhaṁ karonto katheti.
See means he speaks of putting the cause of his own seeing to the fore.

Sīlavā ti na haññatī ti ghoraviso pi samāno,
Virtuous, it was not destroyed means although being poisonous,

because of just not biting, not harming,

sīlavāti pasaṁsaṁ labhati,
the virtuous one gains praise,

na haññati, na vihaññatī ti.
and is not destroyed, is not completely destroyed.

Iminā pi kāraṇena sīlam-eva uttaman-ti.
For this reason virtue is supreme.