16. However, even when this path of purification is shown in this way under the
headings of virtue, concentration and understanding, each comprising various
special qualities, it is still only shown extremely briefly. And so since that is
insufficient to help all, there is, in order to show it in detail, the following set of
questions dealing in the first place with virtue:
What is virtue?
In what sense is it virtue?
What are its characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate
What are the benefits of virtue?
How many kinds of virtue are there?
What is the defiling of it?
What is the cleansing of it?
17. Here are the answers:
(i) WHAT IS VIRTUE? It is the states beginning with volition present in one who
abstains from killing living things, etc., or in one who fulfils the practice of the
duties. For this is said in the Paṭisambhidā: “What is virtue? There is virtue as
volition, virtue as consciousness-concomitant,7 virtue as restraint,  virtue as non-
transgression” (Paṭis I 44).
Herein, virtue as volition is the volition present in one who abstains from killing
living things, etc., or in one who fulfils the practice of the duties. Virtue as consciousness-
concomitant is the abstinence in one who abstains from killing living things, and so on.
Furthermore, virtue as volition is the seven volitions [that accompany the first seven] of
the [ten] courses of action (kamma) in one who abandons the killing of living things,
and so on. Virtue as consciousness-concomitant is the [three remaining] states consisting
of non-covetousness, non-ill will, and right view, stated in the way beginning,
“Abandoning covetousness, he dwells with a mind free from covetousness” (D I 71).
7. “Consciousness-concomitants” (cetasikā) is a collective term for feeling, perception,
and formation, variously subdivided; in other words, aspects of mentality that arise
together with consciousness.