Ethical conduct is the staircase to all virtue.
Just as trees and the like are rooted in the earth, it’s like a root.
Just as the head merchant goes before all traders, it precedes all virtues.
Just as Indra hoists his banner in victory, ethical conduct is the victory banner of all Dharmas.
It severs the paths leading to the lower realms and all negative action.
It is the medicinal herb that heals negativity’s ills,
the provisions for the long and terrifying path of life,
the weapon that slays the enemy of delusion,
the antidote for the poison of destructive emotions,
and a bridge across poisonous water.
—Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdol