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SN 42.13 From… Pāṭaliyasutta: With Pāṭaliya

…There are some ascetics and brahmins who have this doctrine and view: ‘…Everyone who lies experiences pain and sadness in the present life.’

…But you can see someone, garlanded and adorned, nicely bathed and anointed, hair and beard dressed, taking his pleasure with women as if he were a king. You might ask someone: ‘Mister, what did that man do?’ And they’d reply: ‘Mister, that man amused the king with lies. The king was delighted and gave him this reward. That’s why he’s garlanded and adorned, nicely bathed and anointed, hair and beard dressed, taking his pleasure with women as if he were a king.’

And you can see someone else, his arms tied tightly behind his back with a strong rope. His head is shaven and he’s marched from street to street and from square to square to the beating of a harsh drum. Then he’s taken out the south gate and there, to the south of the city, they chop off his head. You might ask someone: ‘Mister, what did that man do?’ And they’d reply: ‘Mister, that man has ruined a householder or householder’s child by lying. That’s why the rulers arrested him and inflicted such punishment.’

What do you think, chief? Have you seen or heard of such a thing?”

“Sir, we have seen it and heard of it, and we will hear of it again.”

“Since this is so, the ascetics and brahmins whose view is that everyone who lies experiences pain and sadness in the present life: are they right or wrong?”

“They’re wrong, sir.”

“But those who speak hollow, false nonsense: are they moral or immoral?”

“Immoral, sir.”

“And are those who are immoral, of bad character practicing wrongly or rightly?”

“They’re practicing wrongly, sir.”

“And do those who are practicing wrongly have wrong view or right view?”

“They have wrong view, sir.”

“But is it appropriate to have confidence in those of wrong view?”

“No, sir.”…


Read the entire translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 42.13 Pāṭaliyasutta: With Pāṭaliya Pāṭaliyasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.78 Kāmasutta: Desire

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery.

Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side. Standing to one side, that deity recited this verse in the Buddha’s presence:

“What should one who desires the good not give away?
What should a mortal not reject?
What should be let out when it’s good,
but not when it’s bad?”

The Buddha:

“A man shouldn’t give away himself.
He shouldn’t reject himself.
Speech should be let out when it’s good,
but not when it’s bad.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.78 Kāmasutta: Desire by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 9.23 Taṇhāmūlakasutta: Rooted in Craving

“Mendicants, I will teach you about nine things rooted in craving. And what are the nine things rooted in craving?

  1. Craving is a cause of seeking.
  2. Seeking is a cause of gaining material possessions.
  3. Gaining material possessions is a cause of assessing.
  4. Assessing is a cause of desire and lust.
  5. Desire and lust is a cause of attachment.
  6. Attachment is a cause of ownership.
  7. Ownership is a cause of stinginess.
  8. Stinginess is a cause of safeguarding.
  9. Owing to safeguarding, many bad, unskillful things come to be:
    • taking up the rod and the sword,
    • quarrels,
    • arguments, and
    • fights,
    • accusations,
    • divisive speech,
    • and lies.

These are the nine things rooted in craving.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.23 Taṇhāmūlakasutta: Rooted in Craving by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Khp 5 From… Maṅgala Sutta — Protection

Broad knowledge, skill,
well-mastered discipline,
well-spoken words:
—This is the highest protection.


Read the entire translation of Khuddakapāṭha 5 Maṅgala Sutta — Protection by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.132 Paṭibhānasutta: Eloquence

“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

  1. One who speaks on topic, but not fluently.
  2. One who speaks fluently, but not on topic.
  3. One who speaks on topic and fluently.
  4. One who speaks neither on topic nor fluently.

These are the four people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.132 Paṭibhānasutta: Eloquence by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Thag 21.1 From… Vaṅgīsattheragāthā: Vaṅgīsa

“Speak only such words
that do not hurt yourself
nor harm others;
such speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only pleasing words,
words gladly welcomed.
Pleasing words are those
that bring nothing bad to others.

Truth itself is the undying word:
this is an eternal truth.
Good people say that the teaching and its meaning
are grounded in the truth.

The words spoken by the Buddha
for realizing the sanctuary, extinguishment,
for making an end of suffering:
this really is the best kind of speech.”


Read the entire translation of Theragāthā 21.1 Vaṅgīsattheragāthā: Vaṅgīsa by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta: Insult

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha in the Bamboo Forest, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. Then the brahman Akkosaka [“Insulter”] Bhāradvāja heard that a brahman of the Bhāradvāja clan had gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the presence of the Blessed One. Angered & displeased, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, insulted & cursed him with rude, harsh words.

When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: “What do you think, brahman? Do friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to you as guests?”

“Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to me as guests.”

“And what do you think? Do you serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies?”

“Yes, sometimes I serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies.”

“And if they don’t accept them, to whom do those foods belong?”

“If they don’t accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine.”

“In the same way, brahman, that with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting; that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting; that with which you have berated me, who is not berating: that I don’t accept from you. It’s all yours, brahman. It’s all yours.

“Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman. It’s all yours. It’s all yours.”

“The king together with his court know this of Master Gotama—‘Gotama the contemplative is an arahant’—and yet still Master Gotama gets angry.”

The Buddha:

The Buddha:
“Whence is there anger
for one free from anger,
     tamed,
     living in tune—
one released through right knowing,
     calmed
     & Such.

You make things worse
when you flare up
at someone who’s angry.
Whoever doesn’t flare up
at someone who’s angry
     wins a battle
     hard to win.
You live for the good of both
     —your own, the other’s—
when, knowing the other’s provoked,
     you mindfully grow calm.
When you work the cure of both
     —your own, the other’s—
those who think you a fool
know nothing of Dhamma.”

When this was said, the brahman Akkosaka Bhāradvāja said to the Blessed One, “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama—through many lines of reasoning—made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the Saṅgha of monks. Let me obtain the Going-forth in Master Gotama’s presence, let me obtain Acceptance (into the Saṅgha of monks).”

Then the brahman Akkosaka Bhāradvāja received the Going-forth in the Blessed One’s presence, he gained the Acceptance. And not long after his Acceptance—dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute—he in no long time entered & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, directly knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: “Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.” And so Ven. Bhāradvāja became another one of the arahants.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 10.44 Kusinārasutta: At Kusināra

At one time the Buddha was staying near Kusināra, in the Forest of Offerings. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should first check five things in themselves and establish five things in themselves. What five things should they check in themselves?

A mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my bodily behavior pure? Do I have pure bodily behavior that is impeccable and irreproachable? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train your own bodily behavior first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my verbal behavior pure? Do I have pure verbal behavior that is impeccable and irreproachable? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train your own verbal behavior first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my heart established in love for my spiritual companions, without resentment? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, establish your heart in love for your spiritual companions first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Am I very learned, remembering and keeping what I’ve learned? These teachings are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased, describing a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Am I very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reinforcing them by recitation, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, memorize the scriptures first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Have both monastic codes been passed down to me in detail, well analyzed, well mastered, and well judged in both the rules and accompanying material? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, and if they are unable to respond when asked “Venerable, where was this spoken by the Buddha?” there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train in the code of conduct first.’ These are the five things they should check in themselves.

What five things should they establish in themselves?

  1. ‘I will speak at the right time, not at the wrong time.
  2. I will speak truthfully, not falsely.
  3. I will speak gently, not harshly.
  4. I will speak beneficially, not harmfully.
  5. I will speak lovingly, not from secret hate.’

These are the five things they should establish in themselves. A mendicant who wants to accuse another should first check these five things in themselves and establish these five things in themselves.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.44 Kusinārasutta: At Kusināra by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Pv 1.3 Pūtimukha Sutta: Stinky Mouth

Nārada Bhante:

Your body is as beautiful as an angel and you are floating in the sky. But your mouth is being eaten by worms and is very smelly. What have you done in your previous life?

Ghost:

I was an evil monk and insulted others using bad words. I pretended to be a good monk. I did not control what I said to others. However, I did not do any evil actions with my body. Because of this, my body is beautiful but my mouth is full of worms.

You have seen this with your own eyes, Nārada Bhante. The wise and compassionate Buddhas have taught about wholesome things. I say the same to you. Never tell lies or break friendships with divisive speech. Then you will be reborn in heaven and enjoy every happiness you desire.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.3 Pūtimukha Sutta: Stinky Mouth by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 4.82 Musāvādasutta: Lying

“Mendicants, someone with four qualities is cast down to hell. What four? They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. Someone with these four qualities is cast down to hell.

Someone with four qualities is raised up to heaven. What four? They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. Someone with these four qualities is raised up to heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.82 Musāvādasutta: Lying by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 223–224 From… Kodhavagga: Anger

Defeat anger with kindness,
villainy with virtue,
stinginess with giving,
and lies with truth.

Speak the truth, do not be angry,
and give when asked, if only a little.
By these three means,
you may enter the presence of the gods.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 221–234 Kodhavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 17.37 Mātusutta: Mother

At Sāvatthī.

“Possessions, honor, and popularity are brutal, bitter, and harsh. They’re an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary. When I’ve comprehended the mind of a certain person, I understand: ‘This venerable would not tell a deliberate lie even for the sake of their mother.’ But some time later I see them tell a deliberate lie because their mind is overcome and overwhelmed by possessions, honor, and popularity.

So brutal are possessions, honor, and popularity—bitter and harsh, an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary.

So you should train like this: ‘We will give up arisen possessions, honor, and popularity, and we won’t let them occupy our minds.’ That’s how you should train.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 17.37 Mātusutta: Mother by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 3.7 Aḍḍakaraṇasutta: Judgment

At Sāvatthī.

Seated to one side, King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Sir, when I’m sitting in judgment I see well-to-do aristocrats, brahmins, and householders—rich, affluent, and wealthy, with lots of gold and silver, lots of property and assets, and lots of money and grain. But they tell deliberate lies for the sake of sensual pleasures. Then it occurred to me: ‘Enough with passing judgment today. Now my dear son will be known by the judgments he makes.’”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true! Those who are well-to-do aristocrats, brahmins, and householders tell deliberate lies for the sake of sensual pleasures. That is for their lasting harm and suffering.”

That is what the Buddha said. …

“Full of desire for possessions and pleasures,
greedy, infatuated by sensual pleasures;
they don’t notice that they’ve gone too far,
like fish entering a net set out.
It’ll be bitter later on;
for the result will be bad for them.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.7 Aḍḍakaraṇasutta: Judgment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.73 Sappurisa Sutta: A Person of Integrity

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a person of no integrity.’ Which four?

“There is the case where a person of no integrity, when unasked, reveals another person’s bad points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s bad points in full & in detail, without omission, without holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“And further, a person of no integrity, when asked, doesn’t reveal another person’s good points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s good points not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“And further, a person of no integrity, when asked, doesn’t reveal his own bad points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own bad points not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“And further, a person of no integrity, when unasked, reveals his own good points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points in full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a person of no integrity.’

“Now, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a person of integrity.’ Which four?

“There is the case where a person of integrity, when asked, doesn’t reveal another person’s bad points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s bad points not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of integrity.’

“And further, a person of integrity, when unasked, reveals another person’s good points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s good points in full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of integrity.’

“And further, a person of integrity, when unasked, reveals his own bad points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own bad points in full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of integrity.’

“And further, a person of integrity, when asked, doesn’t reveal his own good points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of integrity.’

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a person of integrity.’”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.73 Sappurisa Sutta. A Person of Integrity by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.28 Gūthabhāṇīsutta: Speech Like Dung

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world. What three? The one whose speech is like dung, the one whose speech is like flowers, and the one whose speech is like honey.

(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is the person whose speech is like dung? Here, if he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, this person says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end. This is called the person whose speech is like dung.

(2) “And what is the person whose speech is like flowers? Here, if he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, this person says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see’; he does not consciously speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end. This is called the person whose speech is like flowers.

(3) “And what is the person whose speech is like honey? Here, some person, having abandoned harsh speech, abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many. This is the person whose speech is like honey.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.28 Gūthabhāṇīsutta: Speech Like Dung by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.83 Avaṇṇārahasutta: Where Criticism Takes You

“Mendicants, someone with four qualities is cast down to hell. What four?

  1. Without examining or scrutinizing, they praise those deserving of criticism,
  2. and they criticize those deserving of praise.
  3. They arouse faith in things that are dubious,
  4. and they don’t arouse faith in things that are inspiring.

Someone with these four qualities is cast down to hell.

Someone with four qualities is raised up to heaven. What four?

  1. After examining and scrutinizing, they criticize those deserving of criticism,
  2. and they praise those deserving of praise.
  3. They don’t arouse faith in things that are dubious,
  4. and they do arouse faith in things that are inspiring.

Someone with these four qualities is raised up to heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.83 Avaṇṇārahasutta: Where Criticism Takes You by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Ud 2.2 Rājasutta: Kings

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time, after the meal, on return from almsround, several mendicants sat together in the assembly hall and this discussion came up among them: “Which of these two kings has greater wealth, riches, treasury, dominion, vehicles, forces, might, and power: King Seniya Bimbisāra of Māgadha or King Pasenadi of Kosala?” At that point the conversation among those mendicants was left unfinished.

Then in the late afternoon, the Buddha came out of retreat, went to the assembly hall, sat down on the seat spread out, and addressed the mendicants: “Mendicants, what were you sitting talking about just now? What conversation was left unfinished?”

So the mendicants told him what they had been talking about when the Buddha arrived. The Buddha said,

“Mendicants, it is not appropriate for you gentlemen who have gone forth in faith from the lay life to homelessness to talk about such things. When you’re sitting together you should do one of two things: discuss the teachings or keep noble silence.”

Then, understanding this matter, on that occasion the Buddha expressed this heartfelt sentiment:

“Neither the pleasures of the senses,
nor even divine happiness,
is worth even a sixteenth part
of the happiness of craving’s end.”


Read this translation of Udāna 2.2 Rājasutta: Kings by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 139 From… Araṇavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Non-Conflict—Don’t talk behind people’s backs

‘…Don’t talk behind people’s backs, and don’t speak sharply in their presence.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it?

  • When you know that what you say behind someone’s back is untrue, false, and harmful, then if at all possible you should not speak.
  • When you know that what you say behind someone’s back is true and correct, but harmful, then you should train yourself not to speak.
  • When you know that what you say behind someone’s back is true, correct, and beneficial, then you should know the right time to speak.
  • When you know that your sharp words in someone’s presence are untrue, false, and harmful, then if at all possible you should not speak.
  • When you know that your sharp words in someone’s presence are true and correct, but harmful, then you should train yourself not to speak.
  • When you know that your sharp words in someone’s presence are true, correct, and beneficial, then you should know the right time to speak.

‘Don’t talk behind people’s backs, and don’t speak sharply in their presence.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.

‘Don’t speak hurriedly.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? When speaking hurriedly, your body gets tired, your mind gets stressed, your voice gets stressed, your throat gets sore, and your words become unclear and hard to understand. When not speaking hurriedly, your body doesn’t get tired, your mind doesn’t get stressed, your voice doesn’t get stressed, your throat doesn’t get sore, and your words are clear and easy to understand. ‘Don’t speak hurriedly.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 139 Araṇavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Non-Conflict by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 56.10 Tiracchānakathāsutta: Unworthy Talk

“Mendicants, don’t engage in all kinds of unworthy talk, such as

  • talk about kings, bandits, and ministers;
  • talk about armies, threats, and wars;
  • talk about food, drink, clothes, and beds; talk about garlands and fragrances;
  • talk about family, vehicles, villages, towns, cities, and countries;
  • talk about women and heroes;
  • street talk and talk at the well;
  • talk about the departed; motley talk;
  • tales of land and sea; and
  • talk about being reborn in this or that state of existence.

Why is that? Because those discussions aren’t beneficial or relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. They don’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.

When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. …

Why is that? Because those discussions are beneficial and relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. They lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.

That’s why you should practice meditation to understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.10 Tiracchānakathāsutta: Unworthy Talk by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.211 Akkosakasutta: An Abuser

“Mendicants, a mendicant who abuses and insults their spiritual companions, speaking ill of the noble ones, can expect these five drawbacks. What five?

  1. They’re expelled, cut off, shut out;
  2. or they commit a corrupt offense;
  3. or they contract a severe illness.
  4. They feel lost when they die.
  5. And when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

A mendicant who abuses and insults their spiritual companions, speaking ill of the noble ones, can expect these five drawbacks.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.211 Akkosakasutta: An Abuser by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Snp 3.3 Subhāsitasutta: Well-Spoken Words

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!” “Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, speech that has four factors is well spoken, not poorly spoken. It’s blameless and is not criticized by sensible people. What four? It’s when a mendicant speaks well, not poorly; they speak on the teaching, not against the teaching; they speak pleasantly, not unpleasantly; and they speak truthfully, not falsely. Speech with these four factors is well spoken, not poorly spoken. It’s blameless and is not criticized by sensible people.” That is what the Buddha said. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“Good people say well-spoken words are foremost;
second, speak on the teaching, not against it;
third, speak pleasantly, not unpleasantly;
and fourth, speak truthfully, not falsely.”

Then Venerable Vaṅgīsa got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and said, “I feel inspired to speak, Blessed One! I feel inspired to speak, Holy One!” “Then speak as you feel inspired,” said the Buddha. Then Vaṅgīsa extolled the Buddha in his presence with fitting verses:

“Speak only such words
that do not hurt yourself
nor harm others;
such speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only pleasing words,
words gladly welcomed.
Pleasing words are those
that bring nothing bad to others.

Truth itself is the undying word:
this is an eternal truth.
Good people say that the teaching and its meaning
are grounded in the truth.

The words spoken by the Buddha
for realizing the sanctuary, extinguishment,
for the attainment of vision,
this really is the best kind of speech.”


Read this translation of Snp 3.3 Subhāsitasutta: Well-Spoken Words Subhāsitasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 41 From… Sāleyyakasutta: The Brahmins of Sālā

“…And how, householders, are there four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct?

  1. Here someone speaks falsehood; when summoned to a court, or to a meeting, or to his relatives’ presence, or to his guild, or to the royal family’s presence, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see’; in full awareness he speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.
  2. He speaks maliciously; he repeats elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide those people from these, or he repeats to these people what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide these people from those; thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, who enjoys discord, rejoices in discord, delights in discord, a speaker of words that create discord.
  3. He speaks harshly; he utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.
  4. He is a gossip; he speaks at the wrong time, speaks what is not fact, speaks what is useless, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the Discipline; at the wrong time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, immoderate, and unbeneficial.

That is how there are four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma, unrighteous conduct.…

“…And how, householders, are there four kinds of verbal conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct?

  1. Here someone, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech; when summoned to a court, or to a meeting, or to his relatives’ presence, or to his guild, or to the royal family’s presence, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see’; he does not in full awareness speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.
  2. Abandoning malicious speech, he abstains from malicious speech; he does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide those people from these, nor does he repeat to these people what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide these people from those; thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of friendships, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.
  3. Abandoning harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech; he speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and loveable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many.
  4. Abandoning gossip, he abstains from gossip; he speaks at the right time, speaks what is fact, speaks on what is good, speaks on the Dhamma and the Discipline; at the right time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.

That is how there are four kinds of verbal conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 41 Sāleyyakasutta: The Brahmins of Sālā by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.


Iti 25 Musāvādasutta: Lying

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, I say that for an individual who transgresses in one thing, there is no evil deed whatsoever he would not do. What is that one thing? It is this, bhikkhus: deliberately telling a lie.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

There is no evil that cannot be done
By a person who deliberately lies,
Who transgresses in one thing,
Taking no account of the next world.


This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 25 Musāvādasutta: Lying by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 133–134 From… Daṇḍavagga: The Rod

Don’t speak harshly,
they may speak harshly back.
For aggressive speech is painful,
and the rod may spring back on you.

If you still yourself
like a broken gong,
you’re quenched
and conflict-free.



Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 129–145 Daṇḍavagga: Chabbaggiyabhikkhuvatthu by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 6.9 Turūbrahmasutta: With the Brahmā Tudu

[NOTE: To understand what is going on in this sutta, it is necessary to catch Kokālika’s misunderstanding of a non-returner. A non-returner is someone who is not reborn again in the human world. However gods who are non-returner can, if they like, make visits to the human world as is the case here.]

At Sāvatthī.

Now at that time the mendicant Kokālika was sick, suffering, gravely ill.

Then, late at night, the beautiful independent brahmā Tudu, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the mendicant Kokālika, and standing in the air he said to him, “Kokālika, have confidence in Sāriputta and Moggallāna, they’re good monks.”

“Who are you, reverend?”

“I am Tudu the independent brahmā.”

“Didn’t the Buddha declare you a non-returner? So what exactly are you doing back here? See how far you have strayed!”

“A man is born
with an axe in his mouth.
A fool cuts themselves with it
when they say bad words.

When you praise someone worthy of criticism,
or criticize someone worthy of praise,
you choose bad luck with your own mouth:
you’ll never find happiness that way.

Bad luck at dice is a trivial thing,
if all you lose is your money
and all you own, even yourself.
What’s really terrible luck
is to hate the holy ones.

For more than two quinquadecillion years,
and another five quattuordecillion years,
a slanderer of noble ones goes to hell,
having aimed bad words and thoughts at them.”



You can learn more about the fate of Kokālika in Snp 3.10: Kokālikasutta. Warning: it’s not good.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 6.9 Turūbrahmasutta: With the Brahmā Tudu Turūbrahmasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Pv 3.9 Kūṭavinicchayika Sutta: The Back Biter

Narada Bhante:

You are wearing many garlands, a crown, and many other types of jewelry on your hands and legs. Your body is covered with sandalwood cream. Your facial expression is very pleasant and your body shines very brightly just like the sun.

You are surrounded by ten thousand divine maidens who serve you whatever you want.

They wear bracelets and have golden wreaths on their heads. You look very mighty and your appearance is very majestic. When people look at you they are stunned by your appearance and their body hairs stand on end.

But you eat the flesh off your own back. What evil deed have you committed by body speech or mind to make you eat your own flesh?

Ghost:

When I was living in the human world I lied, broke friendships using divisive words, cheated others, and did lots of cunning deeds. In the middle of large gatherings of people, when I was asked to tell the truth, I lied.

I insulted others behind their backs. As a result of speaking behind others backs, today I have to eat the flesh off my own back.

You have seen how I am suffering, Narada Bhante. Now I see the truth of the words of the wise and compassionate Buddhas. I can tell you now, do not break friendships, do not tell lies, and may you not have to eat the flesh off your own back like I do!


Read this translation of Petavatthu 3.9 Kūṭavinicchayika Sutta: The Back Biter by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 5.214 Bahubhāṇisutta: Someone Who Talks a Lot

“Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot. What five? They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. These are the five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot.

There are these five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully. What five? They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. These are the five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.214 Bahubhāṇisutta: Someone Who Talks a Lot by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 61 From… Ambalaṭṭhikā Rāhulovāda Sutta: The Exhortation to Rāhula at Mango Stone

“…Whenever you want to do a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ‘This verbal action I want to do—would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then any verbal action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction… it would be a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any verbal action of that sort is fit for you to do.

“While you are doing a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ‘This verbal action I am doing—is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both… you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not… you may continue with it.

“Having done a verbal action, you should reflect on it: ‘This verbal action I have done—did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to an observant companion in the holy life. Having confessed it… you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction… it was a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful qualities.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 61 Ambalaṭṭhikā Rāhulovāda Sutta. The Exhortation to Rāhula at Mango Stone by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 58 Abhayarājakumārasutta: With Prince Abhaya

[Note: This is another longer weekend read. But it’s such a wonderful story, it’s hard to pass up.]

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding ground.

Then Prince Abhaya went up to Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta, bowed, and sat down to one side. Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta said to him, “Come, prince, refute the ascetic Gotama’s doctrine. Then you will get a good reputation: ‘Prince Abhaya refuted the doctrine of the ascetic Gotama, so mighty and powerful!’”

“But sir, how am I to do this?”

“Here, prince, go to the ascetic Gotama and say to him: ‘Sir, might the Realized One utter speech that is disliked by others?’ When he’s asked this, if he answers: ‘He might, prince,’ say this to him, ‘Then, sir, what exactly is the difference between you and an ordinary person? For even an ordinary person might utter speech that is disliked by others.’ But if he answers, ‘He would not, prince,’ say this to him: ‘Then, sir, why exactly did you declare of Devadatta: “Devadatta is going to a place of loss, to hell, there to remain for an eon, irredeemable”? Devadatta was angry and upset with what you said.’

When you put this dilemma to him, the Buddha won’t be able to either spit it out or swallow it down. He’ll be like a man with an iron cross stuck in his throat, unable to either spit it out or swallow it down.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Abhaya. He got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, keeping him on his right. Then he went to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side.

Then he looked up at the sun and thought, “It’s too late to refute the Buddha’s doctrine today. I shall refute his doctrine in my own home tomorrow.” He said to the Buddha, “Sir, may the Buddha please accept tomorrow’s meal from me, together with three other monks.” The Buddha consented in silence.

Then, knowing that the Buddha had consented, Abhaya got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

Then when the night had passed, the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, went to Abhaya’s home, and sat down on the seat spread out. Then Abhaya served and satisfied the Buddha with his own hands with a variety of delicious foods.

When the Buddha had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, Abhaya took a low seat, sat to one side, and said to him, “Sir, might the Realized One utter speech that is disliked by others?”

“This is no simple matter, prince.”

“Then the Jains have lost in this, sir.”

“But prince, why do you say that the Jains have lost in this?”

Then Abhaya told the Buddha all that had happened.

Now at that time a little baby boy was sitting in Prince Abhaya’s lap. Then the Buddha said to Abhaya, “What do you think, prince? If—because of your negligence or his nurse’s negligence—your boy was to put a stick or stone in his mouth, what would you do to him?”

“I’d try to take it out, sir. If that didn’t work, I’d hold his head with my left hand, and take it out using a hooked finger of my right hand, even if it drew blood. Why is that? Because I have compassion for the boy, sir.”

“In the same way, prince,

  • the Realized One does not utter speech that he knows to be untrue, false, and harmful, and which is disliked by others.
  • The Realized One does not utter speech that he knows to be true and substantive, but which is harmful and disliked by others.
  • The Realized One knows the right time to speak so as to explain what he knows to be true, substantive, and beneficial, but which is disliked by others.
  • The Realized One does not utter speech that he knows to be untrue, false, and harmful, but which is liked by others.
  • The Realized One does not utter speech that he knows to be true and substantive, but which is harmful, even if it is liked by others.
  • The Realized One knows the right time to speak so as to explain what he knows to be true, substantive, and beneficial, and which is liked by others. Why is that? Because the Realized One has compassion for sentient beings.”

“Sir, there are clever aristocrats, brahmins, householders, or ascetics who come to see you with a question already planned. Do you think beforehand that if they ask you like this, you’ll answer like that, or does the answer just appear to you on the spot?”

“Well then, prince, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like. What do you think, prince? Are you skilled in the various parts of a chariot?”

“I am, sir.”

“What do you think, prince? When they come to you and ask: ‘What’s the name of this chariot part?’ Do you think beforehand that if they ask you like this, you’ll answer like that, or does the answer appear to you on the spot?”

“Sir, I’m well-known as a charioteer skilled in a chariot’s parts. All the parts are well-known to me. The answer just appears to me on the spot.”

“In the same way, when clever aristocrats, brahmins, householders, or ascetics come to see me with a question already planned, the answer just appears to me on the spot. Why is that? Because the Realized One has clearly comprehended the principle of the teachings, so that the answer just appears to him on the spot.”

When he had spoken, Prince Abhaya said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 58 Abhayarājakumārasutta: With Prince Abhaya by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

DN 2 From… Sāmaññaphalasutta: The Fruits of the Ascetic Life

And how, great king, is a mendicant accomplished in ethics?…

…They give up lying. They speak the truth and stick to the truth. They’re honest and trustworthy, and don’t trick the world with their words. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up divisive speech. They don’t repeat in one place what they heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, they reconcile those who are divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up harsh speech. They speak in a way that’s mellow, pleasing to the ear, lovely, going to the heart, polite, likable and agreeable to the people. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up talking nonsense. Their words are timely, true, and meaningful, in line with the teaching and training. They say things at the right time which are valuable, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial. This pertains to their ethics.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 2 Sāmaññaphalasutta: The Fruits of the Ascetic Life by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.