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MN 139 From… Araṇavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Non-Conflict

‘…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 Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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