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


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.