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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.

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 Voice.SuttaCentral.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 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.