Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Four ways of verbal action

And how is one made pure in four ways by verbal action?

There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech.
When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, 'Come & tell, good man, what you know': If he doesn't know, he says, 'I don't know.' If he does know, he says, 'I know.' If he hasn't seen, he says, 'I haven't seen.' If he has seen, he says, 'I have seen.' Thus he doesn't consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. 

Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech.
What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here.
Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord.
Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech.
He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large.
Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter.
He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya.
He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal.
This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.

Anguttura Nikaya, book of 10s, Sutta 176
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