Sutta Nipata Chapter 3: The Great Chapter
3:3 Well-Spoken Words
- © Translated from the Pali by Bhante Sujato.(More copyright information)
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.”
Evaṁ me sutaṁ. Eka samayaṁ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṁ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tatra kho bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi: "bhikkhavo"ti.
"Bhadante"ti te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṁ. Bhagavā etadavoca:
"Catūhi, bhikkhave, angehi samannāgatā vācā subhāsitā hoti, na dubbhāsitā, anavajjā ca ananuvajjā ca viññūnaṁ. Katamehi catūhi? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu subhāsitaṁyeva bhāsati no dubbhāsitaṁ, dhammaṁyeva bhāsati no adhammaṁ, piyaṁyeva bhāsati no appiyaṁ, saccaṁyeva bhāsati no alikaṁ. Imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi angehi samannāgatā vācā subhāsitā hoti, no dubbhāsitā, anavajjā ca ananuvajjā ca viññūnan"ti. Idamavoca bhagavā.
Idaṁ vatvāna sugato, athāparaṁ etadavoca satthā:
450"Subhāsitaṁ uttamamāhu santo,
Dhammaṁ bhaṇe nādhammaṁ taṁ dutiyaṁ;
Piyaṁ bhaṇe nāppiyaṁ taṁ tatiyaṁ,
Saccaṁ bhaṇe nālikaṁ taṁ catutthan"ti.
Atha kho āyasmā vangīso uṭṭhāyāsanā ekaṁsaṁ cīvaraṁ katvā yena bhagavā tenañjaliṁ paṇāmetvā bhagavantaṁ etadavoca: "paṭibhāti maṁ, bhagavā, paṭibhāti maṁ, sugatā"ti.
"Paṭibhātu taṁ, vangīsā"ti bhagavā avoca.
Atha kho āyasmā vangīso bhagavantaṁ sammukhā sāruppāhi gāthāhi abhitthavi:
"Tameva vācaṁ bhāseyya,
yāyattānaṁ na tāpaye;
Pare ca na vihiṁseyya,
sā ve vācā subhāsitā.
yā vācā paṭinanditā;
Yaṁ anādāya pāpāni,
paresaṁ bhāsate piyaṁ.
Saccaṁ ve amatā vācā,
esa dhammo sanantano;
Sacce atthe ca dhamme ca,
āhu santo patiṭṭhitā.
Yaṁ buddho bhāsati vācaṁ,
Sā ve vācānamuttamā"ti.