Home » Excerpts » The Buddha’s Perfect Fatherly Speech

Those not aware that
they can be mindfully firm
and not unmindfully harsh
harm by choosing anger.

Stonepeace | Books

“Sariputta the chief disciple said, ‘The Tathagata [Sakyamuni Buddha] is perfect in speech, there is no fault in the Tathagata concerning which he should have to take care that no one else should know it.’ So why did the Buddha use harsh and abusive words to Sudinna the Kalanda and call him a stupid fellow?” [The monastic precept forbidding sex was laid after he heeded his former wife’s persuasion to preserve the family line.]

“That was not out of rudeness, O King [Milinda], but merely to show him the foolish and contemptible nature of his conduct in a way that would do him no harm… The Blessed One used words of truth, they were no exaggeration. He admonished others only to destroy the disease of unwholesomeness. His words, even when stern, softened men’s pride and made them humble. They were full of compassion and aimed at benefit as the words of a father to his children.”

The Debate Of King Milinda
Edited By Bhikkhu Pesala

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