Always Reflect On Your Thoughts, Words & Deeds

The Buddha: What is a mirror for?
Rahula: For reflection, sir.
The Buddha: … Actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

– Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta

As summarised from the second part of the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta 
(Discourse on Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone),
here are the Buddha’s teachings to his son Rahula… 

Bodily, verbal and mental actions should be repeatedly reflected upon.
When wanting to do, while doing, having done
a bodily, verbal, mental action, reflect:

Would it lead, is it leading, did it lead 
to personal afflictions, others’ afflictions or both? 
Would it be, is it, was it with painful results?’

If it would, it is unfit to do,
or is fit to give up.
If it would not, it is fit to do.

If it was a bodily or verbal action with painful results, 
confess it to a teacher or spiritual friend, and practise restraint.
If it was an unskilful mental action, repent with shame, and practise restraint.

If it did not lead to afflictions, and is with pleasant results,
stay refreshed and joyful,
to keep training in skilful mental qualities.

As all who purified their bodily, verbal and mental actions, 
did so through repeated reflection as above,
thus should we train ourselves.

When anyone feels no shame
in telling a deliberate lie,
there is no evil,
I [the Buddha] tell you,
he will not do.
Thus Rahula, you should train yourself,
‘I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.’

– Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta

Related Articles:

The Buddha’s Analogies On The Danger Of Lying
Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta

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