Home » Excerpts » The Noble Abstain From False, Divisive, Harsh & Frivolous Speech

Renounce falseness and cultivate trustworthiness.
Renounce divisiveness and cultivate harmoniousness.
Renounce harshness and cultivate peacefulness.
Renounce frivolousness and cultivate meaningfulness.

– Shilashanti

Kālāmas, a learned noble disciple abstains from false speech, has given up false speech. He speaks the truth, delights in the truth, is unshakably established in the truth, is completely trustworthy, and would not deceive [anyone in] the world. He purifies his mind with regard to false speech. 

Kālāmas, a learned noble disciple abstains from divisive speech and abandons divisive speech. He does not engage in divisive speech and does not harm [the relationships of] others. Hearing something from this person he does not tell it to that person, in order to harm this person; hearing something from that person he does not tell it to this person, in order to harm that person. He has the wish to unite those that are divided, delighting in unity. He does not belong to any faction and does not delight in or praise factions. He has purified his mind with regard to divisive speech. 

Kālāmas, a learned noble disciple abstains from harsh speech, has given up harsh speech. He has given up the type of speech that consists of words that are rough and rude in tone, offensive words that grate on the ear, that people neither enjoy nor desire, that cause others suffering and vexation, and that are not conducive to concentration. He speaks the type of speech that consists of words that are pure, peaceful, gentle, and beneficial, that are pleasant to the ear and enter the mind, that are enjoyable and desirable, that give others happiness, words endowed with meaning, that do not make others afraid and that help others to attain concentration. He purifies his mind with regard to harsh speech. 

Kālāmas, a learned noble disciple abstains from frivolous speech and abandons frivolous speech. He speaks at the [proper] time, speaking what is true, what is Dharma, what is meaningful, what is calming, delighting in speaking what is calming. [In regard to any] matter he teaches well and admonishes well, in accordance with the [proper] time and in a proper way. He purifies his mind with regard to frivolous speech.

Śākyamuni Buddha:
Madhyamāgama: The Discourse to the Kālāmas
Translated by Kin-Tung Yit  

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