The Buddha’s Guidelines to Proper Speech


Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech; he speaks truth, adheres to truth, is trustworthy and reliable, one who is no deceiver of the world.

Abandoning malicious speech, he abstains from malicious speech; he does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide [those people] from these,  nor does he repeat to these people what he has heard elsewhere to divide [these people] from those; thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of friendships, who enjoy concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.

Abandoning harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech; he speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and loveable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many and agreeable to many.

Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter; he speaks at the right time, speaks what is fact, speaks on what is good, speaks on the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Discipline (moral guidelines); at the right time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.