Càng giúp người khác thì mình càng có nhiều hơn; càng cho người khác thì mình càng được nhiều hơn.Lão tử (Đạo đức kinh)
Các sinh vật đang sống trên địa cầu này, dù là người hay vật, là để cống hiến theo cách riêng của mình, cho cái đẹp và sự thịnh vượng của thế giới.Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Lửa nào bằng lửa tham! Chấp nào bằng sân hận! Lưới nào bằng lưới si! Sông nào bằng sông ái!Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 251)
Mất lòng trước, được lòng sau. (Better the first quarrel than the last.)Tục ngữ
Thành công không phải là chìa khóa của hạnh phúc. Hạnh phúc là chìa khóa của thành công. Nếu bạn yêu thích công việc đang làm, bạn sẽ thành công. (Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.)Albert Schweitzer
Có hai cách để lan truyền ánh sáng. Bạn có thể tự mình là ngọn nến tỏa sáng, hoặc là tấm gương phản chiếu ánh sáng đó. (There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.)Edith Wharton
Hạnh phúc không tạo thành bởi số lượng những gì ta có, mà từ mức độ vui hưởng cuộc sống của chúng ta. (It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.)Charles Spurgeon
Nên biết rằng tâm nóng giận còn hơn cả lửa dữ, phải thường phòng hộ không để cho nhập vào. Giặc cướp công đức không gì hơn tâm nóng giận.Kinh Lời dạy cuối cùng
Nếu muốn có những điều chưa từng có, bạn phải làm những việc chưa từng làm.Sưu tầm
Điều người khác nghĩ về bạn là bất ổn của họ, đừng nhận lấy về mình. (The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours. )Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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The Buddha's Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony
»» I. RIGHT UNDERSTANDING

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Lời Phật dạy về sự hòa hợp trong cộng đồng và xã hội - I. Chánh kiến

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Introduction

The Buddha taught that right understanding, or “right view,” is the forerunner on the path to liberation. He assigned right view to the position of first factor of the noble eightfold path, the way to the end of suffering, and held that all the other factors of the path must be guided by right view toward the goal of his teaching, the cessation of suffering. For the Buddha, however, right view plays a critical role not only on the path to liberation but also in the attainment of well-being and happiness within the cycle of rebirths. It does this by underscoring the need for ethical conduct. The type of right view integral to the moral life is sometimes called “mundane right view” (lokiya-sammādiṭṭhi) or “the right view of one’s personal responsibility for one’s deeds” (kammassakatā sammādiṭṭhi). This kind of right view is based on the premise that there is an objective, transcendent basis for morality that is not dependent on human judgments and opinions. Through his enlightenment, the Buddha discovered this moral law and derived from it the specific ethical injunctions of his teaching.

On the basis of this discovery, the Buddha holds that the validity of moral distinctions is built into the fabric of the cosmos. Moral judgments can be distinguished as true and false, actions determined as good and bad, with reference to a moral law that is just as efficacious, just as universal in its operation, as the laws of physics and chemistry. As moral agents, therefore, we cannot justify our actions simply by appeal to personal preferences, nor can we expect following our preferences to secure our well-being. Rather, to achieve true well-being, we must act in conformity with the moral law, which is the Dhamma itself, the fundamental principle of truth and goodness that abides whether or not buddhas discover it and reveal it.

Right view affirms that our morally significant actions have consequences that can bring us either happiness or misery. Our deeds create kamma, a force with the potential to produce results that correspond to the ethical quality of the original action. Kamma brings forth “fruits,” retributive consequences that reflect the actions from which they spring. The basic principle that underlies the working of kamma is that good deeds bring desirable fruits, conducing to good fortune and happiness, while evil deeds bring undesirable fruits, leading to misfortune and suffering. Thus the results of our volitional deeds are not limited to their immediately visible effects, those that spring from purely naturalistic chains of causation. There is an invisible principle of moral causation operating behind the scenes such that, with the passage of time, whether long or short, our actions eventually return to us and determine our destiny in this life and in future lives.

The Buddha contrasts right view of the efficacy of kamma with three types of wrong view that were promulgated by iconoclastic thinkers of his age.1 One type of wrong view, called the doctrine of moral nihilism (natthikavāda), denies personal survival beyond death and says that there are no fruits of our good and bad deeds. At death, both the foolish and the wise are utterly annihilated, leaving behind only a physical corpse. A second kind of wrong view, called the doctrine of non-doing (akiriyavāda), denies that there is a valid basis for making moral distinctions. Those who engage in such horrific deeds as slaughtering and tormenting others cannot be said to be doing wrong; those who give generously and protect the helpless cannot be said to be acting rightly. The distinction between evil deeds and meritorious deeds is a human fabrication, purely subjective, and thus moral judgments are mere projections of personal opinions. The third type of wrong view, called the doctrine of non-causality (ahetukavāda), proclaims that there is no cause or reason for the defilement of beings and no cause or reason for the purification of beings. Beings are defiled and purified without any cause. They do not have moral agency, the capacity to determine their own destiny, but are compelled to act as they do by fate, circumstance, and nature.

The Buddha expounded his conception of right view as the response to these three types of wrong view. He taught that personal identity survives bodily death, and the form we assume in each existence is determined by our kamma. Living beings pass through a beginningless series of rebirths in the course of which they reap the fruits of their good and bad deeds. The fact that our own deeds return to us thus provides a strong incentive to abstain from evil and pursue the good. In contrast to the doctrine of non-doing, the Buddha held that moral judgments are not arbitrary. They have an objective basis, so that certain actions — such as killing and stealing — can be rightly described as evil, while other types of conduct — such as giving and moral restraint — can be rightly described as good. And the Buddha held that there are indeed causes for the defilement and purification of beings. People are not driven helplessly by fate but have the capacity for self-determination. Through heedlessness we defile ourselves and by diligent effort we can purify ourselves. The determinants of our destiny lie within ourselves and are subject to our own volitional control.

Harmony in any community, whether a small group or a whole society, depends on a shared commitment to ethical conduct. While there can be harmony among thieves, such harmony can only last as long as the thieves are honest with each other, and for this reason, the unity of such groups generally turns out to be short-lived. As philosophers have long recognized, true community depends on a shared commitment to virtue. Since the Buddha held that ethical conduct rests on a foundation of right view, it follows that a modicum of right understanding is critical to fostering a harmonious community. In the present age, however, when the critical method of science has given rise to skepticism about conscious survival of death, it would be presumptuous to insist that a full acceptance of right view as taught by the Buddha is necessary as a foundation for social harmony. It seems, though, that social harmony requires at minimum that the members of any group share the conviction that there are objective standards for distinguishing between good and bad conduct and that there are benefits, for the group and its individual members, in avoiding the types of behavior generally considered bad and in living according to standards generally considered good. Several texts testify that the Buddha himself seems to have recognized that morality can be established on the basis of self-reflection and ethical reasoning without requiring a belief in personal survival of death.

In Part I, I have assembled a number of suttas that describe the nature of right view. The texts I have chosen emphasize the view of one’s personal responsibility for one’s actions rather than the right view that leads to liberation. Text I,1 draws a pair of distinctions that run through the Buddha’s teachings. The passage begins by highlighting the role of right view as the forerunner of the path, whose first task is to distinguish between wrong view and right view. Thus right view not only understands the actual nature of things, but it also distinguishes between wrong and right opinions about the nature of things. In this passage, the Buddha describes wrong view with the stock formula for the view of moral nihilism. In defining right view, he draws a second distinction, that between right view that is still “subject to the influxes,” which is the view of one’s ownership of one’s actions, and the “world-transcending” right view that pertains to the noble eightfold path. Right view subject to the influxes, also called mundane right view, distinguishes between the unwholesome and the wholesome. It lays bare the underlying roots of good and bad conduct and affirms the principles behind the operation of kamma, the law of moral causation which ensures that good and bad deeds eventually produce their appropriate fruits. Although this kind of right view, on its own, does not lead to liberation, it is essential for progress within the cycle of rebirths and serves as the foundation for the world-transcending right view, which eradicates ignorance and the associated defilements.

Mundane right view is the understanding of the efficacy of kamma. Through mundane right view, one understands that unwholesome kamma, deeds arisen from impure motives, eventually redound upon oneself and bring suffering, a bad rebirth, and spiritual deterioration. Conversely, one understands that wholesome kamma, deeds arisen from virtuous motives, leads to happiness, a fortunate rebirth, and spiritual progress. In Text I,2, the Venerable Sāriputta enumerates the courses of unwholesome kamma and their underlying roots, as well as the courses of wholesome kamma and their roots. Unwholesome kamma is explicated by way of the “ten courses of unwholesome action.” The roots of unwholesome kamma, the motives from which it originates, are greed, hatred, and delusion. In contrast, wholesome kamma is explicated by way of the ten courses of wholesome action, which include the right view of kamma and its fruits. The wholesome roots are said to be non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, which may be expressed more positively as generosity, loving-kindness, and wisdom.

Text I,3 offers a more detailed analysis of kamma. In this passage, the Buddha declares that the essential factor in the creation of kamma is volition or intention (cetanā), for it is the intention that imparts to the action its moral quality. He also explains the diversity of kamma by way of its capacity to lead to rebirth in different realms of existence; these are the five destinations according to the cosmology of Early Buddhism. According to the suttas, kamma brings its fruits not only in the human realm but in any among the five destinations. Unwholesome kamma leads to rebirth in the three lower realms — the hells, the animal realm, and the realm of afflicted spirits; wholesome kamma brings rebirth in the two higher realms — the human world and the deva world or heavens. Kamma is further differentiated according to the period in which it comes to fruition: some actions bear their fruit in this life itself; others are bound to bring results in the next life; and still others are capable of ripening in any life subsequent to the next one.

Further clarification on the operation of kamma is provided by Text I,4, in which the Buddha explains to a brahmin the three clear knowledges he attained on the night of his enlightenment. The second was the knowledge of the divine eye, with which he could directly see how beings pass from death to new birth in accordance with their kamma. Those who engage in misconduct pass on to states of misery; those who engage in good conduct pass on to happy states. The general principle that emerges from this account is the close correlation between our deeds and their results. Across the gap of lifetimes, kamma bears fruits that mirror the original deeds from which they spring. Thus those who take life create kamma that leads to a short lifespan, those who protect life create kamma that leads to a long lifespan; a similar principle holds sway over other types of action.

While the Buddha promoted ethics on the basis of the view of the moral efficacy of action — the principle that good actions lead to desirable results and bad actions to undesirable results — he also offered independent grounds for the ethical life. Thus, while recognizing the law of kamma serves as an incentive for moral behavior, acceptance of karmic causation is not necessary as a justification for ethics. The need for ethical behavior can be established on other grounds that do not presuppose a belief in postmortem survival. These grounds can be reached through personal reflection.

In the Kālāma Sutta, cited in part here as Text I,5, the Buddha asks the Kālāmas of Kesaputta, who were uncertain whether there is an afterlife, to suspend judgments about such matters and to recognize directly for themselves, by self-reflection, that acting on the basis of greed, hatred, and delusion leads to harm and suffering for oneself and others; while, in contrast, freeing the mind of greed, hatred, and delusion and acting in beneficent ways brings well-being and happiness to both oneself and others. In another sutta, again partly cited here at Text I,6, the Buddha grounds the basic types of right action, such as abstaining from killing and stealing, on a course of moral reflection by which one places oneself in the position of others and decides how to act after considering how one would feel if others were to treat oneself in such ways. Although the Buddha is here responding to a question about the means to a heavenly rebirth, he does not expressly ground moral injunctions on the law of kamma or survival of death but on the principle of reciprocity. This principle, explained in detail here, is succinctly expressed by a verse in the Dhammapada: “All beings tremble at violence, all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill or cause another to kill” (v. 129).

1. RIGHT VIEW COMES FIRST

“Monks, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong view as wrong view and right view as right view: this is one’s right view.

“And what is wrong view? ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ This is wrong view.

“And what is right view? Right view, I say, is twofold: there is right view that is affected by influxes, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path.2

“And what is right view that is subject to the influxes, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? ‘There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ This is right view that is subject to the influxes, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what is right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path?

The wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the power of wisdom, the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor, the path factor of right view in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is without influxes, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong view and to enter upon right view: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong view, mindfully one enters upon and abides in right view: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right view, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.”

(from MN 117, MLDB 934–35)

2. UNDERSTANDING THE UNWHOLESOME AND THE WHOLESOME

[The Venerable Sāriputta said:] “When, friends, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome and the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome and the root of the wholesome, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

“And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? The destruction of life is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; sexual misconduct is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; divisive speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; idle chatter is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome. And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hatred is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.

“And what is the wholesome? Abstention from the destruction of life is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from sexual misconduct is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from divisive speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from idle chatter is wholesome; non-covetousness is wholesome; benevolence is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome. And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hatred is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome.”

(from MN 9, MLDB 132–33)

3. A MISCELLANY ON KAMMA

[The Buddha is addressing the monks:] “When it was said: ‘Kamma should be understood, the source and origin of kamma should be understood, the diversity of kamma should be understood, the result of kamma should be understood, the cessation of kamma should be understood, and the way leading to the cessation of kamma should be understood,’ for what reason was this said?

“It is volition, monks, that I call kamma. For having willed, one acts by body, speech, or mind.

“And what is the source and origin of kamma? Contact is its source and origin.

“And what is the diversity of kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in hell; kamma to be experienced in the animal realm; kamma to be experienced in the realm of afflicted spirits; kamma to be experienced in the human world; and kamma to be experienced in the deva world. This is called the diversity of kamma.

“And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma, I say, is threefold: [to be experienced] in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. This is called the result of kamma.

“And what, monks, is the cessation of kamma? With the cessation of contact there is cessation of kamma.

“This noble eightfold path is the way leading to the cessation of kamma, namely, right view . . . right concentration.

“When, monks, a noble disciple thus understands kamma, the source and origin of kamma, the diversity of kamma, the result of kamma, the cessation of kamma, and the way leading to the cessation of kamma, he understands this penetrative spiritual life to be the cessation of kamma.”

(from AN 6:63, NDB 963)

4. BEINGS FARE ACCORDING TO THEIR KAMMA

[The Buddha is speaking to a brahmin:] “When, brahmin, my mind was thus concentrated, purified, cleansed, unblemished, rid of defilement, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the passing away and rebirth of beings.

With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare in accordance with their kamma thus: ‘These beings who engaged in misconduct by body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong view, and undertook action based on wrong view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; but these beings who engaged in good conduct by body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right view, and undertook action based on right view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a good destination, in the heavenly world.’

Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings fare in accordance with their kamma. This was the second clear knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of the night. Ignorance was dispelled, clear knowledge had arisen; darkness was dispelled, light had arisen, as happens when one dwells heedful, ardent, and resolute. This, brahmin, was my second breaking out, like that of the chick breaking out of the eggshell.”

(AN 8:11, NDB 1128–29)

5. WHEN YOU KNOW FOR YOURSELVES

The Kālāmas of Kesaputta approached the Blessed One and said to him:

“Bhante, there are some ascetics and brahmins who come to Kesaputta. They explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, denigrate, deride, and denounce the doctrines of others. But then some other ascetics and brahmins come to Kesaputta, and they too explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, denigrate, deride, and denounce the doctrines of others. We are perplexed and in doubt, Bhante, as to which of these good ascetics speak truth and which speak falsehood.”

“It is fitting for you to be perplexed, Kālāmas, it is fitting for you to be in doubt. Doubt has arisen in you about a perplexing matter. Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence [of a speaker], or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’ But when, Kālāmas, you know for yourselves: ‘These things are unwholesome; these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to harm and suffering,’ then you should abandon them.

“What do you think, Kālāmas? When greed, hatred, and delusion arise in a person, is it for his welfare or for his harm?”

– “For his harm, Bhante.”

– “Kālāmas, one overcome by greed, hatred, and delusion, with mind obsessed by them, destroys life, takes what is not given, transgresses with another’s wife, and speaks falsehood; and he encourages others to do likewise. Will that lead to his harm and suffering for a long time?”

– “Yes, Bhante.”

“What do you think? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?”

– “Unwholesome, Bhante.”

– “Blameworthy or blameless?”

– “Blameworthy, Bhante.”

– “Censured or praised by the wise?”

– “Censured by the wise, Bhante.”

– “Accepted and undertaken, do they lead to harm and suffering or not, or how do you take it?”

– “Accepted and undertaken, these things lead to harm and suffering. So we take it.”

“Thus, Kālāmas, when we said: ‘Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition. . . . But when you know for yourselves: “These things are unwholesome; these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practiced, lead to harm and suffering,” then you should abandon them,’ it is because of this that this was said.

“Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition . . . or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’ But when you know for yourselves: ‘These things are wholesome; these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to welfare and happiness,’ then you should live in accordance with them.

“What do you think, Kālāmas? When a person is without greed, hatred, and delusion, is it for his welfare or for his harm?”

– “For his welfare, Bhante.”

– “Kālāmas, a person not overcome by greed, hatred, and delusion, whose mind is not obsessed by them, does not destroy life, take what is not given, transgress with another’s wife, or speak falsehood; nor does he encourage others to do likewise. Will that lead to his welfare and happiness for a long time?”

– “Yes, Bhante.”

“What do you think, Kālāmas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?”

– “Wholesome, Bhante.”

– “Blameworthy or blameless?”

– “Blameless, Bhante.”

– “Censured or praised by the wise?”

– “Praised by the wise, Bhante.”

– “Accepted and undertaken, do they lead to welfare and happiness or not, or how do you take it?”

– “Accepted and undertaken, these things lead to welfare and happiness. So we take it.”

“Thus, Kālāmas, when we said: ‘Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition. . . . But when you know for yourselves: “These things are wholesome; these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to welfare and happiness,” then you should live in accordance with them,’ it is because of this that this was said.”

(from AN 3:65, NDB 280–82)

6. A TEACHING APPLICABLE TO ONESELF

The householders of Bamboo Gate said to the Blessed One: “Please teach us the Dhamma in such a way that we might dwell happily at home and after death be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.”

“I will teach you, householders, a Dhamma exposition applicable to oneself. Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak.” – “Yes, sir,” those brahmin householders of Bamboo Gate replied. The Blessed One said this:

“What, householders, is the Dhamma exposition applicable to oneself? Here, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘I am one who wishes to live, who does not wish to die; I desire happiness and am averse to suffering. Since I am one who wishes to live . . . and am averse to suffering, if someone were to take my life, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to take the life of another — of one who wishes to live, who does not wish to die, who desires happiness and is averse to suffering — that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. What is displeasing and disagreeable to me is displeasing and disagreeable to the other too. How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me?’ Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from the destruction of life, exhorts others to abstain from the destruction of life, and speaks in praise of abstinence from the destruction of life. Thus this bodily conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to take from me what I have not given, that is, to commit theft, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to take from another what he has not given, that is, to commit theft, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. What is displeasing and disagreeable to me is displeasing and disagreeable to the other too. How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me?’ Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from taking what is not given, exhorts others to abstain from taking what is not given, and speaks in praise of abstinence from taking what is not given. Thus this bodily conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to commit adultery with my wife, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to commit adultery with the wife of another, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. What is displeasing and disagreeable to me is displeasing and disagreeable to the other too. How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me?’ Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from sexual misconduct, exhorts others to abstain from sexual misconduct, and speaks in praise of abstinence from sexual misconduct. Thus this bodily conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to damage my welfare with false speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to damage the welfare of another with false speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. What is displeasing and disagreeable to me is displeasing and disagreeable to the other too. How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me?’ Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from false speech, exhorts others to abstain from false speech, and speaks in praise of abstinence from false speech. Thus this verbal conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to divide me from my friends by divisive speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to divide another from his friends by divisive speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. . . .’ Thus this verbal conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to address me with harsh speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to address another with harsh speech, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. . . . ’ Thus this verbal conduct of his is purified in three respects.

“Again, householders, a noble disciple reflects thus: ‘If someone were to address me with frivolous speech and idle chatter, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to me. Now if I were to address another with frivolous speech and idle chatter, that would not be pleasing and agreeable to the other. What is displeasing and disagreeable to me is displeasing and disagreeable to the other too. How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me?’ Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from idle chatter, exhorts others to abstain from idle chatter, and speaks in praise of abstinence from idle chatter. Thus this verbal conduct of his is purified in three respects.”

(from SN 55:7, CDB 1797–99)


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