The Four Noble truths – Chap 50: Evil speech


There are four kinds of evil speech that must be avoided talking.

First, we need to avoid talking bad to harm people’s dignity.

Second, we shouldn’t use bad words to spoil sentiment between this person and that person.

Third, we must avoid talking evil to damage the union of Buddhism.

Fourth, we can never say something bad to destroy the right and benefit of our country.

One more factor of Right Speech, which is ruled by precepts of Buddhism, is that Buddhists are prohibited from speaking anything divided. It means we should never talk about something that separates people from their love. Love is very important for life. All people in the world need love. So, we shouldn’t destroy love for people.

Another factor of Right Speech is not talking in a way of brag. Brag means to show off our knowledge, our good things. Sometimes, people talk too much about themselves more than what they really are to get other’s appreciation. Talking of brag also means to look for admiration from others. Because we want to be admired, we make boast of ourselves too much. However, the result will be opposite to what we want. Eventually, we will get hatred, or disrespect from people. This is the Law of Causality. Whereas, people who are modest, talking very little about themselves, do so much good deeds without saying a word can be admired and get respect from others. Moreover, they will get much merits from their modesty. That’s why our Buddhists should make a vow of living in the world with our love-compassion for people and pay them respect.

A kind of psychology that we require people to care of us, to pay good attention to us, to love us is sick. Why? Because we are Buddhists, we only take care of people, pay good attention to people, admire people; we never require people to do anything good for us.

A precept in Buddhism related to Right Speech is not using words to cheat people. Cheating is a serious crime of words in Buddhism. People who cheat others to get their own property, use sweet words to take money from others, will be heavily punished in hell when they die.

In Right Speech, Buddhist can be never allowed to talk nonsense, or to have vain discussion. There are many meanings in vain discussion, but its main meaning is not to talk kidding, jesting or joking that makes ourselves flippant. Especially, we are Buddhist practitioners, monks and nuns, our words must be nice, moral, solemn, dignified so as to be examples to our Buddhists. We must train ourselves to have saintly characters. And all disciples of the Buddha must use nice and lovely words to talk to people; we must talk something valuable and reliable with people. The Buddha never allowed His disciples to talk nonsense, about which He reminded us many times in many Sutras. In Buddhist precepts, there is having no vain discussion that the later Patriarchs explained more meaning: Buddhists should never talk nonsense that makes people pay much attention to listening, and the talk turns out meaningless; it brings nothing good for life and for people.

A sense of humor is another kind of talk. Meaningful and interested humor is a sign of wisdom. Sometimes, people say something humorous to lessen stressful atmosphere in meeting or discussion. It’s necessary. People usually use humor to mock at a bad habit, or some mistakes slightly and implicitly in a nice way.


Authorized by Thích Chân Quang

Source Facebook Buddha for World

The Guidance on Meditation - Chap 1
The Four Noble truths - Chap 51: Wrong speech

Other posts of the serie