09/09/2011 Comments Off on Speech

Speech defined: oral communication; the act of speaking; something that is spoken; an utterance, remark, or declaration.


Let him say what is true, let him say what is pleasing, let him utter no disagreeable truth, and let him utter no agreeable falsehood; that is the eternal law- Manusmriti 4.138

Hinduism Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and that do not cause any distress (annoyance). – Bhagavad Gita 17.15


“He who can truly communicate  to others is a higher being who
builds new worlds.”

“Perhaps the most fundamental right of any being is the right to
communicate. Without this freedom, other rights deteriorate.”

“No wise man should stammer because another shuns his grammar.”

“He who would outflow must inflow ~~ he who would inflow must outflow.”

“What is a secret?
It is the answer which was never given, and this is all a secret is.”

“It could be said that all the entrapment there is, is the waiting one
does for an answer.”

“Do not give or receive communication unless you yourself desire it.”L. Ron Hubbard Communication


Buddhism/All Traditions
The importance of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows:

1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. ’Right Speech’ is one of the Eightfold Path.

Hinduism The wise householder’s speech should be truthful, mild, agreeable, and salutary, yet pleasing, avoiding both self−praise and the disparagement of others. – Maha Nirvan Tantra

Hinduism To control speech, O king, is said to be most difficult. It is not easy to hold a long conversation uttering words full of meaning and delightful to the hearers. Well-spoken speech is productive of many beneficial results; and ill-spoken speech, O king, is the cause of evils. A forest pierced by arrows, or cut down by hatchets may again grow, but one’s heart wounded and censured by ill-spoken words never recovereth. Weapons, such as arrows, bullets, and bearded darts, can be easily extracted from the body, but a wordy dagger plunged deep into the heart is incapable of being taken out. Wordy arrows are shot from the mouth; smitten by them one grieveth day and night. A  learned man should not discharge such arrows, for do they not touch the very vitals of others.  – Mahabharata, Udyog Parva

Jainism A monk or a nun, hearing and perceiving these uses of speech, should know that the following ones are not to be employed and have not hitherto been employed (by persons of exemplary conduct); those who speak in wrath or in pride, for deception or for gain, who speak, knowingly or unknowingly, hard words. They should avoid all this, which is blamable. Employing their judgment, they should know something for certain and something for uncertain

Having received food or not having received food, having eaten it or not having eaten it, has come or has not come, comes or does not come, will come or will not come.

Well considering (what one is to say), speaking with precision, one should employ language in moderation and restraint: the singular, dual, plural; feminine, masculine, neuter gender; praise, blame,praise mixed with blame, blame mixed with praise past, present, or future (tenses), the first and second, or third (person). If one thinks it necessary to speak in the singular, he should speak in the singular; if he thinks it necessary to speak in the plural, he should speak in the plural. Considering well: this is a woman, this is a man, this is a eunuch, this is to be called thus, this is to be called otherwise, speaking with precision, he should employ language in moderation and restraint.

For the avoidance of these occasions to sin, a mendicant should know that there are four kinds of speech: the first is truth; the second is untruth; the third is truth mixed with untruth; what is neither truth, nor untruth, nor truth mixed with untruth, that is the fourth kind of speech: neither truth not
untruth. Thus I say. Holy Akaranga Sutra

Hinduism The Brâhmana’s wife said: How did speech come into existence first, and how did the mind come into existence afterwards, seeing that words are uttered (after they have been) thought over by the mind? By means of what experience does intelligence come to the mind, and (though) developed, does not comprehend?  What verily obstructs it?

The Brâhmana said: The Apâna becoming lord changes it into the state of the Apâna in consequence. That is called the movement of the mind, and hence the mind is in need (of it). But since you ask me a question  regarding speech and mind, I will relate to you a dialogue between themselves. Both speech and mind went to the self of all beings and spoke (to him thus), ‘Say which of us is superior; destroy our doubts, O lord!’ Thereupon the lord positively said to speech, ‘Mind (is superior).’ Anu Gita Ch.6

Hinduism By a single word of injury Do all a man’s virtues lose their goodness. Thirukural Verse 128

Taoism So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another.

Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his instructions without the use of speech. Tao Te Ching

Sikhism O Baba, speak only that which will bring you honor. They alone are good, who are judged good at the Lord’s Door. Those with bad karma can only sit and weep. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Page 15, SIREE RAAG, FIRST MEHL)



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