What is this imperative Right Speech ?

The Noble Eightfold Way, leading to Nibbāna, is simply this:
Right View, Right Motivation, Right Speech, Right Action, Right 
Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Awareness, & Right Concentration.
But what is Right Speech ?

                      The 4-fold Definition of Right Speech:
                      Avoiding lying and any false speech...
                      Abstaining from every divisive talk...
                      Refraining from all angry scolding...
                      Stilling of any idle & empty gossiping...
                      That is Right Speech!

            The Characterization of Noble Speech:
Eliminating any false speech any Noble Friend dwells avoiding
all lies, a truth-speaker, one to be relied on, trustworthy, loyal, 
not a deceiver of the world. Abstaining from malicious speech, 
he does not tell them there, what he has heard about those here, 
or repeat here, what he heard there, harming those there. Thus is
he a reconciler of those in conflict & a diplomat ending quarrels.
The Noble Friend is rejoicing in peace, loving it, delighting in it,
one who defends peace. Abandoning all harsh & aggressive speech 
he refrains from it. He speaks whatever is blameless and pleasing 
to the ear, agreeable, touching the heart, elegant, gratifying and 
appealing to the many. Discarding idle & empty chatter, he speaks 
at the right time & only about what is correct, advantageous and to 
the point, of Dhamma and Self-Control. He is a speaker, whose words 
are to be treasured, timely, reasoned, well-defined, well-formulated,
beneficial and leading to the goal... This is Right Speech!

The Ten Advantageous Subjects:
Talk on the Modesty of having few wants,
Talk on the Bliss of Contentment,
Talk on the Joy of Seclusion,
Talk on the Ease of Disentanglement,
Talk on the Energy of Enthusiasm,
Talk on the Advantage of Morality,
Talk on the Calm of Concentration,
Talk on the Insight of Understanding,
Talk on the Freedom of Release,
Talk on the Direct Knowledge and Vision of Release ... 
Such is Right Speech!

          The many kinds of Pointless Talk:
Such as talk on kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars,
foods, drinks, clothing, furniture, jewelry, cosmetics, relatives,
vehicles, villages, towns, cities, countries, women, heroes, places, 
amusements, the dead, trifles, the origin of the world, the origin 
of the sea, whether metaphysical things are so or are not so...
Such talk is pointless, irrelevant, detrimental, empty of any good...

Knowing right & wrong speech as right & wrong speech, is right view.
Awareness of presence of right & wrong speech, is right awareness.
Exchanging wrong speech with right speech, is right effort...

Further study of Buddhist Right Speech (Samma-Vaca):


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Saved: 03 September 2005