Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa


Introduction to 3.4.8
Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ cont'd.
Discerning Wrong Speech and Developing Right Speech


According to the Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ all the respective parts of the path1 are developed and should get accomplished in the twofold manner of puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā and ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā. A Bhikkhu and likewise the follower of the teaching are striving hard to walk the path correctly by seriously avoiding any sort of micchāvācā and thus upholding sammāvācā enduringly. Along with reinforced and proper efforts he safeguards full awareness and thus realizes any intention or volition to utter either musāvādā, pisuṇā, pharusā or samphappalāpā vācā. By being thus aware at the root he avoids and withholds its articulation. Thus he cultivates the quality of sammāvācā sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā.

Keeping, developing and perfecting these qualities leads to a stage where any intention to utter whatever kind of micchāvācā is completely extinguished, all the four parts of ignoble speech automatically eradicated and the stage of refinement is reached: – ayaṃ, bhikkhave, sammāvācā ariyā anāsavā lokuttarā maggaṅgā.

In this way arousing all efforts to avoiding wrong speech, fully aware abandoning it and remaining with full comprehension of this process - this makes these three states follow and circle around right speech: seyyathidaṃ – sammādiṭṭhi, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.

Once at Jetavana2 after mealtime the Bhikkus got involved in dispute and arguments and the Buddha instructed them to perfect ten important qualities3 that would lead to peace and harmony in concord. The exposition of these important qualities also highlights the above three:

- How should a bhikkhu dwell arousing unremitting effort?
‘‘Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu āraddhavīriyo viharati akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ upasampadāya, thāmavā4 daḷhaparakkamo5 anikkhittadhuro6 kusalesu dhammesu. Yampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu āraddhavīriyo viharati akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ upasampadāya, thāmavā daḷhaparakkamo anikkhittadhuro kusalesu dhammesu, ayampi dhammo sāraṇīyo piyakaraṇo garukaraṇo saṅgahāya7 avivādāya sāmaggiyā ekībhāvāya saṃvattati.’’
– ‘‘Here again, O' Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu dwells zealously arousing energy and renouncing all unwholesome states and acquiring wholesome ones, persevering, persisting in his efforts and making it his obligation to cultivate wholesomeness. If, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu dwells zealously arousing energy and renouncing all unwholesome states and acquiring wholesome ones, persevering, persisting in his efforts and making it his obligation to cultivate wholesomeness then this is conducive to conciliation, affection, esteem, to harmony, agreement, concord and unity.’’

- How should a bhikkhu maintain persisting awareness?
‘‘Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti, paramena satinepakkena8 samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Yampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti, paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā9, ayampi dhammo sāraṇīyo piyakaraṇo garukaraṇo saṅgahāya avivādāya sāmaggiyā ekībhāvāya saṃvattati.’’
– ‘‘Here again, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu maintains persisting awareness, upholds supreme awareness and mindfulness, what has been done or said long ago he remembers and recollects. If Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu maintains persisting awareness, upholds supreme awareness and mindfulness, remembers and recalls what has been done or said long ago then this is conducive to conciliation, affection, esteem, to harmony, agreement, concord and unity.’’

- How should a bhikkhu dwell submerged in wisdom?
‘‘Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu paññavā hoti, udayatthagāminiyā10 paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya sammā dukkhakkhayagāminiyā. Yampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu paññavā hoti, udayatthagāminiyā paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya sammā dukkhakkhayagāminiyā, ayampi dhammo sāraṇīyo piyakaraṇo garukaraṇo saṅgahāya avivādāya sāmaggiyā ekībhāvāya saṃvattati.’’
– ‘‘Here again, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu is submerged in wisdom that understands the process of arising and passing, which is noble, penetrating and leading to the destruction of suffering. If, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu is submerged in wisdom that understands the process of arising and passing, which is noble, penetrating and leading to the destruction of suffering then this is conducive to conciliation, affection, esteem, to harmony, agreement, concord and unity.’’


[1] on samma sankappo see 3.3.5

[2] Bhaṇḍanasuttaṃ, Akkosavaggo, Dasakanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo

[3] these ten important qualities are: sīlavā, bahussuto, kalyāṇamitto, suvaco, dakkho hoti analaso, dhammakāmo, āraddhavīriyo, santuṭṭho, satimā, paññavā – virtuous and restrained, of perfect learning, a kalyāṇamitto (see 3.1.8), accepting advice easily, skillful and diligent, delighted in the Dhamma, zealously in arousing energy, content, fully aware and wise.

[4] thāmavā – perservering, resolute

[5] daḷhaparakkamo: daḷha + parakkamo: firm + exertion: energetic

[6] anikkhittadhuro: a + nikkhitta + dhuro: not + having laid aside + burden, trust, charge

[7] saṅgahāya: saṅgaha + āya: here friendliness, sympathy, harmony

[8] satinepakkena: sati + nipakka: awareness + being filled with

[9] anussaritā: anu + s + sarati (pp): follow up, remember

[10] udayatthagāminiyā: udaya + attha + gāminiyā: arising + passing + leading to

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Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.4.8

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Last modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 7:28 PM