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The Three Gates

DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe DiemRecidivist Samsarist Veteran
edited November 26 in Buddhism Basics

Do you remember that old adage of the three gates?
I refer to the one about filtering what you are about to say through three sieves:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?

Some people track it back to Socrates, some attribute it to Sufism, but truth is in modern days they are first mentioned in the book “Miscellaneous Poems,” by Mary Ann Pietzker (1872).

Apparently, Buddhism has a similar version of the three gates when referring to Right Speech.
(See Fake Buddha Quotes)

•The Vaca Sutta proposes a five-fold test to check for Right Speech repartees:

“It is spoken at the right time?
It is spoken in truth?
It is spoken affectionately?
It is spoken beneficially?
It is spoken with a mind of good-will?” 

•The Subhasita Sutta has a fourfold test:

"what is well-spoken (rather than poorly spoken),
just (rather than unjust),
endearing (rather than unendearing),
and true (rather than false)."

•The Patimokkha describes 5 conditions for skillful admonishing of others, in terms similar to the Vaca Sutta:

“Do I speak at the right time or not?
Do I speak facts or not?
Do I speak gently or harshly?
Do I speak profitable words or not?
Do I speak with a kindly heart or with inward malice?”

Also:

 “The calmed say that what is well-spoken is best;
second, that one should say what is right, not unrighteous;
third, what’s pleasing, not displeasing;
fourth, what is true, not false.”
(Subhasita Sutta)

Could it have been an original Buddhist notion all along?

lobsterSnakeskin

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    We had this discussion in only January of this year, when I also mentioned it....
    Indeed, the origin would seem to be Sufi, but it's unclear...

    Here's the link I was referring to....

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited November 26

    @federica said:
    Here's the link I was referring to....

    Thank you for the link, Fede.
    I remember I took it from Fake Buddha Quotes, but no longer had the link <3

  • @DhammaDragon said:
    Is it true?
    Is it necessary?
    Is it kind?

    • True?
      Speaking the truth to a liar or hypocrite is not always skilful. People need to be exposed to The Truth through aproximations, digestibles, platitudes, riddles to unravel.

    • Necessary?
      For whom? Some of us have nothing or little to say but the Boddhisattva ideal suggests we try to communicate the unspeakable, ineffable, wordless etc ...

    • Kind?
      What kind of kind? The easy kind? The tough kind? Another expedient kind of kind?

    DhammaDragonHozanSnakeskin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    See my New Avatar....

    DhammaDragonHozanSnakeskin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited November 27

    @lobster said:

    • True?
      Speaking the truth to a liar or hypocrite is not always skilful. People need to be exposed to The Truth through aproximations, digestibles, platitudes, riddles to unravel.

    • Necessary?
      For whom? Some of us have nothing or little to say but the Boddhisattva ideal suggests we try to communicate the unspeakable, ineffable, wordless etc ...

    • Kind?
      What kind of kind? The easy kind? The tough kind? Another expedient kind of kind?

    Even notions as "True, necessary and kind" are nuanced by the context in which an exchange takes place, @lobster.
    Sometimes true cannot be altogether true, necessary will often not be necessary and kind will, once more, be determined by the level of understanding of the interlocutor.
    Some pills are hard to sweeten, and some interlocutors hard to please.

    HozanlobsterSnakeskin
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