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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?”
“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.”
Could it have been an original Buddhist notion all along?