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English translation of
Holy Akaranga Sutra
English translation by Hermann Jacobi
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jai/akaranga.htm

Modes of speech

First lesson.

666
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

667
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.

668
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.

669
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.

670
All past, present, and future Arhats have taught and declared, teach and declare, will teach and declare these four kinds of speech; and they have explained all those things which are devoid of intellect, which possess colour, smell, taste, touch, which are subject to decay and increase, which possess various qualities.

671
A monk (or a nun should know that) before (the utterance) speech is speech in (antecedent) nonexistence; that while uttered, it is (real) speech; that the moment after it has been uttered, the spoken speech is speech in (subsequent) non-existence.

672
A monk or a nun, well considering, should not use speech whether truth or untruth, or truth mixed with untruth, if it be sinful, blamable, rough, stinging, coarse, hard, leading to sins, to discord and factions, to grief and outrage, to destruction of living beings.

673
A monk or a nun, considering well, should use true and accurate speech, or speech which is neither truth nor untruth (i.e. injunctions); for such speech is not sinful, blamable, rough, stinging.

674
A monk or a nun, if addressing a man who, if addressed, does not answer, should not say: 'You loon! you lout! you Sudra! you low-born wretch! you slave! you dog! you thief! you robber! you cheat! you liar! ; you are such and such! your parents are such and such!' Considering well, they should not use such sinful, blamable, speech.

675
But in that case they should say: 'O long-lived one! O long-lived ones! O layman! O pupil! O faithful one! O lover of faith!' Considering well, they should use such sinless, blameless, speech.

676
A monk or a nun, if addressing a woman who, if addressed, does not answer, should not say: 'You hussy! you wench! ' (repeat the above list of abusive words adapted to females). Considering well, they should not use such sinful, blamable, speech.

677
A monk or a nun, if addressing a woman who, When addressed, does not answer, should say: 'O long-lived one! O sister! madam! my lady! O lay-sister! O pupil! O faithful one! O lover of faith!' Considering well, they should use such sinless, blameless, speech.

678
A monk or a nun should not say: 'The god of the sky! the god of the thunderstorm! the god of lightning! the god who begins to rain! the god who ceases to rain! may rain fall or may it not fall! may the crops grow or may they not grow! may the night wane or may it not wane! may the sun rise or may it not rise! may the king conquer or may he not conquer!' They should not use such speech.

679
But knowing the nature of things, he should say: 'The air; the follower of Guhya; a cloud has gathered or come down; the cloud has rained.'

680
This is the whole duty.

681
Thus I say.

Second lesson.

682
A monk or a nun, seeing any sort (of diseases), should not talk of them in this way: 'He has got boils, or leprosy. His hand is cut, or his foot, nose, or his lip is cut.' For as all such people, spoken to in such language, become angry, hence, considering well, they should not speak to them in such language.

683
A monk or a nun, seeing any sort (of good qualities), should speak thus: 'He is strong, powerful, vigorous, famous, well-formed, well-proportioned, handsome.' For as all such people, spoken to in such language, do not become angry, they should, considering well, speak to them in such language.

684
A monk or a nun, seeing any sort of such things as walls or ditches. Should not speak of them in this way; 'This is well-executed, finely executed, beautiful, excellent, (so done) or to be done;' they should not use such sinful, language.

Continued...

685
A monk or a nun, seeing walls, should speak about them in this way: 'This has been executed with great effort, with sin, with much labour; it is very magnificent, it is very beautiful, it is very fine, it is very handsome;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

686
A monk or a nun, seeing food, prepared, should not speak about it in this way: 'This is well executed, finely executed, beautiful, excellent, (so done) or to be done;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

687
A monk or a nun, seeing food, prepared, should speak about it in this way: 'This has been executed with great effort, with sin, with much labour; it is very good, it is excellent, it is well seasoned, it is most delicious, it is most agreeable;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

688
A monk or a nun, seeing a man, a cow, a buffalo, deer, cattle, a bird, a snake, an aquatic animal of increased bulk, should not speak about them in this way: 'He (or it) is fat, round, fit to be killed or cooked;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

689
A monk or a nun, seeing a man, a cow, of increased bulk, should speak about them in this way: 'He is of increased bulk, his body is well grown, well compacted, his flesh and blood are abundant, his limbs are fully developed;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

690
A monk or a nun, seeing any sort of cows (or oxen), should not speak about them in this way: 'These cows should be milked or tamed or covered, should draw a waggon or car;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

691
A monk or a nun, seeing any sort of cows (or oxen), should speak about them in this way: 'It is a young cow, a milch cow, she gives much milk, it is a short or a large one, a beast of burden;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

692
A monk or a nun, seeing big trees in parks, on hills, or in woods, should speak about them in this way: 'These (trees) are fit for palaces, gates, houses, benches, bolts, boats, buckets, stools, trays, ploughs, mattocks, machines, poles, the nave of a wheel, gandi [a kind of utensil], seats, beds, cars, sheds;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

693
A monk or a nun, seeing big trees in parks, on hills, or in woods, should speak about them in this way: 'These trees are noble, high and round, big; they have many branches, extended branches, they are very magnificent' ; considering well they should use such sinless, language.

694
A monk or a nun, seeing many wild fruits, should not speak about them in this way: 'They are ripe, they should be cooked or eaten, they are just in season, or soft, or they have just split;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

695
A monk or a nun, seeing many wild fruits, should speak about them in this way: 'They are very plentiful, they contain many seeds, they are fully grown, they have developed their proper shape;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

696
A monk or a nun, seeing many vegetables, should not speak about them in this way: 'They are ripe, they are dark coloured, shining, fit to be fried or roasted or eaten;' considering well, they should not use such sinful, language.

697
A monk or a nun, seeing many vegetables, should speak about them in this way: 'They are grown up, they are fully grown, they are strong, they are excellent, they are run to seed, they have spread their seed, they are full of sap;' considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

698
A monk or a nun, hearing any sort of sounds, should not speak about them in this way: 'This is a good sound, this is a bad sound;' considering well, they should not use such sinless, language; but they should call them good, if they are good; bad, if they are bad; considering well, they should use such sinless, language.

699
In the same manner they should speak about the (five) colours, as black.; as pleasant; the (two) smells, as pleasant or unpleasant; the (five) tastes, as sharp ; the (five) kinds of touch, as hard.

700
A monk or a nun, putting aside wrath, pride, deceit, and greed, considering well, speaking with precision, what one has heard, not too quick, with discrimination, should employ language in moderation and restraint.

701
This is the whole duty.

702
Thus I say.

703
End of the Fourth Lecture, called Modes of Speech.

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-- Modes of speech --





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