And what is right speech?
from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from
idle chatter: This is called right speech."
Right Speech constitutes the first active principle of ethical conduct in
the eightfold path.
The importance of speech in the context of ethics
seems obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends,
start war or create peace.
Buddha explained right speech as follows:
To abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and
not to speak deceitfully.
To abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against
To abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others.
To abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.
This means to tell the truth, to speak friendly,
warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.
Speech that is: noble, taintless, supramundance.
desisting from the four kinds of verbal misconduct, the
abstaining, refraining, abstinence from them in one whose
mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who posses the noble
path and is developing the noble path: that is right speech that is
noble... a factor of the path. Shakyamuni Buddha