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Gūthabhāṇī Suttaṃ

(A.i.128)

A Speaker of Excrement

“These three individuals, monks, are found in the world. What three? A speaker of excrement (gūthabhāṇī), a speaker of flowers (pupphabhāṇī), and a speaker of honey (madhubhāṇī).

“What, monks, is an individual who is a speaker of excrement? Here, monks, a certain individual when called to a court, or an assembly, to the midst of his relatives, or a guild, or in the midst of the royal family, and questioned as a witness: ‘So, good man, tell us what you know,” not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus, for his own sake or for the sake of another or for the sake of a trifling material gain he tells deliberate lies. This, monks, is called an individual who is a speaker of excrement.

“What, monks, is an individual who is a speaker of flowers? Here, monks, a certain individual when called to a court, or an assembly, to the midst of his relatives, or a guild, or in the midst of the royal family, and questioned as a witness: ‘So, good man, tell us what you know,” not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see.’ Thus, for his own sake or for the sake of another or for the sake of a trifling material gain he does not tell deliberate lies. This, monks, is called an individual who is a speaker of flowers.

“What, monks, is an individual who is a speaker of honey? Here, monks, a certain individual abandons and abstains from harsh speech; speech that is gentle, pleasing to the ear, affectionate, heartfelt, polite, lovely and pleasing to many people — that kind of speech is what he speaks. This, monks, is called an individual who is a speaker of honey.

“These three individuals, monks, are found in the world.”


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