In an extended discussion of the Buddha’s ethical behavior, the suttas contain the following description of how the Buddha speaks. On Sunday, December 1 I read this as part of a talk addressing one of the most important visibly public issues of our times, i.e., how we speak to each other in our society.
Buddha’s Way of Speaking
Abandoning false speech,
The Buddha refrains from false speech.
He is reliable, trustworthy, non-deceptive.
Abandoning malicious speech,
The Buddha refrains from repeating what he has heard that harms others.
A reconciler of those who are divided,
He unites those who are friends.
Rejoicing in peace, loving peace, delighting in peace
He speaks words that make for peace.
Abandoning harsh speech,
The Buddha refrains from it.
He speaks what is blameless, pleasing to the ear, agreeable,
Touching the heart, courteous, pleasant and attractive to many.
Abandoning idle chatter,
He speaks at the right time, what is true and to the point, of the Dharma and discipline.
The Buddha is a speaker whose words are to be treasured,
Seasonable, reasoned, well-defined, and connected with liberation.
From the Brahmajala Sutta (Digha Nikaya 1.9)