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Samyutta Nikaya
Sacca Saṁyutta

56.10 Tiracchānakathā Sutta
Unbeneficial Talk

What is pointless and useful talk.

“Monks, don’t engage in all kinds of unbeneficial talk, such as talk about political leaders, thieves, and ministers; talk about armies, threats, and wars; talk about food, drink, clothes, and beds; talk about garlands and fragrances; talk about relatives, vehicles, villages, towns, cities, and countries; talk about women, men and heroes; street talk and talk at the well; talk about the dead; various talk; tales of origin of world; tales of land and sea. And talk about this happened so; that happened so. Why? Because those discussions aren’t beneficial or relevant to the basics of the spiritual life. They don’t lead to letting go, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, enlightenment, and Nibbāna.

“When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the end of suffering’ … ‘This is the path that leads to the end of suffering’. Why is that? Because those discussions are beneficial and relevant to the basics of the spiritual life. They lead to letting go, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, enlightenment, and Nibbāna.

“Therefore, monks, you should make an effort to understand …”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.10 Tiracchānakathā Sutta: Unbeneficial Talk

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Questions for Reflection:

Can you think of the last time you talked about any of the things listed in this sutta, good or bad?

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