Don't let the gloves intimidate you; the gloves are off.

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]


 [Dhamma Talk]


AN 5.198

Five things that characterize what is well said.
This is so important in recognizing true Dhamma from false, distinguishing a speaker who understands what he is saying from one who does not understand, and in dealing intelligently with people during an ordinary conversation. Our biases tend to override our ears. Life is much more interesting and informative when we are able to listen and recognize what is well said as well said and what is not well said as not well said.

Read the Sutta

Index to available translations: AN 5.198

This is the thing: Both the con man and and the false prophet and the one who speaks truth say the same things.

The con-man and the false prophet say the same things as the one who speaks truth because they recognize that those things exert a very powrful influence over the listener.

It is because the con man or false prophet says the same things that the man who speaks the truth says, but says them to a person who is not able to distinguish what is well said from what is not, that the con man profits, that the false prophet cons a following and leads them to their doom.

To automatically dismiss something which one has heard a million con men say, just because the words are the same (Trust me! This is for your own good!), is to guarantee that you will miss the time when it is said by the one who speaks the truth.

Keeping in mind the five things said in this sutta about what is well said you will be easily able to distinguish between the true and false even when both consist of the same words.

Listening with this sort of understanding is the way to allow in new knowledge and the only way we can think that our responses might also be well said.

We fortunately have multiple translations of this short sutta: a good one to compare translation with translation and with the Pali. Five words to understand. Not too much.

PTS: The Word, Hare, trans., III.178
ATI: A Statement, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
BD: The Well-Said, Olds, trans.
WP: 198. Speech, 816

Copyright Statement