Malicious and divisive speech!

How does one come about any speech is considered malicious and divisive speech ?

Here is from sutta :

Abandoning malicious speech, he abstains from malicious speech; he does not repeat elsewhere what he has heard here in order to divide those people from these, nor does he repeat to these people what he has heard elsewhere in order to divide these people from those; thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of friendships, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord. (AN 10.176)

Malicious = characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm.

Divisive = dividing with ill intention .

I see that some threads posted using articles from other sources , does this consider malicious and divisive ?

If a person or a friend seeing a kind of danger ahead (in his opinion) and try to warn the other person , but the other person may take his good intention being ill intention !
And hence the phrase or speech used being taken as a malicious and divisive speech .

For example : if someone says ang sang Suu Kyi should be taken away her Nobel prize due to her stand does this constitute as malicious and divisive speech ?!

May all being be well always !

Hi James,

It’s only divisive speech if the person is trying to create a rift in the group. For example, If that person said Aung San Suu Kyi should lose her Nobel Peace Price to a group, trying to make them fight and/or split apart, then that is divisive speech.

However, if they said the same thing to the same group as a matter of opinion, not intending it to be divisive, it’s not divisive speech. It’s generally not right speech though if it leads to such divisions. A person practicing the path would undoubtedly try to find common ground with the group and bring them back to a state of unity, or otherwise refrain from unwise speech in the first place.

Is it malicious then for above example ?
How do you define it ?

Below for your examination :

Please elaborates if you could how this was seen malicious and as divisive speech ?!

" Hi there , Here the summary of an article in Malaysia newspapers . This is what I read , one Malay journalist whom visited Myanmar recently wrote , the problem of Rohingya is due to political reasons . Not confrontation between Islam and Buddhism , ie between Muslims and Buddhists . The power in reign is actually still the military , and the person called Wirathu is part and parcel by products of the military , sadly said . Suu Kyi is trapped in between as the issues started since British time . "

Thanks .

I think it’s only malicious if he meant it to be malicious, and it’s only divisive if he meant it to be divisive. Malicious and Divisive speech are important in the suttas for the kamma they create I think.

To me, it sounds like he is simply expressing his opinion. It doesn’t seem like he is trying to be mean or malicious or trying to drive a wedge between people. It’s possible that his words are contentious, and in that way his speech might be merely described as “divisive” but if he doesn’t intend it to be divisive, then there will be little kammic consequences from that. However, he could suffer the kammic consequences of it being wrong speech if it is indeed wrong speech.

I can’t read his mind, or know his intentions, so I must refrain from making any judgements. However, its possible that one can say something, ignorant of the consequences. The kamma one faces in that situation then isn’t from divisive or malicious speech, it is the kamma from ignorance.

I’ll give an example. Suppose someone goes to a group of friends and tell them that they really like cake. If that sparks a bigger conversation and they start fighting each other because 1/2 of them like cake and hate pie while the other 1/2 like pie and hate cake, then did they perform divisive speech? In the sense of kamma, I would say no, they were merely expressing opinion. But because the opinion was based in sensual desire, it probably wasn’t right speech, especially since it led to such a conflict, and they were ignorant of the results. In that case, it would be important for them to try and unite the group again to gain some good kamma (right speech).

Hopefully that makes my point clearer. To me, I think divisive and malicious speech are about the kamma they create. We must use right speech to overcome our other unskillful types of speech.

1 Like


FYI , the first example was posted by other person , as for the second one was posted by myself but I withdrew it as the moderators considered it as malicious and divisive speech .
I Still don’t quite understand why and how it was considered so ?
My intentioned as I told them where all the peoples in this forum is Buddhists , I am posting with good will in the first place that I just express my over concerned about the could be threats of this other religion ! Expressing my opinion as I mentioned in the beginning already .

How am I were to divide between buddhist and Muslim here and consider therefore malicious ?!


It’s possible you may be dividing Buddhists on this forum from the Muslims of the world. The rohingya are suffering and deserve metta, like all beings. I can’t read the minds of the moderators and I didn’t see all of your posts so I can’t comment further.

Since this thread is really about your specific situation with the moderators, I think it might be best if you have this discussion with them privately.

Haha , that’s funny .
If they think you are so, and you think otherwise , you won’t come to a solution .
If let someone else participate to discuss further then perhaps is much better .
Because the other person whom stated as the first example did not have to remove his thread. There is a Biased possibility .

The world always will be like that .
I am not saying about rohingya , I am saying the threat of certain religion seems as rising risk in this world . This is just my opinion .
If you think this is anyway wrong , then forget about it .

Thank you .

MN 21

"Monks, as low-down thieves might carve one limb from limb with a double-handled saw, yet even then whoever sets his mind at enmity, he, for this reason, is not a doer of my teaching. Herein, monks, you should train yourselves thus:

‘Neither will our minds become perverted nor will we utter an evil speech, but kindly and compassionate will we dwell, with a mind of friendliness, void of hatred; and we will dwell having suffused that person with a mind of friendliness; and, beginning with him, we will dwell having suffused the whole world with a mind of friendliness that is far-reaching, widespread, immeasurable, without enmity, without malevolence.’

This is how you must train yourselves"

How do you come to a conclusion that I might be wrong or having hatreds ?

If try helping by conveying certain things you might disagree , that is alright . But , not accusing of being malicious and divisive . Why the other person whom stated so did not cause any divisiveness ?!

Anyway , forget about everything .
You might also have prejudices .

Good bye .

I never said you were hateful, nor did I say you or anyone else were practicing divisive or malicious speech. I merely quoted the Buddha’s words. The Buddha himself says that we must be friendly toward those who may hurt or threaten us/buddhists.

I’m sorry if I offended you, but the Buddha’s words are the most important thing we have as Buddhists.

Like I said, this seems to be a matter between you and the moderators, I really don’t have a place commenting on your specific situation.

Farewell, and may you find peace and hapiness :slight_smile:

Good luck .