Seeker, I thought I read elsewhere in the sutras (and a few books) that being agreeable to others wasn't the final determining point.
After all, consider how often the Buddha challenged people's deeply held beliefs at the time.
Can anyone help find what I mean, or maybe I'm way off base here.
Of course, saying what's not endearing to others yet beneficial, while remaining harmless and actually helping is an order of magnitude more difficult than being completely truthful alone already is!
It seems to me that the final determining point is whether or not it would be beneficial, just as long as it's true. So number 3 says "factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them."
Now getting the "sense of the proper time" to say unendearing & disagreeable things, while still being beneficial, that seems to be the tricky part!
Seeker, wich Sutra is that? I would like to read it.
It's Majjhima Nikaya 58, one of my favorites regarding speech http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
First, thanks for all the answers so far.
Second, regarding the quotes, I wonder why one should not say things that are beneficial, even if they are not true. I can imagine some situations where that would be good. On the other hand, if you lie once you loose the status of a honest and faithful person. I think that lying with benefits would be advisable only in extreme situations (like, if you lie you prevent someone to commit suicide or a killing).
In third place, since my fits post on this thread, I am getting the feeling that my colleagues are starting to see me as a trustful person. I hope they can get more peaceful.