Hiri Sutta: Conscience

The Buddha on friends and friendship…

One who,
flouting, despising
a sense of conscience,
saying, “I am your friend,”
but not grasping
what he could do [to help]:
know him as
“Not my friend.”

One who,
among friends,
speaks endearing words
to which he doesn’t conform,
the wise recognize
as speaking without doing.


He’s not a friend
who’s always wary,
suspecting a split,
focusing just on your weakness.
But him on whom you can depend,
like a child on its parent’s breast:
that’s a true friend
whom others can’t split from you.

Carrying one’s manly burden,
the fruits & rewards develop
the conditions that make for joy,
the bliss that brings praise.

Drinking the nourishment,
the flavor,
of seclusion & calm,
one is freed from evil, devoid
of distress,
refreshed with the nourishment
of rapture in the Dhamma.[1]


“Hiri Sutta: Conscience” (Snp 2.3), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 11 July 2010,http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.03.than.html.

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