Sn 2.9
Kimsila Sutta: Right Conduct
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
Alternate translation: Thanissaro

"By developing what habit, what conduct, what actions may man be correctly established in and arrive at the highest goal?

"He should respect his elders and not be envious of them. He should know the right time for seeing his teacher. [1] If a talk on Dhamma has started he should know the value of the opportunity and should listen carefully to the well-spoken words. [2]

"When the time is right let him go to his teacher's presence, unassuming, putting aside stubbornness. Let him keep in mind and practice (what he has learned): the meaning and the text (of the Teaching), self-control and (the other virtues of) the Holy Life. [3] Delighting in the Dhamma, devoted to the Dhamma, established in the Dhamma, skilled in investigating the Dhamma, [4] let him not indulge in talk harmful to the (practice of) Dhamma. Let him be guided by well-spoken truths.

"Abandoning the uttering of laughter and lamentations; giving up anger, fraud, hypocrisy, longing, conceit, violence, harshness, moral taints and infatuation; let him live without pride, self controlled. Understanding is essential (for listening) to a well-spoken word. Learning and understanding are essential to meditation, but a man who is hasty and heedless does not increase his wisdom and learning.

"Those who are devoted to the Dhamma made known by the Noble Ones (ariya) are unsurpassed in speech, thought and action. They are established in peace, gentleness and concentration, and have reached the essence of learning and wisdom."


That is, when needing their advice for dispelling mental defilements.
The phrase "well-spoken" (subhasita) is a technical term in the Pali canon. It refers to sayings connected with Dhamma and concerning one's well-being, happiness and progress on the path.
The rendering follows the Commentary.
Or, "having discriminative knowledge of the Dhamma."