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Courtesy (pañisanthàra) is being polite, considerate and respectful towards others. When meeting people, the Buddha is described as always greeting them with ‘polite and amiable talk’ (Majjhima Nikaya 1. 198) and offering them a seat (Majjhima Nikaya 1. 359). The brahmin Soõadanóa had conversed with the Buddha on several occasions and had found him ‘pleasantly spoken, urbane, civil, polite and speaking to the point’ (Digha Nikaya 1. 115). Courtesy is not just an aspect of Right Speech and Right Action, it is also an expression of respect and love towards others.


  • Buddhism A to Z. Ven. Dhammika, 2007.