Action Speaks Louder Than Words

Once Gurudev was explaining the importance of virtue and speech.

Gurudev says, “People tend to show off their intelligence when they speak. However, when we look carefully, we see that they do not follow what they preach. They might exhibit their tenderness towards others, their tolerance, their generosity, but all this is just so others may think great of them. This is called ‘khayache dat vegale ani dakhavayache dat vegale.’ In other words, action always speaks louder than words, but these people are only words and no action. It is very rare to find someone who does what he says. Sant Tukaram Maharaj has honored such a man in one of his abhangas. He says, ‘I pay obeisance to one who does what he says. It is an honor to serve him because his service is service to God.’ Samarth Ramdas swami has also quoted similarly in ‘Manache shlok.’ Such a person who does what he says has synchrony between his actions and his words, becomes honorable even to the saints. Doesn’t he?”

Disciple says, “Yes, Gurudev.”

Gurudev says, “Gondavlekar Maharaj also says that in order to seek this union, we should practice talking less. Excessive talking always leads to minimal or no action and eventually to self-destruction.”

Disciple says, “This is a very difficult thing to do.”

Gurudev says, “Yes. But there is no alternative to this virtue. When speech remains uncontrolled, it leads to mistreatment, malpractice, and indiscipline. Hold on, I will give you an example through a story.”

Disciple says, “Yes, please.”

Gurudev says, “Once, a huge fair was hosted to worship a Goddess. All types of people came there… those who wanted to have fun, those who had to fulfill their vows and those that wanted to take darshan. Among them was a woman who stood in front of the idol and said, ‘Please mother! Give me a child. I will offer you gold clothing (sonyachi kunchi).’ Now it so happens that the priest of that temple overheard her and rejoiced. He thought that once this precious offering is made, he will get a lot of money for it.

Disciple says, “What happened next?”

Gurudev says, “By God’s grace, the woman was blessed with a baby boy. The following year, the woman comes to this temple along with her boy. She worships the Goddess and gives various offerings. The priest was also present, and he waits eagerly for the gold clothing (sonyachi kunchi).”

Disciple says, “Did the woman offer the Goddess the clothing as she had promised?”

Gurudev: Well, no! She pays her obeisance and turns around to leave. The priest stops her and says, “Sister, last year you made a promise to the Goddess about offering a gold clothing (sonyachi kunchi). I see you have a child, then where is the offering?”

Disciple says, “What did the woman say?”

Gurudev says, “She said to the priest, ‘Dear brother, look in the offering plate. I have placed the gold clothing (sonyachi kunchi) in it.’ The priest looks carefully and sees a regular piece of cloth. He says, ‘No sister, this is made of regular cloth’.”

Disciple says, “How does she respond?”

Gurudev says, “The woman replies, ‘Sir, my son’s name is gold (Sonya) and that is his clothing (sonyachi kunchi).”

Disciple says, “This is the limit. This woman is deceitful.”

Gurudev says, “Yes, true. Making a promise is very easy, but when the time comes to go through with it, we are unwilling to take any physical pains. Our unwillingness may cause us heavy loss, but we don’t care. People are unwilling to make any form of sacrifice. They only want to fulfill their selfish motives.”

Disciple says, “This is so true Gurudev.”

Gurudev says, “The moral is among all virtuous qualities, to harbor this one, we must follow our Guru’s instructions. We must do our spiritual practices regularly.”

Disciple says, “What is that practice, Gurudev?”

Gurudev says, “Sit comfortably, close your eyes calmly and observe your inhalation and exhalation.
You have blessings from the Guru lineage, ‘sadhana samruddhirastu’.”