Speech, A Sharp Sword, Use Carefully

Among the various virtues, Gurudev was narrating the significance of speech, voice.

Gurudev says, “God has bestowed a wonderful gift on man that is far superior to that of other living entities. That is the gift of speech and words. This gift allows every human being to express their thoughts, interact with each other and share knowledge. But along with it being a gift, it is also double-edged sword. If used correctly, it can give us friends, but use it to hurt others, and enemies will be around us. Samarth Ramdas Swami says the same thing in ‘Dasbodha’.”

Disciple says, “This is true.”

Gurudev says, “Once there was a big argument between the teeth and the tongue. Teeth said, ‘We are thirty-two and very strong. We can easily destroy you. You are weak’.”

Disciple says, “The tongue must have gotten scared.”

Gurudev says, “Oh no! She turned to the teeth and said, ‘You may be thirty-two and you may be strong. But if I utter even one bad word, none of you will remain intact’.”

Disciple says, “The tongue spoke correctly. Utter a single bad word, and that person will slap you in the face.”

Gurudev says, “Samarth Ramdas Swami says that if there is physical injury, it will heal, but an injury to the heart does not heal.”

Disciple says, “Samarth Ramdas Swami has put this very aptly.”

Gurudev says, “O, child! Look at the animals and birds around you. The proud goat that egoistically calls out, ‘Me, me’ loses her life. On the other hand, the Indian starling (Mynah) calls out, ‘Tu, Tu’ and enjoys sweet desserts.

Disciple says, “This is correct.”

Gurudev says, “And, God has given every human being two ears, but only one tongue. Do you know why? So that he talks less and listens more. Whatever he speaks is the truth and is filled with love. Harsh words, though true, should not be uttered… it is best to be silent instead.”

Disciple says, “How is that… please tell us a story…”

Gurudev says, “Alright, there was once a monk. He was engrossed in self-communion. A cow comes running towards him. She is followed by a man who has a very sharp knife in his hand. He tells the monk, ‘Hey there! Did you see a cow pass by? Which way did she go?’”

Disciple says, “What did the monk say?”

Gurudev says, “Listen carefully. The monk didn’t know what to say. He thought to himself, ‘If I tell the truth, this man will kill the cow and I will be the one who sinned, and if I lie, again it will be me who would have sinned’.”

Disciple says, “This is a dilemma.”

Gurudev says, “But the monk was clever. Without a moment’s delay, he said, ‘Dear child, the one who saw (vision) cannot speak, and one who can speak (voice) did not see’.”

Disciple says, “Wonderful! This is great.”

Gurudev says, “The butcher thought that the monk had lost his mind. He says, ‘I don’t understand what you are saying. If I waste my time with you, the cow may go far away.’ He goes away, looking for the cow. In short, the monk escaped the situation unscathed.”

Gurudev continues, “True tapa for speech is to always speak the truth and to never criticize others. This tapa can be done through chanting God’s name. If you are wondering what name to chant, then our great Guru, P. P. Vasudevanandsaraswatiswami Maharaj has given a Mahamantra for all. It is ‘Digambara Digambara Shripad Vallabh Digambara.’ So, will you chant this mantra?”

Disciple says, “Yes Gurudev, I will.”

Gurudev says, “Very good! Through chanting, you will gain control over your speech.”