God has given us three gifts, viz.; body, speech and mind. Whatsoever we do in this world, we must use at least one of these three. We must regulate use of these three in order to live in peace and to let others live in peace. Restricting the use of these three exclusively for peace is called endeavor. We must strive to use these positively for peace and for no other purpose. Our endeavor is never for others' sake but entirely meant for our own sake. However when we do any virtuous and positive deed to retain our peace, it may most often benefit others too. Therefore others are also pleased. But our endeavor is not for pleasing others but to purify ourselves so that we get closer to reality. The ultimate benefit expected of all our endeavors is to get released from shackles (liabilities) created by our own past misdeeds. Out of these three gifts of God, speech is the most valuable and powerful and hence most important one. Therefore we must always be cautious never to misuse speech. We must endeavor to use it for utmost self benefit. While we are in that process, it may also benefit others a great deal. That is good for us. But we should never stoop to allow others' feelings to drive us. We must always review how we are using this valuable resource, speech. Srimad Bhagavad Gita prescribes how to endeavor speech.
Ancient Seers adopted life styles with the highest moral values. They conveyed their knowledge backed up by experience to the posterity in the form of Vedas. The best part of Vedas is the knowledge part which is known as Vedanta in the form of Upanishads. The Upanishads reflect the highest wisdom of mankind. These stand testimony to the amazing superlative experiences of man in eternal perspective. The Upanishads prove that the whole universe consisting of five basic elements viz; earth (solid), water (liquid), air (vapor), fire (heat), and ether (space) is perpetually changing (transforming from one state to another) every moment, never remaining stable even for a moment and hence can not be termed as real. The ultimate reality must always exist without any change. Hence such a reality can not be confined by space or time and hence must be omnipresent and eternal. The ultimate reality must be the datum for all the changes while itself not undergoing any change whatsoever and hence must be the basis for existence of the universe. Therefore while the reality being the fundamental basis for perception, the senses can not perceive it, nor the mind can imagine it. However, the Upanishads assert that the reality can be experienced by man, if only he follows the precepts handed down by the realized people. These precepts are extensively found in the Upanishads. Therefore the Upanishads are termed as the supreme knowledge. The great Seer, Sri Vyasa compiled Srimad Bhavad Gita concisely in mere 700 verse, containing the most comprehensive essence of the Upanishads. He made it a part and parcel of epic Mahabharata for safe conveyance to posterity. Srimad Bhagavad Gita is handed down to the mankind as the speech of God. It consists of 18 chapters and at the end of each chapter it is clearly mentioned that this is the supreme knowledge and the revealed instruction for experiencing the ultimate reality. This is the best ever gift of knowledge made available to mankind.
Many scholars and human relations professionals these days with their own constricted knowledge, aims and perspectives interpret Srimad Bhagavad Gita's precepts of speech endeavor to promote their wares and giving it a wide publicity. According to their view when you use your speech as prescribed in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, other people to whom you speak to shall be pleased to respond very positively and hence your relations with them shall grow mutually beneficial. That is why they are propagating Gita's prescriptions for improvement of human relations. Of course there is absolutely no doubt that their view point is right up to the extent of tangible benefits seen. But Gita's precepts are to be interpreted in much broader (eternal) perspective in order to derive utmost benefits both to the speaker and the listener. The serious aspirants to self knowledge must not stop at the prospect of better relations with others. Indeed they should not be elated by the response of others and be excited by the improvement of mutual understanding and cooperation. They have much broader aim of qualifying themselves for experiencing the ultimate reality. Keeping this perspective in mind they must constantly check themselves on how they are utilizing the gift of speech vis a vis Gita's prescriptions and follow the same in letter and spirit. Then only their speech shall become endeavor to cleanse and purify them.
anudvega karam vakyam satyam priya hitam ca yat ! svadhyayabhyasanam caiva vangmayam tapa ucyate ! Ch.17/15
That speech which is unexciting, truthful, lovely and favorable to the listeners and also consequential to the study and practice of scriptural texts of self knowledge is said to be endeavor of speech.
anudvega karam vakyam :- The sound that comes out of your mouth should not excite the people who hear it. It should not cause disturbance or fear in them or cause them to lose peace of mind or feel unhappy or painful. They should not feel that it has pricked them somewhere. Some people keep insulting others simply without any benefit for themselves. It is simply their nature to annoy others or hurt others and degrade them. Such people are unfit for gaining self knowledge. As long as a man entertains hatred, harshness or sensuous feelings, he can not get closer to qualifying for God realization. Our speech should comfort the listeners. It should inspire happiness in them. It should promote peace and friendship. We must study their feelings not for their sake but entirely for our own sake. We must gauge their feelings only to understand how close we are to endeavoring the speech.
satyam :- We must never depart from being truthful. For temporary gratification if we tell others of some non existing thing as existing it is called untruth (lie). This shall certainly have many undesirable consequences. It shall disturb the peace of mind. Telling lies is a vicious action. And every vicious action is a liability to bring in suitable repercussion to be suffered eventually. When we want our speech to be a virtuous action, we should always be truthful. The assessment of truthfulness / falsehood in terms of virtuousness or viciousness is not always technically apparent. For example when an innocent child wants to play with a sharp edged steel blade, his mother snatches it away from him and hides it off and tells him that the blade is taken away by a crow that has just passed there. This is no doubt a lie but not a vicious action. Whenever you do vicious action by your speech, heart in heart you would know it. You would know whether you are doing good or bad. Vicious action disturbs your peace. But at times you may find yourself trapped in prickly situations to decide what is good. A situation may come when speaking truth may appear disastrous. Let us look at such a critical situation in the following story.
One day a fakir was sitting out side a Dargah (a place of worship) in a village. Suddenly a panic stricken man came there running. He said to the fakir, "My enemy is chasing me with a big knife in hand. If he finds me he will surely kill me. I will hide myself in this dargah. Please do not tell him my whereabouts and save my life". Saying this he hurriedly entered the Dargah to hide in a corner. This fakir being a pious man sworn to be truthful and not to cause any violence by his speech is caught up in a critical situation. The fakir thought for a moment, immediately got up from his place at the right side of entrance to the Dargah and moved over to the left side of the entrance and settled there sitting in meditation as usual. And in a few moments the pursuer came there as expected and demanded, "Hay fakir! Has any man come this way running and gone into Dargah?". The fakir replied thus, "Sir! From the moment of my sitting here, you are the only man who has come this way running." Satisfied with this answer, the pursuer went away searching in another direction without looking inside of Dargah.
When you are consciously endeavoring speech, and think coolly, there may certainly be a way how to keep up virtues under any testing situation.
hitam :- Your utterance should not aid destruction of some one or cause disturbance to peace of any one. Some times a word can create havoc in some people and utterly decimate their lives. Our speech must never cause such situations. Truthful behavior must not contain any harshness in it. Harshness is beastly and reprehensible. Some people criticize others behind their back. Such people may one day destroy their own lives. They eventually lose their friends and relatives and find themselves abandoned in utter solitude. If children talk like this (criticizing others in absence), responsible elders must try to correct them. According to authoritative revealed scriptures, those who indulge in falsely indicting others shall eventually destroy themselves. This is universal law or constitution of destiny.
One day in Shirdi, Sadguru, Sri Saibaba, the great mystical Master caught two people critically discussing about a third person who was not there. He called them near to him, showed them a distant scene where a pig was feeding on human excreta and said to them, "See how affectionately that pig is masticating the filth with its tongue. By its action the floor gets cleaned and the filth enters its stomach. You are doing similar thing. While you are talking bad of the person in his absence, he gets cleaner as his bad enters you."
Talking bad of others is a vicious action. Even thinking bad of others is a vicious action. One day will certainly come for suffering repercussion for each of such actions. Even while speaking truthfully, you should not present it tersely to embarrass others. Because that becomes egoistic and a culpable action.
We normally judge any man only by what he speaks. If he does not speak we will never know what kind of a person he is. We would assess a person by the subject of his speech and the manner of his presentation, to decide whether he is a great Seer or a selfish /greedy fellow or a cruel beast in human form or a tricky swindler. Our speech must unite people never separate them from each other. It must be beneficent to others not spiteful to any. Then only that is virtuous and really helpful. And that kind of speech surely begets happiness.
priyam :- First you must be fond of your own speech. It must reflect your sincerity. It must also be interesting to others. It must never distress others. It must always be something they look forward to and not run away from. We must never speak a word that is not liked by others. We must also be concerned to see whether or not they utilize your speech for their genuine benefit. You must never indulge in useless talk with others even when both of you are enthused by it. Your speech must never be intended for momentary pleasure, never for aiding or abetting destruction, never for wasting time, never encourage bad habits. Your talk must be perpetually beneficial. Your talk must be beneficial to society at large. When you see some one, who by ignorance is misrepresenting facts, you must intervene to correct him only in such a way he does not feel hurt or embarrassed. Whenever you speak to some one, it is always entirely your responsibility to ensure that he gets the right thing of what you want to convey to him. It is not enough to say that you have told him. Most of the time a word in a language is inadequate to convey your meaning. You must make your meaning clear to others. All these cares are essential when ever you speak to others. Otherwise you are simply not qualified to take the position of speaker. We can achieve anything with speech alone, to eliminate disturbance and spread peace, to remove ignorance and promote education, to throw out fear and instill courage, to banish slavery and declare independence, to shake off laziness/complacence and enthuse for performance, to learn from failures and lead for victory. Well regulated speech attains value as well as strength.
svadhyayabhyasanam :-We must study good scriptural texts of self knowledge. When we study the Upanishads, and Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the essence of Upanishads we understand how a speech that is vicious and sinful inevitably leads man to unhappiness and misery and how to control and regulate the speech to make it virtuous. Virtuous activity will enhance strength and value. Every word becomes powerful to lead from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from death to eternity. Mere study of the scriptures is not at all enough. Practice is essential. What all is stated in the revealed scriptures must be adopted in our day to day lives and experience the results. While we are progressing in this process and endeavoring speech, enemies become friends, disturbed become peaceful, vicious and sinful people become virtuous, pathetic slaves become beloved masters. And when you talk to agnostics about God, it illuminates..
May all be comfortable ! May all be happy and peaceful ! May all be bountiful ! May all be propitious !
Sparkling bits and pieces spilled out from immortal streams of enlightening discourses by the boundlessly compassionate, the divinely equipped, the personification of knowledge, the mystical Master, the authoritative Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, the most capable Sadguru, Sri Sri Sri Bhavaghni Guruji are assimilated here by one among the lowest order of his disciples, for his own comprehension. Others, who by chance examine this article are expected to note that while the truthful revelations found in this are from divine Guruji's immortal talks, the rest are concocted for harmony with the writer's level of understanding.