The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

How Words Shape Our World

By: for ISKCON News on Sept. 27, 2019
Opinion

 

The words filled with sweetness makes the heart of others dance in joy.  But the bitter words said to others cut their hearts into pieces. The bullets fired from the most sophisticated weapon may harm a person physically but the harsh words said to others torn apart a person emotionally. And the emotional pain is more difficult to bear than physical pain. If we are not careful with the choice of our words then it will put us in great difficultly. It can turn a friend into an enemy, create a great rift between husband and wife and most of the people will prefer not to associate with us.  

We all feel great urge to speak. But many of us do not think enough before we speak. So, we say something for which we regret later. Sometimes we do not have enough maturity and understanding to understand what to speak and what not to speak.  A toad croaks, sometimes loudly, believing that his sweet sound will attract the opposite gender but instead it attracts the deadly snake. Similarly, materialistic men and women may speak a lot believing that it makes them a hero amongst the common masses, but they do not know that their nonsensical words are attracting the agents of death. 

So, some schools of thoughts advise people to take a vow of silence (mauna vrata) because they feel that it is better not to speak than to speak nonsense.  Mark Twain once remarked, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” But as a sentient being it is not possible to live like a dumb forever.

So the solution is not in not speaking, but in knowing what to speak and also how to speak.  Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita 17.15 to Arjuna, “Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneļ¬cial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

When we speak words, which are truthful but sweet and said with a desire to do good to others can transform the life of a person.  It is said that it is not just what we say, which impacts a person but how we say also plays a significant role. So while expressing our thoughts we should also be cautious about the psychophysical condition of a person. 

The books of wisdom tell us that one of the best ways by which we can control our urge to speak and also sanctify our words is by continuously speaking those words which glorifies the names, forms and qualities of the Lord and of his devotees.  Srila Prabhupada says, “The meaning of controlled speech conveyed by Srila RupaGoswamiadvocates the positive process of Krishna – katha, engaging the speaking process in glorifying the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna” (NOI, purport 1)

If we speak the words which glorifies Krishna then it not just purifies our consciousness but gives an opportunity to others to relish the names of Krishna and it brings ultimate joy to everyone.  

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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at https://discoverursupersoul.com/)

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