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Keeping silence is very useful. At least twice a year we must do this. Once a year is a must and twice a year is very good.
Silence purifies our speech. Often when we speak what happens, have you observed? You must observe. When you speak what impact your speech is making on others – we must observe that. Many times, we do not bother to notice this, we go on blabbering. We just want to say all that we want to say and become free. No, you must see what impact your speech has on others.
There is a beautiful couplet in the Bhagavad Gita which says, ‘Anudvega-karam vakyam satyam priya-hitam ca yat. ’ The words that do not rattle the minds of people and which is truth. Truth which is benevolent and which is pleasant, those type of words are to be spoken. That is called the penance of speech.
Similarly for the body, moderate food, moderate exercise, moderate work and moderate rest. This is an exercise, a tapas (penance) for the body.
And tapas for speech is to speak only those words that do not rattle the mind of others. See, sometimes we think we are right and we may be right; it may be the truth what you are speaking, it may be benevolent, it may be good for the other person as well, but if it is not pleasant and it is rattling the other persons mind then it is not complete.
So this is a big skill and it is not an easy thing to do – Not to rattle anyone’s mind or give them pain.
You know, you say some word to somebody and that person is crying the whole day, or is upset, that is no good. So speak words that are pleasant, true and benevolent, at the same time, don’t speak lies which are very pleasant. We need to speak that which is truth, benevolent, pleasant and non-rattling. Don’t crush the minds and hearts of others with your unpleasant words.
Now, how do we do this?
You may say, ‘I don’t intend to hurt anybody but hurtful words just fly out of my mouth. What do I do?’ Silence, this will help. You keep silence. Meditation and silence, all this would help. Sometimes, in spite of all that, if it comes, if it happens then you can’t do anything about it, then just ask for forgiveness.
So it is good, when you are getting into silence ask for forgiveness. By my thought, word or deed if I have done anything or caused any hurt to someone, may I be forgiven. That completely uplifts us from being bogged down. Does it make sense? Yes!
See, in life you cannot just think everything will be rosy; in life there are thorns as well. There are unpleasant moments as well and they all come and they go. We have to simply move on without getting stuck anywhere.