Sadhana of the Speech

My Own Practice

As part of The Write Choice challenge, I am going to share some of my personal experiences and learnings throughout these five days. This post is the first of this series.

Prelude

I speak little. And this has often been an issue with others. People have misunderstood me as being egoistic. It’s not that I forcefully do so, but this is due to my nature of being an introvert person. And partly because, I consciously follow a practice. 

I have never been a talkative person or someone who uses bad words frequently. As I grew up and became somewhat mature, I realized, bad speech is not just bad words, but whenever we speak angrily, insensitively, in a humiliating tone or in a manner that hurts other people—that is also bad speech. It’s verbal abuse and verbal violence. And we should avoid speaking like this. 

When Dadu Blacked out!

And one particular evening, I actually realized how important it is to always speak in a good manner. An incident precipitated the practice that I am following ever since. 

My above-70 year old grandfather had been going through work stress. He works in a ration shop. His work is to keep accounts of stock-materials. For some reason, a lot of pending work piled up. And slowly a severe tension was surmounting within him. To avoid the tension, he didn’t even go to work for two days. But, tension built up nonetheless. And on that evening, while he was coming into my room (where the T.V is), all of a sudden, he blacked out and fell, his face smashing the door. His spectacles broke, and he laid there on the floor, half-lying, totally unconscious. 

A sudden black out 

Never before anything like this happened. My initial reaction was panic. I screamed ‘Dadu!’. My Mama and I took him to his bed, and after some time, he opened his eyes.

My Realization

But that incident struck a chord within me. I felt strongly about the impermanence of human life. Anybody can be gone anyday. Whatever little time we have to spend with our near and dear ones, we mustn’t waste it fighting, hating and abusing each other—either physically or verbally; because who knows, maybe it’s the last day we’ll ever see that person! 

Normally, we take everyone for granted. We don’t realize how precious these moments are when we are still alive. It’s only when we lose someone, do we realize how foolish we’ve been to waste our days fighting and bickering. After that, we can’t do anything except to regret. And I said to myself that day—from today on, as long as he and in fact all of them will live, I’ll never use bad words against them! Simply because, I don’t want to see that when they will be breathing their last breaths, they go with the hurts that my words might have caused them. They mustn’t die with pain in their hearts because of my wrong account of words. And ever since then, I’ve expanded this practice to everyone I meet and I’ll follow up with it with anyone I’ll ever meet. 

You Become What You Feed On

You become what you see, hear and think. In my family, as far as speech is concerned, almost everyone is a frequent abuser. They are pretty insensitive fellows! They haven’t realized how much wrong they’ve done to each other with their wrong words, and as a result of that, how much suffering they’ve caused to each other. I’ve been pierced, stabbed, shot, cut, sliced and shattered with their words innumerable times. I’ve lost count now. And it’s not easy to remain cool-headed in such a family environment all the time. I’ve lost my temper, I’ve also said things which are rude, insensitive and hurtful. But, all of that was my reaction, you see. Because I’ve seen such treatment all the time. Your company affects you deeply. If you live among angry, violent, insensitive souls, despite your best characteristics, one day you’ll be one of them. 

But, no more. They won’t change. I know that for sure. They will keep behaving the way they’ve been behaving all these years. But, I’ve chosen I won’t be one of them. And so, now, whenever they speak in a wrong manner to me, I simply ignore them, do not give any reaction; I simply let it pass. 

That’s my practice—my sadhana of speech. 

My words must not be a source of suffering for anybody. Even if others keep piercing me with their words, I must not lose my practice. They are doing their karma, I will do mine, and in a good way. That’s the whole idea. 

***

P.S: There’s another post that I wrote on bak-tapasya. I strongly urge you to read this. Here it is: 

The Austerity of Speech. 

Thank you for reading this.

If you have anything to say, please do so.🙏

Image Credit: pexels

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