Sunday, November 11, 2007

The karma of talk

Gandhi's three monkeys are an amusing way to teach children about moral conduct. The obedient monkeys, who talk, hear and see no evil, hide within them layers of philosophy.

If we stop the senses from wandering outside and turn our attention inwards then we will not be disturbed by outer stimulus and will start on the steep hill of Self Discovery.

Swami Vivekananda likened the mind to a maddened monkey who has been given wine to drink freely and has been bitten by a scorpion.

Such is the alarming state of our mind. The demoniac mind is like a volcano ready to burst. An untrained mind is swayed by the senses and misleads the intellect.

Amongst the five sense organs, the 'tongue' (rasana) is the most powerful as it has a double role - taste and talk. And it's everyone's experience that we cross limits while eating and talking.

'Body-doctors' warn us of ills of eating insensibly while 'Soul-doctors' warn us about the evils of hearsay, back biting and gossip (ninda chugli).

We may get away by saying that these are true facts but an uncomplimentary word about others (dress style, habits or choices in life) is the work of a nasty tongue.

When we talk filth about others, it mounds up as our bad karma. A bhajan says, "Is jicha ko rog laga hai ninda chugli karne ha, is jicha se prabhu ko sirnar le dosh tere kat jaayenge'- the tongue has a disease of gossiping, use it to chant God's name and your impurities will be removed'.

Saint Kabir said, 'Nindak niyare rakhiye, aangan kuti chawaye; bin paani sabun bina, nirmal kare subhay'- 'Let us make a home for our criticiser near us because he cleanses us without any soap and water'.

It's very difficult to get rid of a bad habit but at least we can stop giving inputs when friends around us are gossiping, or we can pretend our head aches or show that we're not interested. The topic might change and maybe also our bad samskara.

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