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Friday, 22 March 2013

Tongue Management - Part II: Misuse of the Tongue


Bhagawan has spoken extensively about the role of sense organs and their control in a human being’s spiritual journey. However, among all sense organs, Bhagawan has stressed the most on the control of the tongue. It is not without reason that the tongue has been extolled so highly by Bhagawan. He says that the tongue is unique among all sense organs as it is the only sense organ that has been bestowed with two important roles. One is talking and the other is tasting. Control the tongue and you can succeed in controlling all other sense organs, says Bhagawan. Taming the senses and making them subservient to our command is a prerequisite for the spiritual journey of man. Unless the senses are drawn inwards and weaned away from the temptations of the external sensory objects, the mind cannot be directed inwards towards the Self. And unless the mind cannot be turned inwards, man cannot begin his spiritual journey. Therefore, one can understand in this context, the reason behind Bhagawan’s explicit focus on the tongue and its management.

For the purpose of easy reading and comprehension, the posting is presented in four parts, viz Glory of the Tongue (5 clips + 1 extract), Misuse of the Tongue (5 clips), Teachings of the Tongue (3 extracts) and Control of the Tongue (6 clips + 5 extracts). The verse by the poet Jayadeva that describes the glory of the tongue and appeals to the tongue to sing the name of the Lord, has been sung by Bhagawan any number of times. It gets repeated in many of the clips. It only goes to show how Divinely inspired Jayadeva must have been to bring forth this verse to the world.

This part of the posting focuses on the misuse of the tongue. The 5 audio clips for this part have been taken from the Discourses delivered by Bhagawan in the years 1989 and 1990.

Misuse of the Tongue: In Clip-1 Bhagawan explains about the Chaaturmaasa Vratam, a vow designed by the ancients, and its true purport of exercising control over the tongue. Clip-2 talks about the renunciants and seekers of today and describes their inability to control their senses. In Clip-3 Bhagawan states the four sins committed by the tongue. Clip-4 advises mankind to exercise moderation in talk and avoid unnecessary gossip. In Clip-5 Bhagawan explains how the tongue is like a double-edged sword. It can be used for blessing and also for cursing.      

You may also wish to read the following three posts relating to the tongue and the power of speech posted earlier. 


Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's Message from these extracts.  

Note: Those receiving this blog by email may see words bunched together due to a technical glitch. That is beyond my control. Please click on link at the top of the email to read the blog directly. Sorry about this. If anyone has a solution to this please help me out.

Misuse of the Tongue

01-Rules laid down by Ancients to control the Tongue-2.53-1989 June 29

Control the Tongue
Ancients followed a number of disciplines in order to make proper use of the sense organs. We must not give everything that the tongue asks for. If you keep yielding to everything that the tongue asks for, eventually it will be prepared to swallow you only. Therefore, to exercise restraint on taste, the ancients adopted and followed certain rules and regulations. That has been called the Chaaturmaasa Vratam (the four month vow). The Chaaturmaasa Vratam has originated with the purpose of giving proper training to the tongue for four months, without giving it all that it asks for and thus leading it along the right path.

Starting with the Ashada month, the vow is practiced for the subsequent four months. There is another reason for this too. The season during this period is the rainy season. It is very difficult for the renunciants to travel from one place to another place. Because of rain, the rivers may be in full spate, the lakes may overflow the boundaries, thus causing obstruction to their journey. Therefore, Chaaturmasa Vratam was prescribed so that they (renunciants) may stay in one location for these four months, thinking about God, and spending time in a fruitful way. Thus, the renunciants used to go to the forest, build a hermitage there and practice this penance over there.  

There (in the forest), no tasty food items will be available. All that is available is roots and tubers. Consuming these, they used to spend time fruitfully and were able to exercise control over the taste related tendencies of the tongue.



02-Perverted practice of rules in Kali Age-2.24-1989 June 29

Giving in to Desires!
Image Source
However, unfortunately, in this Kali age, the Chaaturmasa Vratam has become a big show and almost a feast! They (renunciants) want tasty food items everyday. They try to source these food items from the villages. Every day, one devotee must offer such food to them. They enjoy this in the guise of Bhiksha (alms). With change in time, even the sacred feelings are led along the unsacred path. The renunciants of today are unable to recognize the truth that all such vows are initiated basically to exercise restraint over the tendencies of the tongue. How can you attain Divinity if you do not control your senses in this manner?    

If your house is on fire, you can come out and run far away. If your house is set on fire, you can at least run away to some other region. But if your sense organs themselves are on fire, where will you be able to run away? In today’s situation, the (spiritual) seekers have their own sense organs set on fire. How can one escape from this? If a person develops fever, you can use a thermometer and determine how much fever he/she has. But what if the thermometer itself develops fever? Today, the seekers and renunciants are exciting their own sense organs.



03-Four sins committed by the Tongue-1.17-1990 May 23

Sins committed by the Tongue
Image Source
The tongue commits four types of sins. One is to speak untruth, second is to complain about others, third is to criticize others and the fourth is excessive talk. It is because of these four (sins) that lack of peace is growing in mankind. Ill health also sets in. Therefore, for mankind – Satyam Vada (speak the truth) and Dharmam Chara (follow righteousness). We must make an attempt to speak the truth only. At certain times, it may be dangerous to speak the truth. At such times, avoid truth and avoid untruth also. Only when you practice such a path, you will be able to promote humanity in society.       



04-Undesirable gossip is a bad habit-Exercise moderation in talk-1.44-1990 May 23

Undesirable gossip is bad!
Image Source
We must not enter into unnecessary matters. This is the weakness in mankind today. Even a person sitting in some corner who cannot see properly or hear properly; when he comes across two people meeting over there, keeps asking, “what are they talking, what are they talking”? Whatever they may be talking, what is it to you? Why should you enter into this?

Some people go around to every other person and keep talking. This is a very bad habit. They keep enquiring into the matters of others, “What did that person say? What did this person say?” Why should he be concerned about all this? Because of this bad habit, the sense organs become the target for more harm. We should not get into matters of anybody else. Mind your own business and confine yourself to your needs. Talking to everybody you come across will make you lose your respect. Nobody will respect you. If anybody sees you coming on the way, they will exclaim, “O here comes the argumentative person”, and they will move aside. Whenever there is a necessity, just confine your speech to “Good morning, Good morning, How are you, How are you”, that is all, nothing more.



05-Tongue can be used for blessing or cursing-Jayadeva on Tongue-2.02-1990 May 23

Tongue can be used for
Blessing or Cursing
With speech you can perform a very noble and significant task and you can also perform a very heinous task. This very speech confers blessings on others and also abuses others. That is why Jayadeva considered this tongue as very great.  

Jihve Rasagne Madhura Priyetvam
Aavaranaeta Madhuraaksharaani
Govinda Daamodara Maadhaveti

Jayadeva taught the tongue: O tongue full of taste, O sacred tongue, O tongue that speaks sweet words; you should not enter into unwanted speech, you must utter the sweet name of Sri Rama and Sri Govinda that will confer immense happiness on all.

Kaalujarite Kalagadu Nashtam
Naalukajarite Narakamera
(If the leg slips, there may be some loss, but a slip of the tongue can take you to hell!)

When the tongue is put to bad use, it can cause any amount of damage to the heart. There is no doctor in the world who can heal such a wound.



A Short Quiz

01-What is the Chaaturmaasa Vratam? What is its true purpose and how is it’s practice being distorted these days?

02-What are the four sins committed by the tongue?

03-What are the examples that Bhagawan gives while condemning undesirable gossip that we engage in?


To read the previous part, click here – Part I

To read the next part, click here – Part III

You may also wish to read the following three posts relating to the tongue and the power of speech posted earlier. 

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