Tongue Management – Part II: Misuse of the Tongue

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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Talk less – Work More – Observe Silence

Talk less – Work More – Observe Silence


A very important prerequisite for any spiritual practice is silence. To start with, it may be silence of the tongue (external silence) but that must eventually lead to silence of the mind (inner silence). Then alone, can the voice of God be heard from within. All great masters have stressed on the need for silence as part of one’s spiritual sadhana. Bhagawan Baba, in a number of Discourses, highlights, explains and elaborates on the need and practice of silence in our lives.
In this blog post, we have picked up just one sample Discourse given by Bhagawan on the 27th of June 1996 and have extracted 11 short clips from the same that vividly explain the aspect of silence in spiritual sadhana.  
In Clip-1 Bhagawan sings a Telugu poem that laments over the modern trend of more talk and less work. In Clip-2 Bhagawan highlights several ill effects of excessive talking. Clip-3 presents the examples of great personalities like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Vidura who also strongly advocated the practice of silence. In Clip-4, Bhagawan chides us for being ever ready for eating food but always reluctant for doing work. Clip-5 explains how excessive talk leads to loss of sensory power, be it eyes or ears. Clip-6 and Clip-7 list certain benefits that we can derive from the practice of silence. In Clip-8 Bhagawan explains how we must maintain relationships with our friends with respect to talking. In Clip-9 Bhagawan continues to explain how easy it is to develop relationships but how tough it is to break away from them. Clip-10 explains how the sound of the footsteps of God can be heard only in total silence. Finally, in Clip-11 Bhagawan appeals to students to give some rest to the senses and to practice silence for at least one hour everyday, so as to restore our lost energy and to develop further energy.     
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.
01-Telugu Poem on Excessive Talking-1.48-1996 June 27
Action Orientation is on the decline

Telugu Poem – Courage in talking excessively is on the rise, but action orientation is on the decline and literally vanishing. Life is full of delusion on account of being lost in pomp and show. This has become the life of modern students!

02-Ill Effects of Excessive Talking-1.31-1996 June 27
Excessive Talking leads to
Loss of Memory Power

Man is wasting his time by talking too much. Man is losing the Divine power and sanctity bestowed on him. Talking more leads to loss of memory power. The power of concentration also reduces. The Divine energy bestowed on man diminishes. Talking excessively makes man more hungry. Therefore, he eats more and this in turn makes him lazy. Being lazy, he does not execute any task sincerely. He will not be willing to participate in any service activity.

03-Patel and Vidura on Silence-1.14-1996 June 27
Talk Less and Work More

Today, among the youth, the spirit of service is very essential. In order to serve we must eat within limits. Ati Tindi Mati Hani, Mita Tindi Ati Hayi – Too much food causes damage to the mind. Food within limits gives more comfort. Excessive eating is dangerous, we must eat within limits. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel also used to say, “Talk less and work more”. He performed all his actions with a sense of discipline. Everybody called him a ‘practical man’. Vidura also said that there is no greater power than the power of silence. Noble souls in ancient times observed silence and could thus attain Divinity. 

04-Ready for Food and Talk but not for Work-1.04-1996 June 27
Ready for eating but not for working!

When it comes to action, everybody runs away. Today this is the trend. We must not talk too much. Today the trend is – Pani ki farar, Tindi ki tayar! – We are ready for food, but when it comes to work, we run away. No. Instead it must be, Tindi ki farar, Pani ki tayar– we must be ready for work and not concerned about food. We must be action oriented. This age is very sacred. It is one of Divinity and will yield good fruits. We should not spoil this sacred age. We must not waste time in any manner. We must not get into bad company or engage in bad work. We must enter into good company, engage in good action and good thoughts and strive for God.

05- Excessive Talking leads to Loss of Sensory Power-0.59-1996 June 27
Excessive Talk leads to
Loss of Sensory Power

Students today are losing their power on account of excessive talk. The sensory power given to them for a life time is lost by the time they reach the age of 18 or 20 years. Students should preserve the Divine sensory power bestowed on them. We should also preserve our eyesight. Today very young children are found wearing spectacles. Many youngsters also use hearing aids. What is the reason for all this? Is it the effect of the Kali age? No. It is one’s own weakness that causes all this.

06- Benefits of Silence-0.44-1996 June 27
Spiritual Power increases
as we observe Silence

Spiritual power increases as we observe silence. By talking too much we become susceptible to nervousness. Because of this nervousness, we lose the sense of discretion as to what is to be spoken and what is not to be spoken. The lesser we talk, the more we can serve. By engaging in service, we can develop friendship.

07-Less Talk leads to Good Thoughts and Sacred Activity-0.37-1996 June 27
Adveshta Sarva Bhootaanaam
Never hate anyone

By talking less we will get pure thoughts and we will be able to engage the body in sacred work. When we talk more, unnecessary matters are discussed and it leads to gossip. We hear all this and translate it into action. Therefore, we should not talk bad about anybody. Adveshta Sarva Bhootaanaam– We should not hate anyone either.

08-Limit your friendship to Hello Hello-1.26-1996 June 27
Limit your friendship to
Hello Hello and Goodbye Goodbye!

Elders will feel happy watching your good behaviour. All parents want their children to get a good name, get a first rank in the class. Today we may have many ranks, but the behaviour is blank. In examination – rank, and in life – blank. This is the trend now. No! One must get ranks in all domains. There should be no crack there. When do all these bad qualities get into us? Only when we talk excessively. When you meet any of your friends, you may say, “Hello Hello, How are you How are you, Good bye Good bye”. That is all. Do not talk more. By talking more, we tend to indulge in vain gossip. We start discussing unnecessary matters and in the process we become weak. Because of this weakness, we will not be able to carry out any task that we are supposed to do. Therefore, students should talk less, study more and get high marks.

09-Do not Talk much and have Minimum Relationship-1.05-1996 June 27
Have minimum relationships

What we talk throughout the day, it comes back as reflection, reaction and resound. Everything is reflection, reaction and resound. They come back to us because of our own words and deeds. Students, reduce your excessive talking. Talk what is necessary. If it is related to your subjects, you can talk. When someone greets you with “Hello Hello”, you too restrict to just “Hello Hello”. If you develop relationships for just a naya paisa (100th part of a rupee), later you will not be able to detach yourself even with 4000 rupees. We should not cultivate such friendship. Do not develop any enemies too. How long will you study here in the College? You may stay here in the college for 3 to 4 years. In such a short period of time, which is like a passing cloud, why should you develop such friendship and relationship? Get a good name.

10-Silence is God-In Silence we can hear the Footsteps of God-1.56-1996 June 27
In Silence, we hear the Footsteps of God

Mita Bhasha Ati Hayi – Less talk more comfort. Those (people) in the Sanyasaashrama, go to the forests, put a stop to seeing, hearing and talking and through silence they try to develop the Divine power. Therefore, it is said that the sound in the silence is Brahma. They close their eyes and sit in meditation. How should it be when one sits in meditation? There should be total silence. In that silence, you will be able to listen to the sound of the footsteps of God. When your sound itself is so high, how can you listen to the sound of God coming? The more silent you are, that much louder will you be able to hear the sound of the footsteps of God. Therefore, silence is God. The sound of God is present in total silence.

Now enquire clearly. Close both your ears tightly (with your hands). When you close thus, a sound will emanate there from. Aum………….That is the sound in silence. When you bind your tongue, that sound (Aum) will emanate from within. That sound is Brahman.   

11-Observe Silence at least one hour a day to restore energy of Mind and Senses-0.58-1996 June 27
Silence restores energy of Mind and Senses

Shabda Brahma Mayi (Brahma is in the form of sound). What is this sound? It is the sound in silence. Otherwise, our sound only will be louder. Therefore, we need to be silent. Everyday, at least for an hour, we must practice silence. In that silence, we can recover and develop a lot of the energy that we have lost. The whole day we put in a lot of effort and do work. When we sleep at night, all the senses take rest. As the senses take rest (at night), the next day, we are ready for working enthusiastically again. This means that it is very essential to give rest to the senses. When we give rest to the senses, the mind also gets rest.    

A Short Quiz
01-List out all the ill effects of excessive talk, mentioned by Bhagawan in these extracts of His Discourse.
02-What attitude does Bhagawan expect us to develop towards food and work in life?
03-What type of relationship does Bhagawan expect us to have with our friends? Why?
04-Once we develop unnecessary relationships, it is very difficult to break them. How does Bhagawan explain this aspect?
05-What are the benefits of observing silence and talking less?
06-How can we listen to the sound of the footsteps of God?
07-What simple exercise does Bhagawan ask us to perform to experience the sound in silence? Try it out and share your experience.
08-Through what example does Bhagawan explain to us that we need to give rest to our senses? 
09-What is the minimum time for which Bhagawan expects us to practice silence everyday?
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