Jain Vidya (2): Sweet Words

Published: 26.01.2018
Updated: 29.01.2018

A certain poet has said-

kaaga kisaka leta hai, koyal kisako det

boli ke hee kaarane, jaga apano kari let

Neither a crow takes anything from any body nor does a cuckoo gives anything but when a person hears the sweet notes of a cuckoo, his heart is filled with joy and the caw of a crow makes him unhappy.

Why does it happen so? It is obvious that a cuckoo's voice is sweet, hence all like it. No one wants to listen to the harsh voice of a crow. Similarly everyone wants to talk to a child who uses sweet words when he speaks. As a matter of fact sweet language is the mark of a civilized person. Only the members of an uncivilized society use bitter and unpleasant words. A Sanskrit poet has said-

priya vaakyapradaanena, sarve tushyanti jantavah

tasmat tadeva vaktavyam, vachane ka daridrata,

[It is only the sweet words that please all, hence everyone should speak sweet words. Indeed, why should anyone show niggardliness in the use of words, when it costs nothing?]

It has been said in scriptures- 'One shouldn't call even a blind person 'blind'. It hurts him and even the person who uses such words can also be identified.'

Once a wicked person, who was widely known for his wickendness was going somewhere. On the way, he met a blind person. He said to him, "andhe baba rama-rama.' Immediately blind replied, 'Hello, wicked man, how are you?' As soon as the person heard it, he was surprised. In the meanwhile a gentleman also passed by that way. He said, "Hello surdas baba, how are you?" The blind man said, "Hello, sajjan bhai (gentle man,) The person observing the event asked the blind man, "Brother you are blind, how can you know whether the person stading before you is wicked or gentle?" He said, "It is known by the words one uses. A man is tested by his words. As soon as he speaks, one comes to know of his inner self."

Even while joking many children use such words as may hurt others. They take delight in hurting others, but they should remember that if they can hurt others, others can also do the same.

That is why sweet words are considered equal to true word in Indian culture and it has been said, "satyam bruyaat, priyam bruyaat, ma bruyaat, satyamapriyam- speak the truth and speak pleasing words. Do not speak such truth as may be unpleasant. If we use sweet words, it will have definite effect on our minds and if we use harsh and unpleasant words, it will create an unwholesome impression on our minds. It can be explained by an example.

Once, a bangle-seller was going towards a village to sell his bangles. The load of bangles was being carried by his she-ass. As they walked, in between, he said to the she-ass, "Oh my mother! walk fast, oh my sister walk fast." On the way, he met another man. He asked him, 'why he was using the words 'Mother' and 'sister' for a she-ass.' He replied at once, "I have such profession as makes it obligatory for me to remain with women all the day long. If I happen to use even a slightly wrong word, my business will be ruined. Hence, for the purification of my tongue I address this she-ass as my mother and sister. This keeps not only my language pure but it also keeps my mind pure."

Some people keep abusing their servants. They think that servants are there just for hurling abuses on them. In such families even children learn to use abusive words for others. They get so accustomed to it that suddenly they begin to speak such words. Some people become so helpless that sometimes they abuse themselves. Hence it has been said that every word

boomerangs on us.

Once, a person named Bhardwaj went to Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was delivering a discourse then. Bhardwaj was getting unhappy with him, hence, as soon as Buddha came, he began to hurl abuses at him, Lord Buddha kept quiet and remained smiling even though he was being abused. As we cannot clap with one hand, so if one person abuses the other and the other doesn't respond, it creates peace automatically. Fire erupts only at that place where something inflammable is kept. How can a person ignite fire if there isn't combustible material? In this way when Lord Buddha didn't react Bhardwaj was a bit checked. He began to feel ashamed at himself. When he read the lines of smile on the orb of Buddha's face, he couldn't help being impressed by them.

Seeing him perturbed in every way, Lord Buddha said, "Bhardwaj! if someone gives something as a gift to another person but the latter doesn't accept it, where does it go back?" When he heard such affectionate words of Lord Buddha, Bhardwaj's hands got naturally folded and he said, "Lord! it goes back to the giver." Then Buddha said, "You hurled so many abuses at me but I didn't accept them, tell me where they would go back." Bhardwaj's remorseness knew no bounds. He clearly felt that he was in the wrong stand.

If someone utters unpleasant words a great man doesn't retaliate with harsh words because he knows that only that person hurls abuses whose store is full of them. How can a person, who doesn't carry a bag of abuses with him, abuse others? Therefore, in order to become great, one should always avoid unpleasant words.

Questions:

  1. Why does a cuckoo appear pleasing?
  2. How should one use words?
  3. Give a gist of the story of Bhardwaj.

Sources

Title: Jain Vidya (2)
Editor: Muni Sumermal (Sudarshan)
Translation: Dr. Samani Shashi Pragya
Publisher: Samana Sanskriti Sankaya, Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
20th Edition: 2013


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  1. Body
  2. Buddha
  3. Sanskrit
  4. Satyam
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