Considering all of these various ways in which we can transform our lives – So we talked about attitude, we talked about incremental improvement, And now, one of my favorite and that is the tongue. Our tongue is the gateway to all the other senses. If you can control the tongue, the Vedas say, then you can control all of the other senses. So in a sense, the tongue is like a rudder, it’s even shaped like a rudder and how we use it will direct us in our lives; will go the way in which we are using our tongue. Consider what is tongue used for?
One of the first concepts to keep in mind, is that our speech is creative. Words are seeds. So, you have to be very careful how you plant your word seeds in the world. They have an effect; not just on us but other people. In fact everything in the world comes from subtle to gross and words begin the process of change in other people’s hearts and in our own hearts.
Be careful which words you use. For example, if you have some anger, envy in your heart and you express it in words, it acts like a spear, It actually goes into the heart of another person. If we are envious, or we are meaning to do harm to others, then its best to withhold our speech. It doesn’t mean to not offer practical criticism in ways that people can get better. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t become angry at some point. We have to be very careful about what you say to other people so that it actually has a good effect on them or transformational effect to help them.
Sound has different qualities and there are higher and lower vibrations in this world. Everybody knows that you can study the science just on a physical level. But, Vedas say that there is spiritual sound and there is material sound. And there is sound that is contaminated and there is sound that is pure. And when we make pure sound then it uplifts people. It actually edifies those who hear it and it edifies us. And when we use impure sound, sound which are meant to destroy others or meant to be harmful then it degrades other people and ourselves.
Words are like seeds. They affect our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our actions. Our actions form our habits. Our habits form our character and our character forms our destiny. So from subtle to gross, we are developing our own future by what we speak. So when we speak words that are spiritually motivated, that are pure and that are meant to help others and ourselves, we are creating a better destiny for ourselves.
In Sanskrit, the word Shraddha is a two part word. ‘Shrad’ means the heart and ‘dha’ an active verb it means where you place something. So, where you place your heart oftentimes is translated as faith and what we keep in our heart comes out in the sound of our voice and in the words that we speak. And, we affect people by the state of our own heart. There been many studies that have been done about this about how the state of our hearts affect others. Many poems that have been written many songs but is actually a fact that our words portray what’s in our hearts and that will affect our environment and the people around us.
In the science of mantra, we very deliberately utter sounds that are inherently spiritual. The definition of a mantra is a group of words that can create transformation in our lives. When we take up the mantra and we repeat it. It’s there within the definition of the word itself ‘man’ means mind and ‘tra’ means to deliver. So we can deliver our mind from the gross of material existence just by repeating the words, the vibration itself lifts us up.
There are various practical things that we can do with our speech to improve it. In the Bhagavad Gita, it’s mentioned that we should be truthful. And we should also avoid speech that offends other people and we should speak pleasing or beneficially.
One of the ways in which we can harm ourselves and others is by gossiping especially by talking about people behind their backs. If you make this one vow ‘I won’t talk about other people detrimentally behind their back’, you’ll notice a big change in your life. People will trust you more because the people you’re with know that you’re not going to talk about them behind their backs either and you also, develop a sense of integrity. If you just try this, you’ll see that it makes a big difference.
When we speak the truth then we don’t have anything to make up for later. When I shade the truth even a little bit, then I always carry in my heart and mind the fact that I have to hide something. It hurts at first often to tell the truth but then the rest of our life becomes easier but when you tell a lie or shade the truth, then it’s easier in the beginning but much harder and for forever more. So truth sets us free not only as a concept in general but also very practically when we speak the truth. Our lives become much more clean and easy.
So, lot of times people ask me about my seminar Yoga of the tongue. they say what is it? Does you tongue do downward dog? But the Vedas say, actually the tongue is a gateway to our consciousness and all other senses. So if we are careful in how we use our tongues, it will actually improve our consciousness, will improve our lives, and will have a greater effect on all the other people in our lives.
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