Restraint of Speech

8th Aug 2020
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis 
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!  

The recent offering, "Never Ridicule Vaishnavas" is very relevant for persons like me to contemplate and put into practise. Lord Krishna very categorically states, "Take this lesson to your heart. Never blaspheme or laugh at a Vaishnava. If one worships Me and chants My holy names, but blasphemes devotees, he'll be vanquished."

When we become insensitive in our dealings, many times we indulge in funny talks and sarcastic speech and teasing, which ultimately ends up being unpalatable. When there is a tendency to over talk, unknowingly we cross our boundaries and before we realize anything, we have already hurt and insulted the other person. This is very nicely explained by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.9, in relation to Duryodhana insulting Shri Vidura. "Vidura went out from the palace to detach himself from household affairs, especially political intrigues. As referred to hereinbefore, he was practically insulted by Duryodhana's calling him a son of a śūdrāṇī, although it was not out of place to talk loosely in the case of one's grandmother. Vidura's mother, although a śūdrāṇī, was the grandmother of Duryodhana, and funny talks are sometimes allowed between grandmother and grandchildren. But because the remark was an actual fact, it was unpalatable talk to Vidura, and it was accepted as a direct insult. He therefore decided to quit his paternal house and prepare for the renounced order of life." 

In purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.20, there is reference to the teasing of Aṣṭāvakra muni. "It is said that once the fair denizens of heaven pleased Aṣṭāvakra Muni by their service and were blessed by the muni to have the Supreme Lord as their husband. Aṣṭāvakra Muni was curved in eight joints of his body, and thus he used to move in a peculiar curved manner. The daughters of the demigods could not check their laughter upon seeing the movements of the muni, and the muni, being angry at them, cursed them that they would be kidnapped by rogues even though they would get the Lord as their husband."

We also see the impudent talk of the young Yadus towards the sages headed by Narada muni, in eleventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. These boys dressed Sāmba in the guise of a pregnant woman about to give birth and inquired from the sages about the fruitfulness of Sāmba's so-called pregnancy. The sages cursed the mocking boys by saying, "She will give birth to a club that will destroy your family." The Yadus, frightened by this curse, immediately lifted the garment from Sāmba's abdomen and found a club. 

In the fifth canto we see that King Rahugana was criticizing and speaking sarcastically about Jadabharata without knowing his exalted position and the same King repents in this following way in 5.10.17 

nāhaṁ viśaṅke sura-rāja-vajrān
na tryakṣa-śūlān na yamasya daṇḍāt
nāgny-arka-somānila-vittapāstrāc
chaṅke bhṛśaṁ brahma-kulāvamānāt

  My dear sir, I am not at all afraid of the thunderbolt of King Indra, nor am I afraid of the serpentine, piercing trident of Lord Śiva. I do not care about the punishment of Yamarāja, the superintendent of death, nor am I afraid of fire, scorching sun, moon, wind, nor the weapons of Kuvera. Yet I am afraid of offending a brāhmaṇa. I am very much afraid of this

 In order to save ourselves from this greatest danger, we have to practise great restraint of speech. Srila Narada muni while describing his qualities that attracted the mercy of the sages mentions "alpa-bhāṣiṇi" - one who does not speak more than required. Lord Sri Ramachandra is described in Srimad Vamiki Ramayana 2.1.10 as  

sa ca nityaṃ praśāntātmā mṛdupūrvaṃ tu bhāṣate
ucyamānopi paruṣaṃ nottaraṃ pratipadyate

Lord Rama was always peaceful in mind and spoke softly. He did not react to the hard words spoken by others

This restraint in speech will go a long way and make us careful not to speak in an unpalatable manner, though we are thinking that it is just a simple funny talk and thus hurt the other living entities.  

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Chennai.