Listen Oh Tongue!
The threefold path is to teach a lesson to the mind. The second on this path is the ‘word’.
Jihve Rasagne Madhura Priya Twam
Satyam Hitam Twam Priyamam Vadami
Avarna Yeta Madhuraksharani
Govinda Damodar Madhaveti
My tongue! You are fond of sweet things and are of discriminating taste;
I tell you the highest truth, which is also the most beneficial.
Please just recite these sweet syllables: Govinda, Damodara, Madhava.
Tell the tongue, “Oh tongue, that stands for knowing the sweet taste that speaks the truth that symbolises sacrifice and leads to Yoga that stands for the welfare of others, the one that gives respect to others, you are ruining and losing your respect! Oh tongue! I will tell you how respectful you are. All your life, without leaving your house, without crossing the threshold, remaining in the house, attending to your work, without any relationship with the neighbourhood, without any friendship, what a respectful life you are leading! How many words you speak! What poetry you recite! You sing blissfully and speak sweet words! But you never come out. You lie within.” Does anyone put one’s tongue outside! “This is your respect oh tongue! You never go to the street. Then why should you throw your words on the street. While you never go to the street, your words have gone to the street. This is not respectful. Keep up your respect. You are selfless. When a sweet fruit is given to you, you don’t keep it to yourself. You send it down the gullet to the stomach! You realise that I alone should not experience, but if I pass it to the stomach then it will be supplied to the entire body! In case the fruit is better, you spit it out. What a selfless and sacrificing one you are oh tongue! You are such a noble tongue! What kind of tolerance you have! You stay in the midst of 32 teeth, each like a sword. But how carefully you stay without intermingling with any of them. How intelligent you are! How much knowledge you have! You have the knack too! But you should not behave like a ‘crack’!! Oh tongue! Don’t enter the wrong path.”
You must teach the tongue about its qualities and tell it not to lose its reputation by following the wrong path. Don’t hurt anybody. Of all the sins, the greatest sin is criticising others. At times the tongue reaches the level of God – Pashupati, at times it degrades itself to the level of an animal (Pashu). If anyone is good to you, the tongue praises him like God Himself. If someone harms you, it equates him to an animal. Tell the tongue, “Don’t criticise anybody. Chant the name of Govinda, Damodara and Madhava.”
Listen Oh Hand!
Tell the hand, “Oh hand! How sacred you are! There is unity in you. Neither in any party, society, religion nor caste, is there any unity. You have no hatred. Suppose there is a cup. Can one finger pick it up? One finger calls the other fingers to lift the cup! There is different in the size of the various fingers, but you don’t observe these differences. There is unity among your fingers. With such a unity inherent in you, why do you develop enmity? Why are you entering into contradictory actions? Oh Hand! You are the one who protects everybody. You remove the troubles of others. You unify everyone. Oh hand! Please ensure that you never fall into disrepute and lose your good name. Don’t indulge in wrong actions.” By telling such things to the hand, the actions must be made sacred.
When the three – thought, word and deed are sanctified, the other instruments also follow the right path. The one who has defect in any of the three instruments becomes a fool. The one, who sanctifies these three, merges and attains liberation. Therefore never be wicked.
Hastasya Bhushanam Danam
Kanthasya Bhushanam Satyam
Stotrasya Bhushanam Shastram
Bhushanai Kim Prayojanam
Charity is the ornament for the hand
Truth is the ornament for the throat
Listening to the sacred texts is the ornament for the ears.
Of what use are the other jewels?
When you have this natural jewellery, why should you run after some artificial jewellery? Helping others is also charity. Therefore you should always try to help ever and hurt never. This is the essence of the 18 Puranas. With such noble thoughts, the three instruments of the mind, tongue and hands are purified.
Source: Unity of Thought, Word and Deed, Discourse 2, My Dear Students – Vol. 5; Discourse Delivered on March 9, 1993