Principles of conversation
Back at the turn of the 20th century, the great yogi RAM CHANDRA (LALAJI) shared some tips about communication with his associates in a small town of northern India. Today these principles are even more relevant in corporate boardrooms, parliaments, universities and school classrooms the world over. Imagine if we could all follow this approach to communicating with others! The world would be transformed.
The style of speech should be devoid of rise and fall in pitch. On the contrary, it should be like the divine current, flowing evenly since the beginning of creation. I had copied just that and innumerable are its benefits, beyond the possibility of narration. This is a philosophy, that when the flow of conversation proceeds in conformity with Reality, there develops a state of harmony between the two. Through that harmony, the divine way starts developing automatically. This results in effectiveness, as whatever is spoken goes on touching the hearts of others. In other words, a sort of relationship with the current of Reality is established. When a relationship is created, effectiveness has to be there. If we copy it, only those words will flow during conversation that are intended and are right.
To achieve this, we first of all try to remove the rise and fall in the voice while speaking, which is also called sharpness. This flow of speech will go on acquiring harmony with the current of Reality, to the extent that such a reduction is achieved progressively. By ‘sharpness’ I do not only imply anger, which is very heavy and should not be allowed at all in this context. What I mean is that the flow of speech should not carry any kind of weight in it. An illustration of this is a current of still air. It is very difficult to achieve, but everything is possible through sustained effort and courage, if the Grace of the Guru is there. The balanced condition of mind is an expression of the right attitude in all our activities, under varied circumstances. In a broad sense, it is the reflection of our character. It has a deep impact and a favourable influence on those people who are associated with us. It reveals itself in conversation, which can be either serious and long or light and short. Such conversation is devoid of excitement or any high-pitched emotional outburst, and devoid of any rapid, short-tempered and moody reaction. It is a prompt, methodical and civil expression of the self, and it is soft, cultured and smooth like the harmonious descent of Divine Grace.
The balanced condition of mind
is an expression of the right attitude
in all our activities,
under varied circumstances.
A person whose tongue is polite, civilized and cultured, has a large, pure and noble heart, and thus has a wide sway over the minds of others. The pure heart, in communion with the Base or the Source, pours itself forth naturally with nobility, magnanimity and love. It leaves an impression immediately, and progressively makes deep inroads and establishes itself in the minds of all. But ambiguity and indecision are not to be encouraged. A civil tongue is a prerequisite to achieve the goal of human life. A cultured tongue rules the kingdom of the heart. A polished tongue in discourse or conversation influences humanity and reigns supreme.
Anger is a poison to spirituality. Unless we are free from this plague, moderation can never be obtained. The effect of anger is that the system becomes heavy and tension is produced. There will be continuous pressure on thought. This human frailty leads to loss of self-respect and individuality, and results in unhappiness. This does not allow the free and subtle current to enter; in other words it restrains the flow of Divine Grace. If anger is overcome, and a nasty and short temper is avoided, there is scope for the attainment of a balanced condition of the mind. The greater the control over it, the freer and more bounteous is the celestial gift.
A civil tongue is a prerequisite
to achieve the goal of human life.
A cultured tongue rules
the kingdom of the heart.
It is a pity that this important and essential principle of the use of the tongue in the inevitable and constant activity of man is often overlooked and neglected. It is also unfortunate if the Divine Guru is held responsible for any lapse. It is no doubt very difficult to control the mind.
To free ourselves from anger, we should think ourselves to be polite and humble. Nay, we should try to make ourselves such that the same color enters each and every part of the body. A cool and calm disposition alone is required for spirituality. The heart is so tender that it begins to droop even by the slightest circulation of wind.
When we rise to some height, lowness is also within our sight to the same extent. This is a secret of Nature. If, while remaining glued to the Master, we make high advancement and yet feel low, is this not a state? The cause of this I have just stated. Our passion should be: whatever is there is Thine! And when it is thus, where is the occasion for regret?
The technique of developing softness
is to create extreme humility in temperament,
so that it is filled with such a sentiment of love
as to have no inclination to
cause any hurt to anyone’s heart,
and the words are also such as not to
hurt anyone’s heart in the least.
When we are satiated with something, we no longer derive pleasure from it to the same degree as earlier. By and by we come to treat it as something ordinary. Just this is to be known as the state of regret or the fallen condition. Apart from that, lying low is better than a perch up. Herein lies devotion and therein rests the idea of perfection.
What more than this is there for me to tell? When we have lost all sense of our own significance, and are devoid of ego-consciousness in any form, direct or indirect, then whatever we do will be just what we ought to be doing. This condition, if bestowed by God, is the best of all conditions. Everyone ought to try to arrive at it.
The technique of developing softness is to create extreme humility in temperament, so that it is filled with such a sentiment of love as to have no inclination to cause any hurt to anyone’s heart, and the words are also such as not to hurt anyone’s heart in the least.
Excerpt from Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol. 4, 2018, Shri Ram Chandra Mission, India.
Article by RAM CHANDRA (LALAJI)
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