Sadhana for Week 14
Speech Level: No Gossiping
No Gossiping & back-biting. Speak His Glories.
Criticism is like a boundless sea, once you get into it, you can hardly get out of it.
Silently hear everyone. Accept what is good. Reject & forget what is not. This is intelligent living.
Once during a satsang when a devotee was singing bhajans, a woman made her way amongst the people sitting around PoojyaGurudev Swami Chinmayananda. She leaned close to him and whispered in his ear.
When the bhajan was over, Pooyja Gurudev asked her to repeat her question for all to hear.?She said, “Swamiji, I’ve heard somewhere that Krishna and Subhadra were brother and sister, but from different mothers. Is that true?”
PooyjaGurudev retorted, “How would I know? I was not the mid-wife at that time!”
Then he gently added, “Amma how does it matter whether they had the same mother or not? You are searching for Krishna. Who the mother or father is should not make a difference.”
Often the focus is shifted from important things to the irrelevant if we are not careful and get carried away by idle talk.
What is Gossip?
Conversation that is based on other people involving details of their lives, which are not confirmed as true is gossip. These may be exaggerated versions and often based on rumors or one’s own assumptions.
In chapter 16, while enlisting the Divine Qualities, the Lord says – Apaishunam (not indulging in gossip) is an important quality.
Srimad Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 17 verse15 says we must speak words that do not agitate anyone, which are truthful, pleasant and beneficial.
Saint Rahim said –
Vani aisi boliye manava sheetal hoye
auro ko sheetal kare apahu sheetal hoye
How to practice avoiding gossip?
Consider these while receiving information or disseminating it. Especially by sms/whatsapp and other social media:
1. Is the information based on facts or is merely hearsay?
2. Is it going to harm somebody? Is it going to benefit another?
3. Are you gossiping because it puts you in the centre of attention, boosts your ego?
4. If you ever get the urge to talk about someone, pretend that they are standing right next to you so you won’t say anything offensive about them behind their back.
5. Find out the root cause of enjoying/indulging in gossip – are you angry with the person or something they have done.
6. Instead of venting to every other person you meet, talk it out with the person concerned.
Consider these when others are gossiping:
1. Talk in private to the person about the information especially if you are in a position of authority.
2. If someone comes to you with juicy, harmful gossip, deflect the topic.
3. If that does not work, make an excuse and move away.
4. How to deal with chronic gossipers. Figure out who they are and try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them don’t give them satisfaction of imparting information to you.
Gossiping and listening to gossip both are to be avoided.
Practice for Beginners:
1. Same as above.
Practice for Advanced Seekers:
1. Same as above.
2. Daily Speak about something that inspires you personally which is uplifting for the listener to hear. If you like, you can even speak about the Glories of the Lord and how devotion has transformed your life.
Benefits of Not Gossiping:
1. Saves time: When we avoid gossiping, we have time for more productive work, space to be creative in thinking and hobbies, opportunities for mindfulness and meditation etc.
2. Saves Energy. Speech is the second highest drainer of energy.
3. Helps to remain focussed. Time is not spent on trivial, unnecessary talk. All energies are centered and focused on the job at hand or the goal. There is no dissipation of energy.
4. Gain better self-esteem – Removing oneself from gossip helps to build self-esteem. Talking about someone else often makes one feel sadistic pleasure or makes on feel guilty or uneasy, wondering if they were going to hear what I’d said behind their backs. By focusing meaningful conversations, one gains relief from these nagging feelings, and feels much better about one’s integrity.
5. Focus on compassion for others – When we stop talking badly about others, and start focusing on what is going on with me, we are able to get some distance from others, consider their perspective. There’s a reason for their behavior, even if we don’t understand it.
6. Think about what you can do to protect yourself or to distance yourself so you are less affected, even if they don’t change.
UNTO HIM OUR BEST