Original Article by Satinder Gill Brar
Disclaimer: I did NOT write the contents of this article. It was originally published in “Punjab Mail USA” in Punjabi. I merely translated the whole article into English so that it could reach another audience. The ideas and points made in the article are not my own, they belong to the original author. I tried my best to keep all the meanings as close to the original as possible and avoided making personal adjustments or “corrections”, therefore the grammar may not be the best. If you can read gurmukhi, I would suggest you read the original Punjabi article attached below rather than my poor translation. Enjoy!
“mith bolarraa jee har sajan suaamee moraa ||
My Dear Lord and Master, my Friend, speaks so sweetly.
ho sanmal thhakee jee ouhu kadhae na bolai kouraa ||
I have grown weary of testing Him, but still, He never speaks harshly to me.”
“It is important to speak sweetly. If we spoke harshly, perhaps no one would like it. Even a person who himself speaks roughly doesn’t like it when someone else speaks harshly with him. So then why do we speak meanly? God loves those who speak sweetly, because He himself is sweet.
Gurbani is the sweetest. If we listen carefully then we realize that every word is full of sweetness, the more Gurbani we read the more sweetly we talk. It seems as if those who read Gurbani are unable to utter harsh words. God himself is sweet, those who believe in Him can’t be bitter- whether this is true or false, is a daily experience in our life. The god loving person will speak lovingly. Sometimes we meet such a person whom just listening to causes us to say, “his words were like music to my ears”. We try to compare them with so many things. Sometimes some people may not have as much of an influence from their appearance but when we hear their words, we feel the bliss in our ears, and when we hear the words of some people who look outwardly beautiful, we say they looked nice but see how harshly and roughly they speak, no sweetness at all. Voice is a gift from God. Some have deep voices while others have high ones, but sweetness is important in words, the voice itself becomes beautiful.
Once we were listening to a tape of Veer Bhupinder Singh. He gave a really good example: One time there was a boy who told a lot of lies, spoke meanly, hurt others – one day his father gave him some nails and said go put them into the wooden floor outside. He told him, for each mean thing you do or lie you tell, hammer that many nails into the wood every day. The boy started to put nails in every day. Sometimes 2 nails and some days 4, like this the nails eventually ran out. Then one day his father said now start taking the nails out. For each good deed you do and each truth you tell, take one nail out. Like this the boy started taking nails out, sometimes 1 sometimes 2. One day the boy happily said today all the nails have been taken out. The Dad said okay show me where you took the nails out from and the boy pointed out the holes in the wood, saying “look at these marks.” This represents whenever we speak meanly to someone or hurt their heart and say sorry later. But those harsh words already hurt them and bore a hole in their heart. Saying sorry later, then doing the same thing again makes that apology lose its meaning. We should never hurt someone so much in life that we have to apologize over and over again. If we say something mean and make a hole in someones heart, it doesn’t fill up so easily. After time there is some healing, but those who get used to making holes and cuts in others’ hearts don’t let those injuries fill up. They are stuck in their habits. Our Lord Father is loving. We believe in His existence. We should love his creation and beings. Because even animals understand the language of love and sweet speech.
Wearing expensive clothes shows our outer beauty. But our sweet or harsh speech shows how beautiful we truly are inside. Our personality is brought forth by our way of speaking. Sometimes we are full of poison inside, but we try to speak sweetly in front of others, but this false show only lasts so long. Our true form eventually comes forth, those who are truly sweet inside are full of peace and contentment. Those who are empty inside, their words will be hollow and meaningless, like the saying, “An empty pitcher makes more noise.” It rolls around causing pain to others and suffers pain itself too. A full pitcher stands steady, and since it is full in itself, it doesn’t hurt others nor does it get hurt itself. because it is full of patience and contentment. It its wrong to call someone poor for lack of money, but negative thoughts, bad ideals and speaking falsely [truly make a person poor] which is bad.
By saying mean words to others we increase our inner agony. Then these angry and spark-like words burn us from inside. Then we become the victims of many illnesses such as depression, blood pressure and other headaches. Therefore try not to put nails into anyone’s heart or soul such that the holes cannot be filled by the word “sorry”, nor should we use our false poison filled words.”
“naanak fikai boliai than man fikaa hoe ||
O Nanak, speaking insipid words, the body and mind become insipid.
fiko fikaa sadheeai fikae fikee soe ||
He is called the most insipid of the insipid; the most insipid of the insipid is his reputation.
fikaa dharageh satteeai muhi thhukaa fikae paae ||
The insipid person is discarded in the Court of the Lord, and the insipid one’s face is spat upon.
fikaa moorakh aakheeai paanaa lehai sajaae ||1||
The insipid one is called a fool; he is beaten with shoes in punishment. ||1||”
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