Monday Musings 52

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Disciplined speech is also important like conditioning the body and the mind because undisciplined speech can destabilize the body as well as the mind. Kaya (Body), Vacha (Speech), Manasa (Mind) and indriyas (sense organs) are the four basic aspects of our atma

“anudvega-karam vakyam”|
“satyam priya-hitam ca yat” |
“svadhyayabhyasanam caiva” |
“van-mayam tapa ucvyate”  
– Bhagavad Gitia 17.15

Austerity of speech is in speaking words that are not harmful to others, truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and also in regularly reciting our scriptures.

Not harmful to others is kept first in the order because at times speaking the truth could harm others and, in those instances, it is better not to speak the truth than harming others.

satyaṁ brūyāt priyaṁ brūyān na brūyāt satyam apriyam
priyaṁ cha nānṛitaṁ brūyād eṣha dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ

(Manu Smṛiti 4.138)[v4]

 “Speak the truth in such a way that it is pleasing to others. Do not speak the truth in a manner injurious to others. Never speak untruth, though it may be pleasant.

Whatever we speak should be beneficial to others or to us, otherwise better not to speak and waste the energy.  This is included as a hint against wasting time indulging in rumours, nonsense and useless blabbers.

Lord Krishna included ‘reciting scriptures’ as the last ie the fifth speech tapa. Reading scriptures refers to reading vedas, puranas, Upanishads, etc. Our ancient scriptures are considered as ‘knowledge enhancers’. Reference to reciting the scriptures can be taken as reading those material which would enhance our knowledge and enable us to learn newer things. 


I read an interesting research article written by London Swaminathan ( on the similarities between Bhagavad Gita and Zend Avasta.

There are some similarities between the messages in Bhagavad Gita and Zend Avasta and this is one such message. The basic teachings of Zoroastra are also Good Thought, Good Word and Good Deed.

“Your good thoughts, good words and good deeds alone will be your intercessors. Nothing more will be wanted. They alone will serve you as a safe pilot to the harbour of Heaven, as a safe guide to the gates of paradise.”

— Zoroaster

Dhammapada is the Veda for the Buddhists & Buddha says in Dhammapada

He who hurts not with his THOUGHTS or WORDS or DEEDS who keeps these THREE under control – him I call a BRAHMIN- verse 391

Buddha says in another verse,

There are men steady and wise whose BODY, WORDS and MIND are self-controlled. They are the men of supreme self-control- verse 234

All religions say the same thing, positive life, to live positively and purposefully.


Whatever we speak should be beneficial to others (or minimum for us). Hita Upadesh, beneficial advice is the motto of this newsletter #MondayMusings and hence I shall dwell more on hita upadesh. Monday Musings has been giving ‘beneficial advice’ consistently with a clear directive not to include anything which is not relevant and/or beneficial. Monday Musings is thus in true sense the example for ‘speech tapa’ as given in Bhagavad Gita. Blogs in are not harmful to others, truthful, pleasing, beneficial to others and includes information which are useful to enhance our learnings and maintaining that standard consistently is a tapas.


Hita + Upadesha, ‘Beneficial Counselling”, is a classical Sanskrit literature of stories based on human and animal characters akin to #Panchatantra. Hitopadesha was written later than panchatantra and includes references from Panchatantra. The objective of this compilation was to instruct people in worldly wisdom and the principles of statecraft. Two concluding verses of the work say that one Narayana was the author of this treatise, and that his patron, who commissioned the work, was called Dhavala Chandra.

We can see a story from Hitopadesha in the next episode.


Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.



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