Pramukh Swami Maharaj (Swamishri) gave sage advice to the senior-most member of a family about restraining his harsh tongue. Though the person’s services to society were proverbial his scathing speech had created a group of opponents. Swamishri advised him personally, “Blessings to you. You perform good services for the benefit of society. Everyone is aware of it. Even your adversaries know of it. The reason for bad blood and differences between you and them lies in your nature. Hence the opposition. And once opposition arises there is no seeing as to who is right and wrong. So one should always take the advice of others and proceed. One should cultivate cordial relations with others. Address all with respect and equality. Then your boat will sail smoothly ahead. The root of opposition lies in your own base nature (swabhav). By speaking harshly you hurt another’s ego. You should talk calmly. If you don’t want to do someone’s work still listen to him twice. This will make him feel satisfied. Those who work for us have different natures and attitudes. Don’t expect everyone to follow your wishes and inclinations. By being humble in your work you will be able to win the hearts of all. What a difference there is in saying ‘My father’s wife,’ and ‘Mother’. Similarly one should be polite in one’s speech. When someone comes to you with a complaint don’t react with a blunt no. Instead, say that you will see to it or think about it. By exercising restraint in one’s speech half the work is accomplished. “Maharaj’ blessings are upon you. Yogiji Maharaj and my blessings are also upon you. God has endowed you with talent and great capabilities. You have accomplished tasks, and that too with ethics. That is why God is happy with you, but when situations turn sour you should correct your speech. “From now onwards forget the opposition of your opponents. Be friendly with them and take their advice. Then they will start supporting you. Do not harbour any prejudice towards your detractors. Nothing good comes out in having prejudice for someone. And speak calmly. During any meeting, if you allow others to speak 50% of the time they will listen to what you have to say. So make efforts in such a way that all issues get resolved. One should compromise when working with others. Taking another’s advice doesn’t make one small or inferior by taking another’s advice. On the contrary, one’s greatness will spread and shine. So bear this in mind.”
Swamishri’s sound advice reflects the depth of his spirituality, experience and finesse in dealing with conflicts and issues of life. His practical advice is like a priceless prescription for all humanity.
Translated by: Sadhu Vivekjivandas