In 2017 a
held in the divine presence in Singapore when a devotee seeks guidance on speaking only what is required and when it is required.
Here is what Swami said:
God has given you two ears, but only one tongue, for the very purpose of speaking less. The question is how you speak whenever you open your mouth.
In the scriptures, it says, “
Sathyam vada priyam vada” - speak the truth but speak it in a sweet way. “Na bruyat sathyam apriyam” – do not speak in a way that is not sweet. That means you must speak the truth in a sweet way, not speaking unpleasantly. Not speaking in an unpleasant way is very important. All this requires practice and contemplation.
Understand that there are two ways of saying the same thing. One way is to say it in an unpleasant way; the other way is to say it in a pleasant way. Even if the truth is bitter, but you say it in a pleasant way, it will be accepted by the people around you. Discriminate between the two.
There’s an old story about a king who had a baby and called for astrologers to predict his son’s future. The first astrologer walked in and said, “Your son will have a very short life.”
The king got very angry and said, “On this auspicious day, you are telling me terrible things!” He had his guards put him in jail.
He then called the next astrologer, who said, “Your son is not going to live very long.” Again, the King got very upset and told the guards to behead the second astrologer.
The third astrologer saw what happened to the previous two, but felt he must tell the truth. He thought to himself, ‘I can’t tell a lie as this is my profession, but I must tell it in a way that does not upset the King.’
So the third astrologer said, “Your son will bring great fortune to you! He has brought you long years of life. You will live even longer than him.” The king was very happy and rewarded him. It was the same truth, but it was said in a way that was pleasant to the king.
I am not saying you should speak untruth for the sake of pleasing others – that is a sin. You must speak the truth, but speak it in a way that is pleasant to others. That is where discrimination comes into the picture. Discriminate and think before you say anything.