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Read more about Speech from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What Is Speech?

The organ of speech is an instrument of the physical mental or expressive externalising mind. [1]

Human speech at its highest merely attempts to recover by revelation and inspiration an absolute expression of Truth which already exists in the Infinite above our mental comprehension.

We know that vibration of sound has the power to create—and to destroy—forms. [2]

Spiritual Speech

Spiritual Speech: all-powerful in its simplicity. [3]

Speech in Relation to Silence

When speech itself is an expression out of the silence. [4]

All speech and action comes prepared out of the eternal Silence. [5]

Importance of Speech

The question of mental austerity immediately brings to mind long meditations leading to control of thought and culminating in inner silence. This aspect of yogic discipline is too well known to need dwelling upon. But there is another aspect of the subject which is usually given less attention, and that is control of speech. Apart from a very few exceptions, only absolute silence is set in opposition to loose talk. And yet it is a far greater and far more fruitful austerity to control one's speech than to abolish it altogether. [6]

Control of Speech

Yes, control of the speech is very necessary for the physical change. [7]Even those who have a strong inner life, take a long time before they can connect it with the outer speech and action. Outer speech belongs to the externalising mind—that is why it is so difficult to connect it with the inner life. [8]

Not to allow the impulse of speech to assert itself too much or say anything without reflection, but to speak always with a conscious control and only what is necessary and helpful.[9]

If you can succeed in controlling the speech often,—it needs a constant vigilance,—you will finally find that the control extends itself and can in the long run always intervene. [10]

Speech breaks out as the expression of the vital and its habits without caring to wait for the control of the mind; It is therefore this tendency that must cease in the vital itself. Not to be under the control of the impulse to speech. [11]

Role of Speech in Transformation

It would be better to get full control of the speech—it is an important step towards going inward and developing a true inner and Yogic consciousness. [12]

The complete truth of speech is very important for the sadhak and a great help for bringing Truth into the consciousness. It is at the same time difficult to bring the speech under control; for people are accustomed to speak what comes to them and not to supervise and control what they say. There is something mechanical about speech and to bring it to the level of the highest part of the consciousness is never easy. [13]

Cultivating Control of Speech

Correct speech that hurts none. Never speak uselessly and scrupulously avoid all malevolent speech. One has to admit only what the inner being consents to think or speak. [14] [15]

Many hours of silent concentration are needed to be able to speak usefully for a few minutes. Moreover, where inner life and spiritual effort are concerned, the use of speech should be subjected to a still more stringent rule and nothing should be said unless it is absolutely indispensable. [16]

One can talk, but with silence within and quietude in the speech. [17] Minimizing speech is sure to be helpful both for right action and for inner sadhana. [18]

In fact, one should always do this, when he feels that he is caught by an impulse of some kind or other, particularly impulses of anger. If one takes as an absolute discipline, instead of acting or speaking (because speech is an action), instead of acting under the impulse, if one withdraws and then does as I said, one sits down quietly, concentrates and then looks at his anger quietly, one writes it down, when one has finished writing, it is gone—in any case, most often. Be on your guard against wrath in speech. Control your words, and leaving behind wrong ways of speaking, practise good conduct in speech. [19]

Content curated by Arti Garg

Read more about Speech from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.