Open main menu
Line 54: Line 54:
Earth is the substantial essence of all these creatures and the waters are the essence of earth; herbs of the field are the essence of the waters, man is the essence of the herbs. Speech is the essence of man, Rig-veda the essence of Speech, Sama the essence of Rik. Of Sama OM is the essence.
Earth is the substantial essence of all these creatures and the waters are the essence of earth; herbs of the field are the essence of the waters, man is the essence of the herbs. Speech is the essence of man, Rig-veda the essence of Speech, Sama the essence of Rik. Of Sama OM is the essence.
Speech is Rik, Breath is Sama; the Imperishable is OM of Udgitha. These are the divine lovers. Speech and Breath, Rik and Sama.
Speech is Rik, Breath is Sama; the Imperishable is OM of Udgitha. These are the divine lovers. Speech and Breath, Rik and Sama.
=Importance of Control of Speech=
=Importance of Control of Speech=

Revision as of 13:34, 27 July 2021

Read Summary of Perfection

What Is Speech?

Speech as an Instrument of Expression

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


It [truthfulness] means first truth-speaking, but beyond that to keep the speech in harmony with the deepest truth of which one is conscious. [2]


...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; [3]


I use "word" in a literary sense—it is what is called elsewhere the creative Word. It is the origin of all speech and all thought. [4]


Speech comes from the throat centre, but it is associated with whatever is the governing centre or level of the consciousness—wherever one thinks from. If one rises above the head, then thought takes place above the head and one can speak from there, that is to say, the direction of the speech is from there. [5]

Speech as Rhythm

The Word has its seed-sounds—suggesting the eternal syllable of the Veda, A U M, and the seed-sounds of the Tantriks—which carry in them the principles of things; it has its forms which stand behind the revelatory and inspired speech that comes to man's supreme faculties, and these compel the forms of things in the universe; it has its rhythms,—for it is no disordered vibration, but moves out into great cosmic measures,—and according to the rhythm is the law, arrangement, harmony, processes of the world it builds. Life itself is a rhythm of God. [6]


Let the wise man restrain speech in his mind and mind in Self, and knowledge in the Great-Self, and that again let him restrain in the Self that is at peace. [7]

Spiritual Speech

Spiritual Speech: all-powerful in its simplicity. [8]

Speech in Relation to Silence

...when speech itself is an expression out of the silence. [9]


All speech and action comes prepared out of the eternal Silence. [10]


To keep the tone of speech and the wording very quiet and calm and uninsistent.[11]

Speech as an Instrument of Expression Higher Knowledge

There is also a speech, a supramental word, in which the higher knowledge, vision or thought can clothe itself within us for expression. At first this may come down as a word, a message or an inspiration that descends to us from above or it may even seem a voice of the Self or of the Ishwara, vāṇī, ādeśa. Afterwards it loses that separate character and becomes the normal form of the thought when it expresses itself in the form of an inward speech. … The supramental word manifests inwardly with a light, a power, a rhythm of thought and a rhythm of inner sound that make it the natural and living body of the supramental thought and vision and it pours into the language, even though the same as that of mental speech, another than the limited intellectual, emotional or sensational significance. It is formed and heard in the intuitive mind or supermind and need not at first except in certain highly gifted souls come out easily into speech and writing, but that too can be freely done when the physical consciousness and its organs have been made ready, and this is a part of the needed fullness and power of the integral perfection. [12]

Speech in Vedas

Earth is the substantial essence of all these creatures and the waters are the essence of earth; herbs of the field are the essence of the waters, man is the essence of the herbs. Speech is the essence of man, Rig-veda the essence of Speech, Sama the essence of Rik. Of Sama OM is the essence. [13]


Speech is Rik, Breath is Sama; the Imperishable is OM of Udgitha. These are the divine lovers. Speech and Breath, Rik and Sama. [14]

Importance of Control of Speech

To control the eye is good; to control the ear is good; to control the nose and the tongue is good.

It is good to control one’s actions, words, mind. Control in all things is good. The Bhikkhu who controls himself entirely is delivered from all suffering.

The man who is master over his hands, his feet and his tongue, who controls himself wholly, who delights in meditation, who is calm and leads a solitary life, can be called a Bhikkhu. [15]

Calm in action, calm in speech, calm in mind, serene, emptied of all earthly appetites, this Bhikkhu is called "The Serene One". [16]

Yes, control of the speech is very necessary for the physical change. [17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

... speech and the five senses of knowledge are the instruments of the mind. Prana, the life-force in the nervous system, is indeed the one main instrument of our mental consciousness; for it is that by which the mind receives the contacts of the physical world through the organs of knowledge, sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, and reacts upon its object by speech and the other four organs of action; all these senses are dependent upon the nervous Life-force for their functioning. The Upanishad therefore begins by a query as to the final source or control of the activities of the Mind, Life-Force,Speech,Senses. [20]

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... [21]

Vibration in Speech

The habit of criticism—mostly ignorant criticism of others—mixed with all sorts of imaginations, inferences, exaggerations, false interpretations, even gross inventions is one of the universal illnesses of the Asram. It is a disease of the vital aided by the physical mind which makes itself an instrument of the pleasure taken in this barren and harmful pursuit of the vital. Control of the speech, refusal of this disease and the itch of the vital is very necessary if inner experience has to have any true effect of transformation in the outer life. [22]

As for helping [others], you can only be sure of that if you yourself have an assured basis, with the psychic being always prominent, full of faith and joy and strength,—then others can gather strength and faith and joy from such a one by speech or contact. But to arrive at that you must, as I have been telling you, open yourself to the Light and Force that come from myself and the Mother and to no other influence. [23]

"When a thought is expressed in speech, the vibration of the sound has a considerable power to bring the most material substance into contact with the thought, thus giving it a concrete and effective reality. That is why one must never speak ill of people or things or say things, which go against the progress of the divine realisation in the world. This is an absolute general rule. And yet it has one exception. You should not criticise anything unless at the same time you have the conscious power and active will to dissolve or transform the movements or things you criticise. For this conscious power and active will have the capacity of infusing Matter with the possibility to react and refuse the bad vibrations and ultimately to correct it so that it becomes impossible for it to go on expressing itself on the physical plane. [24]

Role of Speech in Transformation

The first condition of inner progress is to recognise whatever is or has been a wrong movement in any part of the nature,—wrong idea, wrong feeling, wrong speech, wrong action,—and by wrong is meant what departs from the Truth, from the higher consciousness and higher self, from the way of the Divine. Once recognised it is admitted,—not glossed over or defended,—and it is offered to the Divine for the Light and Grace to descend and substitute for it the right movement of the true consciousness. [25] 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. [26]

The speech must come from within and be controlled from within. [27]

...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. [28]

How to Use Speech Effectively?


...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. [29]

Process Of Cultivating Control In Speech

Correct speech that hurts none. Never speak uselessly and scrupulously avoid all malevolent speech. [30]

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. [31]

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. [32]

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. [33]

In social life, in addition to the words that concern material life and occupations, there will be those that express sensations, feelings and emotions. Here the habit of outer silence proves of valuable help. For when one is assailed by a wave of sensations or feelings, this habitual silence gives you time to reflect and, if necessary, to regain possession of yourself before projecting the sensation or feeling in words. How many quarrels can be avoided in this way; how many times one will be saved from one of those psychological catastrophes which are only too often the result of uncontrolled speech. [34]

This sense of the relativity of things is a powerful help in keeping one's balance and preserving a serene moderation in one's speech. I once heard an old occultist of some wisdom say, "Nothing is essentially bad; there are only things which are not in their place. Put each thing in its true place and you will have a harmonious world." [35]

In conclusion, I would say this: if you want your speech to express the truth and thus acquire the power of the Word, never think out beforehand what you want to say, do not decide what is a good or bad thing to say, do not calculate the effect of what you are going to say. Be silent in mind and remain unwavering in the true attitude of constant aspiration towards the All-Wisdom, the All-Knowledge, the All-Consciousness. Then, if your aspiration is sincere, if it is not a veil for your ambition to do well and to succeed, if it is pure, spontaneous and integral, you will then be able to speak very simply, to say the words that ought to be said, neither more nor less, and they will have a creative power. [36]

Helpful Practices

There are also certain stages in the sadhana when one has to go inward and silence is at that time very necessary while unnecessary speech becomes a dispersion of the energies or externalises the consciousness. It is especially this chat for chat's sake tendency that has to be overcome. [37]

...admitting only what the inner being consents to think or speak. [38]

One can talk, but with silence within and quietude in the speech. [39] minimise speech is sure to be helpful both for right action and for inner sadhana. [40]

Content curated by Arti Garg

Read Summary of Speech

Dear reader, if you notice any error in the paragraph numbers in the hyperlinks, please let us know by dropping an email at