Tomorrow is Makar Sankranti. This is celebrated all over the country. In Maharashtra, it is celebrated by distributing tilgul ( a sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery) and halwa (also made from sesame seeds and sugar).
When the sweets are exchanged, everyone asks each other to talk in a pleasing manner. I think this message is very important and relevant more than ever in todays stressful, man-eat-man competitive world.
This reminds me of a sanskrit quartet that my father always told us and urged us to follow it to the letter. It goes something as follows
satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam-apriyam.
सत्यम् बृयात प्रियं बृयात मा बृयात सत्यम् अप्रियं
priyam cha nanrtam bruyat esha dharma sanatanah
प्रियं च नानृतं बृयात एषा धर्म सनातनः
One should speak the truth, which is pleasing, not the truth which is
unpleasing. One must not speak an untruth which is pleasing. This is
the eternal way of life.
If we follow these tenets, it will help us build great relationships. However, I have observed time and again that, even though the advice is quite sound, simple and straightforward, it is not very easy to follow. Let’s look at each of the tenets in turn.
speak the truth, which is pleasing. This would basically boil down to truly appreciating someone. I have seen that most of us are very miserly when it comes to that. Appreciation is a the food and water that would groom a relationship.
don’t speak the truth, which is unpleasing. This is the tenet that we almost always break when we are angry. In the rage, we blurt out the unpleasant truths about our loved ones that we never intended to speak damaging the relationship.
There are times, we must give a negative feedback to someone for that persons own improvement. However, that can be done in such a manner that the person gets the message, without demeaning the person.
don’t speak the untruth, which is pleasing. Don’t we pile false praise on someone for small gains. Sucking up to boss for a promotion, complimenting a customer for a non-existent virtue are all examples of this.
This may give us what we want in the short run, but we demean ourselves by doing this. Also, somehow, the phoniness of the behaviour is perceived by people and the trust in the relationships may go away.
So this makar sankranti, I recommit myself to follow this quartet.