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The Buddha always uttered the serene words, and that was meant for the whole endless universe. Many incidents in his life teach the modern society the apt way of communication. Abhayarajakumara Sutta, found in Majjhima Nikaya, is one such discourse with a valuable communication lesson.
One of the Buddha’s contemporaries was Nigantha Nataputta, who claimed himself a popular teacher of non-violence. And certainly he had the support of a large crowd.
Nataputta’s non-violence was too extreme, to the extent that he swept the ground by a sheaf of peacock feathers before he walked on. This was to save the lives of innocent creatures such as ants from being trampled. He and his followers never consumed water without boiling it first, to make sure no microscopic creature is killed. Interestingly he did not brush his teeth and stayed naked all the time.
One day Nataputta had a visitor, Prince Abhayaraja, one of his disciples. Nigantha wanted to brief him about the way the prince should approach and verbally beat the Buddha gradually. Teacher’s keen interest nevertheless puzzled the student.
“How could I do that?” He asked.
Nataputta then disclosed what he had in his mind. Abhayaraja was to question the Buddha whether the latter uttered disagreeable and distasteful words.
“If the answer is yes,” Nataputta offered, “then you should ask the Buddha the difference between you and the run-of-the-mill. Well, if the answer is negative, then you should raise the issue of Devadattha. The Buddha’s words were distasteful for Devadatta because he said the monk would stay in Samsara till the end of this world cycle.”
Nataputta fancied that the Buddha would neither be able to swallow nor spit the words. Ironic is the way Nataputta had his thoughts, especially when he claimed himself a non-violent person. Nataputta could convince the prince, who ultimately agreed on visiting the Buddha for a debate.
Abhayaraja worshipped the Buddha and noticed that the sun was about to set. So he had the Buddha, along with three more monks, in for alms giving. Following the alms, Abhayaraja was ready for his mission.
“Blessed Sir, do you talk disagreeable and distasteful words to the people”.
Notice the Buddha’s response: “I could not say, directly. It depends on the situation.”
What was Abhayraja’s response right off the bat? “Nigantha is finished!”
The Buddha posed him a question as if he didn’t have inkling about anything: “Why do you say so?”
Then prince Abhayaraja related the whole story to the Buddha. That’s when the Buddha spotted the infant on the prince’s lap.
“Suppose your baby get something stuck in its throat. What will you be doing the first thing?”
“First I will try my best to fish it out. Failing, I will hold his head steady with my left hand and give it a try once more. And perhaps even pull it out even if his throat will bleed. All because of my love for my child, exclaimed Abhayaraja.” Abharaya replied in length.
That was enough for the Buddha.
“It’s just the same with my words, prince.”
1. If any word is false, useless or distasteful and disagreeable I will not utter it.
2. Should any word be true, but useless, or distasteful and disagreeable I will not utter it.
3. If any word is true and useful, but disagreeable and distasteful I will utter it.
4. If any word is false and useless but agreeable and tasteful, to others still, I will not utter it.
5. If any word is true, useful, agreeable and tasteful, I will say that word. All because of my mercy and loving kindness for beings.
Abhayaraja was convinced, better yet he had another question for the Blessed One.
“There are numerous kinds of people who come to you with various types of questions. These people may be wise, warriors, Brahmins, businessmen, householders.
Are you prepared in advance in your answers or do you answer according to the situation?”
The Buddha knew the answer fully well, and yet he shot the prince with another question.
“Prince, you have a good knowledge of vehicles, I suppose?”
“That’s true, Blessed Sir.”
“Well in that case, say someone approaches and questions you about vehicles. Will you be able to handle it properly?”
“Sure I can, Blessed Sir.”
“Is it simply because you have been prepared in advance or do you answer accordingly? “
“I don’t need preparation. I answer accordingly. “
“In the same way, prince I do answer accordingly. I do not need preparation in advance.”
The chain of events in the discourse is a good example for management of communication among individuals. Though the technology is far more advanced, communication tends to be confusing at times. The Buddha’s message is not to utter useless words.
Communication is the most developed subject of the world. The world now has many a communication equipment, thanks to man-made communication systems and networks. Similarly there are number of communicators. Messengers and receivers are always ready to catch up with very new stories. This is certainly a complex process.
The same complex process will generate wrong and disorganized messages, which is the root cause of a confused society. This is very much true when it comes to media world in particular. Disorganized messages confuse the receiver who in turn responds in the same confusing manner.
The wrong communication will at times sabotage the serenity and peace of a family too. Unpleasant words are not for the development of soul, after all. This causes the direct deterioration of modern society.
It’s about time we had taken the initiative to utilize communication to rehabilitate the society as a whole. Let’s roll our sleeves up on this Poson day itself!
Mayawati calls for capturing power in Delhi
Mayawati calls for capturing power in Delhi Lucknow, June 25 Delhi appears to be the next target of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati, who Friday called for capturing power in the national capital. Addressing a meeting of her party activists from Delhi and Uttarakhand at her official residence here, Mayawati said that millions of people from Uttar Pradesh have moved to Delhi in search of employment, but alleged they continue to receive step-motherly treatment at the hands of successive governments. “That is the reason we need to strengthen our party base in the national capital so that we can form a BSP government there and ensure that the Uttar Pradesh’s population gets its due,” she said. The BSP supremo also chalked out a strategy to broaden the BSP base in Delhi and urged her party men to follow her guidelines. She gave similar instructions to her party leaders from Uttarakhand where her party has minimal presence, largely on account of a very low SC/ST population in the hill state. On the other hand, there was much more scope for BSP to spread its wings in Delhi among the large SC/ST population and where Mayawati herself grew up. Mayawati calls for capturing power in Delhi
“The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to restore the district status to Chattrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar,” an official spokesman told reporters.
The new district includes three Sultanpur Assembly seats and two seats of Rae Bareli.
Back in 2003, the Congress wanted to name the new district Rajiv Gandhi Nagar after the late prime minister. But the BSP-led government wanted the district to be named after the SC/ST OBC icon from Maharashtra.