Monday, 27 February 2017

Verbosity’s Frivolity

' Coin always makes sound. But the currency notes are always silent.' This has been my favourite quotation ever since I heard it when I was a primary student. I experienced its practical manifestation a number of times. A few days back, a gentleman gave me his visting card. It'd its whole space usurped by his numerous obscure degrees. I'd a cursory look at it and pocketed to forget as soon as possible. That gentleman had done nothing worthwhile in his life except for accumulating some useless degrees. 'Avhajjham parna krit shabdim, haritam sinnojham' (the dry leaves make crackling sound, but the juicy green leaves are soundless). myxer

This saying in Prakrit articulates that substance makes no claims. Sun doesn't have to proclaim that it's a 'huge fireball' but the sand always gets heated up in no time. Ocean's always placid but river's often noisy and boisterous. When Mahavir was alive, there was yet another contender to greatness, who was almost on a par with Mahavir in knowledge and he in fact knew more about  scriptures. Yet, that man Makhhili Goshal remains a footnote to Mahavir because of his verbosity. When Laotse was surreptitiously leaving the country at night, the king sent his guards to stop the great man from leaving his kingdom. " I'll let you go, provided you write a book of wisdom. The posterity must learn from your boundless wisdom,'' the king implored the wisest man. Laotse wrote a 20-page book, that's considered to be the cornerstone of south eastern philosophical order.

He could have written a voluminous book, but he chose to write just 20 pages. Profundity doesn't lie in being profuse in quantity. A truly wise person's always taciturn. He weighs his words and speaks when it's indeed required. Thervad Buddhism's 'tripitak'  states that after enlightenment, Buddha spoke very little. Out of 89 names of Buddha, there're two beautiful names to indicate his persona: Smithasya (a person with a beatific smile) andmitshabdam ( man of a few words). It's said that Buddha conveyed his words more through his smile and silence than speech. Those who're wise, never advertise. Only those, who're  frivolous, resort to tom-tomming.

Why do politicians talk so much? Because they lack substance. ' Mere apne alfaaz badhate hain aawaaz' (My own words add to the existing noise). Allama Iqbal's immortal words succinctly put the things in perspective. We live in a world of words. We require silence of thoughts. Verbosity's frivolity.        
                                          ----Sumit Paul


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