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Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature. - Bhagavad Gita 17.15
Is my speech truthful, beneficial, and pleasing? Am I the right person to say it? Is it the right time? I listened to these questions at the ISKCON Vedic Center near Portland, Oregon, on a recent sunny Sunday morning.
Using the Bhagavad Gita verse as a guide for discussion, we explored speech and the power of our words. We often hear in the yogic context how powerful an intention can be. Our intentions guide our thoughts, words and actions. Our words - or speech - is a very potent part of intention. Our words have the power of bringing about peace in our homes, relationships, communities and even countries. But our words can also incite havoc on our environments - be it hurting our loved ones, wrecking a situation at work or even serving as a catalyst for physical violence and destruction.