Brief and Plain Speech

Brief and Plain Speech

Wise men and women of all cultures spoke the truth in few plain words.

Muhammad talked of loving all humans and animals. Also of being just to all. One must pay the laborer before the sweat is dry on his back, he said. Be humble. Pray five times every day. Give alms to the poor. Care for the old, needy, especially women and children.

Jesus advised that we love all as our Father loves us. When put on the cross he said: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Love thy neighbor as thyself, he said. Turn the other cheek. Do not judge others. Ask only for your daily bread.

Gandhi worked for Sarvodaya (uplift of all). He advised Satyagraha (insistence on truth and justice). He said all religions have the same core message. Be humble and nonviolent.

Krishna forbade sending milk and butter for sale in the city for the village children have the first claim on it. If you must worship a mountain, choose your own Govardhan for you see that it provides feed for your animals, fruits for you and much else. Himalaya is higher, but who has even seen it?

Kabir said reading books will not make you learned; learning to LOVE will. Worship of stone idols is waste of time if you cannot love fellow humans and see God in the weakest of us all.

But we proud, erudite men and women ignore their simple words and try to read books written on them by their scholarly followers. Books are difficult to understand for they speak with many tongues. We lose pure, hard grain and gather bundles of chaff. We then quarrel over whose bundle is bigger.

Listen to this word of our unschooled saint Bulleh Shah: wisdom is neither with the learned nor in the books, only Allah is its source.

September 29, 2007