Questioner: When does one attain efficacy and power of speech (vachanbud)?
Dadashri: The power of speech arises when one does not use a single word to make fun of others, does not use it for his own selfish gain, does not misuse his speech, and does not use it to increase his prestige.
Questioner: I can understand the reason for not using speech for personal gain and validation of prestige, but why is it wrong when it is used to poke fun at others?
Dadashri: It is very wrong to make fun of others. It is better to praise people instead. If you call a man a donkey, realize that you are insulting the Lord within him. Afterall, the Lord resides within him.
I used to have a habit of making fun of people. Although it was lighthearted and innocuous, would it still not affect them mentally? People with higher intellect misuse it by making fun of those with lesser intellect. I stopped doing this the moment I came to realize how serious it was. Making fun of people is very wrong and carries grave consequences. You should never make fun of anyone.
Despite this, there is nothing wrong in making the kind of fun that does not offend anyone and delights everyone. This would be regarded as harmless and innocent fun. I still joke around in this manner because the habit is still there, however it is always innocuous.
When I make fun of someone, it is harmless and innocuous and it is done to remove his weaknesses and make him stronger.
Although there is some fun and enjoyment involved, he also makes progress at the same time. This kind of joking does not hurt anyone and even the other person realizes that I am simply laughing with him and not at him.
Even then when I joke about someone, I have to do pratikraman. I cannot afford to be lax about that.
Book Name: Science of Speech (Page #66, Paragraph #2)
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