Gossip means needless discussion. The effects of gossips are grave, especially when the discussion is regarding people.

Gnani explains...
It is meaningless to talk about someone else. Moreover, one shouldn’t talk about another person in his / her absence. And if you have to, then say something positive about the other person.

“Really?! what happened then? What did s/he do?” Trying to know who did what is all gossip, trying to narrate useless stories about someone’s personal life is all gossip.

The cause of gossip is simple – one is intrigued to know something... one does not understand the dire consequences of it; and therefore indulges in and enjoys talking about meaningless things for hours together. The effects of gossips are far too many and are far too damaging as well.

And even after knowing everything, one is not at peace; the moment one hears something, s/he can’t wait to tell that to another person, “Are you aware what happened? S/he did this. How can s/he do such a thing? It is very wrong, isn’t it?...” One then keeps repeating this to everyone. And in the process, one generally tends to blurt negative things of a person, while the positive aspects remain concealed.

Moreover, suppose fifteen people are made to stand in a row. Now, you say in someone’s ear, “Religious discourse has been arranged on this Sunday” and ask him to convey the same to the next person in the row. Finally, ask the fifteenth person to relay the message he received. You will get to hear something like this, “There was an earthquake in America.” You said one thing and it turned into something totally different. This is what happens in gossip. So what’s the point?

One person says something and when these words reach out to five hundred people in terms of gossip, the talk turns into a prattle. This leads to so many confusions and puzzles and gives rise to so many misunderstandings. So many get hurt and it creates a great loss to many in terms of people’s self-respect and self-esteem, break-off of valuable relationships, misunderstandings between people, bad opinions and false impressions about good people, and also the amount of precious time everyone has wasted in such idle-talks.

Hence, it is important to remain very alert in this matter of futile gossips or spreading wrong rumours about people, especially when in the gossip or rumour, negative things are being talked about people. It is almost impossible to take back what has been said once the rumour has spread, or undo the damage once one’s image has been hurt. Therefore, it is best not to gossip or indulge in personal matters concerning others. Just imagine how distressed that person would get, when the negative words spoken by us reach him / her? And if we were in the place of the other person, how would we feel? The law of karma is such that what we give is what we get. So, we should always beware!

If we cannot prevent the gossip, the least we can do is, whenever someone comes up with a negative point in the discussion, we must immediately turn it into positive. We should present so much of positive that the negative of the person is unable to last long before us. Not only should the other person’s negative talk influence us, but the negative should completely vanish from the mind of that person who initiated it – this is what the Gnani teaches!

We all know about Socrates, the renowned philosopher from ancient Greece. He was well-known for his power of understanding and deep thinking. One day, a student of Socrates came to him, and in an excited tone said, “Do you know what I have just heard about one of your students?”

Before he could say anything further, Socrates said, “Wait! Before you tell me anything about the student, know that it should pass through the ‘triple filter test.’ If it passes the triple filter test, you may freely tell me what the matter is.”
The student exclaimed, “The triple filter test? What’s that?”

Socrates explained, “The first filter test is ‘truth’. Are you absolutely sure that what you are about to say is actually true. Have you tested its authenticity from your end?

The student said, “No! I just overheard what other students were saying.”
Socrates continued, “Now, let’s come to the second filter test. Is what you want to tell me regarding my student, something ‘good’?”

The student promptly replied, “No, no, it is otherwise. It is something bad about him.”
Socrates remarked, “Oh! So, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not even sure whether it’s true or not. Anyways, the third filter test is that whatever you are going to tell me is indeed ‘useful’ to me.”

The student was greatly embarrassed. With his head down, he whispered in a soft voice, “No Sir, in fact there is nothing useful about what I wanted to tell you.”
Socrates, very lovingly, placing his hand on the student’s shoulder, says, “What is the point of narrating anything that is not true, not good and not useful?”
The student realized his mistake and immediately left the place without uttering a single word.

This story makes us realize the damage we do to others through our negative gossips about people, in their absence. Now, after this realization, let’s resolve that rather than wasting time in such futile gossips, we shall make an effort to spare about an hour’s time every day, and seek forgiveness from God for every such instance where we’ve indulged in futile gossip or deliberate back-biting of some or the other person. We shall try to recall who all we hurt by such bad habit of ours and pray to God, “Dear God! I am extremely sorry for having made this mistake. I spoke ill of such and such person. Please forgive me and grant me enormous strength so that I do not do this mistake ever again.” Gradually, this will help us get over our bad habit of gossip in course of time.

And now if someone comes to us with hot gossip, we can say, “Sorry, I am not interested in gossips anymore.” We want to protect our new resolve now, and not the bad habit of gossiping anymore, isn’t it?!

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Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.