Tales : Why Shout?

Early one morning, as light was growing in the east, a certain yogi and his chela went to the bathing ghats to perform their ablutions and say their prayers. It was calm and peaceful, but as they descended the steps to the water, the tranquility was broken by violent shouts. A family nearby had begun to argue about something. The yogi glanced at them for a moment, and then said to his student, “Why shout?”

The student looked closely at the family, and then said, “Guru-ji, it is because they disagree.”

The yogi smiled indulgently, and said again, “But why shout?”

The student studied the family more closely, and then began to explain to his guru what he had understood of the cause for the argument. “The reason for the argument seems to be this, guru-ji, that this one thinks–“

The guru shook his head, silencing him. ‘They are standing close together. But instead of talking quietly, they shout so loudly they can be heard on the other side of the river. What is the need for shouting?”

The student thought, and then shook his head. “Please tell me, guru-ji.”

“It is because, although their bodies are close together, their hearts are far apart. So they shout, thinking it will cover the distance between them. Lovers do not shout at each other – they whisper, or they share silence because their hearts are so close they do not need words. Therefore, my son,” he concluded, “if you find you are shouting at someone who stands before you, know that you have let your heart get far away from that person, and you should try to correct your error.”

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