The Privilege of Verbal War

In this week's Spot, Sadhguru writes about the need for verbal articulation to minimize violence around the world. "We try to establish systems in the world where we use violence verbally and never pull anybody’s hair. This is what we call a 'democratic process' – where it is a constant war of words. Don’t be offended by the words because if you take away the privilege of verbal war, it will translate into physical war."

We try to establish systems in the world where we use violence verbally and never pull anybody’s hair. This is what we call a “democratic process” – where it is a constant war of words. Don’t be offended by the words because if you take away the privilege of verbal war, it will translate into physical war. That is why it is very important that you train everyone to be capable of tongue-lashing. People should learn to effectively tongue-lash each other because when they do not have the capability to articulate their anger, dissatisfaction and frustration, they will use their hands. Until you bring humanity to such a space where everybody is Sadashiva, nothing inside, tongue-lashing is an art. It is not the best solution but it is an interim solution.

If the tools of violence that we have today are used without this tongue-lashing capability in the parliaments and in the debates in the United Nations – Oh! You would destroy the world many times over! That is not happening because modern societies have learnt to tongue-lash; we can say nasty things about each other in a civilized way. These days, if you do not even have the courage to say it in front of the other person, you can blog. Sitting in your home, you can say the nastiest things possible. It does not matter if it is true, whether somebody is going to read it or not, whether it makes sense or it does not make sense. Simply say something.

I am not saying you must abuse each other. I am saying at least if you speak, write, debate – you won’t explode a bomb!

I am not saying you must abuse each other. I am saying at least if you speak, write, debate – you won’t explode a bomb! You explode a bomb because you do not know how to make your point. The bombs that are exploding, at least now in India, are attempts at making a statement. “Boom! Sixteen people dead, 100 people injured – a statement has been made. After all, we killed only 16 – we could have set up a truck bomb instead of a car bomb or a bicycle bomb and killed 2,000.” This argument is there. We should at least educate them to be able to make a strong enough verbal statement so that they do not have to make a bicycle bomb. Whatever their statement is, let them blurt it out. You don’t have to kill 16 people.

Every society has to constantly strive to keep violence down to whatever extent possible. Keeping it at the minimum is the best we can do until a day comes, a possibility comes, where we can enlighten the whole world. I am not a pessimist, but I am not stupid enough to think it is going to happen in my lifetime. I am just thinking even if a few hundred people blossom – fantastic, because they will multiply it further. Our prospects are good, very good actually. Right now, Samyama is on, we are definitely manufacturing people who will be devoid of violence.

Love & Grace

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6 years 7 months ago

It is a way of releasing pressure that builds up when we feel unheard or misunderstood. I'm all for verbal expression as long as it does not degenerate into base abuse. Words after all are just an exhalation of air in a particular manner and if one tries to contain it, we know we will explode! Hope over time we can cultivate enough calmness and not be affected by the external events.

6 years 9 months ago


Discussions and debates are the intrinsic part of Indian culture since time immemorial.This is the reason why various schools of thoughts of sprituality co-existed.

4 years 8 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru how to deal with abusing through words,blackmailing, control freak, could you please please give as guidance as sunlight please I bow down

4 years 6 months ago

Pranams Sadhguru. India had always been argumentative society which was ably brought out by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen in his book " The argumentative Indian " . Verbal war including even tongue lashing is better than physical violence. Sadhguru your work would definitely bring down even verbal arguments as your tools are producing intrinsically happy human beings!

6 years 9 months ago

You are so right, Beloved Sadhguru - in my country Bulgaria nowadays few people have burnt themselves to death publicly because of their frustration not to be able to express or to be given the right to express their needs and pains.

6 years 9 months ago

I think you don't have to let her do the tongue lashing against any one especially elders. I think you are taking this out of context. One cannot apply the same logic in every context. This is how most scriptures and teachings are misinterpreted by, knowingly or unknowingly applying the same logic and twisting in to suit ones own needs and using it to justify ones wrong doing.

Here is what i like to teach my kids, I teach them to just "let go" and not to get frustrated at what others say. Ask them to take every thing graciously. As they say God gave us pair of ears to listen using one end and let go of such things from the other. Make them understand that others cant help it, as its their lack of maturity and problems which is making them do such things. These folks are not even mature enough as you are and also ask to show them your maturity by not displaying the anger by getting back at them. I would even go one step further by actually displaying this myself and setting up an example on how to behave when such situation happens to you, since Children and most of us learn by example.

6 years 9 months ago

Sages, since the ages, have been dreaming of enduring peace in the world through their transforming the human beings but bombers disrupt their plans. So now Sadguru sees some grace in tongue twisting that may check the bombers.

6 years 9 months ago

Thank you Nobel for your kind advice .

6 years 9 months ago

Pleasant... Very Pleasant indeed.
P.S: Feedback for the managing Team. I wish to Rate this Article +5 however, this is going into negative marking, can someone pls look into it?... Thank you

6 years 9 months ago

Namastae Sadhguru.
Until i read your article i was of the openion that its so wrong to lash words out at someone. Infact we know we have been brought up in most of our homes by being told that ,"words are sharper than swords". It gives an impression that we have to be guilty every time we have voiced our openion, especially if it creates a verbal war scenario.But now Sadhguru,you have made me see reason behind why i have been voicing my painful thoughts incessantly all these days.What is wrong in creating people who are quite capable of verbal war in a good and non-abusive environment, and yes,well evaluated non-abusive words that convey the core of our suffering is definetly not a pain for anyone to it?
With regard to children and abuse i'm sure you have something entirely different to say.Dont you? First of all its so wrong to abuse anyone and on top of it children?
Well,No.I dont think children should put up with it.But child abuse?what do you have to say about it.Does anyone know if Sadhguru has commented on it anywhere?

6 years 9 months ago

when u give the "go"signal,u know what's going to happen!!i'm ready to do some tongue lashing myself!!!just kidding.....

6 years 9 months ago

@Robert anna- I don't think "let go" works for everyone too. It depends on the level of consciousness a person is in (child or an adult). A person who is at higher level of consciousness will naturally let go of petty things (out of his/her own knowings). Sadhguru himself says that enlightenment (when "let go" will happen) for all is the best solution but since that is not possible right away, he is looking at interim solutions. With all due respect - I think the endeavor of all the parents should be to create the right kind of situations where a child can blossom rather than trying to teach any ideas. Because all these ideas of "let go" or in Mala akka's case - "respect all elders" which look very novel will become a burden in due course (just as it has probably happened in Mala akka's daughter's case) unless it is coming out an inner knowing.

@Mala akka - I am just a little worried your child might take the anger against your aunt on someone else and I bet you don't want that to happen. I honestly feel you should let your child vent whatever feelings she has right now rather than asking her to "hold back" or "let go" when both these things actually happen only a surface level. It initially might look bad but will surely settle down.

To both of you - This was not meant to offend. Very sorry if it did!

These are good videos and there are a lots of other places (books and more videos) where sadhguru has spoken about raising children.

6 years 9 months ago

SILENCE is not the way???

6 years 9 months ago

thank you so much vijayji for your opinion . This dilemma is such a difficult one you never know what is right for your child . With the blessings of sadguru may she do what is best for her .

6 years 9 months ago

sadhguru we would be happy if u go to sri lanka to solve the problem of tamil people.because i feel that u have the capability to turn a violence mind into peacefull one.

6 years 9 months ago

when i read this article, a part of me ended up laughing because of the personality i have which is really verbal, i find relief in being to express what i feel and think through words that i voice but of course, being an adult, i also have to make sure of choosing the right words and thinking before i open my mouth but still i am happy to have read this post because it has made me understand more how important communicating really is.

6 years 9 months ago

Sadhguru, as many yogis as you create there is always a fringe group which creates hate blog even against you and Isha. So there is no surprise that there is so much hate in public as well.

6 years 8 months ago

I am taking your comments in a right sense and this is what i think.

Just imagine even if you are not enlightened, just a bit of common sense would suffice to understand that abusing others is not right under any circumstance. Its not even good for the one who is doing it.In addition to that doing it once or twice would, eventually turn into a habit and you end up becoming a habitual abuser. I think better not do it in the first place. Just think what Sadhguru or Gandhi might have done when they were young. I am sure they must have faced such circumstances and did go abusing everyone.And they weren't enlightened then. I think we just need to use our common sense in day to day life. We dont need to teach them a nice philosophy but we can definitely teach them grow up as a good human being. Equip them with basic tools and mold them when they are young and let them free when they grow up. At least we should take that responsibility.

6 years 9 months ago

I don't know how this will work in family situations , my 13 year old daughter has been facing constant tortures from her aunt for the last 3 years , but because I have right from her childhood taught her not to answer back and to respect elders she has not been able to do much about it .
But unfortunately she is frustrated , angry ,and very restless on the inside there is a volcano hiding in here which may burst any time . I also worry about the effect it might cause on her health .from what sadguru says here would it be right for her to do some tongue lashing .