To Speak or Not

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

adiyen heard the following in an upanyasam:
Taittriya Upanishad give us the following advice on our behaviour in the presence of great persons.

ye ke chAsmachChreyAGMsobrAhmaNA: |
teshAm tvayAsanena prachvasitavyam |

This has been interpreted in two different ways by two commentators.

One broke the second line as
teshAm tvayAsane na prachvasitavyam |
and said that, in the presence of great persona, do not open your mouth and utter even one word.

The other used the second line as
teshAm tvayAsanena prachvasitavyam |
and said that, because of their presence, you may open your mouth and speak freely.

This got adiyEn into thinking.

So, which one is right?

They are opposing interpretations.

Is one right or the other right?

Or … are they both right?

But how can both be right when they mean the exact opposite of each other.

What adiyEn thought of was:

They both apply, but under different circumstances.

When great persons are present and they have not told you to speak, do not say anything. Keep your mouth shut and just listen to them.

However, if they determine that you should say something, do speak. Their very presence is the encouragement for you to say something and their grace would make sure you say the right things.

That is, be a paratantra to them. Be used however they choose to use you.

So, it is not a contradictory diction from the Vedas. The application depends on the circumstance.

adiyEn madhurakavi dAsan 

Azhvar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Sharanam

Oct 17, 2010