Communication – the divine weapon
Long ago, Mahakavi Kalidasa wrote in ‘Raghu Vamsa’, a great play: ‘Vaagartha Viva Sampruktau; Vaagartha Pratipattaye; Jagatah Pitarau Vande; Parvati Parameswarau’ ‘I salute Parvati and Parameswara, Parents of the Unvierse, To bless me with Expression and Meaning, For they are so united.’ Thus, Kalidasa knew that in communication, word and meaning should be closely blended. It is necessary to say or write what exactly we mean. Expression of feelings is the only differentiator, which separates human beings from other living beings. Communication is like divine weapon. If you misuse, it may become destructive weapon in the hands of a fool. There are people who enjoy felicitations with the power of their ‘speech’! There are people who invite wars due to lack of proper communication! You can take back the slip of your leg and can get healed, but you can not reverse the slip of a tongue!
Hanuman – the expert in communication!
The importance of the power of communication is illustrated in the Valmiki’s epic Ramayana. General public always feel that Human is just a person always chanting Ram bhajan. He is the expert in Vedas, expert in all sciences, a man of action, a noble minister, an efficient ambassador, an eminent leader and an obedient servant. What ever position he held, he always followed his dharma as an ideal idol to others.
How is this possible?
His expertise in communication enabled him to dawn various roles efficiently and effectively. The new age managers can learn many things and take tips from Hanuman, the expert in communication, as hailed by Lord Rama himself.
How to communicate?
Hanuman is expert in scientific communication, i.e. he always speaks the way it should be. How Hanuman speaks is analysed by Rama in Kishkindha Kaanda as told by Valmiki. When Hanuman meets Rama for the first time on the outskirts of Kishkindha as Sugreeva’s messenger, Rama was charmed by Hanuman’s communication style and art of speaking. He tells his brother Lakshmana: ‘see how excellently Hanuman has spoken. He did not utter a single word without relevance and significance. He has not wasted a single word. Nor did he omit an appropriate word. He has not taken more time than it was strictly necessary to express what he wanted to say. Every word that he spoke can never be forgotten. Such a voice promotes general welfare and remains forever in the hearts and minds of generations to come’. Isn’t it a brief statement of the fundamentals and essentials of how speech should be?
Again when Hanuman sees Sita in the Ashoka Grove in Lanka of Ravana, the Demon King, he exclaims, ‘to find Sita here is just like listening to a person who is lacking in word culture – who tries to say some thing but actually says something else!’ A mismatch between what one says and what one means.
According to Francis T.Bergin, A well-known expert in communication, the seven C’s are the essentials of communication. It should be ‘correct’, ‘clear’, ‘complete’, ‘concise’, ‘concrete’, ‘candid’ and ‘courteous’. Don’t these tally with the advice of Valmiki who wrote centuries ago in his timeless epic?
Hanuman on how to speak!
Clarity in content, No negative words should be used.
There should not be any mistakes in the sentences. No grammatical errors in the sentences
Body language must be perfect. There should not be any ill feelings expressed on face, eyes, forehead and eye brows. Proper Body language is the sign of effective communication.
One should not speak, which is not related to the subject
There should not be any ambiguity in communication
Clarity in communication must be always given top priority.
There should not be many pauses
Communication must appeal to heart and mind.
One must speak in middle octave
Words must be mesmerizing to the listeners. Even the hardest enemy must become silent with folded hands.
Anybody, who can practice like Hanuman can achieve success in any of his or her chosen field.
To quote one more instance from Ramayana, which illustrates the effective communication skills of Hanuman, let us follow this scene. Hanuman, having found Sita in the Asoka Garden of Ravana, returned to his fellow monkeys, who are waiting anxiously to know the news. On seeing their anxious faces, in the presence of Rama, Hanuman cried ‘Drushta Sita’ and this released not only the tension of Rama but of all the monkeys also.
‘Seen Sita!’ – what an apt communication in the given context! Had Hanuman started his communication about finding Sita with anything other than ‘Drushta’, say with a pronouncement such as Sita, it could have only aroused the monkeys’ as well as Rama’s anxieties to further heights, by raising innumerable questions such as – ‘Sita, what happened to her?’ ‘Is she alive?’ ‘Could Hanuman see her?’ etc., even before Hanuman could complete the rest of his statement. And here lies the greatness of Valmiki in making Hanuman pay attention to the state of mind of his fellow monkeys and Rama and convey exactly what they were anxiously waiting to hear.
How and how much to speak?
This is one of the dilemmas, which we all face, in day-to-day life. Moral values, rules and regulations will not go deep into heart, if one just say with lose words. To understand the importance of the message, one should illustrate it with a small story or an interesting anecdote. Hanuman demonstrated in Ramayana on many an occasion about how and how much to speak.
As an Emissary and Representative
How to speak while chatting with family? How to speak when you are discharging your professional duties? How to speak when you are in business? How to speak when you are solving a problem? How to speak when you are trying to build relations? How to speak when you are a middleman or representative?
Hanuman observed Sita while she was trying to commit suicide. He has to stop her from committing that grave mistake. He has to inform her about the arrival of Rama. First, he has to win her trust that he is the Emissary of Rama. To make his task successful, he thought carefully and uttered only one sentence ‘Dasaratha is the King of Ayodhya’. Then he started narrating the story sitting on the branches of the tree. Sita stopped her efforts of strangling herself to death after listening to the word ‘Dasaratha’ in Lanka, where Rama is only familiar with the demon population. She felt that her close aides have come to Lanka. Then, Hanuman appeared in front of Sita and explained all the happenings of happiness that Rama is coming to Lanka to release her from the clutches of Ravana to console and to give courage. He didn’t utter a single word about his adventures while crossing the sea.
Sita has to live till Rama reaches Lanka. What to do to achieve this objective? By just informing her about the arrival of Rama, He can stop Sita from sacrificing her life. There is no need to narrate his adventures on sea and boasting about his greatness. That’s why Hanuman always speaks what is necessary according to the situation.
How to communicate with friends?
Hanuman, after meeting Sita, burnt Lanka, cautioned Ravana and came backcrossing the sea to meet his anxiously awaiting monkey army on the other shore. He informed about Sita’s welfare and consoled them. After hearing this good news from Hanuman, they started asking him about his adventures on sea. How you could cross the hundreds of miles sea? How you could enter the incredibly guarded Lanka? How you could find Sita in that huge City Lanka? We wish to hear all about your victorious journey to Lanka? The monkey army has posed Hanuman with all enthusiasm and anxiety. Hanuman explained all his trials and turbulences during his journey to Lanka and enthralled them with his experiences on the sea. They are his friends and moreover eager to listen his adventures. He narrated his entire journey to Lanka like travelogue. He told them all about his adventures, but didn’t tell them the two words told by Sita to Rama. Those details are for Rama only. They should not be informed to his friends. Those words are for Rama. Friends are Friends and Boss is Boss. Personal messages are to be delivered to particular person only.
How to communicate with Boss and the King
After coming back to Kishkindha, the whole monkey army dancing with joy that they have seen Sita. Rama asked those to come forward who has seen Sita, till then Hanuman was standing back humbly. After due request from Rama, Hanuman explained the sad plight of Sita in Lanka. He told the two words to Rama as said by Sita. Hanuman handed over the ornament given by Sita to Rama. That’s all! He didn’t utter a single word about his adventures, trials and tribulations during the journey to Lanka.
Rama is the King. Hanuman is Servant. One has to obey his Boss and complete the task efficiently. That’s all!
One has to emulate the task-oriented behaviour, proactive nature and power of speech of Hanuman to succeed in any of their chosen field.
Ramayana and Mahabharata must be read not in the last phase of life (Old age), but in the first two phases. One has to read the epics during childhood and follow them during their youth to become pride for parents and proud sons of the soil.
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1. Ushasri, Hanumantudu, Publisher Unknown.
2. I.V.Chalapati Rao, Culture Capsules – Art of Living, Sri Yabaluri Raghavaiah Memorial Trust, Hyderabad (India), December, 2002
3. GRK Murty, Soft Skills for Success, ICFAI BOOKS, THE ICFAI UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2004