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Sacrifice and Forbearance

Now, why do we say that the tongue knows the true meaning of sacrifice and is absolutely selfless? Well, this is really what you experience every day. For example, when you give some sweet things to the tongue it tastes them, and as soon as it finds out that they are delightfully sweet, it says to itself, "O let me pass these lovely sweet things on to the stomach so that it can also enjoy this delight." But if what is tasted is not pleasant, if for example it is something that is bitter, then the tongue will not pass this on to the stomach but will immediately spit the offensive substance out of the mouth to save the stomach from grief. Good or bad, sweet or bitter, the tongue does not try to keep anything just for itself and only for its own enjoyment. It lives selflessly and with honor, knowing its own limits very well. For any number of years it is content to remain shut up inside the mouth. Does it come outside even once? No. Whatever work it does, it does uncomplainingly inside the mouth.

There is still another important feature of the tongue; it has extraordinary forbearance. Whatever are its difficulties and problems, and whatever troubles others give it, it remains focused within itself, never exceeding its own limits, and always observing forbearance. It lives in the midst of exceedingly harmful companions, namely, very sharp and powerful teeth. With a great deal of skill it manages not to be bitten or hurt by these aggressive fellow-residents that share its tight quarters. With unusual skill and forbearance it has been existing very well with such dreadful neighbors, without even once coming to any harm.

In this way, the tongue can teach a number of very important lessons which can be quite useful to you. For instance, it teaches you that you can live in the midst of people who are very difficult to live with. With a lot of care, forbearance and skill, you should be able to enjoy a happy life despite such trying circumstances. But in today's world there will be very few who follow such good examples. For most individuals, once they come in touch with bad people, they also tend to become bad. All the good feelings, the good qualities, the good thoughts and the good behavior disappear in a moment, and they lose all their merit and virtues. In order that you do not suffer such bad consequences, it is necessary that you gain complete control over your tongue.