Sri Guru Granth Sahib mentions some humans as Manmukh, those who follow their own selfish way. The second classification is the Gurumukh, who follow their Guru’s path, with humility. The Manmukh is easy to anger and prone to envy, and harsh words are the natural output of such a troubled mind. On the contrary, courteous behaviour is a hallmark of the spiritually evolved, the Gurumukh. Apostles have placed an immense emphasis on the need for kind words. The true devotee speaks only that which soothes, because harshness only begets grief. Guru Granth Sahib mentions every heart as a precious jewel, and the abode of God. If we desire to experience communion with God, our behaviour must be gentle.
All hearts and minds are precious jewels;
If you desire communion with God, do not break anyone’s heart.
Rough language produces a hard and insipid persona, and such persons are not accepted in God’s presence. Severe will be the punishment.
O Nanak, speaking rough words, the body and mind become insipid.
The insipid person is discarded in the Court of the Lord, he is punished.
Saint Kabeer has deliberated on an important issue: what must the devotee be like, so that the Lord may be realised? After examining various options, he suggests an intuitive thought – to meet God, one must try to be just like him. Guru Granth Sahib personifies God as a sweet and forgiving friend.
My Dear Lord is my Friend, and He speaks so sweetly.
Even when I test Him with rough words, He never speaks harshly.
He forgives my faults and demerits.
It is the Lord’s natural way to purify sinners. The same principle holds in daily life – courtesy is a natural way to serve the people.