A Lesson From a Slave

by Dr. Pran Rangan

In ancient times, there was a slave named Luqman in Saudi Arabia. His popularity as a wise man had spread far and wide.

Once, his Master called him and asked: "I have heard that you are very popular far and wide as a wise man. Today I want to test your wisdom. If you pass the test, I will give you freedom from my slavery. Go, cut open a dead goat and bring its best part to me."

Luqman did as ordered by the Master and brought to him the tongue of a dead goat. When asked why he had brought the tongue, he replied: "A lot depends on it. Its good use makes everything good."

The Master orders him to take it away and bring the worst part of the goat. After some time, Luqman brought the same tongue and placed before him.

When asked why he had brought the same tongue, he replied: "Its bad use makes everything bad. If one doesn't use the tongue to speak good, it will ruin everything.

"Master, we all have tongues since birth. But a few really know how to put it to good use. What to say, how to say and when to say something is an art, which very few know. Bad words, when spoken, can create innumerable problems in everyone's life. The tongue is a small powerful weapon, which is capable of causing grave damage to others. Of all the living beings, only the humans have been blessed with the power to speak. By putting it to good use, we can create a heaven in our life. Conversely, by putting it to wrong use, we can create a hell in our life. What we speak, how we speak and when we speak influences every aspect of our life."

The Master was immensely happy to hear all this from Luqman. He told him: "Today you have taught me a great lesson. I acknowledge you as a wise man and, therefore, I set you free from my slavery."

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