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Tongue Amidst Teeth

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Feb 18, 2024.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hanumaanji crossed the ocean and reached Lanka. He was exploring the beautiful buildings and was passing through a Street, where he could find outside a house tulsi plants. He was attracted. He stopped a while there. Then gentle sounds of Raama Naama could be heard from inside the house.

    The sky was still starlit and the time was a couple of hours before dawn. The man offered water to the tulasi plants while performing a circumambulation; signs that were unfailingly indicative of an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Unable to contain his joy and curiosity, Hanuman waited till he finished and in one hop stood before him with his hands folded.
    He wondered how could it be in a place like Lanka City. He peeped in. He could find an Asura there who was chanting the Raama Naama. He went in and bowed before the Asura.

    He enquired of the Asura as to who he was and why he was chanting the name of the Lord in the City ruled by Ravana.

    The Asura said that he was Vibhishana and younger brother of Ravana. By a stroke of some fate, he was born in the Asura kula but by some stroke of his previous good life, he was attracted to the Lord Vishnu.
    Vaalmiki has recited in what is known as Ramodantam

    All the three brothers Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana did arduous penance and sought different boons.

    Ravana thought that man is very weak and would not be able to do any harm to him and therefore sought the boon that he should not be killed by any one other than man.

    In his quest for "Nir devatva" i.e. elimination of devas, Kumbhakarna mispronounced the Nirdevatva as "nidratva" and instantly got it.

    But only Vibhishana sought Vishnu Bhakti.
    विभीषणो विष्णुभक्तिं वव्रे सत्त्वगुणान्वितः ।
    Ravana and Kumbhakarna were born in the night. Vibhishana was born at dawn and therefore wisdom dawned on him.

    Hanuman wondered at this phenomenon of Vibhishana.

    Hanumaan therefore further enquired from Vibhishana as to how he has been living safely in the wrong and hazardous environment.
    Vibhishana smiled and said, “Just as a tongue lives in the mouth.”

    With thirty-two teeth biting and grinding around it, not only does the tongue remain untouched, it enjoys all the taste. The very food that sits and rolls on the tongue is chewed to a pulp by the teeth and yet, this snaky little thing escapes unscathed. And the only time it gets hurt is when we have a lapse in mindfulness, when we are trying to utter dental consonants while eating.

    Wonder why? Purely from a philosophical perspective, the chief difference between the two is flexibility. The tongue’s flexibility is the key to its longevity. It is why it gets the taste while the teeth get, well, you know, root canals and cavities. Even at the dentist’s, the tongue gets a nice little vacuum while the hardworking teeth have to put up with drills, screws, syringes, and whatnot.

    Besides, as we age, our teeth discolor and we lose them no matter how much we care for them? You rinse, mouthwash, floss, water-floss, brush, every day, twice a day, without fail, and yet, these are the ones to go first. Even a child has to lose her milk teeth before she grows another set. But, no one loses their tongue until they die. No threat of shedding your tongue, no visits to any specialist or oral plumber.It doesn’t even wrinkle.

    A lot can be learned from this humble body part. There are numerous things in our lives that we don’t control, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. We can’t change the nature of those around us. Some will grind and bite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself or that you stop enjoying the taste of life. All it takes is to be flexible.It’s not that easy but, perhaps, we should look upon flexibility and adaptability as skills and not traits.

    We teach our kids to be strong, we tell each other to be strong, but how about teaching them to be flexible. Sometimes just standing firm is not strength but merely a show of strength. Many times, the real strength is in being flexible. Everything will hurt less, bother less, and matter less if we loosen up a bit, just a tad bit is enough to trigger an avalanche of peace and joy. You don’t need a lot of salt in your meal, just a few grains. The more flexible you are, the easier you’ll find it to be happy.

    Not to mention that most of our waking life is spent communicating with others. And what body part do we use in all verbal communication? Not the brain, right? Speak sweetly, respectfully, and more sweetly, and before long, you will have their votes. Humor aside, our tongue remains the single most important medium of communication. The world around you cares about truth, but it cares a lot more about how you tell that truth. Mastery of the tongue can make even the most distressing news palatable.Having lived in a joint family of25,we had the fortune of acquiring this trait early in life.

    If you want lasting peace and joy, learn from your tongue and live like it. Befriend it, tame it.

    Reflect on it and you’ll discover that your tongue-in-teeth has a great bearing on the quality of your relationships. It directly impacts how people around you perceive you, and its wisdom shows how you could go about living in this world in the most joyous manner. .. There is no point in showing our grinding teeth in anger or in showing the outwardly pleasing teeth!


    JAYASALA42
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    What a great lesson about flexibility to live in a hostile settings by Vibhishana! Tongue and Teeth are great examples for strength and flexibility. Even in a battle field, it is not necessarily the one that has a strength wins but the one who has a greater strategy and flexibility in execution of the war.

    Even Sri Rama knowing fully well of the power of Ravana to fight, he sent him home and asked him to come back with his weapons when he lost all his weapons in the war. Sri Rama didn't use that opportunity to kill Ravana but had flexibility to let him go and come back so that the war can be won righteously. He had the flexibility to delay it by a day despite knowing that everyday his beloved Sita was suffering in captivity.

    I remember the days when I worked for a software company negotiating long-term software maintenance contracts with Fortune 500 companies in 1990s. Those days, most companies felt sending their codes to India will be equaivalent of compromising business sensitive data. Those who trusted non-disclosure agreements and the ability of Indian software firms to keep the confidentiality sent their maintenance work to India saving millions of dollars. In other words, they showed their flexibility to do the maintenance work overseas. It not only saved ton of money for them but also helped them to do work in the night (due to time difference) so that most critical maintenance are resolved overnight. Now, almost every company rely on Indian software companies for maintaining their applications.

    Even in Mahabharata war, when the Kaurava's battalion is full of great warriors such as Bhisma, Drona, and Karna, Lord Krishna showed his war strategy and flexibility to win the battle against such a strong Kaurava's battalion.
     
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  3. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Very interesting subject. Hanuman was not in the know that Ravana had three brothers and Lord Brahma, pleased by their Tapasya different blessings. Vibhishana worshipped the Lord and thus had his protection.
    This post me revisit my old blog which is posted separately.
     
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  4. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes it's difficult for me to explain my children how to be flexible in certain situations. Thank you ma'am for sharing such a very nice and worthful message and now I can use above story and message to describe them.
     
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  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Ok i agree tongue is supreme over teeth. Among old many lost many of their teeth and could not bite enough ( the food not persons or spouse) .
    Imagine the world of people with no teeth. Tongue in comparison with teeth in certain aspects seems not good.
    This speaks seriously about thriving amidst adverse surroundings and the one survives in such an environment is treated Supreme.

    A dentist was looking into the inner arch of a dental patient sitting in an ergonomically designed chair. His head accessory reflected powerful white light into patient’s mouth inner upper arch.
    When this inspection is on, patient asked about fees for certain course of treatment. The dentist Responded, “ ₹5000 per sitting”.
    But the patient having heard the amount repeatedly told thrice, in anguish reacted “Doc there is NO need for you to repeat the amount three times”.
    Doc holding his denture set in hand answered,
    “dear Sir that is echo you heard from your toothless mouth.
    Now you see the power of missing teeth. A mouth devoid of teeth speaking English would be heard only as Greek and or Latin.

    It may appear all i said here are an expression “tongue in cheek” or slip of the
    tongue . Strangely, In life one has seen in many mishaps lives
    are saved by skin of their teeth.
    Tail burning Hanuman survived because he could stretch it long so that tongues of fire could leap into pinnacle of sri Lanka but do humans possess this protective tail? The power, prowess & strength seem to lie in tails of quadruped.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2024
  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sir,Thank you for the nice response.I too agree.Teeth have their own

    importance.However much we may like toothless smiles of babies and the

    the toothless smile of Mahathma Gandhi,we want to be noticed by others

    for our beautiful smiles,even if it is with artificial dentures.Many are prepared to spend

    around Rs 50,000 just for being noticed.Some years back I wrote a snippet on Sweet smile

    to the forum.Here it is.


    SWEET SMILE
    -------------------


    Yesterday we attended Upanayanam Function.We were given tambulam , a blouse piece and a murukku and laddu.The murukku with its fragrant coconut oil smell prompted me to taste. Notwithstanding my artificial denture, I tried my level best and ended with unsuccessful attempt. Only the sweet smell remained.
    This prompted me to share my experience in getting a 'Sweet smile'.

    William Shakespeare refers to old age as seventh age “Sans teeth,sans taste, sans every thing”.

    The above saying didn’t bother me until I was 60 until I got involved in a road accident and lost most of my teeth.I,who used to be very proud of my beautiful rows of teeth , turned into an awkward creature with sunken cheeks, unsupported lips,collapsed jawline which made the chin and nose appear very close.

    I used to like babies with adorable expression with a toothless smile with a tiny hand reaching out to me. I had even commented that the toothless smile of Mahatma Gandhi was much more better than any of the much hyped branded star smiles and it seemed to have our gloom lifted. But now the same Gandhi looked impractical to me.

    I was very much concerned over facial ageing and shrinking of jaw bones and I decided to go in for artificial dentures.The young dentist encouraged me saying”Auntie, you will look fifteen years younger and some young man may even fall for you.”

    While the upper denture faithfully got fixed up in position , the lower denture gave much trouble .However I was amazed to see my face with beautiful starry smile.But the problem started soon on opening my mouth for a cup of water or food.The lower denture fell off like an active baby jumping out of the cradle.

    Just as learning to swim, ski,or ride a bicycle ,learning to use dentures is a traumatic experience.The eldest sibling in the family, namely the pinky tongue, was already a proud fellow having settled in a permanent home. He was not inclined to allow two more siblings( the two dentures) to intrude in his freedom.The dentist advised me to practise reciting slokas with complicated Sanskrit verses like Lalitha Sahasra namam , Soundarya lahari, Shivanada Lahari with complicated mixed Aksharas and pronunciations daily for half an hour or one hour.

    I could not understand the connection between the slokas and my denture. Within a week I understood the significance that it is a therapy to control the big brother, namely the tongue.

    Surprisingly enough ,whether God was pleased with my slokas or persuaded the tongue, I don’t know,within a month the tongue willingly recognized and accommodated the two dentures . Tongue is after all a structure made of muscles. Once it got used to the tricky pronunciation involving the tongue and denture, it realised that the dentures are not aliens and they would permanently occupy his abode,the mouth , as permanent residents.

    I wonder why human beings with solid brain and mind don't understand this logic of adaptability which a muscular structure is capable of.

    The naughty lower denture continued to cause troubles. He will find opportune moment to toss me up. Especially during marriage dinners when I am sitting in the middle of a compact row ,my little Lilliputian keeping an invisible bit of mustard or nut in the shallow groove, will not allow me to take even a morsel of food,unless I take out the denture, clean it up, and replace it causing a lot of embarrassment to me.
    Many will remark" Artificial pal thaanaa?Ennadaa iththani vayasukku ivvalavu azhagaa irukkenu paarththen"( Is it artificial? I already suspected how teeth can be such beautiful at this age?)

    As a healthy habit when I try to take water holding the tumbler at a distance, the little darling will be waiting for the opportunity to jump out and fall into the tumbler making a metallic or acrylic sound .He is just like a hyper active five month old baby who is constantly in motion, easily susceptible to the slightest trigger.

    His affection towards me is indescribable .Whenever I cough or sneeze, laugh or weep he will immediately come to my rescue falling on my lap cajoling me and will agree to occupy his place only after I resume normalcy.

    Both the children are hydromaniacs. They want to play in the swimming pool at least for eight hours during night. Even during our vacation trip their specially designed swimming pool ( A fancy plastic cup with water)is the first luggage I pack. Not withstanding the troubles and nuisance they create I love the little darlings for that sweet smile that they have blessed me with and for the respect I earn in the society.

    I am not a Mahatma to be content with a‘toothless smile’.I am a normal human being trying to attract others with my sparkling (artificial) smile.I am prepared to bid permanent goodbye to fibrous food, hard chappathis and rice rolls( murukku),but not to my dear pinky white darlings.

    I overheard them whispering to each other while playing in the swimming pool”look brother,these human beings are sadists.They simply enjoy while we are tortured in the pinky prison.Our imprisonment has blessed them with an elegant envious smile.While we suffer in their salivary ditch,they indulge in rejoicing.”

    I have learnt to ignore and walk off to receive my guests with a sweet smile .

    Jayasala 42
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear JS Ma'm @jayasala42 ,

    I am tongue-tied after reading this snippet. So let me allow my fingers to do the talking! What a fascinating write-up. I have been doing nothing but thinking about this. I am completely bowled over by the analogy! We are all indeed like tongue between the teeth in many a situation in life. But to get the best of what life has to offer, we need to be aware, present, cautious, and not. Yesterday I left my students for the day with this quote asking them to think about it :) Just popped into say thank you for this ma'm!
     
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  8. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank youvery much Madam.
    Jayasala42
     
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  9. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Mouth watering and rarely i get to eat this one nowadays. Grandsweets hand muruku was too oily and once i returned because of rancid smell. My friend i.e. my sambandhi has no difficulty in eating crisp muruku held between dentures.
    oh you reminded me my BSc First year English

    humorous

    I loved this expression. It is humour through pain.
    wow

    my friend suffered with denture went into and remained across for a while. Another man at wedding meal seen midway taking out as it hindered his eating boli.

    some oldies never open mouth but through out cast smile.

    super
     

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