A Hindu saint was visiting river Ganges to take a bath and found a group of family members on the riverbank, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples, smiled and asked:
‘Why do people shout at each other when they are angry?’
The disciples thought for a while, then one of them said, ‘Because when we lose our calm, we shout.’
‘But, why would you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner,’ asked the saint.
The disciples gave some other answers but none of them were satisfactory to the rest of the group. Finally the saint explained:
‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to cover that great distance.
What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small.’
The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they need not even whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all they need to do. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
He looked at his disciples and said:
‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant. Do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’