SCA 889-900. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Curitiba, Brazil on 24 December 1999.
Question: Is there any good quality in gossip?
Sri Chinmoy: We have to separate gossip from humour. We all enjoy humour. Even God enjoys humour. But sometimes it is hard to differentiate between humour and gossip. In God’s creation, everything has its own value. Darkness is there, but we should not enter into darkness. If we enter into darkness, we will be in serious trouble. Gossip can be taken in that way. By enjoying gossip we are in no way helping others, not to speak of helping the person about whom we are gossiping.
We have to be so careful at every moment. We have to act like a real miser. We have to protect our inner wealth — aspiration, dedication, love, devotion and surrender — the way a miser does not spend money lavishly. A miser feels that if he goes to a market and buys something, then his precious money-power will go away. Here also, when we enjoy gossip, we are getting momentary pleasure, and we think that we are not losing anything. But it is not true. We may feel that we are enjoying gossip at the expense of others. Someone else has done something bad and we are spreading the wild news. We feel that it will not affect us at all. But everything has a magnetic force. Not only good things, but bad things also have a magnetic force, like a contagious disease. The forces that made the other person do something wrong are like mosquitoes. Today they came and bit some people. Tomorrow, when they see that you are enjoying gossip about those people who were bitten, they will come and bite you. Then you will become a victim to gossip. After enjoying a few minutes of gossip-pleasure, you will mix with serious destruction.
Gossip is only helpful in a negative way. When people are enjoying it, they have to feel that they are lowering their consciousness. If something helps us in a positive way, we will go forward. But if anything stands in our way, we can also say it is a great help. We have an Indian cosmic god named Shani. He exists, but we do not want to approach him. To every other cosmic god we pray, “Please, come and bless me.” But to him we pray, “Please, do not be near me.” Why? Because his is the way of renunciation. Who wants renunciation? Will ordinary, unaspiring people renounce their earthly pleasures or attachments? Shani grants renunciation, but we misunderstand his boon. That is why most people pray to him, “Please, do not come near me.” All the gods we invoke to come and bless us, but not this one.
Shani is the planet Saturn. His day is Saturday, which we call Shanibar in Bengali. There is a traditional Indian theory that if you go somewhere on Saturday, then some calamity will happen at the place you have visited or when you come back. There are many villagers who will never do anything auspicious on Saturday. That is our Indian theory. How much truth is behind it, God alone knows. Personally, I do not agree with this theory.