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April 16, 2017 / subramanyam

The Five “Va’s”

Came across this fantastic Sanskrit Shloka recently. This Shloka gives us 5 important things that can make or break us when we speak to others.  They are in the order in which they are perceived.

వస్త్రేణ వపుషా వాచా విద్యయా వినయేనచ
వకార పంచభిర్విప్రో పూజితో నాత్ర సంశయః ||

Vastrena vapushaa vachaa vidyayaa vinayenacha

vakara panchabhirviprO pUjitO naatra samsayah  ||

Let us look at each of them in good detail now.

The first one is “Vastra” , Wearing a good dress is really important.  It is the first thing that the audience would observe, you dress needs to be clean, if possible well ironed and something that is in sync with the message you wish to deliver.  Again a distracting dress can be a liability.  Hence use this tool judiciously.  Don’t have an extravagant and appealing or an appalling dress.  Have a simple and decent one.  Remember that the dress is the first pull for the audience and a neat and distraction free dress can establish that basic connect for you.

The second one is “Vapusha”. Vapusha actually means appearance.  In this specific context I would like to call it as the way you use the dais.  Standing at one corner and delivering a speech might not be the best way to deliver a speech.  You ought to move across the stage.  As you own and walk across the dais, display elegance, your body needs to convey to the audience that you actually are enjoying experience and this makes them more receptive to you.

Then “Vacha”  or the voice.  The voice/tone of the speaker must be sweet and it should be something that the audience like and identify themselves with.  I am not saying that it must be a sing song voice or so.  All I am trying to say is that harshness in the voice might switch people off.  Should one speak harshly and in a domineering way we would obviously lose interest wouldn’t we?  A shrill voice, a fast paced speech and a queer pitch too kill a speech and would turn the audience off.  Hence maintaining a good tone, pace and pitch for the speech are extremely important.

The fourth and a very important one is “Vidya”.  Don’t take vidya as education in this case.  Take it to be knowledge.  Once the audience  realize that you are looking good and enjoying your stage time they would definitely look for the content you speak.   How well you speak depends on how learned you are, hence reading well an recollecting that content well are of primordial importance in your speech.  One needs to read well,  one needs to read fiction, non fiction and classics when one has time.  All this would help one handle any topic very easily.  Read more and read wide.

The last and most important one on the list dear friends is “Vinaya”.  As we all know Vinaya would mean humility.   Having good clothes, nice appearance and a good voice and a good education are all blessings we have in our lives and we ought to count them.   There are many people out there who donot have any of these.  Shouldn’t we be thankful to the Almighty and our parents who gave all these to us.  The greatest of the orators were humble souls to  begin with.  A Gandhi, A Mandela, A Swami Vivekananda or a Martin Luther King were all humble when they addressed the masses and we all know the impact they had on the people who heard to them. Let’s make humility our second nature and not restrict it to the speeches alone.  Forget the speeches this one quality can take us places.

Friends as I conclude I would like to repeat the five  Va’s  that are important for our speeches.  Vastra — the clothes we wear , Vapusha — our appearance , Vacha — our voice , Vidya — our education and Vinaya — the humility are all extremely important for our speech.  If erred in the first one  vastra, you can cover it up with the Vapusha , Vacha , Vidya and Vinaya , if got both Vastra and Vapusha wrong you can do some thing with the other three.  You can still handle it somehow even when you get your Vacha wrong, however, never err with last Vidya and Vinaya, that can be suicidal for your speech.

Have a fantastic week ahead.




Leave a Comment
  1. Dhana Lakshmi / Apr 17 2017 8:34 am

    Good one subbu (y)


  2. subramanyam / Apr 17 2017 12:40 pm

    Hi Dhana Lakshmi
    Welcome to Satya Surya. Keep visiting and keep sharing your thoughts on the posts.


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