The Need for Silence
by Swami Chinmayananda
Quieter the mind, nearer we are to God.
George Bernard Shaw sees another reason why we should remain quiet. He says “Choose silence among all virtues, for, by it you hear other man’s imperfections & conceal your own.”
Once S.RadhaKrishnan, the then Vice President of India went to meet the great saint Ramana Maharshi, who was a man of very few words. After around 45 minutes RadhaKrishnan came out, & when media gathered around him anxiously enquiring what they had discussed, he gave a short answer “We met in Silence.”
The empty vessels make all noise. The deepest rivers make least din. So too with the people. Practicing inner silence is easily said than done.
The sanskrit words of wisdom (subhashitam) glorifies silence thus “Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is locked in a cage, while other birds without speech fly freely.”
God can never be found in noise & restlessness. He loves silence. That’s the reason Thomas Keating said “Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God.”
In nature the trees, the grass, the flowers grow in silence; the sun & the moon & the stars move in silence. To discover Him within, one has to be in silence. God is far far away from people puffed with pride. Lord reveals Himself to a simple & pure heart.
An ancient proverb says, “He who is asleep in continual noise is awakened by silence.”
May the Silence of the Self awaken us all, now sleeping comfortably amidst the continual noise of the ego & the egocentric minds.