Inner Silence ~ Episode 2
Let me share with you, the experience, more than fifty-one (51) years ago, when suddenly my father had died. Because it gives us some idea about how this inner silence can be triggered, by any external critical moment in a person’s life. I remember that moment vividly, as if it happened that morning. My father had gone for a medical checkup and had performed a ‘Bronchoscope test’. As he was walking up the staircase, accompanied by my mother, on our riverside bungalow of Mother Ganga, he had smiled, said a gentle hello and then collapsed. I ran to our family doctor. He did come within minutes but couldn’t do anything and left, pronouncing him ‘dead’ within (fifteen) 15 minutes. There was no one around. Our father had left our mother with six children ~ us ~ five brothers and a sister, all very young.
Everyone was shocked, we were a very close-knit family and we were totally dependent, emotionally as well as for our very existence itself, on our father. As soon as I felt the enormity of the news, I had experienced a sudden void. A deafening silence within it and me had lasted for a day or two. Everything became meaningless. Where had all the sounds disappeared? From where did this large space suddenly appear and fill my entire mind? Nothing else seemed to matter. It is only now years later that I am able to reflect, as if it had happened to someone else and I am now thinking about it.
The way I had responded to the news, was itself something of a surprise. Although, of course I did not think about it that way but inside there was a sudden silence and a huge empty space.
Today, I have no explanation for the silence and the space. What I do know now is that at critical moments in life and death of a dear one is certainly a critical moment, life then suddenly stops. All the noise around becomes irrelevant; even if temporarily. And all the forms of the living and the non-living become uninteresting, even if temporarily. In the absence of sound, silence is, all that remains, in the absence of forms, space is all that remains.
Today I realize that there is something sacred about this inner silence and this inner space. It is in this inner silence and space that the mind is able to focus entirely on whatever has triggered the critical moment.
In my case, all that had remained in my mind was my father. An aura of him, may be his physical form, may be his last smile, his voice ~ just him. Whatever that means, it was in that state, that I was able to grieve, knowing that I would never see him again and that the very real part of my life had been chopped off permanently.
Later on, it was not grief alone, I was also to smile, remembering some of the joyful times that we had shared together. The heart overflowed with gratitude. For everything that I had learnt from him, most of which was through witnessing his life, through the eyes of a son, for it was not his nature to offer for advice. The silence and the space killed me. I did not feel like doing anything, for quite a few days.
All of us may have had at least some glimpse into inner silence, which doesn’t necessarily have to come only when someone dies. It can happen with any sudden major crises in our life.
From these reminiscences we see that inner silence has a great healing power and allows us to see things that we normally don’t see. It bestows the clarity in the mind, even if it is temporary.
(Out of six, two are complete ~ to be continued)
- Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda ~ God Talks With Arjuna ~~ Bhagavad Gita ~ Published By Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.
- Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda ~ Inner Silence ~~ Inner Peace ~ Published By Yogoda Satsanga Society of India
- Swami Tyagananda ~ Monk of Ramakrishna Order ~ Ramakrishna Vedanta Society, Boston, USA
- Swami Adiswarananda ~ Meditation & Its Practices ~ Published By Advaita Ashrama
- Swami Vivekananda ~ Voice of Freedom ~ Published By Advaita Ashrama
- Inner Voice & Reflection, as Guided By Divine Mother Through Robbin Ghosh