Inner Silence ~ Episode 4
We need to, in every part of our being, every dimension of our existence, create silence! Speaking about dimensions, books of Vedanta often refer to three (3) dimensions – body, speech and mind. A phrase known in Sanskrit text is ‘Kayena Manasa vacha’; which means ‘with body, mind and speech’.
So, as a form of preparation, we can ask ourselves, how can I silence the body, how can I silence my mind, how can I silence my speech?
The noise in the body manifests as ‘restlessness’. And creating silence in the body means allowing the body to rest. Often times, the teachers recommend keeping the backbone straight, but not rigid. Firmness and rigidity are two different things. So we can be rested and yet firm. A body at rest would mean that it’s silent and yet firm.
Body posture can be in a restful state, not just when we are meditating but at other times too, that is a good preparation for silencing the body.
Often times, we don’t realize, suppose you are watching a cricket match or some kind of an interesting movie, or something else, then you will see you are sitting before a television or you are hearing some interesting story from a friend, if you are not conscious about it, you will see what you are doing. All the muscles do not have any use, they expand, it becomes very tense every now and then, it’s just the way human beings are. But if it remains for a prolonged length of time, that is not good for the body, that is not good for the mind; because the body and mind are connected. We just need to become aware of how often in a day, we become tense. We will be surprised that how rarely we are completely relaxed. Not just the mentally but even physically there is always some kind of physical tension present.
Physical tensions shows people can sometimes and not always, succeed in hiding what’s going on in their minds.
But physical tension is very obvious. You can see that in the way a person walks. You can see that in the way a person moves. You can see, even the little things that we go about doing, our daily chores at home. It’s very clear to see ~ who is completely relaxed and at rest and who is not?
When there is some kind of a physical illness, or difficulty we will realise that the body is trying to send us signals. It is the body’s way of making us know that something is wrong and we need to attend to it.
So one of the signs that we are completely at rest, is when we have very little points, in our body, which are trying to make their presence felt.
The second is that we must give the body the rest that it truly deserves, neither more nor less. And that is not always easy to figure out mechanically, it is a kind of a trial and error process. How much rest should I give my body? Krishna says in the Gita that there is a need for ‘moderation in everything’. Moderation at rest, moderation in work, moderation in food, middle path as, at later time, Buddha had advised the world!
So, too much rest or too little rest? Too much talking or too little talking? Too much this, too little of that? Better to follow the middle path. So again, depending on the nature of work that we have, it will be good to see that our body gets adequate rest.
A third requirement to creating silence in the body is eliminating all useless and pointless actions. Because this then gives us a sense of greater focus and saves both time and energy.
‘We do countless numbers of totally useless actions, throughout the day.’
I had followed the principles and philosophy of spirituality of an ancient Swami- Shivananda, for close to 15 years. He said, “When you walk on the street, you look at the ground, about ten feet ahead in front and not look up at all?
The idea is this, although it isn’t directly connected. One of the parents of mine was saying, the other day, that he used to do a lot of reading earlier but doesn’t get time to read, now days. By reading, I mean read books – hard copy – Not some digital stuff. But, he says he does spend a lot of time in front of the computer, by reading different things. And most of things that he reads, some newspapers, or this or that, at the end of the day he is exhausted and he said a lot of that information he read about, hadn’t helped him at all. He realized it would be better to switch off his computer and read some good book, which could uplift his soul, his mind and make him feel rested, reinvigorated?
So again, that could be another addictive exercise. Although, I said, it is not directly connected with. I just thought about it that even when we are on the Internet, it’s so addictive. Or just let me take a look at this, let me take a look at that and all these few 30 seconds here, 45 minutes there.
If you add up at the end of the day, a considerable chunk of the time, we continue to waste.
(To be continued in 2 more episodes)
- 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