Silence Is The True Spiritual Instruction – Inspirational Quotations

Dakshinamurthy taught His disciples by His silence. Yes, what He did was to make the disciples rely on their own intelligence. Do not demean your talents, when you dive deep into yourselves, you can discover the source of all strength.
(Sathya Sai Baba, SSS. Vol. 4 p. 155)


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Many  true seekers visit Sathya Sai Baba but he does not speak to them often.  In the case of  some devotees, he speaks not at all!  Those seekers can visit year after years and yet never receive an interview or even a word at darshan. Why is it so? The truth is that  physical speech is on a lower level of communication. According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, no words are necessary. Words reduce, limit, harden, take away the subtleness and true strength – the life of the true teaching. Here is a sweet story about the importance of silence from Sai Baba.

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SILENCE IS THE TRUE SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION



Once a devotee came to visit Bagawan Sai Baba and said that the great Sages of the past had travelled extensively preaching the Truth and thus had served the world at large. Similarly, if Bhagavan were to travel thus it would be beneficial to many. Smilingly, Bhagawan replied, that His being settled in one place is also beneficial and narrated the following story.


“Brahma, the Lord of Creation, once lost interest in the work of creation and thought of taking to a life of tapas (penance). So, out of his mind he created Sanaka, Sanatkumaru, Sanandana and Sanatsujata, with the intention to hand over to them his job in the course of time. They grew up and mastered all of the branches of study. Brahma then decided to hand over to them his job and to retire. Sage Narada came to know of his father’s intention. Since Narada knew that his brothers were full of dispassion and fit to be initiated into the path of Self-knowledge, he decided to warn them beforehand of Brahma’s intention. On hearing this, the four brothers, who had no intention to follow the path of action, left home in search of a Guru without informing their father. They all proceeded to Vaikunta, the abode of Vishnu. There they saw Lakshmi sitting on Vishnu’s couch massaging His feet. On seeing this, they thought, “How can this family man bound by the intimate glance of his consort render us any help in learning adhyatma-vidya (Knowledge of the Self). Look at the splendour of this palace and this city! This is enough. Let us seek the help of Lord Siva”.


Lord Siva, who was in Kailas with His family, knew beforehand about their coming and understood their plight. He was sure that they would be disappointed on seeing him with a family, so taking pity on them, He decided to impart spiritual knowledge to them. The kind-hearted Lord, left Mount Kailas and taking the youthful form of Dakshinamurti, seated Himself with Chinmudra (lotus position), under a Banyan tree on the Northern side of Lake Manasarovar, just on the way by which these disappointed devotees were returning to their respective homes.

When they came and sat before Him, He went into samadhi (Absorption in the self). He was in Perfect Repose. Silence prevailed. They saw Him. The effect was immediate. They fell into samadhi and their doubts were cleared.
Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced. Others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore they require words to explain the Truth. But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit or explain. It merely indicates the truth through self-discovery.”

-story told to devotees by Shri Sai Baba


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“The highest form of grace is silence. It is also the highest upadesa (teaching).”

-Sri Ramana Maharshi


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Question: Can the Guru’s silence really bring about advanced states of spiritual awareness?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: There is an old story, which demonstrates the power of the Guru’s silence. Tattvaraya composed a Bharani, a kind of poetic composition in Tamil, in honour of his Guru Swarupananda, and convened an assembly of learned Pandits (pundits) to hear the work and assess its value. The Pandits raised the objection that a Bharani was only composed in honour of great heroes capable of killing a thousand elephants in battle and that it was not in order to compose such a work in honour of an ascetic.

Thereupon the author said, “Let us all go to my Guru and we shall have this matter settled there.”

They went to the Guru and, after they had all taken their seats, the author told his Guru the purpose of their visit. The Guru sat silent and all the others also remained in mouna (silence). The whole day passed, the night came, and some more days and nights, and yet all sat there silently, no thought at all occurring to any of them and nobody thinking or asking why they had come there. After three or four days like this, the Guru moved his mind a bit, and the people assembled immediately regained their thought activity. They then declared, ‘Conquering a thousand elephants is nothing beside this Guru’s power to conquer the rutting elephants of all our egos put together. So certainly he deserves the Bharani in his honour!


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Question: How does this silent power work?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise. Other thoughts arise after the “I”-thought rises and so the “I”-thought is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.

Silence is ever speaking. It is a perennial flow of language, which is interrupted by speaking. These words I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example, there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known instantly in silence, or in front of silence. Dakshinamurti and his four disciples are a good example of this. This is the highest and most effective language.



To read more about the importance of silent teachings:

http://www.hinduism.co.za/silent.htm