Sunday, November 16, 2008

The power of silence-Part 9.

A great mystic like Buddha could easily sense the interior preparedness of the philosopher, who had unreservedly surrendered himself, with profound trust, docile humility, and audacious hope. The very decision of the philosopher to come to him asking for an experience of the Truth was already a revolutionary step of personal conversion.

Thus Buddha did not need any external force to teach him or lead him to the Truth. Neither was there any need to prescribe techniques and exercises or lessons on meditation.

For Buddha, the philosopher's sheer openness, the sublime emptiness that could now be filled to the brim, was enough. He therefore compares this philosopher to a good horse that is so watchfully alert and aware that it begins to run if it merely sees the shadow of the whip. The master has only to touch the whip and the horse nearly flies. Buddha has only to look into the eyes of the philosopher and all the teaching that can ever be imparted is readily received.

Buddha's Silence was not wordlessness or noiselessness. It had a transforming power, permeating and filling the atmosphere around him with such intensity that people seated at his presence experienced "the ineffable and the inexplicable."

His Silence had no movement, yet people around him moved closer to the Truth just by being in his presence, permeated and filled by the effulgence of his joyous stillness. His Silence was contagious. It was like the unseen powers of a magnetic field or the invisible sound waves that travel in the atmosphere.

True Silence is not forced by any internal or external factors. It is natural and spontaneous, active and sublime. It wells up from the depths of our personality and overflows with a certain rhythm. It is mauna in the fullest sense of the term. It radiates energy and emanates vitality. Peace and joy are inseparably interwoven in its very essence.

This Silence is not negative; there is no "absence" of something. It is wholly positive, pervading the entire atmosphere around him, so that he can just sit without uttering anything and the people around him can receive wisdom. It is this pattern of Silence that the early Buddhist sculptors and artists endeavored to convey in their images and replicas of the Buddha.

Buddha's Silence was the result of a profound harmony within himself and with the world outside. It pointed to a deep concord between the centre and periphery of his self and his states of awareness or consciousness. Buddhism refers to seven layers of such consciousness.

A joyous quietude is attained when these seven layers throb harmoniously, pulsating in sublime awareness. Buddha is silent because he knows the narrow boundaries of rational knowledge and the blind alleys of metaphysical queries. He knows the frailty and feebleness of words and concepts. His discovery of the language of Silence helped him dispel the inner darkness and void created by a rational thirst for knowledge

In the Christian mystical and contemplative tradition, silence is strongly recommended as an ingredient of the religio-spiritual quest. The Desert Fathers and the later monastic tradition stress the role of silence for interior spiritual growth. St. Benedict advises his followers, "Monks ought to be zealous for silence at all times . . . ." Silence creates an atmosphere and an attitude for listening and receptivity, for response and recollection. Only thus can the Truth, that is, the Divine Reality, be able to permeate our entire being.

When we are truly silent, we understand the richness of emptiness. Very often such silence is equated with truth. A story of one of the Buddha's disciples can help us to discern how the process of achieving emptiness is an ideal means of attaining the Truth:

Subhuti was one of Buddha's disciples. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness: the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity. One day, when Subhuti was sitting under a tree in a mood of sublime emptiness, flowers began to fall around him.

"We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness;' the gods whispered to him.

'But I have not spoken of emptiness;' said Subhuti.

"You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods. "This is true emptiness."

And the blossoms showered upon Subhuti like rain.

Being silent about our own exercises of manifestation can considerably speed up the process of manifestation. That is why I always suggest keeping your imaging and visualization exercises as a top secret, something strictly between you and Source Energy. There is no need to tell your parents or your friends about your own personal meditation practices, especially if your intuition tells you that they are only going to shake your faith.

Let me wind up this piece with a small beautiful piece of profound Zen poetry:

At a place deep
In green trees,
A lamp’s light
Burns long.
Spring pilgrims
Make their way to the temple;
Blossoms fall
At a monk’s closed gate.
In the mind, the ten
Thousand doctrines are still;
A clear, lone spring
Purls over rocks.
We do not ask
About our lives, our work,
And the silence between us
We keep.


This is the last part of the Power of Silence written by my friend Pramod Uday, a leading news paper columnist in India.

The earlier parts are:

Read the earlier parts here:

Power of silence-part 1.

Power of silence-part 2.

Power of Silence-part 3.

Power of Silence-part 4

Power of Silence-part 5

Power of Silence-part 6

Power of Silence-part 7

Power of Silence-part 8

You can reach him at

His other credentials are:
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Thank you very much Pramod for giving me an opportunity to publish this inspiring and thought provoking article.
Oh, let me shut up at this juncture and send my profound gratitude and deep appreciation to the Universe. I am sure it will be delivered to you.

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surjit said...

Truthful words:
..Buddha's Silence was the result of a profound harmony within himself and with the world outside...'
"Silence ... a great art of conversation.."
"Silence is more eloquent than words."
Thanks Malathy, for sharing true wisdom of Lord Buddha.
God bless.

Malathy said...

I am glad you liked it Surjit.
Pl visit again.