The wind makes its own sound, so does the water, so does the earth, in fact so does the sky. All the celestial objects are making their own sounds. There are sounds of pain, sounds of pleasure, sounds of misery, sounds of joy – for everything there is a sound. With human life it’s very true – sounds of life and there are sounds of death. And there are even sounds of silence.
Silence is not a way of denying yourself life
So this complex amalgamation of sounds, different kinds of sounds creates different intent, different levels of compulsiveness, different levels of bondage and different possibilities of entanglement. In all this, why one chooses to become silent? Silence is not a way of denying yourself life. It is not even about denying yourself articulation. Silence is about moving from compulsiveness to consciousness.
Silence is about moving from compulsiveness to consciousness
All sounds represent different forms and different dimensions of compulsiveness. When one chooses to become conscious, not be entangled in the compulsive nature of the existence, he naturally chooses to become silent. Silence does not mean shutting your mouth silence, plugging your ears silence. You can sing in silence, you can dance in silence, you can even speak in silence, you can even scream in silence. You don’t try. That does not mean when everybody is silent you scream, that is not screaming in silence.
Because sound is of the surface, silence is of the core. It is only the surface which makes the sound. See now the water is hitting the surface and making the sound. Deep down there is no sound. That is so with life. On the surface, it is a very complex mesh of sounds, a maze of sounds happening, but at the core there is no sound.
Sound is of the surface, silence is of the core
There is no word for ‘no sound’ in English language. We call it nishabdh. That means absence of sound, a total absence of sound. Absence of sound means absence of reverberation. Absence of reverberation means absence of life. Absence of life means absence of creation. Absence of creation means absence of the Creator too. So a space which is beyond creation and Creator, a dimension which is beyond life and death, that is what is being referred to as silence or nishabdh. One cannot do this. One can become this.
Commonly there are two words employed to describe this one is ‘moun’, that means you’re practicing silence, you’re not silent. You shut your mouth and you remaining in ‘moun’, this is not nishabdh. Moun means you’re practicing silence. If you’re practicing something, obviously you’re not that. Are you life or are you practicing life? I’m asking you – are you life or are you practicing life? Practicing life? No, you are life. May be not very well practiced but you’re life. Similarly there is a difference between practicing silence and becoming silence.
Practicing silence starts as a certain restriction, but slowly as one practices silence, one can possibly become silent. One can become silent in intense activity, but nobody can keep up intense activity forever. Moments of intense activity are only moments, nobody can sustain it. You’ll expend yourself. Only if you can achieve it in inactivity, it is sustainable. If something is possible only in intense activity, it is never sustainable. In a very intense and ecstatic moment of singing, somebody may become or taste a moment of silence, but how long can you keep it up? Your throat will tear and your neighbors may kill you. Possible!
So this possibility of coming to silence or becoming silent also means to become still, to become utterly still. Stillness can be achieved in so many ways. If you watch a snake, he’s still. If you watch a tiger, which is on a hunt – absolutely still, charged but still. These are all different dimensions of stillness practiced for survival. If a snake moves too often, he’ll get killed. If a tiger does not know how to be still, he’ll never get his food. These are all acts of survival. A human being – for survival, he has to be active. Only when his vision falls upon something which is beyond survival, then he will think of stillness. Then he will understand as he observes himself, as he notices the complexity of one’s compulsions, he understands the only way to solve it is to become still.
To train this body, to train this mind to become still, takes some effort
To train this body, to train this mind to become still, takes some effort. If one is simply blissed out, he will become still, but otherwise one has to work bit by bit, one has to work to bring this body to absolute stillness. Most people cannot hold their body in one place for any length of time, they’re [fidgety] – all the time in movement. As it is said, ‘A man is ill only because he does not know how to be still,’ because in stillness you’re in touch with a dimension way beyond creation. Once one is in touch with that, there is no such thing as illness. If I sit here and the body rots and falls down, still there is no illness. It’s just there, because – In fact, when one becomes utterly still, he may not be able to hold on to the body unless he learns the tricks, the mechanism of the body.
‘So, why should I become still? Will I lose my body?’ Anyway you will lose your body. When the time to lose your body comes, if you want to lose it gracefully, then you must know at least a little bit of stillness. If you want to put your body down like you can put this piece of cloth down, with the same ease, with the same gracefulness, then you need to have some stillness in you, otherwise you and your body you have to be torn apart, which is an ugly thing to do. When you’re being torn away from your body, it is an ugly and painful thing to do. Unless you can keep it down, there’s no grace in life.
So if one has to attain to that grace, at least a certain amount of stillness has to enter your life. For this to happen, a certain level of silence has to enter your life. If right now it is not coming, at least practicing a little bit of moun. In an hour if you’re speaking 1573 words right now, how many maa? How many words do you spit out in a minute? 1573, you’re actually doing that many? I thought that’s impossible. Okay, I believe you. So whatever number you’re doing, see if you can articulate the same things that you’re saying with half the number of words. Suddenly you will become extremely conscious of everything.
Right now a oral diarrhea is happening. If you’re doing 1573, it’s diarrhea, okay. Now if you have to hold back half the words, and still say the same things – now you have to be very conscious, otherwise you cannot say it. Just try this and see. Tomorrow one day, hmm? In an hour normally what number of words you utter, make it half. Don’t curtail your activities, still say the same things but with half the words. How wonderful the whole world will feel, you know. World will be a wonderful place, I’m telling you, tomorrow, if everybody does this. Hmm? Many marriages will be saved.