Who knows how to speak, he knows how important it is to speak. Do we know that much can be spoken even without uttering a single word. Even the words fail to tell as much as silence tells. There is a quotation presented here:
The conversation held for long years between you and me, can be repeated in a few moments if the silence is taken out of it.’
How beautiful an idea! Speaking itself is not necessary. The words are depended upon, when the ideas exhaust. So long as the expression of ideas go, dependence upon the words is unnecessary. There is one more quotation: Thad just thought to tell you something, and you turned your ears towards me.’
How simple is the communication of ideas! The communication through the words may not be that simple. Yes, it also is possible that words, at places, fail to convey the exact emotions, while silence succeeds.
What type of words does a mother use while fondling her child? Yet she expresses her love and the child reads and grasps that love, without use of words on either side.
The dialogue between a lover and the beloved, in dominated by silence. They may not utter even a word. silence and smile is sufficient to tell what they would like to tell. They do not need the help of words. At times, help of words signifies weakness. There is a quotation:
Words failed whenever I depended upon them: depending upon silence I. my mind and you, kept on standing.
There is a beautiful story. Farid (fifteenth century), on pilgrimage, passed through Kashi, the place of Kabir (between A.D. 1398 and 1518). Disciples requested him to pay a visit to Kabir and Farid agreed to. His disciples thought, in the meeting of the two thinkers, much discussion would take place. The same was the thinking of the disciples of Kabir too.
As soon as Farid came Kabir embraced him. Both were happy. Both took their seats, Both the sides were flanked by their respective disciples, pervaded by anxiety, waiting for the either to speak. But neither of them spoke. Both kept quiet. Both met through the words of eyes, not of mouth. For long they kept on sitting like that.
Both stood up. Took food. Relaxed. Joined again. Took their seats. Yet quiet. The disciples were perplexed, for neither was uttering a word. Sunset. Night rest began. Next morning. The same routine, meeting, sitting, Silence. Lunch. Relaxation. Meeting. Sitting. Silence, Night rest. The third day morning they met. Farid willing to go, they embraced each other. Farid left.
The disciples criticized Kabir. ‘You have tricked us. We should have known in advance your intention not to speak: we waited for nothing. How varied our expectations were ! How much we could have come to know !
Kabir explained, ‘Whom would I have spoken to? Farid is well-versed. He is good at telepathy. Why should have I spoken in vain ?”
Farid also had to face the same type of criticism. He replied, ‘Kabir is a great thinker. Whom should I have spoken to? What was there to speak about? He is good at telepathy. He could well know what I would have spoken to.”
Dialectics takes place between two learned ones. Only learned, not the well-versed. get involved in dialectics. The well-versed depend upon silence, even though some one may propose to have a dialectics. To keep quiet is not a simple job. It is difficult to remain silent.
Once a king declared punishment of death to be inflicted on a criminal. He started abusing the king in his local dialect, this and that. The king could not understand that.
‘What is this man talking about?’ asked the king to one of his ministers, who understood that local dialect.
This man is praising you as a merciful and kind king. wishing you all the best day by day. The minister replied.
Another minister who also knew the dialect, crossed him to say, ‘No. lord, this minister is misleading. The man is abusing you in very vulger terms.”
The king told. ‘O minister. I am not as pleased at your interpretation though it is correct, but I am pleased by his interpretation though it is incorrect. Your correctness is inspired by antipathy, while Interpretation is inspired by sympathy.”
To remain silent is not so easy. Any day a great war may break out anywhere. Even a single man’s abusive word may cause a war. And war is war, whatever its level.
Why did the Mahabharata war take place? Just a single sentence of Draupadi had caused the greatest war to break out: A blind’s son is also blind.”
Could the Mahabharata war take place in the absence of this sentence? Could the story of Ramayana take its present form if Kaikeyi would have not asked for two boons and could have kept quiet? Had Rama to undergo an exile in the forest? Could the latter incidences take place?
It happens very often that we have to repent for our losing control over our words: ‘Our not using those words would have been so good. And words, like the arrows leaving the quiver, do not come back. Instead, insult comes back.
Man speaks only when someone is there to hear. He would not speak alone. Alone he, of course, does nothing but thinks, because words are flickering, not steady. Flickeringness and steadiness are opposed to each other. Silence is steadiness, words are flickeringness. Two opposite things bring an opposing effect.
We speak only when there is some one to hear. Then only we think deeply over the subject. While speaking we choose words, from the sentences and mould them to fit in the subject matter. Then only we speak. Should there be nobody to hear, no subject matter and no thoughts, then no question arises for us to speak. We will have not to speak then. Therefore, a very big benefit of not speaking is that nonsense talk is avoided.
Keeping quiet means relief from the false disputes. Dispute takes place where the thoughts do not cohere. method does not cohere, the knowledge does not cohere. theories do not cohere and the ways to perform the duties do not cohere. Silence is such an unfailing means which does not allow the dialectics to come in. Silence kills the disputes in embryo. It does not allow its hatching even.
The limits of man’s ego need no definition. He tries always to prove his capability because of his ego. But silence will make you get relief of this type of ego. Those good at dialectics know how a quarrel takes place. Svami Ramatirtha was once revealing his memories to the audience at a certain place. A scholar asked him. ‘Lord, do you know Sanskrit ?’
‘I don’t know Sanskrit’, replied Ramatirtha.
The scholar told. ‘You don’t know Sanskrit, then how should you be talking about knowledge? How could one know the Brahma without the knowledge of Sanskrit ? He is not even authorized to talk of the knowledge about Brahma.
The topic was closed. It is not that the knowledge about Brahma is confined to the knowledge of a certain language. How amazing it is to say that he is not authorized for the knowledge about Brahma who does not know Sanskrit!
The Vedas and the Dharma-sastras abound in the examples of those whose knowledge was great; they.however, did not perfectly know even their local dialect, what to talk of Sanskrit. They had achieved the knowledge by intuition. The greatest ignorant man may also come to achieve knowledge by intuition. Mere going through the books does not impart knowledge.
A proper study will reveal that a number of persons in many countries had achieved great knowledge, the knowledge of the self, even though they did not know just a single word of Sanskrit.
There have been many spiritualists and philosophers in Japan, Germany, France, Spain and in the Latin-speaking and English-speaking regions. They, being great scholars of their mothertongue, wrote immortal books on metaphysics, religion, philosophy. literature, culture and so on. Should their scholarship be ignored just because they did not know Sanskrit ?”
We must try more to understand than to speak. To speak may be a necessity, but to keep quiet is a quality.
A man approached an ascetic when he was seated with his disciple. He started abusing the ascetic. Hearing that the disciple remained tacit, while that man continued with his nonsense talk. After all the disciple started speaking. Abusive words were showered from both the sides, when the ascetic left that place.
The disciple asked. ‘O my teacher, you kept sitting so long, and now you are leaving when I have just started reacting to that man.’ The ascetic told in reply. ‘So long I had a heavenly man sitting with me. I was happy with him. Now when two nonsense men are exchanging abusive words, I have nothing to do here.’
Perfection in silence is not a to be. It is understood that speaking needs more labour. But the reality is that keeping quiet needs more labour than speaking.
Dispute is always harmful. It may result only into two,either victory or defeat. Victory means pride, arrogance. Defeat means pains, revenge. Hence, silence is the best means to avoid disputes. We must practice keeping quiet.
We generally keep quiet while taking our food. Behind this tendency there are two reasons.
First: Most of the quarrels take place at the dining table. The plate full of the eatables is thrown away at the time of taking food. The taste, not suiting the tongue. may cause a quarrel.
Second: from the view-point of health. digestion of the food will not be proper if talking will go on with the act of taking food. A sudden stress on some topic may cause a painful obstruction for a morsel to pass through the throat. It is better, therefore, to keep quiet while taking food.
Man may express his intuitive knowledge more through silence than through words, then his scholarship will come up with more brightness. Truth also can be protected by keeping quite. The expression of emotion can be done through silence in a better way than through the words.