"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, December 8, 2017

Inner Silence, More Effective

From Sri Annamalai Swami's Diary Extracts

One day a woman who was a dedicated Congress Party worker came to Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi (B) for his darshan.

After remaining in the hall for sometime, she asked B, 'Many great sages like you have toured around giving lectures which pass on beneficial wisdom to the people of the world. You have attained jnana for yourself but you sit in a corner keeping quiet. Of what benefit is this to the world?'

B replied, 'To know the Self and to remain in the state of Self is alone the greatest benefit a person can give to the world. All the lectures delivered from the stage will be effective for some people only for as long as the person is on the platform. But the lecture of silence can always be heard all over the world. It will always be effective.'

The silence that B was referring to was inner silence rather than outer silence. B liked people to keep inner silence but he generally disapproved if they asked his permission to keep outer silence as well. However, in my case, he seemed to approve. When I once informed B that I had decided to observe mauna (silence) from the next day onwards, he blessed me by saying, 'Aha! Very good!'

But then he asked me, 'Why? Where are you going? Are you not staying here?'

I replied, 'Even if I am here, some people, of their own accord, come to me to waste time in gossip. It is only because of this that I thought that it would be good to take mauna vratam (a vow of silence).

Bhagavan indicated that he was satisfied with my reply.

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad