What is Silence?
Group Reflection question: What are tangible measures that you can take to think before you speak?
Some of the ways are to slow down. We have a tendency to react so we should slow down. One of the ways to do so is by quietude of mind and japa. We should have clarity of thought. An example is when Sita heard the deer and Lakshmana right away ran after the deer. He could have waited it out and prevented all that happened. Always wait things out rather than react. Before you speak, you need to think if it is beneficial for others. Think whether it is based on satyam, mitam hitam. Is it true, beneficial and measured. Does it hurt others? Is it necessary to speak? Think it out. Listen fully and attentively. Our tendency is when someone else is speaking, even before they are done, we tend to respond and we need to take time and listen to them carefully. Imagine if Gurudev is sitting on the back seat when you are driving. How will you react? So when you say something, think that Gurudev is watching you and how would you react in that circumstance. The more we engage in sadhana, all of this gets ingrained. So when you come across situations, you will know how to react. Practice patience and at some point you have to be blunt.
In the Applied Gita course we studied, when one speaks, speak based on satya, hitham and priya. Satya means truthful, hitam means useful and priya means beautiful. When we speak we should speak in a sweet tone with sweet words. Need to be responsive rather than reactive because you need to think so much of what you want to say.
Individual reflection question: What is silence?
Silence is golden but the experience is opposite and seeker has not experienced the golden silence. Speech is a powerful medium to connect with others. Mauna through silence retreats gives inner calm but mental chatter continues. True silence comes when our mind is engaged and absorbed in the work we have undertaken. Our mind and thought disturbs us even when we are not speaking. When mind is not absorbed, we are attached to the articles, beings and circumstances and we do not listen to the inner voice. RAW from Bhaja Govindam was not to listen to the news. Silence is hitting the pause button and connecting with the inner voice, and contemplating. It helps reveal who we are. Ways to practice silence is by slowing the racing thought by japa, satsang and following your dharma.
The reason some talk too much is because they want people to like them. They seek external validation. They feel insecure. Those who are insecure are dislikeable. We are drawn to those who are secure and not to those who are insecure. If you catch yourself talking too much, the deeper reason for that is insecurity.
In theology of Sanatana Dharma, Kamadeva has another name which is Ananga. Kama means desire and Ananga means the one who has no form. When desire has no form, that means desire can attack us in any instance because desire can manifest in any form. In 2020, the amount of input that we experience is extreme. There are lots of inputs going in and desire can attack us in any of this input. Living the Gita is about being Happy. When one is happy, one is not subject to desire. Where there is Rama/Joy, there cannot be Kama/desire. Where there is Shiva, there cannot be Kama. When Shiva’s eyes is closed, it’s if Kama is winning but when Shiva opens his eyes, Kama becomes ananga. There is no power, no form. Living the Gita is about us becoming Krishna. Krishna means Joy. When you are Joy all you do becomes Gita. The song Madhurasthtakam tells us that all that Bhagavan Krishna does is madhura or priya.
Question 6: What is efficiency?
Simplicity. When your aspiration is simple, meaning they are uniform (ie 1 goal that is to be happy), you become most efficient. Quote to see Gita being lived is by Helen Keller — ‘Be happy with what you have while working for what you want’. This is most efficient. I am happy and I will strive and if I get what I strive, it’s good and if I don’t get what I strive for, it doesn’t matter because I am happy.
Question 7: What is sacrifice?
Dedication. Dedication to longevity. Invest in whatever that is going to last and invest less in that which is not going to last.
Prince Arjuna’s Question: Chapter 2, Verse 54:
Note; Question 7 and 8, Prince Arjuna is asking about the inner world of one who is the greatest of all time. In Questions 9, 10 and 11, he asks how such a personality speaks, and sits and walks. Q7 and Q8 are often interpreted as 1 question ie how does the greatest of all time think? PAQ takes it into 2 question where question 7 is ‘How does one who is greatly evolved think and question 8 is how one who is absolutely evolved think’? One is great and one is the greatest of all time.
Question 8: What is Independence?
What, O Keshava, is the description of him who has steady Wisdom and who is merged in the Superconscious state? How does one of steady Wisdom speak, how does he sit, how does he walk? This question refers to one who has been absorbed in the spirit.
Bhagavan Krishna’s Answer: Chapter 2, Verse 57
He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.
Why doesn’t one who is absolutely involved long or cling or depend? The reason for that is that they know that anything they interact with is dependent already. So, they know they cannot be fulfilled by depending on that which is dependent. Every article, being, circumstance (ABC) is dependent. So why would you depend on the one who is dependent? It will only be compounded. As we go about interacting sometimes we experience shubha (productive) and sometimes ashubha (unproductive). Use that which is productive by focusing on it and let go of that which is unproductive by not focusing on it. Shubha and ashubha comes anyway like whwn your mind has ‘I can’ thoughts and sometimes ‘I can’t’ thoughts. Hold on to the ‘I can’ thoughts and let go of the ‘I can’t thoughts’. One who is absolutely evolved does not rejoice nor feel deflated by experiencing that which is productive or unproductive as they know their own nature. They know their nature is Joy, and they are acting out of fulfillment and can’t experience a higher emotion or be in a higher state. Such a personality is known as being absolutely evolved, samadhi.
The historical question is ‘how is one who is absolutely evolved think’? Bhagavan Krishna’s answer is that they are content. This is the same answer to previous questions. Practical question is what is independence? The answer is understanding. When you understand that nature of ABC is dependent, you don’t depend on them. When you know your nature is Joy, you depend on yourself and that is independence. The way one can engage in this right now is by being an active observer. When you are an active observer, you understand the ABCs and depend less on the dependent.
Question 9: What is silence?
Prince Arjuna’s Question: Chapter 2, Verse 54:
Verse 54 has 4 questions ie think, speak, sit and walk.
Prince Arjuna asks How does one of steady wisdom speak?
Bhagavan Krishna’s Answer: Chapter 2, Verse 56
He whose mind is not shaken up by adversity, and who in prosperity does not hanker after pleasures, who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a Sage of Steady Wisdom.
One’s mind is not shaken in sorrow. Dukha or being in a bad place is the same as instability. Despite that, one’s mind is not distressed but quiet; not shaken but balanced. How does the enlightened speak? Their mind is stable. How? The mind has gone deeper than the noise. Imagine the noise as the body, breath, the ABCs. Deeper than the mind is the intellect and the intellect has the value system. The mind that is connected to the intellect, the value system, is one that is not shaken even when in an unstable circumstance. The mind is deeper than the instability.
When they are in a good space, they are free of dependence of clinging or longing. That which is stabilized will eventually become unstable. The mind that is united only with the intellect/value system can still become noisy or shaken. The mind is not only connected to the intellect but the mind is now even penetrating the ego which is to live by humility. The more humble one becomes, the less provoked the mind can become. When one is in an unstable circumstance, the focus should be on the value system and when in a stable circumstance, one should develop humility.
One who is enlightened is free of attachment, being afraid and anger. Krodha or anger is an effect of being afraid. Fear is an effect and the cause is attachment. Attachment is an effect and the cause is projection or expectation (Viksepa). Example, I project happiness onto a being and get attached to them. Expectation is an effect and the cause is avidya or incompleteness. When you feel incomplete, you project happiness onto something else. One more emotion between being angry and being afraid is annoyance. Whenever you are annoyed, refresh by going for a walk or do something to stop brooding. One who is enlightened is complete and therefore does not have avidya, expectation, attachments, fear or anger.
A wise enlightened person is known as a Muni. They are balanced. What is silence? The answer is evolving. When one is invested in evolving, they become less extrovert and the mind becomes quieter, and they engage in worldliness less. This means you have more bandwidth for evolving.
Question from seeker was on efficiency and relationship; living in present and planning for the future. Be happy with what you have and work towards your need. You are responsible for your happiness. Keep on investing in yourself. When you are relatively happy, you will be a much better significant other to someone. If you are not happy when a challenge comes, the relationship cracks.
I matter because…….
I matter because of my potential. My potential is to be anyone and do anything. I matter because I am God, I am Joy.
RAW: Share your reflections from Question 8 and 9.