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The Silence of the Spirit

by Swami Jyotirmayananda

BEHOLD the beauty of nature bathed in the silvery shower of silence in the early hours of the dawn! You perceive a thrill in your heart, a cooling stream of peace in your veins as you feel the invigorating breeze passing by your body, and when your eyes feast upon the soft colors and green vistas in the expanding horizons of nature, your burden of problems is lifted up. Your heart becomes filled with positive feelings, your mind becomes conscious of positive thoughts.

When the sounds of the world – the noises of machines, cars, people clamoring in a great rush, quarrels and dissensions – all are quieted, one listens to the song of silence.

But far greater than the silence of nature and external sounds, there is silence of the Spirit within. The experience of this silence leads one to the realization of the Self. This silence is the abode of Divinity, because it is through silence that the Divine Self is realized.

Even when you are quietly seated in your chair and you are alone to yourself, you may be far from the silence of the Spirit if your mind is filled with problems and your heart is agitated by various fears and disappointments. You are silent from the apparent point of you, but you are restless with clamoring thoughts within yourself.

On the other hand, one who has acquired purity of mind can feel the silence of the Spirit even when engaged in actions that demand external noises and sounds of the world. Therefore, in order to enjoy the stream of peace that flows deep within rising from the Divine Spirit, one must learn to be silent.

Silence the senses by rising above the desires and urges of the lower self. Observe and understand the fleeting nature of objects and the unreliability of their values, and therefore, develop interest in the Spirit, in God – which leads you to the realization of immortality.

Silence the mind by turning your vision to the Supreme Self within. Do not follow the thoughts of the mind. But learn to be still. Let the threads of your life be handed over to Divine Will. Let your ego relax in the expansion of Divine Love. Feel that you are supported by the Divine Plan.

When the stream of silence surges in the heart, one’s experience goes beyond the level of the senses. There is no need for much talk. All words are drowned in the deeper experience of life. When you are intensely happy or immensely satisfied, you do not speak. And even though you do not speak, your silence speaks much more than your words. In fact, the Silence of the Spirit is an unceasing eloquence; it is unceasing discourse on the Glory of God.

In the silence, the Divinity whispers to the soul of man. In other words, one receives flashes of intuition pertaining to the deeper laws of life. There is no possibility for spiritual evolution and unfoldment without acquiring silence within.

All forms of art and music, of science and philosophy, of creative research and new discoveries have been acquired through silence alone. When you are facing the most difficult problems of life, learn to be silent and quiet, and experience surrender to the Divine Will.

When you are silent, your mind becomes still and reflects the beauteous nature of the Self. Having seen the Self, you attain Cosmic Consciousness. You are no longer confined to the body and mind. You realize that you are all that exists.

When a plant lacks water and sunshine, its leaves grow pale, its flowers wither away. No matter how much you may attend to the withering flowers and leaves, the plant must die. But, on the other hand, if you nourish the plant, the leaves will recover their freshness, the flowers will recover their beauty and fragrance. Even so, no matter how much you may attend to the external needs of life in order to shut down the clamors of the senses, still you cannot enjoy the greenery of the leaves of life, nor the fragrance of its flowers. What you must do is to water the roots of life through the experience of silence. Then everything else will take care of itself.

Nature continues to present her beauties. The sky assumes diverse colors; the clouds form various patterns. The soft breeze brings the message of expansion and relaxation; the waves of the ocean continue to sing a cradle song to the weary mind of man. The moon continues to shed its luster over the earth, decking all objects in its milky light. The flowers bloom on the trees, the branches dance in the wind. There’s so much fullness and joy in every aspect of nature. But man, laden with his worries and cares, keeps his window shot against the feast of beauty and joy that nature presents.

Open your windows. Let your eyes behold the beauty and the harmony of things around you. Open the window of your heart and let the silence of the Spirit fill your being and lift your consciousness above the turmoils of the world.

Silence unfolds your Divine potentialities. Silence lets the lotus of your heart bloom. Silence turns your face to God. Therefore, learn to be silent, not merely in speech, but in your mind and heart. Simplify your life. Purify your heart. Elevate your actions. Meditate on the Self and develop intense devotion to God. Enquire “Who am I?” And melt in God through silence.

May the Lord bless you! Hari OM Tat Sat!

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