Silence Develops Love
Silence is the only language of the realised. Practise moderation in speech. That will help you in many ways. It will develop love, for most misunderstandings and factions arise out of carelessly spoken words. When the foot slips, the wound can be healed; but when the tongue slips, the wound it causes in the heart of another will fester for life.
The tongue is liable for four big errors: uttering falsehood, scandalising, finding fault with others, and excessive articulation. These have to be avoided if there is to be peace for the individual as well as for society. The bond of brotherhood will be tightened if people speak less and speak sweetly. That is why silence was prescribed as a vow for spiritual aspirants by the scriptures. You are all spiritual aspirants at various stages of the road, and so this discipline is valuable for you also.
Talk Sweetly without Anger
The first step in spiritual discipline is the cleansing of speech. Talk sweetly without anger. Do not boast of your scholarship or attainments. Be humble, eager to serve; conserve your speech. Practise silence. That will save you from squabbles, idle thoughts, and factions.
Make the Place Where You Are a Citadel of Silence
You need not escape into a forest to gain silence and the chance of uninterrupted spiritual practice. You can make the place where you are a citadel of silence; shut off the senses, let them not run after objects. Your home becomes a hermitage; your spiritual practices will then move on, without any obstacle.
Communion with the Master
Just consider – do you come out of the cinema theatre more peaceful, more heroic, purer, and nobler than when you went in? No; your passions are aroused, your animal impulses are catered to, and your lower nature is fed. Nothing else can give one the rich reward that silence and prayer and communion with the Master can give. Not even a decent bank account, or a string of degrees, or the muscles of a prize-fighter.
Kindness Has to Be Fostered in Silence
One great temptation for weak minds nowadays is the opportunity for publicity. Even a gift of five rupees to some charitable organisation is announced in thick banner headlines! Conceit is thus encouraged, and man slides into paltry pomp. Kindness has to be fostered in the silence of the mind.
Silence Is the Best Practice to Guard Faith
Silence is the best spiritual practice to guard faith; that is why I insist on silence here also, as a first step in your spiritual practice.
Repeat God’s Name in the Silence of the Heart
The magnet cannot draw to itself a bit of iron that is covered with rust and dust. You cannot yearn for God when your mind is laden with the rust of material desires and when the dust of sensual craving sits heavy on it. Clear the rust, know the glory of God, and repeat His name in the silence of the heart. Any one of the names that denote Him can be selected. Do not listen to people who canvass for one particular name and cavil at others.
Keep Silent if Speaking Truth Causes Grief or Pain
If you want to know the way in which you have to observe truth in speech, read the Bhagavad Gita. It tells you that the best speech is speech that does not create pain or anger or grief to others. The scriptures also say, “Speak the truth and speak pleasantly. Do not speak the truth which is not pleasant. If speaking truth will cause grief or pain, keep silent.”
The Voice of God Can Be Heard Only in the Depth of Silence
It is only in the depth of silence that the voice of God can be heard. Speak as low as possible, as little as possible, as sweetly as possible.
All Joy Is Within
All the joy you crave for is in you. But, like a man who has vast riches in the iron chest but who has no idea where the key is, you suffer. Hear properly the instructions, dwell upon them in the silence of meditation, practise what has been made clear therein; then, you can secure the key, open the chest, and be rich in joy.
Cultivate Inner Silence
The very first spiritual practice one must adopt is the cultivation of inner silence, to put an end to the endless dialogue with the mind. Let the mind rest for a while. Do not project on the mind irrelevant details and pollute it with fumes of envy and greed. Every idea we entertain, either good or bad, gets impressed on the mind, as on carbon paper. An element of weakness and unsteadiness is thus introduced in the mind. Keep the mind calm and clear. Do not agitate it every moment by your non-stop dialogue.
Rajiv Kaicker, New Delhi