The Truth behind Silence

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“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”-----Confucius

“Silence is a source of great strength.”-----Lao Tzu

“Silence is safer than speech.”-----Epictetus

List of lines expressing importance of silence is endless. Above said lines are only from few laudable personalities who not only appreciated its importance but also imbibed it in their lives. Remaining in a state of silence seems to be a very breezy task but if it would have been the same as what it feels from outside then why ‘mystics’, ‘saints’ and philosopher had profoundly placed it in their teachings? Spirituality too has given ‘Silence’ an important place among its practices. It is single word but its impact and influence is multi-dimensional. The ‘practice of silence’ is one of the toughest practices for the seeker.

Many saints kept silence for decades and amazingly, they understood the truth. Silence helps in realizing the true self. And this is the reason why Buddha on many questions didn’t spoke any word. Buddha’s thought of keeping silence has lead to confusion among his disciples but they have not understood what Buddha taught from words and silence. It is a fact that those people, who do not understand ‘Silence,’ do not understand words also.

Buddha did not speak, not because he was not aware but he kept silence because silence was the answer of their question.

One story says that,

“Once upon a time, an illuminated man sent his two sons to a ‘Master’ to learn the knowledge of ‘Truth’. After a few years of their rigorous practice and study, they returned home. The illuminated father questioned the boys on what they had learned. He asked the older boy, "My child, you have studied all the scriptures. Tell me, what the nature of ‘Truth’ is." The boy began to recite many lines and sutras form the scriptures.
Then the father turned and asked the younger child the same question, but the boy remained silent and stood with his eyes cast down. No word escaped from his lips. The father was pleased and said to first son. "My child you have understood a little of ‘Truth’. What it is cannot be expressed in words."

But do we have the clear concept of Silence in our lives? The answer has to be no. We have never understood the gravity behind the silence. The meaning seems so simple that it is not enough to make the senses of ordinary people to move beyond it. Silence has a prominent place in spiritual scriptures. Though it starts from the same, we understand but that is only beginning. It talks about being silent from inside, silence from generation of thoughts, silence from inner self. That is the true silence.

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