# Day 302 ( A ‘vow of silence’ anyone?!)

“Speech is of time, silence is of eternity” was a line we heard very often from one of our middle school teachers. Of course she used it more as an admonishment to instil some seriousness into a bunch of rowdy teenagers, but we could sense that those words carried an undertone of solemnity. For giggly-talkative-teenagers there could be no greater punishment than to keep quiet! One of my friends went so far as to say that silence scared her for she was afraid that if she had to keep quiet for a couple of hours there would be some kind of fungus growth inside her mouth! Humans value speech. They lay much emphasis on their ability to think, to talk and communicate these thoughts to those around as they make their way through different life situations. Our narratives, what we talk about and how we talk, define us. And yet one of the oldest, simplest and most effective spiritual techniques known is taking a “vow of silence.”

The ‘maun-vrat’ or the vow of silence is a concept every Indian is familiar with, for it forms an integral part of the many spiritual practices followed by the major religions of our land, be it Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism. In fact the very word for sage in Hindi is ‘munni’ which translates to the ‘silent one.’ They say when you surround yourself with silence you can hear God better, you can hear your inner selves better. When you voluntarily suspend communication with others, you remove the chaos and the distractions of the world around, creating instead a “sacred container”, ready to receive divine grace. Most will tell you that’s quite a tall order and hence a ritual more suited for monks and nuns in the monastic context rather than for folks leading regular lives. Perhaps a more practical approach to silence would be to understand when to remain ‘meaningfully silent’, rather than uttering ‘meaningless words’, or as that famous quote says ~ “sometimes it is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it!!”

(Note: the actual quote by Thomas Carlyle is ~ ‘Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.’)


About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, Thought snippets. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to # Day 302 ( A ‘vow of silence’ anyone?!)

  1. NupurNS says:

    is doing the Vipasana course part of your bucket list?


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