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Symphony Of Silence

From the immemorial, sages, seers and thinkers in India have found in silence a luminous pathway for spiritual enlightenment and mystic realisation. Lilting, melodious voices of silence are rarely heard by ordinary mortals given to purposeless chatter. Silence and solitude are veritable possessions of a realised soul. From yogi Vasistha of yore to sage Ramana of modern times, Indian sages and philosophers have laid emphasis on silence, dynamic and vibrant, for attaining the transcendental state of mental sublimity.

Sage Ramana of Arunachala whose life was a radiant study in divine splendour based on dynamic silence stressed on the point that silence spoke louder than the words. As both the eastern and western devotees of Ramana testify, he believed that there would be unalloyed happiness when the mind merges with the self in the crucible of silence.

According to Ramana, silence was of four types: Silence of speech, Silence of the eye, Silence of the ear and Silence of the mind. As he points out, only the last one is pure silence and is the most important.

Touching upon the nature and dimensions of silence, Ramana, observes, "Silence is like the even flame of current. Speech is like obstructing the current of lighting and other purposes. However, much a Jnani might talk, he is still the silent one. However, much he might work, he is still the quiet one. His voice is an incorporeal voice".

Eleanor Pauline Noye graphically explains her first encounter with Ramana, "When he smiled, it was as though the gates of heavens were thrown open. I have never seen eyes more alight with divine illumination. It is not necessary for him to talk. His silent influence of love and light is more potent than words can describe." Duncan Greenlees, a theosophist, sketches his meeting with the sage of Arunachala, "That stillness of eternal depth had somehow seeped into my heart. The stormy nature I brought into life with me met a master who could quell the waves with a silent word."

Obviously, sage Ramana belonging to the long and glorious line of spiritually illumined souls, was a master craftsman who experimented with the 'dynamics of the inner self' with the unheard melody of silence.

In the symphonic silence of Ramana was the fragrance of joy and starry splendour of self-realisation. For in his close proximity, none could escape the electrifying impact of his steady silence.

Like sage Vasistha, Ramana too believed that self-realisation helped us recover our full divine consciousness - a veritable state of impersonality, timelessness, causelessness, egolessness, freedom and peace. Ramana never spoke of the 'elusive heaven' of 'grace of the supernatural'.

On the other hand he was clear in his perception that it was the human mind which was the cause for joy and misery, heaven and hell, good and evil as well as god and the devil. Therefore, he laid emphasis on self-realisation through the path of self enquiry.

Says he, "Seek the seeker, find out who you are. You are blessed. But your suffering is due to your identifying yourself with your body. The source of everything is the self. Merge your mind in the self through self enquiry. Then you will be able to function in this world happily. When the ego is lost in the self, the self will shine in all its splendour and glory."

Thus Ramana's gospel is a practical expression of the self-the reality and ultimate bliss. Indeed his very life was a practical demonstration of the reality of the Supreme Self.

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