Social Gatheka Number 37
Apart from the meditative silence, even in our everyday
life, silence is the most essential thing. There is an energy
which becomes accumulated, functioning in the innermost
of our being, and it is in the speech that one gives outlet
to that energy. And that energy may best be called magnetism;
it is inspiration and it is wisdom. It is therefore that
you will always find in the less talkative person a greater
wisdom than the one who is talkative. Apart from wisdom,
from a physical point of view, a talkative person is all
the time giving out an energy which, if he conserved, he
can make a great vital power in himself.
With some persons
it becomes a passion to speak without purpose, without reason,
they speak because they like to speak. If one knew what
the Bible says about the word, that first was the word and
the word was God. If one only knew what the tradition of
humanity has been, it is the word. Those who have the esteem
of the word, those who value the word, their word becomes
precious. One word is of million and even millions are less
than the price of their word. The great teachers of humanity
have come and passed away, and what they have left behind
them, which the world prizes more than anything, is their
If we keep anything as most sacred just now, whatever
be our faith or religion, it is the word that has been given
to us, it is the word which we keep as the most precious
thing in the world. The moment that a person begins to value
his word, from that moment he begins to think what he says.
The one who has no value of his word, he is of little value
to himself. The great person is he who stands for his word.
However great a man, if he has no honor of his word he cannot
be really great. It is such a pity that in this time of
materialism we are losing the idea of the most valuable
thing we have, and we have got it from the Heavens.
the word is heavenly, and what is in the word is the soul,
the spirit. And when that word is uselessly used life is
abused by it. Do we not see that there is one person perhaps
who comes to us and speaks a thousand words, and not one
word strikes us; there is another person who comes to us
and speaks one word, but it penetrates, it makes impression.
That word is of value. For there is a living word and there
is a dead word. A living word has a life, it acts chemically,
the dead word has no life, it is only a corpse. The living
word will go and float in the space, it will go in the hearts
of man and work, and the dead word will drop on to the earth
and will be buried in the dust.
And very often a person speaks because of his weakness.
He is weak, he cannot control his idea, his thought, and
it is helplessly that he drops a word that he would otherwise
have kept and not spoken. A gossiping person, a person who
criticizes another, you will always find is a person of
a weak character. It is not that he likes to speak, it is
because he cannot help speaking. It is just like a person
who eats but cannot digest. When a person cannot keep his
own secret, when a person cannot keep the secret of his
friend, he is a person who has no power of digesting, his
conscience will always feel guilty, and his heart restless.
There is another person who goes on like a machine, a machine
which is hearing from the ears and speaking from the mouth,
and it is going on all day, hearing what he speaks and it
goes on like a machine.
Is it not the experience of many
of us, that very often we think, 'oh, I wish I had not said
that to that person!' Is it not the experience of many of
us when we think that, 'I should not have spoken so rudely
with the other person? 'Oh, what a terrible thing I have
done, I have opened my heart to that person, I do not know
what will become of it.' Sadi, a great Persian poet, says
in his poetry, 'my intelligent friend, what use is your
repentance after once you have dropped the word out of your
lips?' To control the word is more difficult than controlling
the most energetic horse. The one who controls his word,
controls his mind.
There is another way of looking at this subject. When
a person is talking to those not yet evolved to his own
way of looking at things, he may say things of a greater
wisdom which will prove to be as pebbles in the place of
pearls. It is a loss of words of a higher ideal, of some
greater truth to a person who is not capable of understanding
or appreciating. You have given something in the hand of
another who will ridicule at it, who will mock at it, and
to whom it is of no use. You would find it more thoughtful,
more wise that you did not speak to him the word at that
time, but prepared him to hear that word, even if it be
for ten years.
And then there are times when you meet with an evolved
person for whom your words are of little importance. It
is just like a child speaking to a grown person, which means
very little to him. But the thing is this, that in doing
so you will spoil his time as well as your own. Besides
many will know how many disagreements between relations,
between friends are brought about by useless talking. The
talking had no importance whatever, but it has culminated
perhaps in a great inharmony or separateness.
There is an
amusing story, that a woman went to the house of a healer,
a magnetizer, and she asked him if he would tell her something,
for she was in a great distress. This distress was that
she had every day a disagreement with her husband. The healer
said, 'It is very easy, I will give you some sweets and
you will put it in your mouth and keep your lips closed.
Every day when your husband comes home just put in it the
mouth.' The remedy proved successful, and the woman came
after the sweet was finished to thank him and ask for some
more magnetized sweets. He said, 'My dear lady, you do not
need any more bonbons now. Just think that you have them
and close your lips and everything will be all right.' This
example is for us all to learn, whether wise or foolish
it is the only dignified thing possible. For the wise it
is the most beautiful thing, for the foolish it is the only
dignified thing possible.
And now coming to a still deeper side of silence. What
is silence? Silence is something which we consciously or
unconsciously are seeking every moment of our life. We are
seeking for silence and running away from it, both at the
same time. Where is the word of God heard? In silence. The
seers, the saints, the sages, the prophets and masters,
they have heard that voice which comes from within by making
themselves silent. I do not mean by this that because one
will have a silence that he will be spoken to. I mean that
he will hear the word which is constantly coming to him
once he is silent.
Once the mind has been made still, a
person gets in communication with every person one meets.
He does not need too many words, when the glance meets he
understands. Two persons may talk and discuss their whole
life and they will not understand one another; and two persons
with still minds look at one another in one moment there
is a communication. Where comes the difference between persons?
It is by their activity. And when comes agreement? It comes
by the stillness of mind. It is the noise which hinders
a voice that we hear from a distance, and it is the troubled
waters of a pool which hinder us seeing our own image reflected
in the water.
When the water is still it takes a clear reflection;
and when our atmosphere is still then we hear that voice
which is constantly coming to the heart of every person.
We are looking for guidance, we all of us search for truth,
we search for the mystery. The mystery is in ourself, the
guidance in in our own soul. Besides this, very often a
person meets someone meets someone whose contact makes one
restless, nervous, the reason is that person is not restful,
not tranquil. This shows that restlessness makes others
restless, calm makes other calm. And it is not easy to stand
calm and keeps one's tranquility in the presence of a restless,
agitated person. The teaching of Christ is, resist not evil,
and that means, give not that troubled condition, or respond
not to the troubled condition of a restless person. It is
just like partaking of the fire which will burn oneself.
And now, how can one develop that power in oneself to
stand in everyday life against all disturbing influences?
For our life is exposed to this atmosphere every moment
of the day. The answer is that one has to quiet oneself
by the way of concentration. And now you may ask what I
mean by concentration. Our mind is like a boat, a boat which
is in the water, subject to be moved by the waves and subject
to be influenced by the wind, both. And the waves for this
boat are our own emotions and passions, our own thoughts
and imaginations. And the wind is the outer influences which
we have to meet with. And in order to stop the boat you
ought to have the anchor to put in the water, that that
anchor makes the boat still. And that anchor is the object
which we concentrate upon. If this anchor be heavy and weighty
then it will stop the boat, but if this anchor is light
the boat will move and not be still, for it is in the water,
it is in the air.
But now coming to the question, that by this we only
control the boat, but utilizing the boat is another question
again. The boat is not made to stand still, it is made for
a purpose. To make it stand still is only to control the
boat first. Although all of us do not know this, but at
the same time at the end of the examination this boat is
made to go from one port to another port. Now, the sailing
of the boat needs different conditions. And those conditions
are that the boat must not be more heavily laden than the
weight that it is made to carry. And so our heart must not
be heavily laden with the things that we attach ourselves
to, because then the boat will not go. The boat must not
be tied and chained to this one port, for then it is held
back and will not go to that other port for which it is
made. The boat may be tied to one port for a thousand years,
but the boat is not doing its work then. In the first place
it must have that responsiveness to the wind that will take
it to that port.
And that is the feeling that a soul gets
from the spiritual side of life. That feeling of the wind
helps one to go on forward to that port to which we are
all bound. The mind who is once concentrated fully must
become a compass as they have in the boat, which always
points to the same side. A man who has a thousand different
sides of interest, that man is not ready to travel in this
boat. It is the man who has one thing in his mind, all other
things secondary, that man travels from this port to that
port. It is this journey which is called mysticism, it is
this journey which is called Sufism.
The effort of the Sufi Message is to give the opportunity
to those serious seekers after truth that they may come
in touch with the deeper side of life. No doubt truth is
never taught, truth is discovered. It is not the wonderworking,
it is not the life of phenomena that is the sign of the
seeker. For it is in the search of truth that God is found,
for it is in the finding of God that truth is realized.
But where is God to be found? God is to be found in the
heart of man.