This is the point which I was made to ponder today..
Silence is definitely needed.. but is it absence of words or something more?The real silence is outcome of inner peace and silence rooted in your understanding and acceptance of reality based on the principle of love and compassion. Some may be wrongly practicing it and feeling themselves to be on a higher pedstal than others. They may be just rourishing and strengthening their skwed understanding.
Even most serene and simple spiritual people can be misunderstood or may not be able to use the opprtunity.. well almost in every circumstances. I have heard that when Brother John entered the “Monastery of Silence” and the Abbott said, “Brother, this is a silent monastery; you are welcome here as long as you like, but you may not speak until I direct you to do so.”
Brother John lived in the monastery for five years before the Abbott said to him, “Brother John, you have been here five years now; you may speak two words.”
Brother John said, “Hard bed.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” the Abbot said. “We will get you a better bed.”
After another five years, Brother John was called by the Abbott. “You may say another two words, Brother John.”
“Cold food,” said Brother John, and the Abbott assured him that the food would be better in the future.
On his 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Abbott again call Brother John into his office. “Two words you may say today.”
“I quit,” said Brother John.
“It is probably best, you’ve done nothing but complain since you got here.”
At first go it may seem as if the Abbott is unreasonable and harsh on Brother John but think again. The words after silence of 5 years are the crux of what he has been up to.. what he has been living day in and day out.. what was most important to him.. what was bothering him.. where were all his energies being spent. You may see it as a silence of 5 years but for a master it is not becaus he is seeing what has been the output of this golden opportunity of life time.
Brother John, if he would really had practiced silence, would have probably full of tears and love for the Abbott for making him practice silence but it did not happen! Unfortunately the earning of first five years was a complaint “Hard Bed”.. And devastatingly another 5 years spent in similar attitude and no transformation happened, nothing flowered. And then finally sufferring of another 5 years to finally say “I quit”.. Abbott is being misunderstood here!
People try to remain silence with all good intentions to finally having arrived but somewhere Bed becomes the focus and then Cold food becomes important. The transformation needs altogether different approach.. it can neither be the avoidance nor it can come from curbing your expressions.. It requires complete fresh paradigm.
That is why when people take Sanyaas they are given new names. New name is not necessarily is a ritual.. it is a way to shatter your identity with past. The trick lies in the hope that is someone would be called Swami so many times a day.. he will realign his outlook about life. He would like to generate more positive qualities in him. The new name is just a psycholigical bypass surgery being done on you. If people adopt silence, a new way of life, a challenge and don’t want to be stung by the scorpion of avoidance they need to look into things as they are.
And it is love which transforms.. whether it be for the all pervading divine or be it for one individual.. It is the trust in your beloved.. the ultimate of the individualised, which elevates your energies and gives you feeling of being needed, being important to the world.. be it your own or outside. So love and live in faith.. whether silent or chit chat.. it will help because when you have subjective love.. you are on the path of transformation.