There is a silence which transcends sound and silence. If I am not speaking, then some might say I’m keeping silent. If I am thinking, then some would say my mind is not silent.
Whether the voice is speaking, or the mind is thinking there is a silence which transcends both speech and thought and which is ever present to both of them.
It is the silence in which sound and silence take place. It is the silence in which speech and thought take place.
This silence is one’s true nature, and it is ever present, no matter what is going on.
This silence doesn’t walk or talk or think or make any noise at all.
It is That in which everything takes place. The recognition of That silence is called ‘self-knowledge.’
How is this silence described in relationship to spoken words and thoughts?
From the Upanisads:
“That [brahman] from which words return, not having reached, together with the mind.” (Taittiriya 2. 9. 1)
This statement might seem quite obscure unless explained.
The mind cannot ‘go’ there, as silence, (one’s true nature) is not an object to be cognized in the way that objects in duality are cognized.
The silence cannot be heard, touched, seen, tasted, or smelled. Thus it is not available for sense perception.
Nor is the silence an object of thought in the mind, like happiness, sadness, or any other thought at all.
We have no word which is adequate to describe this silence as all words initially point to something in duality.
Yet words handled appropriately lead one to recognize one’s very own self as this silence.
Not an object of cognition, yet known as my very svarupa, my very own nature.
Unavailable for hearing, touch, sight, taste, or smell,
yet known by the mind as ‘I,’ ‘I,’ ‘I,’ the silent changeless being
of all changing things, that ever present one, that one am I.
Read more of Dhanya’s writing on her blog at the Advaita Academy
Related posts on this blog:
why you don’t really want to awaken
silence is the essence of us all