“Silence is the Key,” a piece I wrote for Yuvaan Inter-College Magazine (GITAM University, 2018)
There was a time when I talked endlessly about “finding myself” until I finally understood that you cannot “find” yourself. This is because “finding” merely denotes that it already exists somewhere else. This is why people chase after alcohol or superficial relationships because they believe they will find happiness or peace there. And they are not wrong, the chatter of the world has pushed them to believe that.
Now, if you cannot find or discover yourself, how do you live?
You don’t find yourself; you awaken yourself.
Think of it like this. When you’re in darkness, you can mistake a rope for a snake, freak out, and possibly die. But only when there’s light, you’ll know the distinction. Ignorance is the darkness; knowledge is the light.
So is awakening related to knowledge? Absolutely.
Let’s imagine that you had a nightmare and woke up terrified. The fear of what happened in the dream has vanished after waking up. Just because you “know” you are awake now. Similarly, when you “wake up” from this beautiful dream that we call life, you’ll know it was just a dream. This is awakening in the simplest words.
But how do we acquire knowledge? This is a tricky question because your whole life, people have told you to “acquire or learn” from somewhere but let me ask you this, how do you know what you’re learning is absolute truth?
You can never be sure. People today alter pure knowledge to suit their limited understanding and then teach the same to other people and build cults. I’ve literally seen people twisting Sanskrit verses to suit their words and add credibility to their “philosophies.”
Knowledge of the self comes from awakening the self, not from any external source. You can read a million scriptures, and they will definitely help you on the path but until you “realise” something on your own, your logical mind will not accept it completely.
For instance, Shri Krishna beautifully states in the Bhagavad Gita:
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 2.47 ||
“Thy right is to work only, but never to its fruits; let not the fruit-of-action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction”.
For the simple reason that we enjoy “imagining” a beautiful future, many people once believed this verse to be unrealistic. However, today’s business leaders and motivational speakers are increasingly agreeing with this verse today, simply because they have now “realised” it by themselves.
To put it simply, knowledge of the self comes from silence.
The world is a big chattering box. Every living thing on this planet is constantly in some form of communication. If you can maintain silence amid the commotion, you’ll learn to observe. You’ll start learning from everything both inside of you and outside of you once you learn to be the observer. Keep in mind that this is unadulterated knowledge that only you have access to.
After a while, silence becomes your favourite mode of living. In this silence, as Shiva says in the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, you will awaken. You will realise your true nature and post that, you’ll never be the same again.
Yogis used to move to the Himalayas rather than Mumbai for penance for a reason, simply because Silence is the key.
Silence is the lap on which the creation (sound) has happened. We know through Science that at the beginning, there was silence and then everything was created. So the true nature of the cosmos before everything began was silence.
Once you touch this silence, you’ll know the source of You and your seeking will finally come to an end.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you like it.
Jai Shri Hari! May you be blessed.