Guruji On ‘MAUNA’ AND ‘SVADHYAYA’
It is necessary to understand the importance of practising ‘mauna’ or silence. The more silent you are, the happier you will become. At present, you are living in this chaotic world of activity, and you may think sceptically about the silence factor. However, when you engage yourself in a daily routine of sadhana and meditation, increasing the period of meditation gradually over time, you will experience the essence of it. The state of ‘mauna’ where speech is restricted for prolonged periods of time will help you go beyond sound, and consequently beyond your own body, mind and existence.
The existence that we experience through our five senses of ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘smell’, ‘taste’, and ‘touch’ – is by itself a product of reverberation of sound, a play of ‘nada’. Existence is reverberation of energy. All vibrations translate into sound. Every form has a corresponding sound, and the complex reverberations of sound is creation. Body and mind are also reverberations. They are the outer covers of one’s divine possibility. Most people appear to be satisfied with these outer covers. It is of utmost importance to realise the need for transcending these outer covers of body and mind, and entering through the doorway of the inner world.
Most often, people hardly have any time to think even for a few minutes, about their own problems, or about this mystery called life. They are busy with their own activities, day-in and day-out. On holidays, their minds are usually occupied by objects of enjoyment. Their mental energies are generally consumed throughout the day, by thoughts of work and livelihood, thoughts of body, thoughts of eating and dressing, and thoughts of wife, children, friends, etc.; and thus, the day is over. The same routine follows day after day, week after week. Years go by and the precious human birth is wasted.
So, look beyond your routine worldly life and realise the sacred existence. In order to experience that which is beyond the doorway of the inner world, practise ‘mauna’ – an ancient yogic practice which helps one to transform from being a piece of creation to being the source of creation. Practise at least once a week. When you begin this practice, you will find some difficulty in maintaining silence. Multiple thoughts will arise in your mind and force you to break your vow of silence. Be alert and surrender yourself completely to God and Guru. When you do so, all desire for talk or for the company of others will subside, and you will be able to continue with your practice peacefully.
Practise ‘mauna’ and slowly try to make progress towards silence of the mind, which is a more superior state to be in. Always remember that when you live in Truth, ‘mauna’ happens naturally and you need not strive for it. Right since your childhood, you have been taught to look at the external world and not at the internal world that lies deep within you. Due to this flawed approach to life, you have lost the ability to introspect rightly.
It is high time that you learnt it now, for it is never too late to begin your march towards introspection and self-improvement. Begin with the practice of silence and then turn towards introspection and self-improvement or ‘svadhyaya’. In ‘svadhyaya’ your mind itself is the subject. So, engage one part of your mind in studying the remaining part of your mind. You will observe that it is the higher mind that acts in the capacity of a witness and studies the lower mind.
If you witness your mind silently and introspect, your defects will be revealed to you. Watch the mind carefully whether it is engaged in thinking, planning, feeling, or directing some activity. In a quiet room, all by yourself, engage in the practice of ‘mauna’ and ‘svadhyaya’ for about fifteen minutes daily, in the morning and in the evening. Sit with your eyes closed, and watch the activities of your mind. This will help you to learn about your defects and weaknesses.
Identify your defects and weaknesses, and eradicate them one by one, through spiritual practices and meditation. Watch carefully for improvement every now and then, according to requirement – about once a week, or once a fortnight or once a month. Watch minutely as to whether you are progressing, stationary or regressing, whether the mind is distracted or concentrated.
Introspect and contemplate upon your motives and behaviour patterns, upon the circumstances of your life and the environment in which you are living. It will help you to assess the stage you have reached in life, and the direction of your life. Keep a proper record of your spiritual progress. It will be of immense help in your spiritual practices.
Study your Self and discover the Divine within you.