We are battling noise. We are surrounded by it. How can we define Mauna (silence)? It is the language of God which can only be heard when there is peace of mind. It is the language of the heart. How do attain Mauna or silence of the mind and our senses?
It is described as an austerity. It is Mauna which means that we can hear the voice of God in this state. It is possible through the sadhana of pratyahara and Antar Mauna.
Pratyahara enables us to attain physical silence. If we do not allow our eyes to see and if we withdraw then this is pratyahara of sight. If we do not heed the sounds or make connections with them, we are practicing olfactory pratyahara. If we do not involve the sense of touch, we are practicing tactile pratyahara.
If we do not taste anything, we are practicing gustatory pratyahara. If we do not smell anything, then this is olfactory pratyahara. We have involved our five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell and then are able to absorb the physical silence.
Next step is further quietening the chatter in our mind. Our sense of Chitta (memory) is functioning, and the result is that there is engagement at all levels. We can practice Antar Mouna, which is Inner silence. We listen to external sounds, extend our hearing to the softest and loudest sounds, but do not identify who or what is making those sounds.
Then we shift our internal awareness to the sound of our breath. We only listen to it. The inhalation, pause, exhalation, pause. We keep going back and forth between external and internal awareness.
This sadhana results in one pointedness and rejuvenating of our prana (subtle breath). Pratyahara with the practice of Antar Mouna enables one to control one’s feeling and emotions and develop a sense of harmony.
Why does this happen?
It happens because one is not engaged in internal or external stimulation. Our senses are quietened because we are not using them to form opinions, memories and ideas. There is no collection of samskaras as we are not letting our senses form images and thoughts.
We are not converting what we see and hear into conversation and our mind is not involved. We are engaged in a neutral activity and are detached. No engagement with the sound, no sight as eyes is closed, no sense of touch, taste or smell is activated. We are listening to sounds without registering and connecting them.
Dear ones, silence is golden, and speech is silver. Bees work only in the dark. Thoughts will not work except in silence. People who do not think should not talk, according to Lewis Carroll.
To be in the presence of the divine we must seek serenity and tranquility. This occurs when we observe ‘Mauna which is silence in the form of austerity in speech and mind.‘ – Gita (17.6)
Aim Hrim Klim
Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash