Keep Quiet! Keep Quiet! Keep Quiet!
A man wrote to me from Germany, saying, “Although we have never met physically, I have heard your words on a video tape. The words were, ‘Keep quiet, keep quiet, keep quiet.’ I can’t describe the effect these words have had, or what has happened to me since hearing them. I have never heard this quietness described before in any of the books I have read in my life. Other teachers don’t speak in this way. Some force has had a tremendous effect on me, such that I was able to keep quiet.”
We will examine this: the nature of this quietness, how to have it, how to practice it.
Seven thousand years ago, Arjuna asked Krishna how to quiet the mind. “It is just like the wind,” he said. “You can’t hold it in your fist. It is so turbulent, how can it be controlled?” Krishna’s answer was simple: It can be done through detachment and practice. These two words are very significant. How can one easily discover viragya, detachment? Everyone wants to enjoy the objects of the senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting — that is all they are interested in.
So how can the mind be detached from its sense objects, and brought to quietness? It will happen only when you know that all these objects do not bring abiding peace and rest, that thinking again and again of your desires cannot bring satisfaction. Through repeatedly seeking pleasure and never finding peace you are creating some sort of displeasure with these things. Naturally you want to detach yourself from the things which have not brought you peace and rest.
There was a famous saint, a poor man, about five hundred years ago, named Thyagaraya. People interested in music know his name. He is the king of artists, the king of singers and musicians.
He says, “Santham laka soukhyam ladu.“
When there is no quietness, even kingdoms will not bring you happiness.
When we know that sense objects cannot bring us permanent happiness, the mind will slowly withdraw from these objects.
In the Vedas it is declared, “Neti neti.” [Not this, not that.]
Whenever the mind goes out to an object of the senses, bring it back to peace, bring it back to quietness. Whenever it goes out, quiet it down. Be very careful to bring it back because you have seen that the objects of the senses have not given you peace. This is the rahasya, the secret which Krishna gave to Arjuna — detachment. Wherever the mind goes, detach it from its respective sense objects again and again.
Detachment must exist side by side with gyana, with knowledge of Brahman, with knowledge of freedom. The desire for freedom and detachment from the senses must run concurrently. Detach yourself from those things which are not permanent, and rest in that which is always permanent. Let your focus be always on this — on Brahman, on the desire for the attainment of enlightenment. Remain here in this desire for freedom. Reflect continuously from here on this. The desire to be free has already arisen in your mind. You have spent millions of years so this desire for freedom can arise. Now listen to it, reflect on it continuously, meditate in it. This process has to continue constantly.
Many people ask me what will happen when they return home. They say they are all right here because they are repeatedly hearing this truth every day, but reflection has to continue all the time. Wherever you are, when you sit, meditate on the Self, on Brahman, on Truth, on Peace, on Shanti. Contemplate this all the time, speak about this among yourselves. This is how your time in this universe is to be spent. Those who can instantly embrace this truth carry a mountain of merits as large as the Himalayas. They are led to Satsang. Those who cannot recognize this will have to wait.
Some come to Satsang and want to escape; they want to go somewhere else. Something incomplete is carried from previous lives and this karma is taking them to their next birth, hence they escape from Satsang. I hear of people who want to return to their previous centers and ashrams. They had found much peace, happiness, and joy there from their friends. I advise them that this Satsang is not for everyone. I don’t find fault with them. This is the weight of karma. They have some more work to do, some more incarnations. It doesn’t matter, you can work some more. Sooner or later you will have to arrive in Satsang.
Those who come to Satsang are not coming for the first time. They have merits. They have already completed millions of incarnations and it is that which is now compelling them to sit here in Satsang. It may be very few but that doesn’t matter. All others will have to wait; Satsang will not work for them now. Every realized saint has declared that you need good karma — experience of Satsang in previous incarnations that will bring you here for Satsang, for quietness.
Buddha was born as a prince, Gautama Siddhartha. On his first visit outside of his father’s palace he was confronted for the first time with disease, old age, and death. Instantly he decided to keep quiet. This is what I mean by detachment from the enjoyment of sense objects. As soon as he was faced with the reality of life outside he decided, “No, I don’t want this kind of life.” He returned home and a detachment arose towards his life.
Tukaram, a great saint, says that man becomes attached to his house, to his wife, to his son. This is what all the saints have said. Tukaram advised watching all these kinds of attachment. He says that for a man there is no greater attachment than to his wife; for a woman there is no greater attachment than to her husband. The same is true of prosperity, the desire for a house. And every man has a great desire for a son, to continue his lineage. These three words mentioned by Tukaram — spouse, house, and children — comprise the whole arena of attachment. Buddha returned and woke up from all this. He saw the nature of life and he withdrew from the attachment to his wife, to his son Rahul, to his palace and luxuries. He kept quiet. Under the Bodhi tree he kept quiet and he was free.
This is what is meant by keeping quiet.
Kabir says, “Chit thir man thir budhi thir.“
Quiet down your mind, your speech, intellect, and then … find out what happens.
5 September, 1992