In our busy and noisy world, where we are preoccupied with iPods, televisions and various other gadgets, it has become virtually impossible to isolate ourselves from this mechanical world. The time we spend in stillness and with ourselves doing nothing but being in solitude relishing our inner peace, has almost become void.
We generally reach out to our inner self only under immense pressure to blame it for all the aftermath. Enjoying the silence within our inner self is alien to many. This is mainly because it has become impossible to live in an environment free of mechanical, electrical and other forms of manmade interventions.
Silence is also a mode of communication, though difficult to practice and comprehend. Learning to remain silent during turbulent times is indeed an art that requires mastering. Remaining silent is often misconceived to be a sign of weakness. But the fact is that it takes greater mettle to be silent and composed instead losing one’s self-respect in the verge of proving ones foot. Silence is one of the powerful tools to prove your point. We will eventually start realizing that our opponent starts losing his battle out of frustration, helplessness and humiliation; thereby we raise our inner self to higher levels. It isn’t an irony to find our greatest idols like Mahatma Gandhi preach and practice Silence who revolted against the mighty British Empire with Silence.
I would like to share a Zen story on the might of Silence that I read of late. There once lived a great warrior who was quiet old but wasn’t defeated by any of his challengers. On knowing this a young warrior wanted to prove his supremacy over the old warrior. Despite his skills the young warrior also possessed an uncanny power to spot and exploit the weakness of his opponent. He always waited for his opponent to strike first to observe their weaknesses and on knowing it, would nail them mercilessly on their first move.
The old master accepted the young warrior’s challenges, against the advice of his disciples. On the battle ring the young warrior waited for the old master to make his first move. On seeing the master stand still and calm the young warrior began to hurl insults and verbally assault the old master. The young warrior became restless and exhausted and started spitting and throwing dirt on the old master. Despite all this the old master was calm and composed. Finally the young warrior was left with nothing more to accuse and then realized his fault and accepted his defeat and apologized to the old master for his mistake.
The old master’s disciples were at rage at the young warrior and questioned the master why he dint resort to fighting and how he endured such indignity?
“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the old master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”