Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recharge Your Battery - Keep Quiet

                                        Silence is a source of great strength.   – Lao Tzu
Anna Hazare’s fast for a dozen days in his seventies has left questions on the lips of many doctors, body builders and yoga gurus. When asked the secret of the strength this Gandhian simply said, ‘this is the power of brahmacharya (celibacy).’ After breaking the fast, Mr Hazare believed that verbal communication with people was leaving him very weak. Hence he started maun vrata (vow of silence). Mahatma Gandhi used to observe silence on Mondays and Vinoba Bhave too observed silence during emergency days which he called as ‘Anushashan Parva’ i.e. period of discipline. Osho too, once said he loves people who observe silence and laugh a lot as their progress on the spiritual path is very fast.
I have a friend who just speaks in all gatherings. While another friend who just listens in all the meetings and there are few more who maintains a rhythm in every interaction.  The first remained exhausted, the second non effective and the third one is a man of wisdom, very efficient in all his endeavors. He has got best friendship in the circle. Silence & speaking both are equally important and actually there must be a rhythm in speaking & silence. Even in the professions like sales which is considered as synonym of speaking more and being extrovert – silence is a great virtue. Salespeople often do not hear the needs of the customer because they are focusing on the qualities of their product. Guess what? It’s not about you or your product. It’s about the customers, their needs and their concerns. You won’t know what those concerns are unless you develop the ability to listen and ask great questions.
I personally experimented and experienced fruits of silence. At times my silence stretched to more than 3 weeks in my student life. A one/two/three day of silence was very common for me and here are the benefits I reaped:
Silence is Creative: In Business, at school, home or NGO, more and more we are required to ‘think outside the box’ and to come up with new ideas. Creativity is not found within the known. Creativity means to bring the new into being. All ‘thinking about’ is simply juggling with the old. You might come up with an answer but this is not developing creativity. Creativity needs the silence of ‘non-thinking.’ It requires that you quiet the chattering mind. Silence and creativity are one.
Silence gives Rest: Entering your inner silence gives you deep rest. The rhythm of the body slows. The rate of breathing slows. Your heart rate drops. You enter the present moment. You enter your essential self. There is no need to go anywhere. There is no place to go. This is your time for relaxation. I have observed on the holidays when I talk (a lot) on phone get tired more than a usual working day at office. This is your time for simply letting go and letting be. Learn to rest regularly in the silence of your body.
Silence builds Trust: Silence allows you to trust yourself. You give yourself time to listen to your inner voice. You learn to discover your unique ways of knowing. You discover that you do know the answers. You simply think others know better than you do. You have been taught this for most of your life. Listening silently to the promptings of your heart you begin got know your own voice. You become your own master. It develops concentration which in turn boosts up your confidence.
Silence brings Balance: Silence allows for balance. It balances your natural rhythms. You ‘do’ and then you stop ‘doing.’ You ‘do’ and then you ‘be.’ This is easy to remember. It is the rhythm ‘Do, be, do, be, do…….’ All of nature follows this rhythm. We are human beings who have somehow transformed into human doings. We have forgotten the joy of silently being in the present.
Silence promotes the Inner: Silence is not just something we experience on the outside. It is equally, if not more important, to learn art of silence that is internal. It promotes peace within. This is a place of real sanctuary from the noise and haste of this 21st Century. Once, we become a disciple of silence. This then becomes our favored practice.
Silence promotes the Real: Many of us are afraid of silence. We will do almost anything to avoid silence. When I am silent people often ask me, ‘Mukesh, is there anything wrong?’ For some people silence has become wrong. It is a form of communication many avoid. Living your life without periods of silence is akin to playing music without silence between the nodes. I believe when someone is upset all he needs to do is just get silent for couple of hours.
Silence allows Listening: Most people in our world long to be truly heard. Those who enter a period of silence each day learn to hear the song of their heart. They learn to listen to the song that only they have come to sing. When they listen to the song of their heart they find more love and compassion enter their dealings with others. 

Gift yourself a rest of silence each day, may be for just 60 minutes. This will develop a greater sense of well being in all aspects of your busy life. You can be centered and still while everyone else rushes around. Use silence as an anchor in your life and make it wonderful. 

Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, do it. I derive these from silence.’ This ‘New Mahatma in the Manufacturing – Anna, is a true follower of the father of the nation’. I would say, this is a welcome act. What do YOU think?


  1. i believe, once u observe silence for a decently long period.. a day atleast, u need no reasons to do it more often. thanks for giving more than half a dozen reason to try it out.

    btw, do-be-do-be-do(ooo).. is the subtle fun intended?

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  3. True. Thanks for your comment, Dinesh.

  4. As per Thomas Carlyle (1831)....
    "Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity."
    Thanks for the article Mukesh!

  5. Silence does not mean complete abstention from speech. To talk with restraint, to talk only when necessary, to talk less, and to abstain temporarily from speech when necessary, are all silence. In order to speak we have to think, plan and put in some effort. To be silent we need to do nothing, except the wish to do so and the will to practice it.
    Thanks alot sir for the article..

  6. Thanks for taking time to add value to the blog and to me as well.
    I respect your comment.

  7. Thanks for writing great articles and I respect your commitment for doing the same.