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Thoughts On Words And Silence

Silence leads to speech. Contrary though it may seem, it is nevertheless true. A meditative silence leads to a profound expression. Such expression could be verbal or non-verbal. The thoughts of a person with a regulated mind speak without the medium of words. The very being of a person rooted in oneself will be an expression of the thoughts at the core of one’s mind. Cultivation of silence — not just by being silent outside, not by just refraining from speaking, but being silent at the mind and curbing the impressions of the mind from bubbling up, by stilling the mind — would enable one to generate powerful and pure thoughts and words.

Association of ideas with words and the effect they produce on the listeners’ minds is something we see in our everyday lives. For instance, a person may utter the word ‘love’ with no genuine feeling associated with it and the listener does not feel anything but if a person utters the word ‘hate’ with nothing but love in mind the listener fees the upsurge of love in one’s heart. So, it is not sufficient if one utters a word but it is imperative that the word is accompanied by the respective thought.

In spiritual life too, it is important that one utters various mantras with the strong association of the relevant ideas and concepts in the mind. It is very common to see spiritual aspirants get carried away by the number of times they utter a mantra. However, even if one repeats a mantra for a great number of times, if the idea associated with the mantra is not prominent in one’s mind, the effect of such repetition would be negligible.

It follows that if a person thinks of some ideas or concepts very strongly and does not utter them in words or syllables, still those ideas will take effect if produced in a highly trained and regulated mind. So, to make a word powerful, the ideas and the ground of these ideas, the mind, has to be powerful. A focused mind is the ground for great ideas and greater words.

Source - Prabuddha Bharata Editorial December 2015