manah-prasadah saumyatvam
maunam atma-vinigrahah
bhava-samsuddhir ity etat
tapo manasam ucyate

“Serenity, simplicity, silence, self-control and purity of thought are the austerities of the mind.”

The so-called pandits, materialistic scholars, are actually full of confusion inside. Their very knowledge is a disturbance. Their minds are continuously chattering deep within. They may be reciting scriptures, shastras, but that makes no difference. What is going on inside is of no value.

Unless one is absolutely silent, with complete contemplation – not even a single wandering thought stirring inside – one can not begin to hear. People have ears, hence they believe they are capable of hearing. It is true that they are not deaf, but behind their ears their minds are toiling to interpret, to compare, to analyse, to argue, and to doubt. In the process everything gets lost in the dark depths of the whirlpool of confusion.

Just a small word – not even a word – just a sound; watch your mind. You cannot even begin to hear it in clarity. Your mind starts wandering and you begin thinking of many, many things. It is not the word or the sound that disturbs you. It is your own mind which is identifying it as a distraction, as a disturbance. If one can simply hear the word or sound in complete absorption there will be no disturbance, for this is the stage of dharana – mystic contemplation. It deepens one’s silence. It is the beginning of realization, for true silence means to hear the soul:

maunam atma-vimarshanam

“Silence is research into the self.”