In all religious spiritual traditions whether Christian, Hindu, Islamic or Buddhist, the voluntary act of non-speaking is an integral part of religion, being practiced in the form of silent retreats, vows of silence or silent prayer.

Mauna is described by Adi Shankaracharya as one of the three essential attributes of a Sanyasi along with balya or childlike state and panditya or wisdom. Both Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Mahatma Gandhi observed periods of silence in their spiritual practice. Vinoba Bhave even observed a year long silence in the year 1974-75. Mauna is a state beyond speech and thought, it is ‘living without the ego-sense’. Mauna is not different from the classic definition of Yoga as given in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: ‘Yogas citta vritti nirodha’ – ‘Yoga is the cessation of mental fluctuations.’

The legend has it that after creating the devas, asurs, pitras etc, Lord Brahma was completely exhausted and decided to take a break. He sat ruminating about the direction his work had taken till now, when suddenly, from his body, emerged a creature who looked a lot like him. This was the first man, Swayambhu Manu (born-on-his-own) who was born with the Kaya of his father Brahma (ka-Brahma, ya-form).

Interestingly, the same incident is noted in Bible as - ‘Man was created in the image of his maker!’

One of the best practices for purifying the mind is mouna, or silence. During mouna, one fasts the mind from its usual heavy diet of continual conversation, interaction and stimulation. In this way mental energy is freed, and can be applied to self-investigation and inner communication. Observance of mouna is also a discipline, a sadhana, which increases self-control and willpower. Control of the tongue is a major step towards control of the mind.

There are varying degrees of mouna. In karna mouna, or control of speech, other forms of communication, such as note writing, gesturing and eye contact, are still permitted. However, when there is total withdrawal from all external communication, this is kastha mouna. Eventually all doubts are cleared from the mind, and the illusory character of the world with all its gunas is realized. This state is known as susupti mouna The highest form of mouna, when all thoughts are completely annihilated, is called maha mouna.

Mouna is also very useful for transmuting negative expression into divine qualities. Once there was a man in the ashram with a very violent temper. Swamiji told him to practise mouna. After spending a few months in silence, he became a shining personality, emanating love and working very hard. Through the practice of mouna he was able to redirect the energy lost in anger in more positive directions.
The regular practice of mouna changes a person's whole pattern of communication. His speech becomes more direct, concentrated and clear. When he does choose to speak, his brief words carry great power and meaning. He is able to command the total attention of his listeners, and they are able to hear the deeper truths underlying his words.

Sitting under the Kalpaka Vruksham Lord Dakshinamurthy is said to be giving upadesams to sanath, sanaathana rishis. Likewise there was an article in Tamil about Paul Brunton went to Bagawan Ramana Maharishi with list of questions but all his questions were answered without asking any questions.

Devotees sitting in front of Mahaperiyava – asking nothing – simply crying….Even in Dr Padma Subramanyam’s speech, she talks about a professor from California “accidentally” entered sri matam and described that experience as “lost in time”.

Shri. Kavyakantha Muni who received upadesa through silence from Shri Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi. Shri.KavyaKantha Muni was himself a renowned vedic scholar. It was Shri Kavyakanta Muni who gave the name as Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi..

The Muni approached the Virupaksha Cave where Brahmanaswami lived on the 18th of November 1907. Prostrating before the young Sage, he pleaded with a trembling voice: “All that has to be read I have read. Even Vedanta Sastra I have fully understood. I have performed japa to my heart’s content, yet I have not up to this time understood what tapas is. Hence, have I sought refuge at thy feet. Pray enlighten me about the nature of tapas.”

For fifteen minutes Sri Ramana Maharshi silently gazed at the Muni. He then spoke: “If one watches where the notion of ‘I’ springs, the mind will be absorbed into that. That is tapas. If a mantra is repeated and attention is directed to the source where the mantra sound is produced, the mind will be absorbed into that. That is tapas.” Upon hearing these words of the Sage, the scholar-poet was filled with joy and announced that this upadesa was entirely original and that Brahmanaswami was a Maharshi and should be so called thereafter. He then gave the name of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi to Brahmanaswami, whose original name had been Venkataraman.

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Source: millenniumpost

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