Question 244: What are the types of silence?

What are the types of silence?We are told that Ganesha is one who has stilled the mind and has no master above him. Would we understand that this achievement was accomplished in silence? The youthful Rama asks the sage, what is the silence of deep sleep? The sage describes several kinds of silence.

Glossary:Atma-satta The potency of Atma (the Soul)

atma-abhyas: spiritual discipline; spiritual endeavour

sushupti maun: the silence of the deep sleep state.

turiya: the fourth state of consciousness that transcends and pervades the three states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep; the state where the individual self is united with the Supreme Self.

turiya: the fourth state of deep sleep. This is a state of complete ineffable Bliss in which the Universal Consciousness alone is experienced. It is beyond description.

turiya-atit: the state of transcending the turiya state.


Question 244: Sir, what is sushupti maun?

Answer: Ramji, silence (maun) is of four types. The first three types are:

(i) silence of speech or keeping the tongue within tight lips,
(ii) silence (maun) of senses, or stopping the functioning of the senses,
(iii) kasht maun or hatha yoga ~ to control the mind and the senses.


These three types of silence (maun) are practised by ascetics (tapasvisi) and involve physical effort or pain. The sushupti maun, the fourth type of silence, mentioned earlier, is followed by jivanmukta wise ones. The first three types of silence are for the ignorant and the hatha yogis.

The fourth one — sushupti maun — is for those who have acquired wisdom, jnana. Now listen about that.

Let there be actions with speech and the senses, but do not cognise anything as distinct or independent of Atma. Or, understand that neither I exist, nor does a universe; or, have the faith that I am everything and there is nothing besides me. To be firm in this faith, is sushupti maun.

Ramji, Atma can be realised in two ways. These are:

(i) to see Atma in everything, and
(ii) to cognise Atma as distinct from everything else.


In both the cases, only Atma is to be cognised, and stabilisation in that is sushapti maun. Ramji,to give up duality and to be firm in oneness is sushupti maun.

Besides, there is the fifth kind of silence (maun) in which it has to be realised that within me, there is neither waking, nor dreaming nor sushupti state. He who is firm in this faith, enjoys the state called turiya-atit. It is the highest of all types of silence (maun). It is tree from faults (vikar) and is flawless.

A gyani is always desireless and he is stabilised in turiya-atit. He is always fearless. He does not think of the real and the unreal, and always enjoys the Onkari state and knowing that as his true form (swaroop) he remains stabilised in that state. Ramji, you, too, should adopt such an attitude and being fixed in turiya-atit state, attain salvation (kalyan) .

Ramji, some time back there lived a king, Sikhidhvaja by name, who also remained in the non-ideational state and enjoyed immense bliss. You, too, should adopt the attitude like that of King Sikhidhvaja.


Strive To Earn God’s Grace! If you want to keep out of ignorance you must have wisdom. If darkness is to be expelled, there must be light. If Wisdom is to dawn on you, you must have the grace of God. Then only the darkness of ignorance will be expelled. Thyagaraja sang in one of his kirtans “Oh! Rama! If only your anugraha (grace) is with me, What can these grahas (planets) do?”

Human life is not meant for struggling with kama (desire), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (jealousy). It is meant to strive for God’s grace. Therefore, we must strive for such a grace and make our life meaningful. In this effort we must set an example to others. lt is said “Satatham Daiva Chinthanam” (always remain in the contemplation of God); “Sarvadaa Sarvakaaleshu Sarvathra Harichinranam” (always at all times and at all places keep yourself engaged in the contemplation of Hari); “Naasthi Naasthi Mahaabhaaga Kalikaala Samam yugam, Smaranath Chintanaadeva Prapnosi Paramaaam Gathim” (there is no parallel to Kali Yuga; by contemplation on God, one can easily attain divinity). There is, therefore, no greater sadhana in this Kali yuga than namasmaranam – chanting the name of the Lord.


What are the types of silence?

Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”



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