by Mr. Justice Prasanta Bihari Mukharji
From a speech given on 8th Dec, on the occasion of Maha Moun Divas, Platinum Jubilee of Avataric Silence, year 2000, Calcutta.
The eloquence of silence speaks to the heart and not to the ear. The eardrum cannot catch it. The heart beats with it. The life rhymes with it. The Creation is instinct with it. The Universe is aflame with it. The still serenity of Eternity is suffused and surcharged with it.
The Silence is the unagitated breath of the eternal and unconditioned existence. This Silence is paradoxically never silent but always puissant. The natural effortless Apnoea, the Kumbhaka, is the symbol and insignia of immortality, the undying awareness of the dying and the deathless, the born and the unborn, the unsleeping witness keeping an uninterrupted vigil of all that sleeps and is sleepless, and the state of all states.
The agitated breath signifies the movement of the samskaras and the desires for divided things and not for the Whole and the Infinite. It is the agitation of the breath which creates plurality of words and multiplicity of sounds and so creates a film over Silence. It is that film which veils the face of Silence and makes its eternal eloquence apparently inaudible in the World’s cauldron of the chemistry of sound.
You can utter the Word but not the Silence. The Silence is unutterable. It is unspeakable…. The Silence is the matrix out of which matter is born and to which matter returns…. The Silence is the pabulum that feeds Life Eternal and indestructible. It is the supreme imperturbable Static which alone makes all Dynamics possible.
Silence is the spirit. The “Word” is the body. To “utter” is to make outer. Whatever is made outer is necessarily partial and can never be total. If it were total, the grand illusion of the inner and the outer will snap and the silent will absorb the non-silent. For then according to the Vedas “Yat Bahyam, Tad Antaram, Yat Antaram, Tad Bahyam“. Then the Drama, the Audience and the Author become one.
Silence therefore by its very nature must remain indivisible and infinite. Words must therefore remain divisible, partial and finite.
“The Word” is different from words. “The Word” is the speaking messenger of Silence. But the messenger can only announce the Silence. What does he announce? “The Word” announces the Silence. That is why Kabir Saheb says that there is only “one Word and not two words”: “Ekai Bachan, Dujoi bachan Nahi.”
Words, therefore, in plurality, are the army of confusion. They build the Tower of Babel. The heart of all hearts, the King of hearts, speaks The Word. The tongue speaks many words. Between the Word and words lies encompassed the whole story of Creation telling the tale of how the Universal becomes individuals, the Infinite becomes finite, the One becomes many, the Ocean becomes waves, the river becomes rivulets, the rivulets becomes ponds, and the pond becomes stagnant cesspool. The Sound coiled is the “Kundalini” lying dormant in forms of matter….
But the Mission persists though the missionaries separate themselves. With every inhalation of the breath “Puraka“, the bewildered missionary unsuspectantly tries to ascend. With every exhalation, “Rechaka“, he lapses to disintegrate. In between the two struggles, the momentary pause for balance (Kumbhaka) goes unnoticed. The result is that the missionary is perpetually and restlessly distracted from the left (Ida) to the right (Pingala) and from the right to the left and never finds the straight and the middle path (Susumna), which preserves “The Word”.
Although the missionary has forgotten the Mission, yet the Mission eternally remembers him. Such is the beauty, such is the miracle, and such is the mystery, that the Mission goes on with its ceaseless operation. To be conscious of the Mission is to redeem oneself and to redeem the worlds of phenomena. “THE WORD” is the redeemer….
The metaphysics of Sound has to be understood first, in any endeavour to realize, understand and enter the realmless Silence, which Meher Baba is expounding with his life.
The crudest form of Sound is “Baikhari“, which can be uttered and heard by the physical apparatus. But this crude manifestation is preceded by three subtler stages of “Madhyama“, “Pashyanti” and “Para” Vak, perceptible only to processes belonging to philosophical physiology. In the unredeemed man, still in the bondage of his Samskaras, these three subtle stages of “Madhyama“, “Pashyanti” and “Para” Vak are subconscious and uncognised and therefore not under his conscious command. He only has a sense of command over the “Baikhari” and this limited sense of command feeds his “Ahamkara” or the Ego.
But this sense of command over the “Baikhari” words is illusory. They have already been shaped, formed and determined by three uncognised preconditions through which the Sound has already passed. Control of the tongue is therefore for all practical purposes an imperfect, if not impossible, advice.
The tongue does not speak. Three other more powerful causes make the tongue speak and unless the control is exercised first at “Para”, then at “Madhyama”, and finally at “Pashyanti” stages, the Baikhari words remain, in essence, uncontrollable and fundamentally incoherent. That is why the “small talks”, the so-called superb languages and literature of mankind, by these subtler fundamental standards, are largely incoherent, essentially false, perversely unrealistic, the prattling of persons under the hypnosis of their Samskaras, helpless prisoners of their acquired and inherited tendencies, through endless incarnations, and experiencing forms.
Unless therefore these remote controls of Sound are known, the “Word” can never be known or realised. They contain the core secret of THE WORD.
In Baikhari words, there is sharp difference between the “sound” and the “meaning” and therefore they fail to unite or really communicate. In Madhyama, this distinction, intermittently but not permanently, disappears. But in luminous sound, Pashyanti, there is no difference left between the sound and the meaning and is therefore beyond the region of “utterance”, and is the only solvent of the “Ego”.
At the frontier of this seemingly unending expanse of sound turned luminous, there is a twilight barrier across which the Word calls and beckons. The Vedas and the Upanishads call it “Para Vak“, “The Word”. This is the celestial abode of the “Word”, inviolable by any division and unchallenged in supremacy of power, knowledge and bliss.
The metaphysics of Sound begins with the postulate that vibration is not the cause of the Sound but the Sound is the cause of vibration. The cause in physics is the effect in metaphysics. In that sense and more, physics reversed is metaphysics. The Sound that exists without vibration is the silent sound capable of creating, destroying and recreating universes and is more powerful than the vibrated sounds, taken separately or collectively. It is this Anahat-Nad, unvibrated sound which acquires luminosities and produces unobstructed vision, not of the eye, but of awareness and perception.
We are now approaching the indescribable and unutterable nature of “The Word”, the Shabda-Brahman…. Here we shall understand this nature better from the words of Meher Baba Himself….
“The emergence of this Sound through what is called the “OM-POINT” or Its Creative Utterance produced the worlds of Mind, Energy and Matter. This Primal Oceanic Sound is the Root of all forms and creatures and men and they are continuously connected with IT and derive their life from IT.
When one closes one’s lips and expresses sound, a “m-m-m” is produced. This “m-m-m” is the foundation or ground of all spoken words and contains all feelings as when it expresses pain and anguish or joy and happiness, or all thought when expressed during thought and is capable of containing the whole of a question and its answer. This “m-m-m” is a “drop” of faint sound of the Oceanic Sound, the “M-M-M” or “WORD” or God, separated from the ocean by seven shadows of separation….
This Original Oceanic “M-M-M” is called BRAHMNAD (Sound or “WORD” of GOD) or UNHAD-NAD (Limitless Sound or “WORD”)….
It experiences All-Power, All-Knowledge and All_Bliss; but the drop “m-m-m”, although of the same “substance” and not in any way different from the Oceanic “M-M-M”, and although continuously connected with IT, feels because of its separation through seven shadows of separation, most weak, most ignorant and most unhappy — even though at times it asserts strength, knowledge and happiness.
In this present Age when words, through accumulation and accretion, have become meaningless and all My previous words in the form of Precepts are neglected and distorted, I maintain SILENCE.
When I break My silence and speak, it will be this Primal Oceanic “M-M-M” which I will utter through My human mouth.”
This is the “Word”…. The Word stands between God and His creation. At the frontier and junction-point between Reality and Illusion, the “Word” keeps sleepless vigil…. It is at this critical point, the mind ends and Silence begins. The “Word” is the echo of “Silence” in the metaphysics of Sound….
In spiritual semantics there is no anti-thesis between silence and sound, between darkness and light, between existence and non-existence.
Silence in spiritual discipline therefore is the royal technique in the operation of Sound. This Silence is the most efficient and perfect Teacher. Therefore God and Nature always teach by Silence. Silence is the Perfect Power transfigured when all dissipation is eliminated and all noise has been stilled….
This is how Meher Baba explains: “MY WORD can only echo the old spiritual truths, but it is My Mystic Power that will bring a new element into the world’s life.”…
It is the time to gather in and tune up to hear the Silence. When Silence can be heard, nothing remains unheard.
source Avatar Meher Baba image courtesy of pixabay.com