Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Psychology of Silence

by Swami Veda Bharati

[Passage has been taken from the book Silence, the Illuminated Mind by Swami Veda Bharati, published by Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust 2018].

When we contemplate silence and begin to talk about it, would we find ourselves at a loss for words? We want to reach the point of silence where words would be fully lost and the silence of mind that ensues alone would be our communication.

Since we use a verbal vehicle of communication we are still in the world of analysis.  However, it is not possible that silence, through silence, can be analysed.  Silence is that whole which is not constituted of parts.  But we know it.  We know its presence.  We know its possibilities by visible manifestations, by tangible experiences, by its signs and symptoms.

It is said in the Yoga-sutras that the yogi in samadhi does not say he is in samadhi. Only when he emerges from samadhi, seeing that time has lapsed, does he know that he was in samadhi. So also we know true silence only by the symptoms, the manifestations it leaves in its wake, the waves that arise from its depths.

Spiritual psychology has not yet been defined. A textbook of spiritual psychology has not yet been written. Much that passes for psychology has its roots in the world of manifestations and the experiences thereof. Although the founder of modern psychology, Freud (it is not well known) began his investigations under the tutelage of a teacher who was very keen on understanding breathing processes. He later abandoned that line of investigation and took a different route into the unconscious.

Many of our experiences of life and psychological conditions that have been forgotten, which lie in our unconscious, actually do not quite originate from where he says they do; for example, the human urge to return to the womb – the unconscious memory of the womb experience. Actually much that is attributed to the womb really belongs to that part of our being which is beyond the unconscious, which is the truly conscious, which is the world of silence. The desire for a return to the womb has its origin not in a desire but, in a recognition we all have of our origins being in a very deeply, eternally silent place. When we are in that eternally silent place, it is the truly silent night, a holy night. There is a mantle of silence under which we seek to conceal ourselves from the world of manifestations, to shelter ourselves from the world of noises. I have reached these conclusions after observing my own moments of excitation and agitations in life, the very excitatory phenomena that have become an integral part of our culture nowadays whereby we think that the more exciting the better. After observing those phenomena with great care, I have established that we seek excitations and agitations also because they lead us to exhaustion. It is actually the exhaustion we are seeking from the restless kinetic form of energy. Because, the large majority of us who do not know the direct route into the "eternal rest,” we try to go to it by way of exhaustion, through resting. Those who have begun to find that direct route, take to the path of pratyahara.

To order your new copy of Silence: The Illuminated Mind, please visit www.yogapublications.org or send us an email at [email protected].



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