Could Silence be so potent that the entire manifestation in the universe would prefer to occur in deep Silence? Have you observed the planets, the stars and the complete galaxies revolving around the axis of divinity all in Silence? Could the eloquence of Silence be so powerful as to become Whisper of the Divine?
Silence is a deep and profound experience of mankind, deeper than one can normally visualise. We, as human beings, have an intimate relationship with Silence. It essentially exists in our inner self, because, somewhere deep down, in our conscious, we have a very close connection with it.
The book is an unique treatise on the marvels of Silence and is bound to overwhelm you. Read patiently and silently to delve into Silence. The journey begins with the identification and dissolution of unwanted thoughts, both external and internal, that constantly keep stressing the mind. This can be best achieved by slow and gradual withdrawal from the activities that can be better performed by others, avoiding frequent visit to memories of the past and shedding superfluous desires. This will bring an amazing feeling of an inner calm and happiness. Finally the journey in subtle layers of Silence would awaken your inner stillness and actualise the 'Spiritual Potential' that exists in each one of us without exception. It is at this level of transformation of body and mind when Silence and only Silence prevails both inside and outside that one is ready to enter the arena of Divine Silence and experience 'Spiritual Flashes'. It is when one is tuned to listen to the 'Whisper of the Divine. True Silence is the best way to pay homage to the Divinity within us.
Maj Gen (Rtd) Jai Krishan Kaushik was born on 15'" August 1947 in an orthodox family and from the very childhood remained a witness and a part of all the religious rituals performed in the house and the temples around. However, his own perception of God was of an entity that was beyond the barriers of the religion and rituals. In his heart of hearts he was never convinced that the Supreme Power, universally addressed as God and who is considered as omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, could be confined to the four walls of a religious institution, be it a Temple, Monastery or a Church. Over a period of time his belief gradually and subconsciously converted into firm conviction and eventually brought him close to Nature and Spirituality.
During the course of his postings to remote and comparatively untrodden border areas, in addition to doing his professional bit, he managed time to pursue his quest of an in depth study of nature. He hung up his uniform in 2006 but continued with his quest and travelled widely in India and abroad to witness and experience all shades of nature's manifestations. As a result of sustained pursuit, he developed a deep affiliation with nature and enjoyed an unique and pleasing oneness with its entire creation. He realised that the phenomenon of Silence has far deepper dimensions than what is apparently perceived and that there essentially exists a very strong bondage between Nature, Silence and Spirituality. Post retirement, Gen Kaushik is enthusiastically devoting his maximum time with nature, meditation, reading and writing. He has authored many articles on spiritual subjects in the past.
I am very happy to know that Major General (Rtd.) Jai Kaushikji has authored a book titled “Silence: Whisper of the Divine”.
Our ancient scriptures have well explained ‘Spirituality and silence.’ Our saints and sages have shwn us the way to enrich ourselves with spirituality. Silence is a state of consciousness where one can listen to the deepest wisdom of one’s soul.
I appreciate the efforts of the author Major General (Rtd.) Jai Kaushikji, which may enlighten readers with the ultimate glory and divinity of silence in his book.
I convey my best wishes and blessings to him for his maiden endeavor.
Having been born in an orthodox Hindu and that too, a Brahmin family, I always heard the chants and music of 'Artee' (spiritual prayers), both at dusk and dawn and that of the 'Bhajans and Kirtans', every week- end. My mother, being a devotee of Shiva, had a 'Shiva Linga' installed, with full religious honours, in the back court yard of our house, under a magnificent Peepal tree. My mother along with other devotees (most of them being females), would assemble early morning around the Shiva Linga, and each one them would pour water mixed with milk amidst loud chanting of devotional songs. From the time can recall, I watched and witnessed all these ritual, probably more like a spectator than any kind of devotee, till the time I left home and joined the Armed Forces in the officer's cadre and fulfilled my childhood dream of donning the olive green uniform.
However, I can distinctly recall that, while physically, I was a part of, or a witness to these religious rituals, mentally I always looked for something which had much deeper dimensions than what it apparently appeared in the 'Shiva Linga' as that made of an oblong black stone with three white parallel lines depicting Shiva's forehead. I always felt of having an entirely different image of Shiva that appeared somewhere deep in me (I am unable to pin point as to where exactly, in me, the image often appeared).
What appeared to me, Shiva, not in the form of Shiva Linga or an impressive male with long matted mane, some ferocious snakes around his neck, a tiger skin around his waist and a three pronged spear in his hand, but an all existing, mysterious power in the clouds, mountains and forests, the domain of unmanifested nature. My perception of God was that of an Entity that was beyond the barriers of religion and rituals. I was never convinced that the Supreme Power, universally addressed as God and which is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent could be confined to the four walls of a religious institution, be it a Temple, a Church or any place of worship for that matter. Over a period of time my belief gradually and subconsciously converted into firm convictions and eventually brought me close to nature and spirituality. The silence in itself seemed to be so vast and mystic that gave me an impression as if some kind of divinity had spread it all over. I unconsciously, grew into a personality, wherein I started cherishing an environment which was rich in silence and solitude. Any natural object, be it a hillock, a grove of trees, a river or the open sea fascinated me and I truly enjoyed being around it.
In the years that passed, I got branded and rightly so, as a silent, solitary and nature- loving person. In a span of about thirty years I did visit almost all major religious institutions, including the fabulous churches of Goa, Dargah of Sufi Peer Chishti (Ajmer), Shree Harminder Sahib at Golden temple (Amritsar), and majority of the Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries, but, I could never feel that wave of spirituality or have that feeling of inner stillness. My heart opened only in silence and solitude blended in nature.
Some unanswered questions that perpetually kept knocking at the doors of my
Why do all the powerful phenomena of the Cosmos happen in Silence? Is it that Silence is so vast, so powerful and so mysterious?
What is that intelligence which is superior to the human intelligence and which is not only balancing the activities of the ever dynamic universe with flawless articulation but also running the anatomic system of every living being? Why this super intelligence, that surely seems to exist, but we are unable to perceive it.
Can a dedicated effort unfold, partially or otherwise, the truth behind these seemingly mysterious entities existential in the nature? Science, in any case, is fundamentally orthogonal in its approach and defines nature based on physical form and objects.
With the hope to find some meaningful answers to these mind-boggling questions, I spent a good deal of time visiting ashrams located along the holy river Ganga in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Though the ashram's life certainly boosted the spiritual energy in its own way but my quest to understand the deeper dimensions of the Silence and nature remained largely unfulfilled. It is around this time that a dear friend gave me a photocopy of a small book that gave deep insight of the stillness in the nature. This book, which I must have read over a hundred times and each time I got a deeper version of the same text, worked as a catalytic agent and a fresh inspiration and stronger determination grew in me to know the not-so-apparent dimensions of Silence.
Next four years, which I proudly call as the 'Golden Period' of my life. I spent in befriending all forms of nature. I spent hours and days with birds, with plants, hillocks and other natural objects. I tried to watch them from close vicinity and communicate with them. It was indeed a very satisfying and fulfilling experience. I spent a great deal of effort and time to study the nature and its inseparable components-silence and spirituality. I whole heartedly enjoyed being a part of them, feel them and observe them from a very close angle.
In the back drop of what I have narrated above, there had been a constant urge in me to share some glimpses of my search and exposures with silence and divinity that is latent in silence, in the form of a book. I started off with the book as back as in 2008, but it had to be suspended intermittently whenever I felt that there was a lack of compatibility between my own true feeling and what I was putting in the text of the book. I had to go back to silence, solitude and nature till I came back to compatible terms. Though, due to such suspensions the completion of the book was considerably delayed but that certainly saved me from guilt of producing anything which was against my own perception and true feelings.
By profession I had a long innings with the Armed forces, and for that matter
I have certainly no previous or professional experience of writing a book, and
that too on a subject of this nature, however, I decided to reduce my feelings,
impressions and my experience with silence, nature and spirituality in the form
of a book, in my own style and language. I have taken this decision with great
deliberation, because I am quite certain in my mind that, there are many such
seekers with more determination and devotion, who could carry the search and
research on "to know more" of silence, its definite affinity with nature and
divinity and its power and vastness in the cosmos. The contents of this book,
for once, may not necessarily toe the line of thinking of many other seekers,
but the very fact that the mystery of the phenomenon of Silence in the cosmos,
has been a wishful quest of many seekers in past may boost their determination
to continue with the quest.
A good quote, sometimes, acts as a magical spark, setting in motion, thoughts, ideas, emotions and feelings that can lead to life changing revelations. With the above fact in mind, I have, in the course of writing this book, taken, both, liberty and privilege of using the quotes, words and opinions of many renowned spiritual masters of the past and present, more than frequent, but with honour and regard, simply to broaden the horizon of the reader on issues of concern and certainly not for the reason that such quotes would add to the credibility of my own texts. In my own wisdom I have termed these 'quotes' as Spiritual Triggers. I would personally remain apologetic if, ignorantly I have quoted some one else's words without proper reference.
For easy understanding of the concept and the contents, I have, in my own wisdom divided the book into four parts.
In the first part, I have tried to explain all possible phases of Silence and its affinity and oneness with other entities of the cosmos. Silence and nature are, like two birds in the same nest.
Mind is the most powerful entity of any living creature, particularly the human beings. The mind stands like a ferocious lion between us and Silence. It is practically impossible to conquer this lion, so better it is, that we know him, befriend him and control him. 1 have, therefore dealt with subject of 'Mind' in slightly more details. The chapter on Mind, therefore, exclusively forms part two of the book.
After fully familiarizing, and, also injecting a true feel of the power, vastness and the mystery behind the phenomenon of Silence, I have, in part three, devoted a great deal of effort in explaining, Silence as external and internal phenomena, I have suggested certain practices, though in brief, to achieve external and internal Silence. The most powerful and prevalent techniques, viz. Mauna, Solitude, Listening and Meditation, I have dealt in detail including, the relevant Asanas and Pranayamas.
I have devoted the fourth and the final part of the book to 'Pursuit of divinity through Silence' and in the final and concluding chapter of the book I have, but humbly shared the 'Flashes of my Experience with Divine Silence.
In a nutshell, I have tried to deal with this subject (Silence in principle), from the very elementary concept of mere quietness and finally culminating into Silence as a Divine phenomenon.
To end the preface, I wish to make two categorical statements:
One; using this book as a medium I have tried to put across purely my point of view and my experience with Silence and that I have made no effort to toe the line of the views, opinions and concepts of any one, renowned or otherwise.
Two; despite being advised by certain well wishers, I determinedly refrained from garnishing the contents of the book with any kind of flowery language or adding any spice to the contents since my purpose of writing this book is absolutely devoid of any commercial aspect.
A Word of Gratitude and Thanks
I am pleased to unfold the contents of this book with a gesture of gratitude and thanks. Gratitude to Dr. Eckhart Tolle whose book "Stillness Speaks" has been, not only the source of inspiration but also a trigger for me to write a book on subject like Silence and Dr. Swami Veda Bharti, a direct disciple of Swami Rama of Himalayas whose personal aura and spiritual wisdom I experienced during my few visits to his ashram at Rishikesh and certain booklets written by him, that enhanced my enthusiasm and determination to continue with my project.
I also take this opportunity to put on record my heartfelt appreciations for the valuable contributions made by the following dear friends;
Brigadier S B Deshpande is a veteran and curious blend of a soldier and saint but is also the one who is determinedly engaged in social service for the humanity at large despite the deterrents of age and health. I am indebted to him for rendering infallible support by editing the manuscript through a spiritual eye and for willingly putting forward his valuable suggestions.
R K Pande, a retired colonel of the Indian army is a learned seeker who makes meaningful but dispassionate and unorthodox analyses of the spiritual texts and scriptures. My long and regular discussions with him helped me to get unbiased, candid but pragmatic views and suggestions at every step of my proceeding with the script.
Sh. Harish and Malini Bhardwaj who are a right example of "A friend in need is a friend indeed". Harish, an old hand on Yoga willingly offered his own yoga postures exhibited in the 10th chapter of the book. Both of them have significantly contributed, mostly behind the screen, in both, publication as well as in organising a graceful 'Release function of the book'.
Lt Gen (Rtd) Ashok Agarwal, PVSM, Sh. Puneet Gupta and Vivek Nayak, who willingly and substantially helped me in organising various activities, connected with publication and release of the book.
It will amount to an act of impertinence if I fail to mention a word of applause for Sh. Mohindra K. Vashishta, my publisher, with whose mature advice that my maiden effort has finally taken the form of a book and reaching in the near vicinity of prospective readers.
Last but not the least I must confess that, but for the silent, selfless and dedicated support rendered by Rani, my loving wife, all through the long period that I was engrossed in writing, this book would not have seen light of the day.
I would continue seeking their good wishes for the book to reach the hands of lovers of Nature, Silence Spirituality.
A tiny seed in the womb of mother earth drawing its nourishment from it, sprouts and finally grow into a magnificent tree but in Silence. Sun the greatest single source of light & heat energy, rises every day, makes the globe bright and warm, goes back to the mysterious darkness but all in Silence. Have we ever observed the spell bound Silence of the sun, the moon, the earth, the sky and the complete galaxy of the stars and the planets? Yet they communicate so much; contribute so much towards making life possible. All celestial movements, cosmic phenomena and nature's manifestation, occur in deep silence. Imagine how potent and powerful would be the Silence of the cosmos or call it the Cosmic Silence.
Silence is a mystery beyond what the human mind can fully comprehend, yet Silence exists in each and every 'Self. It is an essential part of all beings existing on the earth, under the water, in the skies and beyond. If this potential of Silence could be effectively developed, it will provide tremendous help in understanding'the facts related to, what we today call as "miracles". Many more mysteries occurring in nature could be visualized and channelised to the wellness of beings. Probably, these unique virtues of Silence were well appreciated by our wise ancestors and that is why Silence is preached and practiced by all sects and religions across the globe.
Silence is an essential phenomenon of our daily life. If we want to concentrate on any matter, may it be meditation, serious thinking, reading, even while paying tributes to a departed soul, we need silence around usvIn certain orthodox Hindu families, Silence is maintained even while taking meals.
Silence should not be mistaken as mere abstinence from speech. Generally, renunciation of the intention to speak or a deliberate vow not to speak is known as 'Manna'. However, Manna is certainly not restricted to a mere willful and volunteered act of abstinence from speech, it is, rather a sacred practice to enhance spiritual, energy and calmness of mind. We will discuss this spiritual art of Mauna in an exclusive chapter.
Original definition of the word Silence has been overshadowed by different meanings and concepts. In the spiritual world Silence is seen with an all together different connotation. Inner Silence would generally mean only inner calm, but as we move deeper it acquires an all together different dimension, that, we would better call as inner stillness. This inner Silence or inner stillness essentially becomes a platform to dive into subtle layers of spirituality.
Silence is the most fertile ground for Spirituality
Spirituality and Silence are complementary to each other, one enhances the other. The insight of this book calls for an in depth understanding of the meaning and concept of spirituality, particularly so, since the word is used more than often in our routine conversation, in religious texts and discourses. We will, therefore, elaborate on the word 'spirituality at an appropriate stage.
It would be an act of pertinence to accept that Silence is the gift of the creator to its creation. Great sages, and prophets who were able to attain spiritual heights through rigorous meditation and maintaining perfect harmony between body and mind, experienced the deep Silence and heard the cosmic, sound which in Hindu mythology we call as Anadinaad.
Whenever Silence is, around, let us observe it, notice it with full concentration. The moment we start noticing this Silence we are no more thinking, we are only feeling the Silence around us. By doing so we are awakening the dimensions of our "Inner Stillness". It is through awakening of this inner stillness only that we will become aware of the Divine.
Many people, including those from the intellectual class and across the barriers of religion often raise a question about the Divine Power; how does one justify the existence of an entity which is formless, beyond human perception, even beyond imagination. Let us review the rationality of the views of these learned people in light of the following facts.
All physical and mental faculties, of the normal living beings have been placed under some kind of limitations by the creator. It's for this reason that we normally cannot see, cannot hear and even cannot imagine or perceive beyond certain limits. Does this mean that, what we can not ever see, hear, imagine or perceive has no existence? The great sages and prophets across religions, who had the quest and who relentlessly and earnestly sought the 'Truth', the truth of the existence of Soul, Self or Him, did perceive it. However, such experiences and perceptions can not be passed on a platter to others, even if the original perceivers earnestly wish to do so. Every seeker has to individually have that hunger and quest. They have to swim through the gross to the most subtle layers of mind and enter the realm of consciousness.
The search and research has to go on. The fraternity of researches had never stopped their research just because they initially could not unearth or discover what they intended to. What they thought did not exist, was eventually found to be existing just because they continued their research relentlessly. Who creates a complete human being out of a miniature almost invisible cell, who runs infinite system inside our body? If I was to control my own breathing system, I would have forgotten to take a breath while watching an interesting scene on the TV. Who runs and balances the complete cosmos? Who has created the entire universe and the nature?
There is another pertinent question, that has been engaging the minds of the rational thinkers:
How compatible is the scientific and intellectual pursuit with the traditional philosophies, concepts, beliefs and practices, particularly those that fall in the domain of Silence, spirituality and the Divine. Metaphysics, to an extent, tried to bridge the gap between the mythology and science. However, metaphysical theories failed to make any visible headway in this direction. It must be clearly understood that philosophies, texts and traditional practices are in no way mere speculations, but, are the records of the valuable experience and knowledge gamed by our ancient sages through rigorous spiritual practices. Therefore such concepts and practices cannot be summarily disposed off, because these are still above the conscious mind, intellect and science. The fraternity of scientists has to understand that these ancient concepts and practices
have successfully with stood the test of the time. Now it is the scientists who have to catch up to prove the scientific rationality of these concepts and practices. Fortunately enough, the fraternity of scientists have played their role and, after thorough research have accepted the scientific compatibility of many concepts and practices.
What was 'impossible' yesterday has become 'possible' today. It is because the scientists did not ignore the ignorance. They continued their search and research relentlessly. They took each failure as a challenge.
Ignorance is no ignorance but ignorance of ignorance is death of knowledge
There is another important aspect that I wish to caution my readers about.
All mythological texts, traditional concepts and practices have always been kept in high esteem by the followers of their respective religion, be it Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or Buddhism or any other religion for that matter. The reason was rather simple. These were initiated by none other than those masters who themselves visualised and experienced the 'Truth' when they touched the pinnacle of their spiritual wisdom. Our ancestors, therefore, never permitted any dilution, fragmentation or distortion of these concepts and practices and maintained their sanctity and originality through the generations. Also the contemporary keepers of the old traditions and practices are putting whole hearted effort to maintain the originality and sanctity of our ancient texts and practices.
However, of late, an unfortunate scenario has emerged. Certain opportunists have started, not only publicising the garnished versions of such practices as yoga or meditation through the visual media but also making a mockery of our mythological characters in audio-visual advertisements to attract attention of the modern generation. The present day spiritual gurus, who enjoy faith and belief of the masses should join hands together to discourage such unethical practices resorted to for a commercial aim.
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