The voice of silence

[Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series]

Today I am going to talk on the Voice of Silence. Dear seekers, with all sincerity I wish to tell you that no matter how long I speak about the Voice of Silence, I shall not be able to make you hear the Voice of Silence. But I wish to assure you that if you meditate with me for a few minutes before I speak, if you can dive deep within as I shall dive deep within for a few minutes, then either you will hear the Voice of Silence or your prayer and meditation will expedite your journey towards receiving the message of Silence.

It is true that it takes years for a seeker to hear the message of the Voice of Silence. But, with all my soul’s love for each seeker present here today, I wish to say that on the strength of our inner aspiration and outer dedication to the life divine, we can and must hear the Voice of Silence which sempiternally is guiding our life. Our outer life — the life of hustle and bustle — either does not hear this voice or, when it does hear it, pays no attention to it. The life of temptation is what our outer life wants, and not the life of true fulfilment and satisfaction. The Voice of Silence is the answer when we want divine satisfaction from our day-to-day existence.

The Voice of Silence is the dream of God’s ever-climbing Aspiration-dawn.

The Voice of Silence is the reality of God ever-illumining Revelation-light.

The Voice of Silence is the Immortality of God’s ever-fulfilling Perfection-height.

What is voice?

Voice is our inner and outer chance.

Hunger for life-destruction is our animal choice.

Hunger for supremacy-satisfaction is our human choice.

Hunger for perfection-manifestation is our divine choice.

We wish to hear the Voice of Silence, but how can we hear it? There are two principal ways. One way is to silence the human mind totally. From the gross physical mind we enter into the intellectual mind. From the intellectual mind we enter into the intuitive mind. From the intuitive mind we enter into the illumined mind. And from the illumined mind we enter into the overmind. It is only from this highest mind that we can expect to hear the message of the Voice of Silence.

The other way is to feel that the heart-vessel has to be filled with divine Peace, Light, Bliss and Power. When we want to hear the Voice of Silence through the mind, we empty the mind. But when we want to hear the Voice of Silence through the heart, we fill up the heart. When we empty the mind, we have to know that we do so precisely because we want to receive God the Guest or God the infinite Peace. And when we fill up the heart, we feel that God the immortal Light and infinite Delight is entering into our earthly home. The light of the soul precedes the Voice of Silence. The Voice of Silence can never come to the fore unless and until the light of the soul brings it forward consciously, compassionately and lovingly.

What else must we do to hear the Voice of Silence? When we pray, when we meditate, we have to do something quite specific. When we breathe in, we have to imagine consciously that inside that breath, within us is a peaceful nest and a bird. After a few minutes we have to feel that the nest is our outer existence and the bird is our inner existence. Now this bird has to come out of its nest. How do we bring the bird out of the nest? There are two ways. One way is to make our concentration, meditation and contemplation as dynamic as possible. Here, dynamism means the constant feeling within you of a speeding train that does not stop. It is an express train, and it does not stop at any station or at any junction. It is a tireless train, an endless train, continuously going on. When we have that inner feeling, from the very starting point we get the Blessing-power of the Supreme. And in dynamism, in the flow of dynamism, we see the bird of our inner being leaving its nest, and the Supreme gives us the experience of the Voice of Silence.

Another way to hear the Voice of Silence is to feel, the moment you enter into your meditation or the moment you start praying, that you are an infinite expanse of ocean. A few minutes later, please feel that you are deep inside the ocean, and from there try to spread the wings of the bird that you were when you followed the dynamic way of hearing the message of Silence.

A seeker may hear the Voice of Silence as something very faint and feeble — a tiny voice like a ripple of calm water. But this feeble voice, this faint voice, can be compared to an atom. When we split the atom we release unbelievable power. Similarly, when we know how to hear the Voice of Silence properly, our inner being immediately is inundated with the Power of thousands of inner suns. The creation and the Creator immediately come to satisfy us. Once we hear the Voice of Silence consciously in our spiritual life, we feel that, like God, we too are responsible for the entire creation. Like God, it is we who are the Creator and we who are the creation itself.

Now, how can we know whether we are hearing the Voice of Silence or something totally different which we are mistakenly calling the Voice of Silence? I wish to tell you that we can easily know if it is the Voice of Silence or not. When we hear a voice from the very depths, from the inmost recesses of our heart, and if that voice gives us a message which our outer mind or physical consciousness is ready to accept with utmost joy and love, then we will know that that is the Voice of Silence. If the physical mind or the outer consciousness does not get immediate joy, then it is not the Voice of Silence. Right now our outer mind gets joy both in the acceptance of reality and in the rejection of reality. But when the inner Voice enters into the outer mind, then the outer mind has no choice. It immediately accepts the reality as reality. When the Voice of Silence is heard, the outer mind will accept it so wholeheartedly that it will feel that the lofty truth it has discovered is its own achievement.

God expresses Himself through silence and sound. Silence is His Reality’s height; silence is His Reality’s depth. Sound is His Reality’s length; sound is His Reality’s breadth. In silence, God is all assurance. In sound God is all confidence. In self-assurance God builds the Kingdom of Light. In self-confidence, God invites His unlit, obscure, unaspiring creation to enter into His Kingdom of Light. A seeker who is a child in the spiritual life finds it quite easy to appreciate, admire and adore God’s length and breadth. But a seeker who is advanced in the spiritual life inwardly feels that God’s height and God’s depth must be appreciated first, and only then can His length and breadth be truly and properly appreciated, admired and adored.

The Voice of Silence is God’s conscious preparation in man. The Voice of Silence is God’s conscious Dream of Perfection in man. The Voice of Silence finally becomes God’s own ever-transcending dream-bound Reality and Reality-freed Dream.

O Voice of Silence Where are you? I need your golden wings O Voice of God, Where are You? Hide not from me.

Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium

February 1, 1974

Sri Chinmoy, The tears of nation-hearts.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 140th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The tears of nation-hearts, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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