The message of the Gita is the message of action. It is the action for the betterment of the world. Bhagavad Gita came into the picture when the greatest warrior of the land, Arjun’s was unwilling to perform his duty as a warrior. Bhagavad Gita taught us to be wiser, and to be happier, as a person, wife, family man, parent, child, sibling, colleague, neighbour and world citizen by performing right actions at right time. Gita has nothing to do with philosophy. Philosophy came later into the meditation for different purpose. Mainly to attract mind oriented people. Bhagavad Gita meditation is much more real and much more practical. Bhagavad Gita meditation is for preparing a person to perform right action in the midst of market place. Bhagavad Gita meditation is not exactly a cushion oriented closed eye meditation.
When I started reading Bhagavad Gita my teacher advised me to skip the commentaries. Now, I realized the reasons behind that. Commentaries after commentaries were written throughout the ages and the messages of action were diluted by the pundits and the scholars. As the holy river Ganges is polluted by the dust of the towns, commentaries often polluted the great teachings of Bhagavad Gita. But if you read the original verses of Bhagavad Gita with pure heart, the great messages of Bhagavad Gita will be crystal clear. Bhagavad Gita meditation deepens our understanding for skillful actions and for wise choices in life.
In the present form, there are 700 verses in Bhagavad Gita. However, there are many controversies about the original number of verses. I was analyzing the rhythm, teachings and the constructions of the Sanskrit verses. Personally I feel, out of these 700 verses about 80 verses are original which were delivered in the battlefield and rest of the verses may be added by the subsequent scholars to incorporate other wisdom in one book. Of course, this view may differ.
In my earlier post Daily Hindu Meditation: According to Bhagavad Gita, I discussed about concentration meditation and prayer. In this article, I will discuss about meditation on silence.
Purpose of Meditation:
There are two questions! Why to meditate? and How to meditate? According to Bhagavad Gita the purpose of meditation is to abide in the supreme bliss. It says:
“Supreme bliss comes to a Self-realized yogi whose mind is tranquil, whose desires are under control, and who is free from faults.” [6.27]
“When the mind disciplined by the practice of meditation becomes steady, one becomes content with the absolute bliss consciousness by beholding her /his with purified intellect. “[6.20]
There is a traditional view that the purpose of meditation is to still the mind. In traditional view the aim of meditation is to dissolve the dualities – the subject-object relationships. But Bhagavad Gita meditation is different, it prepares a person perfectly fit for the world. Not to run away from the world. It says non-identification of the fruits of the actions is the purpose of meditation. “Non-identification of the fruits of the actions” is the highest teaching and the highest meditation according to Bhagavad Gita.
Meditation on Silence
The Gita says “Among all the secrets, I am the Silence.” The observation of Silence by restraining speech is one of the most powerful meditation technique.
In the book “OM Chanting and Meditation” Sri Amit Ray said:
“Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love… The easiest way to get touch with this universal power is through silent Prayer. … Perfect prayer does not consist in many words, silent remembering and pure intention raises the heart to that supreme Power.”
There are four levels of speech. According to the levels of speech, there are four levels of Silence.
1. Articulate Speech ( Vaikhari Vaani): The words articulated from the vocal chord. Not expressing the words are known as verbal silence.
2. Middle Speech (Madhyama Vaani): It is the words just before its verbal expressions. Words are crystallized, syntax are ready but not expressed. Not allowing the words to be formed in its syntax level are known as mental silence.
3. Idea Speech (Pasyanti Vaani): It is the words just before the middle speech. The images of the ideas and words are vaguely taking its shape. Not allowing the images, ideas or words to be formed in this level are known as wooden silence (kastha mouna). The yogi will not express anything by body language, eye expression or by words.
4. Supreme Speech (Para Vanni): It is the state of the words just before the idea speech. It is the unmanifest source from which all sounds, images and ideas emerge. Abiding in this state is the true meditative silence.
Observation of silence verbal and mental silence leads to the highest form of silence, which is the non-dual auspicious silence (Santam-Shivam-Advitam). Observation of silence empower our speech and makes it more meaningful.
In performing the verbal and mental silence meditation you do not need to sit cross-legged or with closed eyes. While doing your regular duty you can perform this meditation on silence. It requires no special preparation.