Prayer at Madurai Meenakshi temple

Prayer at Madurai Meenakshi temple

Sri Ramakrishna would often explain to his devotees the stages of evolution in the life of a spiritul seeker. He would say that as one progresses in spiritual life the din and bustle of activities start reducing and ultimately leads one to silence. To explain the idea he would refer to a beautiful experience of daily life.

Someone had invited a lot of guests for a feast. The guests started arriving slowly. They were greeting each other and discussing several mundane matters. As more guests arrived the noise of chatter and discussion only increased. Soon arrangements were made for serving food for the guests and all of them took their seats. Various dishes were being served one after another and the guests started eating. Still there was noise, but it was much less than before. Finally, when sweets were being served as dessert the noise was minimum. The guests had eaten sumptuously and soon they fell asleep after which there was only total silence.

Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that when one commences his spiritual journey, one is involved in various rituals and other activities similar to the noise made by the guests. As one progresses in spiritual life, activities such as formal worship, etc start lessening and the aspirant concentrates more and more on the goal of life.

His mind starts turning inwards. This tendency deepens further as one advances in spiritual life. Just before the final illumination, practically all activities or observances stop. With the dawn of Ultimate Knowledge there is only absolute or total silence. There is a feeling of inexplicable joy or peace which lasts forever. Our scriptures describe the Ultimate Knowledge or Truth as Brahman and is of the nature of Sat, Chit, Ananda or Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. Further, it is said that Brahman is beyond or incomprehensible by speech or mind.

by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 26th Jul 2014

Photo courtesy: “Madurai Meenakshi temple prayer” by Flickr user © Claude Renault Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


True Knowledge means silence
Article Name
True Knowledge means silence
Swami Shantatmananda, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi writes on Sri Ramakrishna's teaching regarding the nature of true knowledge.
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