Art of Living
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
At the height of every emotion there’s silence
Intelligent people always like to do that, they would like to do something practical, and many people came to them. Remember, all disciples of Buddha were very intelligent, highly educated scholars. He didn’t need to do much convincing at all. When they were told, “Come, sit, we’ll meditate and observe,” they were ready to do it. That’s a sign of an advanced society, that people are open, not closed – minded, innovative, ready to listen, so Buddha spoke and taught.
Ten thousand people would sit in stillness and observe, meditate, and became free, and attained enlightenment. Ten thousand people, never before in history had this happened.
Buddha would not indulge in any philosophical discussion with them at all. There were several questions he said he would not answer, and just be silent. Is there God? He would not say anything. When did this universe begin? He would keep silent. Is there an end to the universe? And again he would just keep quiet.
What will happen to the soul after it’s enlightened, where will it go? He said those questions are irrelevant, he would not even say a word.
Certain questions, the moment you start answering, you are not answering them. Certain question whatever you say means only “No”, whether you say “Yes” or “No”, are you aware of it? “Yes no, yes, no.” “Are you aware you are saying Yes?”
This something that is beyond your eyes or no answers, beyond your thoughts, your concepts, your feelings and ideas, that something that is so delicate, yet so concrete, and yet so vague and again, tangible, that in pragya, awareness.
This comes up when you are calm, when you are in samadhi, when you have equanimity.
Right mindfulness can root out the misery in our lives. This can break the patterns that we live with. Silence breaks the pattern, like nothing else. It is in – built in our nature, in our system.
The human body is made that way. See, anything that is too much for the mind to take, it become silent. When something shocks you, what does it do to you? It takes you to silence. Something stunning takes you to silence.
When something is very wonderful, words disappear, you become silent. At the height of every emotion, at the peak of every happening, there is silence. Recognising it, manifesting it in your life, you cross over the ocean of samsara, the ocean of misery.
Otherwise when you feel happy or miserable, you link that felling to something outside yourself. Then the wheel starts happening. You hold something else responsible for your misery or your happiness, someone else is responsible. Buddha said, “No,” just observe the sensations.
I think it should be mandatory for every psychologist to study Buddha. A psychologist can never be complete if does not study Buddha.
Buddha has given all the knowledge about the mind and its functions in such a methodical manner. And this is what we all need to realise and understand.