This weekend, I was traveling to Pondicherry. Of all the places I visited, Aurobindo Ashram was the most soul-stirring experience. At the entrance, they ask you to switch off your phone. And there after you are not expected to speak. You enter a hall where people are sitting all around, emerged in their own self. Because you can not speak, the only medium that you have used the most is cut-off. That is when your other senses get their due share of stimuli.
It was during those 30 minutes of silence that I realized that silence could be so much beautiful. I could notice and appreciate the nature around me. I was entertained by two squirrels dancing in the hallway. I noticed different birds chirruping in sync. Peace was so divine and powerful that I could talk to myself. This is when I realized that in my day to day life I have been filling my peace with all kinds of noise. It was perhaps my first experience when there were hundreds of people in the same room and no one was talking to anyone else. Everyone was content and lost, lost in the beauty of this world.
In my day to day life, there are rare moments when I can get that serene tranquility. It’s not possible to stay silent in the office as I am expected to communicate or respond. But when I do have a choice, I am so used to the noise in life that I fill those peaceful times with random music. Way to my office is a 20 minutes’ walk through woods. Invariably I would plug in. It’s not a bad idea to listen to music. Soulful music stirs your soul. But as is music important, so is peace. Now I strive for atleast 30 minutes of complete silence every day, when I am not connected to an electronic device and am not talking to anyone.
Silence is powerful. Most of us are afraid of silence because we live in an illusionary world built upon vanity and pretense. Noise keeps us distracted to encounter our own self. We fill all the empty space with so much noise that our true self never gets to interact with our worldly identity. That is why most of us get entangled in the cycle of the corporate ladder, never taking time out to understand our ultimate purpose in life. It’s only when everything is lost that we realize that we never pursued what we wanted and what we pursued we never wanted.