(1) The Virtue of Silence
Experience has taught me that silence is part of Spiritual Discipline of
a votary of Truth. . . . When one comes to think of it, one cannot help
feeling that nearly half the misery of the world would disappear if we,
fretting mortals, knew the virtue of silence. Before modern civilization
came upon us, at least six to eight hours of silence out of twenty-four
were vouchsafed to us. Modern civilization has taught us to convert
night into day and golden silence into brazen din and noise. What a
great thing it would be if we in our busy lives, could retire into
ourselves each day, for at least a couple of hours and prepare our minds
to listen to the voice of the great Silence. The Divine Radio is always
singing if we could only make ourselves ready to listen to it, but it
is impossible to listen without silence. St. Theresa has used a charming
image to sum up the sweet result of silence:
"You will at once feel your senses gather themselves together, they seem
like bees which return to the hive and they shut themselves up from work
without effort or care on your part. God thus rewards the violence which
your soul has been doing to itself; and gives to it such a domination
over the senses that a sign is enough when it desires to recollect
itself, for them to obey and so gather themselves together. At the
first call of the will, they come back more and more quickly. At last
after many and many exercises of this kind, God disposes them to a state
of absolute repose and of perfect contemplation."
(2) Silence Facilitates Communion with God
Silence has now become both a physical and spiritual necessity for me.
Originally it was taken to relieve the sense of pressure. Then I wanted
time for writing. After, however, I had practised it for sometime, I
saw the spiritual value of it. It suddenly flashed across my mind that
that was the time when I could best hold communion with God. And now I
feel as though I was naturally built for silence.
Silence is a great help to a seeker after Truth like myself. In the
attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what
is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our
life is long and arduous quest after Truth and the soul requires inward
restfulness to attain its full height.
(3) True Meditation
True meditation consists in closing the eyes and ears of the mind to all
else except the object of one's devotion. Hence, the closing of the eyes
during prayers is an aid to such concentration. Man's conception of God
is naturally limited. Each one has, therefore, to think of Him as best
appears to him, provided that the conception is pure and uplifting.
(4) Power of God's Name
Rama is the strength of the weak. This strength is not to be obtained by
taking up arms or by similar means. It is to be had by throwing oneself
on His name. Rama is but a synonym of God. You may say God or Allah or
whatever other name you like, but the moment you trust naught but Him,
you are strong. All disappointment disappears.
Ramanama is an alchemy such as can transform t he body. The conservation
of vital energy has been likened to accumulated wealth but it is in the
power of Ramanama alone to make it a running stream of ever-increasing
spiritual strength, ultimately making a fall impossible.
Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul needs the
matchless and pure strength of faith. This strength can renovate the
weakness of all man's physical organs. That is why it is said that when
Ramanama is enshrined in the heart, it means the rebirth of man. This
law applies to the young, old, man and woman alike.
(5) Take the Name with Every Breath
Though my reason and heart long ago realized the highest attribute and
name of God as Truth, I recognize Truth by the name of Rama. In the
darkest hour of my trial, that one name has saved me and is still saving
When a child my nurse taught me to repeat Ramanama whenever I felt
afraid or miserable, and it has been second nature with me, with growing
knowledge and advancing years. I may even say that, the word is in my
heart, if not actually on my lips, all the twenty-four hours. It has
been my saviour and I am ever stayed on it.
What is the mark of a man who has Rama enshrined in his heart? Such a
man will take God's name with every breath. His Rama will be awake even
whilst the body is asleep. Rama will be always with him in whatever he
does. The real death for such a devoted man will be loss of this sacred
A devotee of Rama may be said to be the same as the steadfast one—Sthitaprajna
— of the Gita. He will live in the consciousness of the soul and look to
the care, first and last of the Indweller. Such a man will take God's
name with every breath.
(6) Blessings of Ramanama
My Rama ... is not the historical Rama. . . . He is the eternal, the
unborn, the one without a second. Him alone I worship.
A Christian may find the same solace from the repetition of the name of
Jesus and a Muslim from the name of Allah. All these things have the
same implications and they produce identical results. Only the
repetition must not be a lip-expression, but part of your very being.
I have said that to take Ramanama from the heart means deriving help from
an incomparable Power. The atom bomb is as nothing compared with it.
This power is capable of removing all pain.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Ramanama contains all the power that
is attributed to it. No one can by mere wishing enshrine Ramanama in his
heart. Untiring effort is required as also patience. What an amount of
labour and patience have been lavished by men to acquire non-existent
philosopher's stone? Surely, God's name is of infinitely richer value.
With my hand on my breast, I can say that not a minute in my life am I
forgetful of God.