Silence Liberates

A story from Sri Chinmoy's 'Garden of the Soul'

Garden of the Soul

There lived a pious man in Bengal, India. Every day a Sanskrit scholar would come to his house and read aloud a few soul-stirring spiritual teachings from the Gita, the Upanishads and the Vedas. The master of the house listened devotedly to these discourses.

The family had a bird called Krishna. It was kept in a cage in the room where the discourses were given and also listened to these talks.

One day the bird spoke to its master and said, "Could you please tell me what benefit you derive from these spiritual talks?"

The master answered, "Krishna, you don't seem to understand that these spiritual talks will liberate me, free me from bondage!"

The bird said, "You have been listening to these discourses for the last few years, but I don't see any changes in you. Would you kindly ask your teacher what will actually happen to you?"

On the following day the master of the house said to his teacher, "Guru, I have been listening to your spiritual talks for the last 10 years. Is it true that I will get liberation and freedom?"

The teacher was still. He scratched his head, pondered the question, but found no reply. He remained silent for about an hour and then left the house.

The master of the house was stunned. His guru could not give an answer to the bird's question, but the bird found an answer.

From that day on, the bird stopped eating. It stopped singing. It became absolutely silent. The master and his family placed food inside the cage every day, but the bird would not touch anything.

One day the master looked at the bird and, seeing no sign of life in it, took it gently out of the cage. With a sad heart, he placed his Krishna on the floor. In a twinkling, the bird flew away into the infinite freedom of the sky!

The bird taught. Its master and his guru learned; silence liberates.

In tomorrow's world
Many things will enlighten humanity.
But the thing that will enlighten
Humanity's inner and outer life most
Is the transcendental temple
Of universal silence.

- Sri Chinmoy

 

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