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Sound and Silence: Part 2

In the pre­vi­ous post we looked at Vaikhari, the gross­est form of sound i.e speech. Today we shall look at Mad­hya­ma from the per­spec­tive of inner speech i.e thoughts and emo­tions.

In order to expe­ri­ence silence it is use­ful to keep the body silent and sta­ble (also ref­ered to as asana — sthi­ram sukham iti asanam — yoga­su­tra of Mahar­ishi Patan­jali). Out­er silence at the lev­el of the Vaikhari is not just to do with keep­ing the mouth shut and not speak­ing but also to do with asana — ie. keep­ing the body silent and sta­ble. Emo­tions are sub­tler than this gross body which we can feel through our out­er sense organs. Most of our emo­tions have direct phys­i­cal cor­re­lates. Emo­tions have clear fren­quen­cy ranges. Anger is a cer­tain fre­quen­cy while hap­pi­ness is anoth­er fre­quen­cy. And hence they have pop­u­lar­ly been asso­ci­at­ed with colour (as the phrase “red with anger” indi­cates). There are many causative fac­tors that lead to emo­tion­al imbal­ance. Some­thing as sim­ple as overeat­ing and a seden­tary lifestyle can cause a feel­ing of emo­tion­al heav­i­ness and dumb­ness (mand­ha). With emo­tion­al dis­tur­bance many peo­ple expe­ri­ence a con­stant state of being on the edge of the emo­tions where any moment at the slight­est provo­ca­tion (or no provo­ca­tion at all) they might fly off the han­dle.

To get a han­dle on this, in Yoga, it is rec­om­mend­ed to dis­si­pate Raga and Dwe­sha (attrac­tion and repul­sions). Strong likes and dis­likes can eas­i­ly cause us to fly off the han­dle. And hence being aware of this, one devel­ops pref­er­ences with respect to a pur­pose and a high­er life goal. And hence when there is a surge of emo­tion one’s sense of pur­pose is rein­forced rather than one’s ego. And over a peri­od of time the emo­tions are care­ful­ly direct­ed as an undi­rect­ed mind is likened to hors­es that have not been reined in.

Invest­ing the time and ener­gy in Devel­op­ing a sense of high­er pur­pose is so very impor­tant. Devel­op­ing a sense of cheer­ful pur­pose­ful­ness is very help­ful. Along with this, devel­op­ing a sense of for­give­ness and inclu­siv­i­ty cre­ates an inner har­mo­ny.

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