Meditation is Not Silence

Prabhupāda: What is meditation?

Indian man (2): Giving all thoughts.... Coming to pure silence of the mind.

Prabhupāda: So how you can be silent? Is it possible?

Indian man (2): No, just by some sādhana.

Prabhupāda: Silent is also.... (dog barking) The stones are silent. Does it mean meditation?

Indian man (2): But mind cannot be silent. The mind must be made to (indistinct).

Harikeśa: Hut!

Prabhupāda: So then how you can make silent?

Indian man (2): By seeing God in everything.

Prabhupāda: Meditation is not silence. That is wrong idea. Meditation means to think of God. That is meditation.

Indian man (2): Brahma-bhāvana.

Prabhupāda: Brahma-bhāvana is also not practical. Parabrahma-bhāvana, kṛṣṇa-bhāvana. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Indian man (2): Supreme Lord.

Prabhupāda: That is real meditation. Meditation does not mean to make the mind vacant. No, a wrong. People are thinking like that. It cannot be. One girl—that is written—"Sir, meditation to make the mind out of all thoughts." So she said, she thought that "How can I be without thoughts? This 'without thought,' I'll think—that is a thought. Therefore it is bogus." He (she) threw away this meditation book.

Indian man (2): No, thinking about the God's thought, in course of time it will be empty. Mind will be empty.

Prabhupāda: So unless you come.... According to your idea, unless you come to that emptiness, you are not perfect. But that will never come.

Indian man (2): Then only it will be empty.

Prabhupāda: That will never come. Therefore it is bogus. You cannot...

Indian man (2): In the beginning it is bogus, but the result is...

Prabhupāda: No, no. In the beginning bogus and it is always bogus, because mind cannot be without thought. So why do you propose "without thought"? That is not possible. Therefore it is bogus.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is the beauty of having emptiness?

Prabhupāda: That is another.... Emptiness mean he is troubled by so many anxieties; therefore he wants to make it empty.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's simply negative.

Prabhupāda: Negative idea. That is material idea. That is not spiritual.

Mahāmṣa: Nowadays people are going in silence, but they write questions and answers by paper. They say, "I am observing silence..."

Prabhupāda: As if there is no sound.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In Allahabad we met a man like that. He was moving around so much that he was more active than if he had talked.

Prabhupāda: No, that "ooohh." That is the...

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Even Basarilal Nanda, I have heard, one day a week, on Sunday, it's his silence day. He doesn't speak to anyone on Sunday.

Acyutānanda: Yes, Mahatma Gandhi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's a good day to ask him for a donation.

Prabhupāda: [break] What is the use of becoming silent? What is the utility?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: For people who are rascals it is a very good idea. Then they won't talk nonsense.

Prabhupāda: Yes. For them it is all right.

Mahāmṣa: It is good for them.

Prabhupāda: Because they cannot speak anything good, better remain silent. [break] ...chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, yan-nāma śruti-mātrena pumān bhavati nirmalaḥ. Simply by hearing he'll become purified. So why we shall become silent? Let them hear.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right. Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām [Bg. 9.14].

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Constantly chanting.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says, satataṁ kīrtayanto mām. Why.... Never said that "You become silent." Where is? Can you show me any verse in the Bhagavad-gītā? Huh? Can you show me any verse where Kṛṣṇa has advised that you become silent? Or the mind is vacant? Where these things...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto.

Prabhupāda: Huh. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto: "The mind should be absorbed in My thought," man-manā. That is recommended. Where does He say that "Make your mind vacant and think of nonsense"? He never says. And where does He say that you become silent? He never says.

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ

mad-bhakteṣv abhidāsyati

na ca tasmān manusyeṣu

kaścid me priya-kṛttamaḥ

 [Bg 18.68]

"Anyone who speaks about this Bhagavad-gītā, he is My dearmost friend," He said. So why one should be silent? Our ultimate aim is how to become dearmost to Kṛṣṇa. And He never says that "You become silent." Why shall I become silent? Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām [Bg. 9.14]. Rather, He recommends that "You always be engaged in glorifying Me." Where is the "silent"? These are all manufactured by these rascals. So many, meditation, silence—these are not recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā.


Morning Walk -- January 6, 1976, Nellore

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Jessica Scarborough (Friday, 25 October 2013 10:38)

    Hare Krsna,
    thank you. This concept made sense to me. I have never been able to empty my mind, then I am just thinking "empty your mind". The mind does become like calm, smooth waters when fixated on the Supreme Personality of Godhead.