Posted by: lrrp | December 11, 2007

Muni and Thinker

Muni is an oriental word which can approximately be translated as Sage. But the word Sage does not give to my mind the exact meaning of the word Muni.

Muni is a silent person. He does not think & instead is absorbed in silent meditation. Mainly in the oriental hemisphere there were Munis & in the Occident there were Thinkers. Socrates is usually presented as a Thinker, but for me he was a Muni who had attained a higher level of spiritual development.(in the morning of the day of his execution one of his disciples came to his prison cell & he found his Master was in a deep & smooth sleep! Several hours ahead of his execution he was sleeping, indeed he was in deep meditation)

“Mind keeps us away from our true nature. If we are lost in intellect & mind our true nature disappears & we become ‘artificial’. As we know French surrealists were inspired by the African primitive art which was not guided by intellect. These African artists were “uneducated” “unintellectual”. Therefore this primitive art was not corrupt by “intellectualism”. It expressed itself without being reined by intellect. Through Silence one can go into his true nature.”

The Silence invites us to embark upon an interior journey: a holistic peregrination. Silence is the true nature of man. The opposite of Silence is something which comes from outside.

Every great spiritual master has advocated Silence. Buddha spent 6 years in total silence. Mahavira of Jainism was a silent master. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, in total silence. Prophet Mohamed observed silence as well.

Dostoevsky writes about Silence:

“For a normal person the temporary solitude is more important than eating & drinking.”
Nietzsche also has appreciated silence & solitude:

“He who knows ultimate solitude knows ultimate things.”

When Descartes writes: “I think therefore I am” Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “I do not think, therefore I am.” Yes, when we are away from our thoughts our true nature comes out. We can then truly be connected to nature & nature begins to express itself freely in us.

Mind keeps us away from our true nature. If we are lost in intellect & mind our true nature disappears & we become ‘artificial’. As we know French surrealists were inspired by the African primitive art which was not guided by intellect. These African artists were “uneducated” “unintellectual”. Therefore this primitive art was not corrupt by “intellectualism”. It expressed itself without being reined by intellect. Through Silence one can go into his true nature.
Rishis or Munis in the past have discovered Ayurveda etc. through this innermost journey via silence.

One catholic sister named Hildegard Von Bingen in Germany who practised silence in the 13 th century was able to read properties of plants. Her music compositions are incomparable. These talents were exposed because of her silence. Those Munis who composed Ragas were in solitude. One Western musician says: “the silence which is manifest between two notes is more important than the composition!”

When you are in solitude, you become one with everything. To be in solitude does not mean that you are isolated; instead you are directly connected to others, to the Universe.

Every real artist, musician have created their great works while in solitude; in meditation. Einstein was said to be playing the violin when he discovered his famous formula of e=mc². He was in solitude & meditation.

Hence, spare some minutes from the day to be able to be in solitude. You can be in solitude even while travelling by bus or train!


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