Updated: Jan 5, 2019
Marjiva (whose name means one whose ego has died) is a senior yogini in the Sat Yoga sangha. Last year, she was given the special sadhana to take a vow of silence for a year.
During that period, her state of Being clearly became more and more luminous and serene. People wanted to sit with her and meditate in her presence. She has become very popular among visitors, who find refuge in her abode, Shanti Nilaya, where she meditates and now offers counsel and healing to those in need. People now have to sign up to sit with her because she is so busy in this new calling. Now that the year of official silence has ended, and she has begun to speak again, Marjiva has given us a memoir of what she gained through this year of not using her voice in order to realize her Self.
A Year in Silence
—In Reverence for the Supreme One
This was to be a year for deepening humility and keeping a place in our hearts for God, said Shunyamurti at the New Year’s Satsang to the sangha. It was a holy State of the Union Address that I heard: a commandment direct from God.
The Power that propelled the words cast a divine spell that was spellbinding this soul into sublime surrender into the Silence beyond sound. The heart knows without doubt. It now became more crystal clear even to the mind than any rational discourse the ear can hear. Centripetal forces were pulling this soul-petal back to the One Heart-Flower.
Awe and surprise at the unpredictable moves of God’s roll of the dice included Shunyamurti’s announcement that this being would be taking a vow of silence for a year. To these words it responded with tears of infinite gratitude and relief. The soul yearned to accelerate the process of dying to the ego’s illusory existence and return to Spirit. A year in silence without speaking, and withdrawing from phenomenal plane activities, was balm to the heart and would mirror the inner silence and stillness necessary to rise to the next level of the spiritual journey.
Making a place in the heart for God: The search intensified for the rediscovery of that holy level of consciousness that is freed from the ego’s forensic drive within the safe grounds of the outer ashram—and now the same could happen in the inner one.
The ego mind, pressure-vacuumed through countless hours of meditation, expands to increase the potentialities of will, love, and discernment. Moments of silence and stillness hollow out a grotto chapel where God can be felt with greater consistency. The realization of a higher Self slips through. Clarity grows in the darkness of inner solitude. A sweet quality of tranquility, contentment and delight dissolves the vigilance of the ego and for longer time the consciousness remains undisturbed in contained quietness.
In this Cave of the Heart a higher power burns through defenses and sublimates lower psychic energies for ascension up the spiral Kundalini ladder. Like a magnet it draws dissociated fragments into a central organizing wholeness.
The ego is humbled and the Will of God intensifies. Joy emerges from obedience and faith to sacred stillness.
Seva performed in silence, whether in the community kitchen or in the household, adds to the power of inner composure in the world of interaction. There are still moments of reactivity to old triggers, but they instill further humility and prayer for unshakeable peace. Intelligence also rises from these times of apparent failure. The silent disciple, not allowed to respond with the sword of speech to the projections of others, can still act out its inner dis-ease with psychosomatic symptoms and other negative energetic transmissions.
Fears and desires lurking within the ego’s shadow are ever more adeptly discerned the more silence is practiced, and seeming failures lead to more determined presence. The teachings act as blessings to increase the power of surrender to the Self. Gratitude and acceptance run deeper, the will is more earnest than before. Intense meditation keeps sharpening the insight and understanding. Outer disturbances are but reflections of one’s own inner deviation from attending to the One. Rejoicing accompanies the continual return to Silence.
Through the whole-hearted commitment to letting go of thoughts, consciousness learns to fall into the loveful arms of God. Shakti dances like a whirling dervish. The door to the divine tavern is open and I am offered the most intoxicating elixir. Drunk and swept off its feet, the soul dances in inebriation, swaying to the waves of love.
Now I yearn only to reach the permanent residence of the Lord, to abide in consummated union.
I have come to adore the Silence. The beauty of love and the protection of God carry the mind into awakened blissful sleep. The radiant Self shines in emanations of ecstasy. Adore silence and the waking world becomes a land of love. Adore silence and those you meet reveal their divinity. Adore silence and Nature comes to praise one’s stewardship.
I can now share with all that it is possible and urgent to live in inner silence. Believe not what the ego mind says. Claim the witness position, dis-identified from person and live in liberation.
I have come to understand that we must serve the Silence. Feed to the Silence whatever thoughts, affects, or images the mind produces. Impurity drops away spontaneously, the Diamond in the Lotus Heart is clearly revealed.
I have learned we must surrender into the Void all thoughts that arise. Memories, traumas, desires and fears, prisoners of war kept as trophies, monuments to childhood’s embattled self-image—all must drop into the Void.
I have learned to no longer protect the phantasy of an inner child attacked by superego figures. Attention turns to the Source Supreme. All is resolved in the clarity of mind at rest, simple being.
I have learned to take refuge in the Silence, to love Silence, for this alone brings peace.
The soul that yearns for deliverance, for the joy of the Sacred Heart, will make a place in the heart for God through its willingness to surrender in love to the Teacher, the Dharma, and the Sangha. That love itself brings ego death and true rebirth as Silent Presence.
In Reverence to the All-Mighty One, I encourage all seekers of Truth to earnestly commit to the practice of silent eternal inner peace. Silence is that unwavering friend, beloved lover, confidant that one has forever yearned for. In silence one will find the Supreme One within our own heart. Silence manifests as Love, the only Real Love. And That is all there is, ever was, or ever shall be.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
A poem written by Marjiva during the year of silence:
Dropping the leaves of illusion
The soul flower grows into bloom:
Letting go of denial
At every node of consciousness.
You are my Gardener,
The Ground of Being.
Keep calling me Home.
I will sit and meditate
Until all interference
Between us is erased.
Nothing else if left
For this soul to cultivate
But the taste for the essence of the Rose
And to dissolve in Your fragrance.