Vedic Vak: illustration of Para Vak

All great spiritual masters give instruction in silence.   This silence is not absence of speech but a force-field emitted the Master which bathes the disciple and dissolves his/her questions.  This eternal silence whose vibrations issue forth from the Master is the Para Vak (i.e. transcendental speech) discussed in the previous post Vedic Vak: four levels of sound.

Here are two examples of how Para Vak works.   One is from the life of Ramana Maharshi, the sage of Arunachala and the other from the Mother of the Aurobindo Ashram, Mira Alfassa.

Ramana Maharshi answered a Kashmiri man’s questions using Para Vak

Major Chadwick reports the following episode: “A gentleman from Kashmir came to the Ashram with his servant who could not speak a word of any other language except his native Kashmiri. One night when the Hall was almost dark except for the pale glimmer of a single hurricane lantern, the servant came into the Hall and stood before Bhagavan in a respectful manner jabbering something rapidly in his own language. Bhagavan said nothing, but lay quietly gazing at him. After a while the servant saluted and left the Hall. Next morning his master came to Bhagavan and complained, ‘Bhagavan, you never told me you could speak Kashmiri, was it fair?’

‘Why, what do you mean?’ asked Bhagavan. ‘I know not a single word of your language.’

Bhagavan asked the gentleman how he had got hold of this absurd idea and the latter explained: ‘Last night my servant came to you and asked you several questions in his language. He tells me that you answered him in the same language and cleared his doubts.’

But I never opened my mouth,’ Bhagavan replied.”[13]

Source:  Ramana Maharshi: The Master of Silent Teaching: By Gabriele Ebert

The Mother answered an Italian man’s questions using Para Vak

…this morning I received that Italian, he started speaking, making gestures, telling me things – NOT ONE sound reached my ears … yet I knew perfectly well what he was saying. And I answered him in the same way, without speaking. I didn’t feel it was someone else talking to me and that I was answering him: it was a totality of movements more or less conscious of themselves, a totality and an exchange, an interchange of movements more or less conscious of themselves, with some vibrations more conscious, some less conscious, but the whole thing very living, very active. But then, in order to speak, I would have had to put myself in the ordinary consciousness in which the Italian was over there and I was here – but it didn’t mean anything any more, it wasn’t true. So there was something answering within, very actively, very distinctly, and all of it went on together (gesture showing movements of consciousness or waves of vibrations), and at the same time, there was a consciousness – a very, very vast consciousness – which was watching it all [those exchanges of vibrations] and exerting a sort of control, a very, very slight but very precise control, so as to put each vibration in its place.

The Mother, Mother’s Agenda: December 11, 1963

Ramana Maharshi expatiates on how this eternal silence – Para Vak – works

“Silence is ever-speaking; it is a perennial flow of language; it is interrupted by speaking. These words obstruct that mute language. There is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words. What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in Silence, or in front of Silence – e.g., Dakshinamurti, and his four disciples.  That is the highest and most effective language.”[10]

Elsewhere it is stated: “Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. Mouna vyakhya prakatita tatvam (Truth expounded by silence). Silence is said to be exposition. Silence is so potent.

For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary and they precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought. It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken word, para vak.”[11]

On 20th July 1936 Ramana had the following talk:

A visitor asked: “What is mouna (silence)?”

M.: “Mouna is not closing the mouth. It is eternal speech.”

D.: “I do not understand.”

M.: “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna.”

Source: Ramana Maharshi: The Master of Silent Teaching: By Gabriele Ebert

9 thoughts on “Vedic Vak: illustration of Para Vak

  1. Pingback: Self-control over speech « Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

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  3. ipsa

    The post is nice.

    Silence Is…

    Silence is an absence
    Silence is profound
    Silence is a conversation
    Being had without sound
    Silence is an expression
    One that cannot be heard
    Silence cannot be spoken
    Although it is a word
    Silence is a presence
    Of great nothingness
    Silence can be something
    And yet cease to exist
    Silence can fill a room
    And have no mass at all
    Silence cannot be dropped, yet it can fall
    Silence is a mystery
    That will forever go unsolved
    Silence is how every sound can swiftly be dissolved
    Silence is the sound of rest
    The only sound that can sound best
    While other sounds can cause great pain
    Silence is not the sound to blame
    For Silence is what silence is
    Something that is nothing
    Nothing that exists

    Kyle.J Carruthers


  4. Pingback: My words will remain imprinted on your soul | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  5. Sandeep Post author

    Question: What does the “Word” mean?

    Mother Mirra Alfassa: That’s something else. The Word—it is not pronounced speech and words. There are old traditions which speak of “Let there be light and there was light.” The Word is the Mantra. But it is something quite exceptional, it is when the will formulated in the spirit wants to come down into matter and act directly upon matter that it makes use of the sound—not only of the word but of the sound, the vibration of the sound—to act directly upon matter itself, in matter. It is the opposite movement. You are in the region of thought formulated in words, then from there you may rise higher and get an expression of the silent idea; again from there you may rise yet higher and have the Force: the Force is the Consciousness which is the very source of that thought. And so it becomes a total consciousness instead of something formulated—expressed and formulated. That is, you climb right back to the source. From there, once you possess this
    light in itself, this consciousness in itself and want to act upon matter to produce a result, this will comes down from plane to plane, and as it becomes more and more material, it defines itself clearly in words or even in a single word, and when it touches matter, instead of its being a silent word, it becomes a word articulated with sounds: a vibration that will act directly upon matter. But one must first have gone high up above in order to be able to come down again. One must have reached the silent consciousness to be able to descend and do this. It must come from above, the source of this word must be up there, not in any intermediary domain. That then is the Word. And one must do what I have said—it is not an easy thing.

    The Mother, Questions and Answers (1954): 7 April 1954

  6. Sandeep Post author

    Speaking in tongues using technology !

    Microsoft can now match the feats of Ramana Maharshi and the Mother described above. It has developed machine translation technology which converts spoken English to spoken Mandarin. Slide the video to 7:20 to see the speaker’s voice being converted to Mandarin

    For explanation, see

  7. Pingback: How does the Self-realized person speak? (Gita 2:54) | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  8. Pingback: Where does mathematics come from? | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

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