Banking Spiritual Silence
Dr. Lakshmi Kumari
A wife, at least in the early days of her marriage, has her life centered in her husband and for her everything has an aura of her love. When she becomes a mother that love is made very pure as it is devoid of even traces of lust and jealousy. Her home has now as its center her love for her children. A very good starting point indeed. All that is needed is for that centering to be reinforced with a new faith, a new urge to reach out to the spiritual Truth within and superimpose it on the acts of love and service without.
Many women have too little time to look after their children and their home. But they may be members of this society or that, engaged in children's programs, projects to help women, etc., etc. The work is good, no doubt, but it doesn't serve the real purpose of self-empowerment. At home you are a different person than what you are outside. There is a widening gap-the error or parallax goes on increasing. Simplifying and straightening our outer life would help us to find time and the mind to reorganize our inner life. Then more and more we are able to add beauty and charm to our outer lives.
Women with their God-given sense of wholeness can slip into this ever-widening circle of mutual adoration and understanding-if only they choose, if they care. When we discover this wholeness in creation and learn to absorb it unto us and start adding to the wholeness within and around us, our capacity to love, tolerate, accept and above all positively give and take become more intense and rewarding. The real "mother" wakes up inside.
The only condition to acquire this gift is to establish a connection with the unknown-the Invisible. Spirituality is not acquiring something from outside. It is a giving up-sacrifice, renunciation-of our small self and selfish interests and motivations so that the fountainhead within us starts gurgling out.
Housewives have a lot of time-provided they are not part of the rat race of living-when they are alone. Instead of spending it in dissipating activities like gossiping, reading some trash or watching character-destroying TV programs they could use it to create fields of creative silence within when they are in communion with something energizing within themselves. By this they can not only conserve their energy, but also enrich themselves spiritually.
Hours or minutes of silence can be incorporated into our lives, filling some odd leisure hour here and there. As we wait for the children to return from the school when the mind is alert and watching we can open it further, to be one with all the mothers, all their children and all the beauty of the children growing up. As we stand at the gate of the school whose heart does not get filled up at the sight of children rushing from class-bundles of joy rushing about here and there in all seriousness, reminding each other of their "silly" transactions. So on and so forth, life is full of beauty and harmony if only we open our spiritual vision.
Adding up moments, minutes and hours would be creating small savings deposits of energizing and invigorating spiritual energy within. As the quality of silence starts deepening, the colors and forms of trees, sounds of the chirping of birds, movement of leaves, everything becomes a source of joy and gives a deeply relaxing sensation. Slowly, without anybody noticing it, these precious moments can be made into a regular meditation at a particular part of the day. Loneliness stops to worry us, work doesn't tire us when the inner life is restored even by a minute fraction. This is the journey from the fragmented to the whole and is the best way open to many of us-housewives and mothers-to combat the divisive tendencies of the purely material life of today with its immense demands, problems and tensions. To make India assert her spiritual power, we women can have this small saving spiritual deposit scheme which can certainly add to our nation's spiritual wealth at this critical moment.
Lakshmi Kumari, Ph.D., is president of the Vivekananda Kendra, and editor of its magazine "Voice of Youth." She comes from Kerala and is a devoted follower of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda.