Study Guide on Silence

The Voice of God Can Be Heard Only in the Depth of Silence

Silence Is the Speech of the Spiritual Seeker

You Can Experience Divine Bliss Only in Absolute Silence

Silence Develops Love

Silence is the only language of the realised. Practise moderation in speech. That will help you in many ways. It will develop love, for most misunderstandings and factions arise out of carelessly spoken words. When the foot slips, the wound can be healed; but when the tongue slips, the wound it causes in the heart of another will fester for life.

The tongue is liable for four big errors: uttering falsehood, scandalising, finding fault with others, and excessive articulation. These have to be avoided if there is to be peace for the individual as well as for society. The bond of brotherhood will be tightened if people speak less and speak sweetly. That is why silence was prescribed as a vow for spiritual aspirants by the scriptures. You are all spiritual aspirants at various stages of the road, and so this discipline is valuable for you also.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume I,
Chapter 10: Viveka and Vairagya.

Talk Sweetly without Anger

The first step in spiritual discipline is the cleansing of speech. Talk sweetly without anger. Do not boast of your scholarship or attainments. Be humble, eager to serve; conserve your speech. Practise silence. That will save you from squabbles, idle thoughts, and factions.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume II,
Chapter 6: Steps in Sadhana.

Make the Place Where You Are a Citadel of Silence

You need not escape into a forest to gain silence and the chance of uninterrupted spiritual practice. You can make the place where you are a citadel of silence; shut off the senses, let them not run after objects. Your home becomes a hermitage; your spiritual practices will then move on, without any obstacle.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume II,
Chapter 6: Steps in Sadhana.

Stay Away from Bad Company

I know that you are finding time, in spite of the hard work throughout the day, to attend cinemas, to engage in wayside chats, to promote and partake in factions, and quarrels, and for many other distractions that add to the sum of your worries.

It is best you stay away from companions who drag you to such distractions that weaken and worry you; spend a few minutes every morning and evening in the silence of your own shrine or home; spend them with the highest of all powers that you know of. Be in His elevating and inspiring company; worship Him mentally; offer unto Him all the work you do; you will come out of the silence nobler and more heroic than when you went in.

Communion with the Master

Just consider – do you come out of the cinema theatre more peaceful, more heroic, purer, nobler than when you went in? No; your passions are aroused, your animal impulses are catered to, your lower nature is fed. Nothing else can give one the rich reward that silence and prayer and communion with the Master can give. Not even a decent bank account, or a string of degrees, or the muscles of a prize-fighter.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume III,
Chapter 38: Project Site, Puja Site.

Kindness Has to Be Fostered in Silence

One great temptation for weak minds nowadays is the opportunity for publicity. Even a gift of five rupees to some charitable organisation is announced in thick banner headlines! Conceit is thus encouraged, and man slides into paltry pomp. Kindness has to be fostered in the silence of the mind.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume IV,
Chapter 52: Anna and Amritha.

The Silent Man Has No Enemies

The tongue is the armour of the heart; it guards one’s life. Loud talk, long talk, wild talk, talk full of anger and hate – all these affect the health of man. They breed anger and hate in others; they wound, they excite, they enrage, they estrange. Why is silence said to be golden? The silent man has no enemies, though he may not have friends. He has the leisure and the chance to dive within himself and examine his own faults and failings. He has no more inclination to seek them in others. If your foot slips, you suffer a fracture; if your tongue slips, you fracture someone’s faith or joy. That fracture can never be set right; that wound will fester forever. Therefore use the tongue with great care. The softer you talk, the less you talk, the more sweetly you talk, the better for you and the world.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume V,
Chapter 21: The Rare Chance.

Silence Is the Best Practice to Guard Faith

Silence is the best spiritual practice to guard faith; that is why I insist on silence here also, as a first step in your spiritual practice.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume V,
Chapter 42: Pay the Price.

Repeat God’s Name in the Silence of the Heart

The magnet cannot draw to itself a bit of iron that is covered with rust and dust. You cannot yearn for God when your mind is laden with the rust of material desires and when the dust of sensual craving sits heavy on it. Clear the rust, know the glory of God, and repeat His name in the silence of the heart. Any one of the names that denote Him can be selected. Do not listen to people who canvass for one particular name and cavil at others.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VII,
Chapter 45: The Treasure under Your Feet.

Keep Silent if Speaking Truth Causes Grief or Pain

If you want to know the way in which you have to observe truth in speech, read the Bhagavad Gita. It tells you that the best speech is speech that does not create pain or anger or grief to others. The scriptures also say, “Speak the truth and speak pleasantly. Do not speak the truth which is not pleasant. If speaking truth will cause grief or pain, keep silent.”

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VII,
Chapter 46: Truth and Love.

The Voice of God Can Be Heard Only in the Depth of Silence

It is only in the depth of silence that the voice of God can be heard. Speak as low as possible, as little as possible, as sweetly as possible.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume VIII,
Chapter 33: The Creeper and the Tree.

All Joy Is Within

All the joy you crave for is in you. But, like a man who has vast riches in the iron chest but who has no idea where the key is, you suffer. Hear properly the instructions, dwell upon them in the silence of meditation, practise what has been made clear therein; then, you can secure the key, open the chest, and be rich in joy.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume IX,
Chapter 3: Mahashivarathri.

Avoid Entangling Yourself in the Affairs of Others

Detachment is the first step in spiritual practice. Silence helps you avoid entangling yourself in the affairs of others; that is why it is encouraged as a preliminary.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume IX,
Chapter 19: Counsel for the Chosen.

Talk to Others in Whispers

One of the first principles of straight living is – practise silence. For the voice of God can be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled and the storm is stilled and the waves are calm. There will be no temptation for others to shout when you talk to them in whispers. Set the level of the tone yourself – as low as possible, as high as necessary to reach to the outermost boundary of the circle you are addressing.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume X,
Chapter 4: The Very Breath.

Silence Promotes Self-Control

Silence. This is the first step in spiritual practice; it makes the other steps easy. It promotes self-control; it lessens chances of anger, hate, malice, greed, pride. Besides, you can hear His footsteps only when silence reigns in the mind.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume X,
Chapter 16: Labels Are Libels.

Spiritual Practice Is Done in Silence

There are many who go about the country, preaching about repeating God’s name and meditation, pretending to be highly advanced experts. They claim to be masters, so that they can collect huge audiences and show off their skills. But such exhibition of talent is not a sign of spiritual attainment. Spiritual attainments shun publicity. Spiritual practice is to be done in silence, away from public gaze. The name and form of God are extolled by Mira as “precious gems”; precious gems are not brought out as wares to the market place; only vegetables are so exhibited for all to see. The units of our organisation should not encourage pomp or show – for they are alien to the spiritual path.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume X,
Chapter 33: Faults and Failures.

Maintain Silence in the Recesses of the Heart

God is omnipresent. So, do not act differently when you are away from My presence. Be always and everywhere conscious of the presence. Be vigilant, even while engaged in little tasks. Maintain silence in the recesses of the heart, as well as outside.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XIV,
Chapter 59: The Search for Fulfilment.

Cultivate Inner Silence

The very first spiritual practice one must adopt is the cultivation of inner silence, to put an end to the endless dialogue with the mind. Let the mind rest for a while. Do not project on the mind irrelevant details and pollute it with fumes of envy and greed. Every idea we entertain, either good or bad, gets impressed on the mind, as on carbon paper. An element of weakness and unsteadiness is thus introduced in the mind. Keep the mind calm and clear. Do not agitate it every moment by your non-stop dialogue.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XV,
Chapter 42: The Triple Purity.

The Mind Must Desist from Wandering

Speech is produced cheaply, but it has high value. It can elevate as well as demean man. Listening to a speech, a zero can rise into a hero or a hero can collapse into a zero. Speech can inspire or plant despair. It must be true and sweet, not false and pleasant. Man must endeavour to acquire speech untouched by subterfuge, limbs untouched by cruelty, hands free from violence, and thoughts free from vengefulness. Frenzy, fanaticism, and gusts of anger have to be controlled, for they lead to disasters whose range is beyond calculation. By constant practice, these can also resort to the vow of silence. The mind too must desist from wandering when the tongue is desisting from talking. Otherwise, the vow cannot be fruitful. Be conscious that every word we utter or hear will leave an impression on our consciousness and provoke reactions that may or may not be beneficial. This is the reason why the company of God and godly people is to be sought.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XV,
Chapter 42: The Triple Purity.

Practise Silence to Conserve Energy

Spiritual energy has to be conserved by all possible means. The sages practised silence to conserve the energy lost through speech.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XVII,
Chapter 6: Students and Sadhana.

Triple Purity That Pleases the Lord

There are three things that are immensely pleasing to the Lord: a tongue that never indulges in falsehood, a body that is not tainted by causing harm to others, and a mind that is free from attachment and hatred. These three constitute the triple purity. Refrain from uttering falsehood, inflicting pain on others, and entertaining ill will towards others. Practise silence as a means of preventing the tongue from straying away from truth. The ancient sages practised and preached silence for this purpose.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXI,
Chapter 9: From Annam to Ananda.

Restraint in Speech Develops Mental Agility

The effect of excessive speech on the behaviour and mental faculties of people was the subject of research at Columbia University. The experiment was conducted in a primary school for twenty-five years. The students were grouped separately in batches of ten. Those students who spoke the least were offered prizes. Tests were conducted on students indulging in excessive talk and those observing silence or reticence. It was found over the years that the intellectual abilities of students observing restraint in speech were of a high order. There was purity in their speech. They had a broad outlook. They developed enquiring minds. They had a high degree of discrimination.

In the case of students indulging in excessive speech, it was found that their memory power was weak. They were narrow-minded. They lacked discriminating power. The result of the experiment testified to the wisdom of the ancient sages who went to the forest for silent contemplation. Every one of the practices of the ancient sages was designed to lead men to the highest stage. Remember that through restraint in speech you can develop mental agility.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXII,
Chapter 10: Vidya and Samskara.

Two Functions of the Tongue

Control of the senses should be one of the primary aims of students. More than the sense organs, the sensory perceptions are powerful. They are: sound, touch, form, taste, and smell. Among the sense organs the most important one is the mouth (or tongue), with the power of speech. If one can conquer the tongue, he will be the master of all the other senses.

The tongue has two functions: speaking and eating. Whoever is able to master these two faculties will be able to raise himself to the level of the Divine. When the tongue becomes silent, the mind begins to talk. To control the mind’s talk, the buddhi (intellect or intelligence) has to be awakened. Then one should strive to turn the intellect or intelligence towards the Atma (the Divine).

True spiritual striving consists in turning the tongue towards the mind, the mind towards the intellect, and the intellect towards the Atma. Although this royal road is available to man, he chooses to immerse himself in worldly pleasures and becomes submerged in sorrow.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIII,
Chapter 13: Royal Road to Realisation.

Pursue the Godly Way of Life

To get rid of ego, there is only one path – it is to pursue the godly way of life. When you are puffed up with the sense of ego, sit silently in a corner and observe what your breathing is telling you. It is declaring: “So-Ham” (“So” while inhaling and “Ham” while exhaling). So-Ham is made up of the two words Sah (He, that is Brahman) and Aham (“I”). “Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman). If this is constantly meditated upon and this consciousness grows within, the Aham (“I”) will cease to be a bother. This mantra (sacred syllable or word, by the repetition of which one attains liberation) has been described as Hamsa Gayatri in Vedantic parlance.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIII,
Chapter 16: The Buddhi and the Atma.

Tips on Controlling Anger

You should not become a victim of the feelings of anger, hatred, ego, or pride that may arise in you. When such feelings arise in you, sit silently for a few minutes. Instead of doing so, you must not give vent to your anger by scolding or beating others as you like. How to put this into practice? As soon as you get angry, you should immediately leave that place and go out into the open and quietly walk about 200 metres. Then your anger will disappear. An easier method than this is to stand before a mirror and look into your own angry face. You will dislike your own face and look upon it with disgust or aversion. Then try to laugh heartily and your anger will leave you.

If you find it difficult even to do this, go into your bathroom and turn the water tap on. To the accompaniment of the tune of the sound created by the water flowing from the tap, begin to sing a good song. Then your anger will certainly disappear. Or else, drink a glass of cold water. Like this, you have to seek ways and means of regaining a calm and peaceful mood. Instead of doing so, if you allow your anger to grow, restlessness will also grow along with that anger, depriving you of peace of mind. You should never give tit for tat, or word for word.

The less you talk, the more your mental power will grow. With the increase in your mental capacity, there will be an increase in your power of discrimination too. Consequently, you will give up “individual discrimination” and resort to “fundamental discrimination.” Because of this, you will begin to consider the good of the world at large rather than your own individual welfare. You must cultivate such broad feelings from this young age itself.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXV,
Chapter 15: Rise from Animality to Divinity.

Three Kinds of Silence

The ancients practised three kinds of silence. The first was silence of the tongue, the second one was silence of the mind, and the third was supreme silence. Silence in speech meant confining one’s speech to the limit and the needs of the occasion. By this discipline, excessive talk was avoided. As a result, the power of their speech was conserved and enhanced. Discipline in speech also resulted in truthfulness. Speaking the truth served to purify their thoughts. By this means they acquired the highest wisdom. Therefore purity in speech is vital. It has to be achieved by restraint in speech.

Then, there is silence of the mind. The mind is a bundle of thoughts and fancies. These thoughts have to be reduced gradually. When thoughts are reduced, the mind naturally comes under control, like a clock that is unwound. When the activity of the mind is reduced, the power of the Atma manifests itself. As a consequence, intellect becomes more active than the senses. When control of speech and control of the mind have been achieved, the state of supreme silence is easily realised. Students should strive to reach the third stage by the disciplines of the first two stages.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXVII,
Chapter 7: Imbibe Bharat’s Ideals.

Energy Is a Divine Gift

Spiritual practice consists of speaking good, thinking good, seeing good, hearing good, and doing good. Excessive talking must also be avoided, as it is a waste of energy. When one gets weak due to wastage of energy, he is prone to get angry and develop hatred. You must therefore use your God-given energy for good purposes. Energy is a Divine gift. By curtailing unnecessary talk and keeping silent, you can conserve energy. “Talk less and work more” is the golden rule to be adopted.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXVII,
Chapter 10: Foster Love: Eschew Hatred.

Harm Done by Television

Television sets are installed in every room in the houses of the rich. From the moment television made its appearance, the mind of man has been polluted. Before the advent of TV, men’s minds were not as polluted. Acts of violence were not so rampant previously. Today TV is installed in every hut. People watch TV even while eating. The result is that all the foul things seen on TV are being consumed by the viewer. Concentration on TV affects one’s view of the world. The scenes, thoughts, and actions displayed on the TV set fill the minds of the viewers. Unknowingly, agitation and ill feelings enter their minds. In due course they take root and grow in their minds.

Hence while eating, you should not discuss dreadful incidents. No room should be given to subjects that excite the mind. Silence should prevail during eating. Even sound waves enter into us and affect our minds. Hence people should avoid TV while eating.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIX,
Chapter 3: Triple Transformation: Sankranthi’s Call.

Silence Helps to Experience the Divine

It is essential to limit one’s desires and keep the senses under control. This is the only way to true happiness. The most important organ that has to be controlled is the tongue, which, unlike the other sense organs – the eyes, the ears, and the nose – has a double function, speech and taste. The ancient sages practised silence for a variety of reasons. Silence serves to conserve energy, improve the memory, and experience the Divine. Restraint in speech and avoidance of gossip and slander are commendable virtues.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIX,
Chapter 10: Srishti and Dhrishti

Meditate on Swami’s Teachings during Silence

Promote love in your hearts, and share it with others. That is the best form of worship. Love is the only property of Sai. My life is love. That is what I offer to one and all. I go on giving, giving. But to what extent are you putting into practice Swami’s teachings? Practise silence for at least ten minutes in a day. Meditate on Swami’s teachings at that time. Realise that in this transient world the Eternal is immanent. Hold fast onto God. Experience the bliss of union with the Divine. Make love your life-breath. With love of God in their hearts the ancient sages could transform even the wild animals in the forests.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIX,
Chapter 11: The Triple Transformation.

Be Silent and Induce Silence in Others

Be silent yourself; that will induce silence in others. Do not fall into the habit of shouting, talking long and loud. Reduce contacts to a minimum. Carry with you an atmosphere of quiet contemplation, wherever you happen to be.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXIX,
Chapter 21: Importance of Discipline.

Silence Ensures Peace of Mind

You must make it a practice to observe silence for at least one hour daily. It saves your cosmic energy and ensures peace of mind. You should develop also the discipline of simple living and high thinking.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXX,
Chapter 17: Cultivate Character: Lead an Ideal Life.

Silence Brings Back Memory Power

The ancient Indian sages practised silence as a spiritual discipline because they realised the myriad benefits derived from silence. Swami Vivekananda learnt a valuable lesson when he found that after ten days of endless talk he had forgotten all the verses he had learnt by heart. By practising complete silence for a fortnight he got back his memory powers. People should realise that God’s grace is secured by the sacred use of the senses endowed on man by the Divine.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXX,
Chapter 25: Sacred Use of Indriyas.

Speak the Truth

Nowadays, people resort to telling lies, fearing that they may get into trouble otherwise. Why should you fear speaking the truth? You have to fear only when you commit mistakes. Today, there is fear rampant everywhere. Life is fear-stricken! Practise truth and righteousness. If you practise these, you need not fear. When you are not able to utter the truth, you may desist from speaking and keep silent.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXXI,
Chapter 12: Man, Truth, Love, and God.

Each One Has to Bear the Consequences of His Actions

There are many obstacles along the path of devotion. Some people accuse, criticise, and censure God in times of difficulties. Each one has to bear the consequences of his own actions. God remains unaffected. God is pure, unsullied, and sacred. Let people say anything; be cool and calm. Do not enter into unnecessary arguments with them. It only breeds enmity. Speak softly and sweetly with a smiling face. That will silence the critic. A smile is the best answer to criticism.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume XXXI,
Chapter 46: Sacrifice Leads to Immortality. 

Silence Fosters Purity

Only those who observe silence are good people. Silence fosters purity. Therefore observe silence at all times. It is a waste of time if you carry tales about others. What have you come here for? Vain gossip causes harm to many. So refrain from indulging in it.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32, Part 2,
Chapter 8: Cultivate Discipline and Love.

Divinity Can Be Recognised Only by the Pure Hearted

If you are aspiring for good results, offer only good feelings to God. There should be perfect harmony in your thought, word, and deed. He is a noble soul whose thought, word, and deed are in perfect harmony. Do not hate anybody. On November 24, 1926, Sri Aurobindo broke his prolonged silence only to declare that God had incarnated the previous day. After making this significant statement, he continued with his vow of silence. Divinity can be recognized only by the pure hearted.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32, Part 2,
Chapter 11: Devotion – the Supreme Yagna.

Talk Less and Work More

Do not waste energy! Energy is God. Today, students are wasting a lot of energy through unsacred vision, bad thoughts, bad hearing, and excessive talk. Our body can be compared to a radio. When the radio is turned on continuously, the batteries become discharged quickly. Likewise, if you indulge in excessive talk, you will be losing a lot of energy. That is why the ancient sages and seers used to observe silence. So, conserve energy by observing silence at least one day in a week.

I often tell the students, talk less and work more. Only then the latent energy develops. This was the sole aim of sages and seers in undertaking various spiritual practices. Once the latent energy develops, your memory power as well as your power of concentration will increase. Some students are not able to perform well on examinations because they are not able to concentrate even for a moment. They are constantly engaged in listening to radio news, cricket commentary, etc., with the textbook in their hand! With such distractions, how can they concentrate and retain their memory?

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32, Part 2,
Chapter 14: Seek God Within.

Exercise Proper Control over the Tongue

While all other senses do only one type of work each, the tongue alone has the capacity to do two types of work, namely, to taste and to speak. That is why one has to exercise proper control over the tongue lest it should indulge in sinful activities like talking ill of others. In times of anger, observe silence. Our ancients taught: Talk less, work more. The less you talk, the purer your heart remains.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 34,
Chapter 4: Have Steady Faith in the Atma.

The Same Atma Is Present in All

A person remained silent though he was being criticised. When his friend wanted him to react, he replied, “The same Atma is present in me as well as in the person who is criticising. So, why should I be annoyed when he is criticising himself?” A deep inquiry into the truth will reveal that when you love or hate others, you love or hate your own self. In fact, there are no “others.” You consider yourself different from others because of body attachment. Once you give up body attachment, you will realise that there are no others and all are yours. That is the true vision of the Atma. The Atma does not have a specific form.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 34,
Chapter 12: Human Birth Is to Experience Atmic Bliss.

Always Talk in a Pleasing Manner

Why has God given you a tongue? Is it to partake of delicious food? No, not merely for that. The tongue is given to chant the Divine name and to talk sweetly and softly. Do not talk as you please, which may hurt the feelings of others. Some people may not pay heed to you if you talk softly and sweetly. It is their fate. They may listen or not, but you should always talk in a pleasing manner. If that is not possible, observe silence. When you are silent, there can be no conflict. Only those who do not recognise the Divinity act in a foolish manner. In fact, man himself is Divine. Only then can he become a perfect human being. Whatever you do, do it in a perfect manner.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 34,
Chapter 18: The Life Principles of Man.

Satisfy Your Conscience

Love is your greatest asset. Develop love, and always speak the truth. Truth sounds bitter, whereas people are easily pleased by falsehood. People do not relish milk, which is brought to their doorstep, whereas they are prepared to traverse miles together to consume a bottle of liquor. Falsehood has become the order of the day. Falsehood may please others but not your conscience. Strive to satisfy your conscience before satisfying others. Under all circumstances follow the path of truth. In case the utterance of truth is likely to lead to some danger, remain silent.

That Which Sees Cannot Speak – That Which Speaks Cannot See

A hermit was deeply engrossed in the contemplation of God. He had vowed to speak “truth always.” Lord Easwara wanted to subject him to a test. He assumed the form of a hunter and started chasing a deer, which, out of fear, hid in a bush close to the hermitage. This was noticed by the hermit. On being questioned by the hunter about the whereabouts of the deer, the hermit was in a dilemma. He could not feign ignorance and say that he had not seen the deer as that would amount to uttering a lie. At the same time he could not reveal the whereabouts of the deer, lest the hunter should kill it. In that case he would be a party to the crime. He prayed to Lord Easwara fervently to show him a way out.

A brilliant idea flashed in his mind by God’s grace. God is always with you, in you, around you, above you, guiding and guarding you. Why fear when He is near? The hermit replied, “O hunter, that which sees cannot speak; that which speaks cannot see.” By such a tactful answer, the hermit not only upheld his adherence to truth but also protected the life of the deer. Then Lord Easwara manifested in His true form and declared, “Such tact that safeguards your interests as well as those of others is true yoga (union with God).”

Therefore it is said, truth is the life of the tongue. Righteousness is the life of the hands. Non-violence is the life of the heart. Shivarathri is celebrated to teach man the significance of these values.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 35,
Chapter 4: Idols are Pointers to Divinity.

Strife Does Not Arise out of Silence

What is silence? One should never speak ill of others. Strife does not arise out of silence. Salute those who offend you. Don’t return offence with offence. If you act in the same manner as your opponent, how can you become greater? While saying that the other is acting wrongly, will you be right if you act in the same manner? Never act in this manner. Let those who commit an offence continue their offensive behaviour. Never react. Wish for the welfare of everyone.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 35,
Chapter 4: Idols Are Pointers to Divinity.

Experience Innate Divinity by Observing Total Silence

When God is all-pervasive, where is the need to go in search of Him? You should make efforts to experience your innate Divinity by observing total silence and turning your vision inward. You can experience Divine bliss only in absolute silence. That is why it is said, “Silence is golden.”

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 37,
Chapter 20: Experience Divinity Within in Total Silence.

Pray to God Wholeheartedly with Love

Any mighty task can be accomplished by prayer. Hence pray to God silently. Do not pray for the fulfilment of your petty desires. Give up all desires and pray to God wholeheartedly with love. You will certainly find fulfilment in life. You can understand and experience Divinity only through love. Nothing can be achieved without love. Love makes all your tasks successful. Some people complain, “Swami, we are making fervent prayers, but our prayers are not fruitful.” I tell them, “The mistake lies in your prayer and not in God.” If your prayers are sincere, they will certainly be answered. There is nothing that God cannot accomplish.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 37,
Chapter 22: My Power Is the Power of Love.

Remain Calm and Composed

Always speak the truth. Apart from speaking the truth, you should remain calm and composed in the face of criticism. Only then can there be peace. Our ancient sages used to observe silence as part of their spiritual practices. Observance of silence helps you to progress on the spiritual path. When you practise silence, you can easily experience peace of mind. Love manifests from peace. When you are filled with love, you will have no enemies. Therefore lead your life with love. Only through love can we establish peace in the world.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 41,
Chapter 13: Love Is Truth; Truth Is Love. Live In Love.

Do Not Indulge in Excessive Talk

Too much talk is very bad. Do not indulge in excessive talk. Try to mend your nature. Observe silence as far as possible and be quiet. Talk as much as is needed. Just answer to the point. If you talk more, you will be branded as a chatterbox. Too much talk is not good, even from the health point of view. This is very important, especially in the case of children. You have to keep your mind steady right from a young age. What is important is not studying textbooks, but steadying your mind. Textbooks, you can always study, in the classroom, in the hostel, etc.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 42,
Chapter 5: Love God and Meditate on Him.

Maintain Silence While Eating and Drinking

We should never talk while drinking something or eating. In the olden days, the great sages used to maintain silence while eating or drinking.

If you talk while eating, the digestive system will be spoiled. Once the digestive system is spoiled, several diseases will confront you. Pray to God silently, keeping your eyes closed, and then partake of your food. Most children do not know this rule. Take your food in silence in a calm atmosphere. Do not howl, talk, and chitchat. Do not laugh or cry while eating. Do not entertain any worry before or while eating. These are some of the precautions one has to take to lead a happy daily life.

Divine Discourse in Prasanthi Nilayam on October 12, 2002: Soham ‒ the Right Sadhana.

Solitude Means to Be in Communion with God

God is the embodiment of truth. Truth is God. Therefore you should rely on truth. In fact, you are the embodiment of truth. It is not something new to be discovered afresh. Truth will manifest in you if you sit in deep silence and solitude. What does the word “solitude” mean? People have wrong notions about this word and misinterpret it in many ways. They think that sitting alone in a room with all doors and windows shut is solitude. This is not solitude but loneliness. Many others think that sitting under a tree in a forest or in a mountain cave is solitude. That also is not the true meaning of solitude.

Solitude means to be in communion with God, wherever you may be – in the bazaar, in a meeting, or in the midst of a large number of people. Wherever you are, your mind should be focused on God without being distracted by worldly and family matters. Solitude is total communion between you and God. Nothing else should divert your attention from God. That is the real meaning of solitude. Whatever you may be doing or even when traveling in a bus or train or plane, always keep your mind firmly fixed on God. While doing meditation or contemplating on God, do not allow any other distraction to divert your mind. Only then can you have the experience of Divine light.

Sanathana Sarathi, September 2011.
Lack of Values Is the Cause of Violence in the World.