Hare Krishna Vaishnavas,Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Few days back I wrote a mail titled "Path to Salvation" on Granthraj. In my recap, the line, "Bygravity and silence, one can avoid talkativeness", caught my attention.
I was thinking a little deeper into the words, gravity and silence. How are the two related and what is the difference between the two ?
By Krsna's mercy, a beautiful verse from Gita came to my notice. It is from BG 17.16:
manah prasaadah saumyatvam maunam atma vinigrahah
bhaava samshuddhir ity etat tapo maanasam ucyate
"Satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self-control and purification of one's existence are the austerities of the mind."
Krsna talks about the austerities of mind and He lists maunam (gravity) as one of the austerities. Srila Prabhupada has translated maunam as gravity. It is very interesting to note that the sanskrit word maunam is used in two different contexts. maunam is translated as silence when used in reference to controlling our tongue, and when it is used in reference to controlling our mind, it is translated as gravity.
The word gravity sounded very interesting to me. Almost all of us are familiar with the law of gravity, gravitational force etc. I found a very interesting commonality in the way gravity is being used in the scientific sense and the philosophical sense. In scientific terms, the force of gravity is responsible for keeping us on the ground/earth. If that force is absent, we will be floating in the sky. Similarly, by the gravity of thoughts, we can also be down to earth in our minds. In other words, stay humble. If we are proud, we walk ten feet high. Gravity (or humility) is absent when pride is present. We also see the common usages like "So and so is a down to earth person", to refer to a humble personality. Another interesting usage is the word 'grave'. When a person's body is burried after his death, we call it 'his grave'. In other words, it means the person has gone down the earth and will not be speaking anymore.
When I told this interesting relationship to Maharaj, he transcendentally quipped, "Yes! Better be grave when we are alive, otherwise we will be forced to be grave... (in the graveyard)"! Srila Prabhupada's every word has volumes of meanings and as we get more and more interested in understanding and following his instructions, he reveals them gradually by his causeless mercy.
Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Kalacakra Krsna das
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