When Swami Vivekananda went to USA, a lady asked him to marry her. When Swami-ji asked the lady about what made her ask him such a question. The lady replied that she was fascinated by his intellect. She wanted a child of such an intellect. So, she asked Swami-ji, whether he could marry her and give her a child like him.
He said to that lady, that since she was attracted only by his intellect, there is no problem. “My dear lady, I understand your desire. Marrying and bringing a child into this world and understanding whether it is intelligent or not takes very long time. Moreover, it is not guaranteed that the child will be intelligent. Instead, to fulfill your desire immediately, I can suggest a guaranteed way. Take me as your child. You are my mother. Now your desire of having a child of my intellect is fulfilled.”
The lady was speechless.
The train was running at full speed from Kolkata to Delhi. In one compartment, two British passengers were talking in English. Pointing at one monk, traveling in the same compartment, one British passenger was telling the other, “Look, what a deception! With such youthful age, healthy body and full capacity to work, this man became monk to get free food and to loiter anywhere. There are thousands of such monks in this country and people feed them in blind faith.”
Such criticism went on for a long time, but the monk sitting on the opposite seat was pondering deeply with a calm posture.
When the train arrived at one station and halted, the station master saw the monk, bowed down before him and asked in English, “What can I do in your service, sir?”
The monk answered in English, “One glass of water will be enough. I want nothing else.”
The two British passengers observed that the monk spoke in such pure English. They felt surprised. They never knew that the monk was educated. They had abused the monk so much and still there was not a word by way of reaction. His posture was the same, full of happiness as before.
The passengers inquired of him, “Well sir, why did you not react to our criticism?”
He replied, “Brothers, I remain engrossed only in the thoughts of my life’s work. I do not enter into any kind of disputes.”
The peaceful posture and the spiritual practice of the vow of silence brought about a lot of regard on part of those two British passengers.
This monk was Swami Vivekananda (1863- 1902), the chief disciple of the great Master Shri Ramkrishna Paramahansa. He was a great social and religious leader of the nineteenth century. He became famous for his unique speech in the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 in Chicago, U.S.A.
Namah srî yati râjâya Vivekânanda sûraye
Satcit sukha swarûpâya swâmine tâpahârine
“Salutation to that king of renouncers and controller of passions, the sage Vivekananda, who is Satchidananda (Existence, Knowledge and Bliss Absolute) Itself, the spiritual preceptor and the remover of distress.”
Glory of silence:
Speech is great, but silence is greater still. Silence is the holy temple of our divine thoughts. If speech is silver, silence is gold; if speech is human, silence is divine.
Silence is the best and the most unique art of conversation.
Silence is the best speech. If you must speak, speak the minimum. Do not speak two words, if one is enough. Have viveka (discrimination) of when to speak and when to remain silent. When we speak, we should have the viveka of why to speak, what to speak, how to speak, whom to speak and how much to speak. That will save a lot of time and energy — and of course save us from a lot of trouble.
Speak only if you can improve upon the silence.