L: What is beyond the words?
AP: Words will always belong to the mental realm, to the path. What is beyond the path? The destination. Whatever is being said is being said so that you can be close to the destination. Words are for the sake of Silence if they are arising from silence. Words arising from the Silence are for the sake of Silence. Be directly established in the Silence.
You take a shortcut. You take a direct path. When you cannot comprehend the words, just know that the destination of all the words is Silence. So you directly go there. Why take the circuitous route? Words are like that mischievous tourist guide who wants to inflate his billing, so he will take you by the longest route possible. And in taking you through the longest route, he’s assuring you of his own importance, “You see, it was such a torturous route. You would’ve lost your way. Good that you hired me. See now I am navigating you through all this maze.” This is what words do.
You directly reach where the guide would anyway take you in the end. The end is right in front of you. The end is more close to you than you can imagine. When you cannot comprehend what I’m saying to them, know that all that is being said is being said for the sake of peace. So, why don’t you directly be at peace?
Who wants to prolong the words? Who wants to stay with the words? Finally, it is about forgetting the words. If the words are any way to be forgotten, great that you are not getting them in the first place. Why take them then forget them? It is an opportunity, to not comprehend the words is an opportunity to use the direct path. And when you use the direct path you find that the path is just too short.
L: Sometimes the words are a distraction.
AP: They are.
But again there be very careful. Who’s the one who is finding the words to be a distraction? Sages since time immemorial have used words for some reason. The reason is that there is a particular quality of mind that does need words. If you are established in the wrong center then you do need words because words then are the only thing that you would comprehend.
The mind that is seated in the ego would anyway not understand Silence. Hence, it needs words. And when words arising out of silence would reach the mind established in the ego, that mind would be disturbed, it may even say ‘I am getting distracted’. Distracted from what?
L: From the silence.
AP: Distracted from silence or distracted from your patters. It’s a very very important question. Dis-tract. What is the tract first of all? If you are seated in silence and words are disturbing you, that’s one matter. And if you are seated in the ego, and the words of an Upanishad are disturbing you, that is a totally different matter. And when you are seated in ego, the words of an Upanishad will be very very disturbing, very disturbing. Then don’t use the disturbance as an excuse to run away. “You know what, I got disturbed.” You needed to be disturbed. In fact, that is the one thing that I keep doing. Shake people up. Disturb them. Confuse them.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
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