Q: Gurudev, like there are different types of speech, are there different types of silence?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Are there different types of emptiness. Silence is silence, emptiness is emptiness. If a bowl is empty, you can't ask what type of emptiness is it. But if it is filled you can ask what is it filled with.
In speech, there are four different type of speech, Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari.
Vaikhari.is the gross level of speech, what we are speaking now.
Pashyanti is subtler than this. It is the speech without language. You get the vibrations, you get the idea, and you don’t have to verbalize it. This is pashyanti.
A child never tells you, 'Oh, I love you!' But it just looks at you and you feel the love. Love and the emotions are conveyed without words. This is pashyanti: recognizing without language.
Madhyama is even subtler. Even before it comes to the field of expression. That is called madhyama. It is inherent in the being before it has even started coming into field of expression. It is transmitted without the medium. In pashyanti there is medium. It is transmitted without language, but there is a medium. In madhyama even that is not there.
Para is even finer. It is just the primordial language. It has no language, no words, but just knowledge welling up in the consciousness. That is para.
So para, pashyanti, madhyama and vaikhari is the last one. That is it.
In the book called 'The Proof of Heaven’, the author mentions the communication without language. That is what he experienced when he was in coma. And he says that name of the Divine is Om.
Have you read about this book? It is very interesting.
It is about a doctor in USA who is a neurosurgeon. He went into coma and people thought he was almost gone. When he came back he wrote about his experience, he wrote The Proof of Heaven. He wrote about how he went into other realms.
This is absolutely stunning, and it is the same thing that is in the Vedanta (Oldest scripture of Hinduism), in the Puranas (ancient Vedic texts), and in the ancient texts. Same ditto thing.
He said, what I have been saying for many years, that there is a light and the name of the light is Om, i.e., omnipresent, omniscient, so loving and dear.
He also says that he went through a tree where the roots are above the shoots are below. This is in the Bhagavad Gita. One passes through the roots to go to the other side. So he talks about these roots.
Then he talks about the golden egg, what we call Hiranyagarbha. He says the core, which means the center, is atman. The atman is the core, and the golden egg (Hiranyagarbha) is a shell. This is exactly what you will read in the Bhagavad Gita.
He then talks about the communication, and he says that the communication was without words, without any language, and this is exactly pashyanti, para, madhyama, and vaikhari. It is very interesting.