Sri Ramakrishna would describe to his devotees the behaviour of spiritual aspirants at different stages of evolution. He would say that as one advances in spiritual life, one tends to become more and more quiet and after attaining the Ultimate Knowledge or knowledge of Brahman one becomes completely silent.

To explain this idea, he used to narrate a beautiful incident from daily life.

In a town there lived a family. One day the father arranged for his daughter’s marriage. As it was the custom in those days, the evening prior to the day of marriage, the bridegroom was being taken in a procession to the place of marriage ceremony surrounded by his friends and relatives. They had to pass through the house of the bride. She was sitting near the window surrounded by her friends.

All of them were keenly watching the procession. There were many young men in that procession, all well-dressed matching the occasion. The friends of the bride didn’t know who the bridegroom was. They pointed out to a young man and asked the bride whether he was her chosen companion. The bride laughed and said no.

They pointed out to another person with the same effect. Finally, the friends zeroed in on the right person namely the bridegroom. When they pointed out him to the bride, she smiled shyly and did not say yes or no. Then the friends knew that person was going to marry her the next day.

Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that as one reaches a higher state of knowledge, one can talk or give expression to one’s spiritual experience, but the moment the Ultimate Truth or Brahman is realized  the aspirant becomes speechless with wonder. But his very presence creates such an aura that others won’t have any doubt about his spiritual illumination. That is why in the scripture it is described that Brahman is beyond speech and mind and is of the nature of infinite bliss.

– by Swami Shantatmananda, published in the ‘Sacred Books of the East’ column, Sunday Guardian, 28th Sep 2013

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