Mouna is silence but not just not talking. It is a silence of mind. Mouna is not scribbling on a chalk board instead of talking to communicate. It is the total and lack of creating mind pollution. It is amazing the benefits of just taking one day a week away from that life and being completely silent, no communication what so ever. It is amazing at what one starts to perceive, what one starts to comprehend. Silence is then to preserve that memoria Dei which is much more than just ‘memory’. It is a total consciousness and awareness of God which is impossible without silence, recollection, solitude and a certain withdrawal.
Holding the tongue (mouna), vowed observance (Vrata), sacred knowledge (Sruta), austerity (Tapas), reading (Adhyayana), the observance of rules pertaining to one’s caste (Sva Dharma), exposition of Shastra (Vyakya), living in solitude (Rahas), recital of mantra (Japa), and Samadhi all lead to moksha.
Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out.
The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.”
The second monk said, “Aren’t we not supposed to talk?”
The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?”
The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak.
On that same note…….
Three monks who had taken vows of silence were permitted an annual reprieve during which one monk was permitted to speak at the end of each year of silence. At the end of the first year, the first monk was allowed his opportunity to speak, where upon he said “The soup is too hot.”
Another year elapsed, and it was the next monk’s turn. The monks turned their attention to him, whereupon he said “The soup is too cold.”
Another year elapsed; it was the third monk’s turn. The assembled monks turned to him, whereupon he said “The soup is neither too cold nor too hot. However, it is too salty.”
By the fourth year, the Abbess had posted a notice that it would be she who would speak at the end of that year. The assembled monks were particularly alert to hear the esteemed Abess give her speech. One could hear the sound of a butterfly’s wings in the silence which enveloped the hall. Whereupon the Abess said “There will be no more of this quibbling about the soup.”