The beginning we cannot know: we are already here; the beginning has happened. But the end we can know – the disappearance into absolute silence. But if we know the end, we can conclude with absolute certainty that this is how the beginning must have started: from silence, not from words.
Silence is the beginning and silence is the end, and if you are a meditator, silence is the middle.
Silence is the whole fabric of existence.
This is not a hypothesis, nor is it a philosophical idea. It is the experience of thousands of mystics who have entered into their own being. First they have heard Om, and as the Om becomes overwhelming, silence follows. We are made of sound and silence.
Sound is our mind; silence is our being.
Sound is our trouble; silence is our liberation.
It has been discovered by some unknown explorer of the inner, it has been followed by thousands of people – but you are not to repeat it. That’s where the masses have got lost. They think that by repeating Om, shantih shantih shantih they are doing some spiritual meditative act. In each temple in the East you will find a metal disc, and everybody who enters into the temple hits the disc with a steel rod. The whole temple becomes full of sound and then slowly, slowly the sound also disappears.
In Tibet, they have even made a very special thing, a small pot of metal with a rod – with great calculation it has been made. When I first saw it, I could not believe that it was possible, but the thing was in front of me.
One of my friends in Patna was a great collector of all kinds of things. He was continually telling me whenever I was in Patna, “Come to my museum.” Even the prime minister and the president and everybody had visited. He was a very rich man and had gathered things from other lands – strange things. But when he said to me that he had recently received a metal pot which repeated Om, shantih shantih shantih, I could not resist….
Patna is a strange city. It is not spread in all directions, it has only one main street running by the Ganges – because the Ganges is so beautiful everybody wants to be around it. So Patna is a very long city, perhaps twenty miles. And he used to live thirteen miles away from my place – but I went to see the pot. It was really a great experience.
The pot is made of many metals, and you move the rod in the pot round and round for a certain number of times…then you stop. And suddenly, the sound comes from the pot, Om, shantih shantih shantih. These things may be beautiful, creative, but they are not in any way religious. Every Hindu temple is resounding with the sound, everybody is praying, but they have misunderstood the whole thing. It is not your repeating Om that is going to lead you to the reality; it is your becoming utterly quiet, and from your very being arises the sound Om.
You are just a witness, you are not a doer.