"Silence (Mauna) is a big issue. Silence is powerful when you also stop thinking”
"Mauna is Atma Sthiti (state of Atman, soul or self), which must come from deep inside”
Mauna – Stille
"Maunam sakalam siddhi, maunam kalaham nasti, maunam yoga siddhi."
Perfect stillness is fulfillment, stillness is peace, stillness is perfect yoga. The term Mauna originates from Sanskrit and is derived from the word Muni, which means a wise man, seer, who has taken the vow of silence. Mauna means silence or taciturnity. In the context of Hindu philosophy it means inner silence, silence of mind and inner peace. This form of silence not only refers to silence itself, but also includes the control of thoughts. Silencing thoughts has always been considered one of the most demanding exercises in the field of spiritual practice and is also important in Christian and Buddhist traditions.
The term Mauna in the Hindu context is based on the idea that God, Paramatma, the all-encompassing conciousness or the primordial energy can only be experienced within and in inner silence. In this inner silence lies the key to one's own identity, to the true self of every human being, to his or her strength, creativity and bliss.
Sri Swamiji said on August 17, 2013 during the Mauna Seminar in Flüeli Ranft:
"Silence (Mauna) is a big issue. Silence is powerful when you also stop thinking. In the beginning it is very difficult to stop our thoughts. We can control and stop our speaking, but not our thoughts. In the beginning, when you practice silence, the thoughts come, one by one. It does not matter. In the first days they come. If you practice more and more, the thoughts will stop. This Mauna is pure."
The practice of Mauna starts a process of inner awareness, which enables consciousness to filter out everything arising in the mind that is not part of this practice.
Sri Swamiji recommended in His Mauna seminars to focus on the breath and to follow only the inhalation and exhalation. It is possible to concentrate on the sound of the breath itself or on the movement of the breath in the body. The inner chanting of the syllable "OM" is the only permissible thought in this process. All other thoughts are dismissed and not followed up. The mind is always brought back to the state of concentration on this process. During this process, the mind is, so to speak, "tidied up" and "cleansed" of everything superfluous, burdensome, everything that takes away inner peace and causes stress. On the physical level, it is possible to support this inner process with light vegan food.
"Mauna doesn't just mean shutting up. It cannot be achieved by external effort. Mauna is Atma Sthiti (state of Atman, soul or self), which must come from deep inside. Temporary rest or temporary Mauna is experienced when a person is freed from the needs such as hunger, thirst, anger, confusion, unnecessary thoughts, worries, etc. But this is very temporary. But the real Atman in us, the Paramatman, is always in silence. So if you want to reach this Atman, you have to practice Mauna. To practice silence means to go deep inside yourself. It is very important to go very deep. Only then can the power of this silence be understood". (Sri Swamiji's speech in the Bhakti Mala October 2002)
Sri Swamiji gave the first Mauna seminar ever in August 2013 in Flüeli Ranft, Switzerland. Another Mauna Seminar followed in Bad Meinberg in Germany in September 2014, and the third and fourth of its kind were held in Flüeli Ranft in June 2016 and in Davos in Switzerland in July 2019. Now the fifth Mauna Seminar in Europe will follow 2020 in Neuss near Düsseldorf, Germany.
Common to all seminars are several days of silence in the presence of Sri Swamiji. He supports and accompanies the inner process of the participants through his presence, partly also through helpful instructions and the teaching of so-called mudras (hand gestures). These play an important role in Datta Kriya Yoga and support the body-mind-soul system by strengthening and harmonizing certain energy paths and centres of the body. The goal is always to balance all parts of a person to a harmonious interaction, which paves the way for inner development and balance.
"Slowly, daily you can practice this prayer of silence, every month you can practice Mauna, silence, for one day. If you practice, practice and practice more and more, you will be able to control all your senses completely, you will be able to control your thoughts. A person who can control his thoughts and the sense organs (Indriyas) is a yogi... That Ananda is hidden in your heart, in your body. This bliss is in your body. It is the first step on the path to complete liberation (Moksha). It is not necessary to seek Moksha. There are so many different ways of practising, of learning, there are mantras, etc. They are all nothing compared to the prayer of silence. All mantras, all Vedas, all kinds of exercises lead to silence. So you can directly practice silence and have different experiences, no problem. Mauna, silence is a powerful yoga. Mauna contains all the Upanishads, all the Vedanta. Explore the Atman, explore your self, explore your karma and how it can be overcome." (Sri Swamiji on 16.8.2013 during the Mauna seminar in Flüeli Ranft)