Silence: It’s Golden

Silence is the highest form of meditation that connects body with soul
Golden is used for maintaining silence under Kashmiri language, while as English counterpart uses the same terminology that silence is golden. No difference in the concept & meaning of the two.
Golden is used for maintaining silence under Kashmiri language, while as English counterpart uses the same terminology that silence is golden. No difference in the concept & meaning of the two.Special arrangement

TSHUPIH CHI RUPSINZ, KARAKH HI SONSINZ”: Literally this Kashmiri adage means silence is silvern & if you maintain, it becomes golden. Explanation: Its exact English counterpart is “speech is silvern, silence is golden” which is said to have appeared in second half of the 19th century in 1831 in an English poem.

It is also said that it originated from ancient Arab Egyptian culture as early as 9th century. There is emphasis on maintaining silence in certain situations under the Ahadith also.

The silence is virtue & better part of one’s valour. The English proverb clearly shows importance & grace of silence over speech, written or spoken.

Kashmiri adage seems to have been borrowed from the English language in late 19th century with apparent difference in terminology though. In English it is speech or talk that is silvern while in Kashmiri it is silence which is silvern.

Golden is used for maintaining silence under Kashmiri language, while as English counterpart uses the same terminology that silence is golden. No difference in the concept & meaning of the two.

Speech is of time, silence is of eternity. The power to speak includes the authority to remain silent when situation demands as, for example, if someone asks you a question answer whereof you do not know or are not certain about its precision, it is better for you to keep silent because by keeping silent you will earn respect.

But if you give a wrong answer to the question, it will damage your reputation in the eyes of others who know the correct reply. It shows value of silence over speech, written or spoken, in all kinds of situations.

Speaking is important but under certain situations it is better to maintain silence to save yourself from a certain danger, damage, risk & so on.

Words have a value till they are not uttered under certain situations but once they go out of your mouth they lose their value. It is said that till words are spoken one is their master but once uttered, one becomes their slave. Never try to be master of all trades. It proves self-humiliating.

Silence is much praised & highly regarded in all civilised cultures of the world. This adage is known to all civilised cultures & communities of the globe. Silence is golden. There lie treasures of wisdom in these sane sayings.

It is suffocation, not silence that kills silently, at times, frustrating violently and depressing sadly. Silence is nature. Look at lush green meadows, cool forests, towering mountains, salubrious lakes, scented flowers, moonlit night, azure sky, endless oceans, farmlands, pastures, trees and plants. Look at static stars and moon at night, sun at daytime. Birds soaring in the blue skies, and resting on boughs.

Calmness from all sides of nature. If silence were killing, it would kill the tranquil recesses of nature. Silence is the highest form of meditation that connects body with soul.

It builds inner peace, creates bastions around heart and mind against things and people that disturb the soul most. Calmness builds confidence, raises concentration and creates creativity. It provides rich nourishment to body and soul.

It strengthens. It doesn’t kill. It is a pill to multiple ill. Nature’s most precious attribute is deep silence. Man’s most cursed characteristic is shallow silence. The former absorbs storms within it, the latter releases storms from it. There is a Kashmiri saying germane to the point; albeit gender-specific. It is: “Z’Chop Gav Gayi Godaim Khav”.

Literally, it means silent cow eats tether. Its broader meaning is that a woman who is mute can be very quarrelsome, saucy, peevish. Her silence can be deceptive. She can be disobedient and will not accept restraints on her activities and movement.

She will break them & start quarreling with you on pretexts. There is a saying in English which is again gender-biased. A woman’s tongue was cut, yet it was speaking.

Probably, it owes its origin to Greek mythology of Philomela who was “assaulted” in wild by her sister’s husband, Tereus, who cut her tongue as she was not silent on the crime.

She avenged her honour by making Tereus deceitfully eat the meat of his own son’s body. Cannibalism! To escape from the retaliation of Tereus, mythical gods accepted her prayer & converted her into a nightingale.

And, under mythical & poetic lore of literary cultures of the world, nightingale is used as a vibrant imagery with sweetest chirping voice of joy. The bird’s song has been also addressed to give a vent to the feelings of foreboding and sorrow.

In spite of that the virtues of silence are a great boon, the vices of silence are no less bane. It is subjective. At proper times & occasions, keeping silence where one should speak out to help stop an injustice & like situations to happen can’t be termed as virtue as speaking out at that time might save the humanity at large.

There can be numerous occasions & situations where one must speak out, while observing all civility. Again, speaking or not speaking at all for the heck of both, virtue & vice, wouldn’t augur well for the overall good of society. There are situations that demand opening up. One must speak up in certain situations.

If one remains silent under certain situations that demand speaking, silence becomes criminal. The criminal silence can be individualistic or collective. A group of people or authorities or organs of the State even can be guilty of criminal silence under given situations.

There are Kashmiri words & phrases like “Gosh” & “Gosh Duyin” which have a bearing on “Tsho’pih” but convey different meaning. They mean to ignore by keeping silent. It refers to a situation where person clearly does see & hear what is going on before him but he says nothing & acts as if he knew nothing about it. It is heedlessness & carelessness & acting without consideration of consequences.

Bottom-line:

Silence can be at times very disturbing, gnawing at heart, not depicting the true state of affairs of a people, real condition of a human heart. Shakespeare in Richard II says: “The shadow of my sorrow. Let’s see, ‘tis very true. My griefs lie all within and these external manners of laments are mere shadows to the unseen grief which swells with silence in the tortured soul. There lies the substance.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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