What Are the Benefits of Silence: Story of a Buddhist monk

What Are the Benefits of Silence: Story of a Buddhist monk


People who stay silent for long can only understand the benefits of silence. Gautam Buddha said that the power of silence is so great that it removes all stress, worries, and fears from your life. It enhances your inner powers and also makes you intelligent and attractive.

Once, Gautam Buddha was teaching his disciples that our tongue is the fastest knife in the world, and our words are the most dangerous weapon. Without shedding anyone’s blood, they can harm people from within.

Our words are our greatest asset, but they can also be our biggest weakness. When we don’t know what to say, when to say it, where to say it, and how much to say it, it can lead to disaster. Using the right words at the right time with the right intentions makes us a successful person. However, if we fail to do so, these words have the potential to make our lives a living hell.

Today, I am sharing a story highlighting the benefits of silence. You will realize the power of staying calm and quiet.

The Tale of Eisai and the Prince

Benefits of Silence

Eisai was a Buddhist monk in Japan in the 12th century. He was considered the master of the teachings of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. Eisai was the monk who introduced and spread the Tea Culture in Japan.

He used to live alone in a forest, far away from the noise and distractions of the world. Eisai was a very wise and knowledgeable person, which made him renowned throughout Japan.

One day, a Prince came to visit Eisai.

And he said, “My dear monk, I am always troubled and restless. My mind remains very unsettled. Although I have everything, wealth, fame, and all the comforts that every person desires or wishes to have. But still, why do I have so much unrest and worry inside me?”

Eisai carefully listened to what he said and after thinking for a while, he replied, “You know the answer to this question, but you have never tried to solve it.”

Eisai said ahead, “I want to do some research, will you accompany me in it? After this research, there will be no disturbance or worry in your life.”

Prince was quite surprised to hear this. He said, “Tell me what I have to do. I am ready to do anything for peace of mind.”

The Challenge of Silence:

Then get ready, you will stay in my ashram for the next 30 days and live like an ordinary person. And during these 30 days, you will remain silent. As much as possible, you will stay alone.

After hearing the monk’s words, the prince agreed.

He thought that staying silent was a very easy task.

On the 1st day, the prince felt more restless and confused than usual. Various thoughts were coming to his mind. He was feeling uncomfortable living a normal life like common people. Had a strong desire to speak out, but he remained silent. He didn’t say a word that day.

But from the 2nd day onwards, he began to feel the burden of not speaking.

The 3rd day also passed in silence, but now staying silent had become the most difficult task in the world for him.

On the 4th day, he began to feel uneasy and restlessness. Because the other disciples of the ashram were talking to each other. He also wanted to make his points in their discussion. He wanted to give such a mind-blowing answer that they all would be speechless. But somehow, he convinced himself and kept silent. However, he continuously tried to interact with people by making unique mouth and eye patterns.

The next few days went the same way.

Within a week, he started feeling sick, and his head ached. He only wanted to talk now.

Prince decided to meet Monk Eisai.

The Prince’s Dilemma:

He sat in front of him and wrote on a paper that he wanted to talk now. It has become difficult for him to breathe without talking. He is feeling suffocated. Should he break his Resolution?

Eisai said, “Resolutions are made to be broken. But the one who fulfills their resolution is the true winner. It is up to you to keep your resolution or break it. If you are unable to do it, then you can return to your old life by breaking it. But remember, if you cannot fulfill a small resolution, how will you manage your kingdom? If you want to avail the benefits of Silence, then you will have to sacrifice some things and tolerate certain things.”

Eisai’s words had a deep meaning for the prince.

The Journey Within:

He returned from there without saying a word and locked himself in a hut. He used to come out to do only essential tasks.

Sometimes, he silently sat alone on the top of a nearby hill.

For the first time in life, he admired the beauty of nature and felt its freshness.

Now he was seeing plants, flowers, beautiful colorful butterflies, and birds in different ways.

He thanked God for the natural beauty around him.

15 days had passed until now.

And his determination to remain silent had remained intact until now.

Once again, the prince went to visit Eisai.

And by writing, he conveyed, “I may be silent from the outside, but I am loud on the inside. There are screams, cries, and complaints in my heart. I speak to myself all the time. My mind is full of questions. Is my determination still strong and intact in this way?”

Eisai said, “Yes, your decision is still on. No matter how quiet you are on the outside, your thoughts will keep on speaking. You will have to distance yourself from this ashram. And now also”

And the Prince returned.

Finding Solitude in nature and contemplation:

Now he had gone far away from Eisai’s hut, on top of a mountain. Completely alone, where there was no one in sight except the prince.

In the next few days, he started feeling a little peace. This experience was very strange for him. He was questioning why his inner restlessness and worry had decreased.

Similarly, 5 more days passed.

And now all his restlessness and anxiety were slowly disappearing. And the inner voices, the screams, were also gradually becoming calm. All the complaints and tension that were rising in his mind were slowly fading away.

It was the 25th day, prince once again sat alone in the morning. In a few minutes, he closed his eyes and fell into a deep state of meditation. He stayed in this state of meditation all day long, not saying a word, not worrying about anything. The prince felt great peace and joy inside.

He went on like this for the next 5 days.

After following these strict guidelines for 30 days, the prince approached Easai and said, “Dear monk, I have understood why my mind was so restless and disturbed. Why was there so much chaos in my life?”

The Benefits of Silence:

Now, Easai smiled and asked, “Tell me what you have learned?”

Prince Replied, “I used to overtalk, expending my words and energy unnecessarily. I would spend entire days on meaningless conversations And I would keep thinking about them alone. Most of the time, I would think negatively. In this way, I was wasting my time. Due to speaking too much and thinking negatively, my mind became restless. This also affected my work; I was unable to focus on it properly. As a result, I started failing in every task. And due to this continuous failure, I became disappointed and frustrated. Ultimately, I ruined my life.”

With a smile, Eisai asked him, “What benefits have you experienced from Silence?”

Prince replied, “The last 30 days have been a very different experience for me without talking. I have experienced so many benefits of silence. Now i gained a unique experience and realization. I feel I’m living my life completely now. Previously, I was living my life in the wrong way. I have also learned that we don’t need to actively focus on meditation. Meditation happens naturally when we are calm and silent. Based on my recent experiences with meditation, I can say that the most important thing in a person’s life is to know oneself.”

Further, Eisai said, “Not only you, but the majority of people in the world talk more than they need to. Most people talk to make themselves feel better. And in that negativity, they ruin their own lives.

The Path to Inner Peace:

Eisai added, “Once Gautam Buddha’s disciples asked him, ” Why are you always quiet?”

Benefits of Silence

Buddha said, ” Silence brings inner peace in infinite depths. The first step to self-discovery is silence. Without silence, you cannot know yourself and understand yourself. The first way to know and understand yourself is to be quiet. Speak only when you need to.”

Further Buddha added, There is no harm in not speaking, but if you speak too much, you may make mistakes somewhere. If you reduce unnecessary speech, ninety percent of the world’s problems will be solved. Conflicts and disturbances will decrease.”

Those who have learned the art of silence also learn the art of being alone in a crowd. First, you need to learn to be quiet because it will help you save energy. Then, you will achieve a state called meditation.

Now the prince asks, ” Who will guide us to our true selves?”

Eisai replies, ” You need to explore within yourself to achieve the ultimate joy of meditation. Then you achieve the new wealth of a renewed life. As this new power rises, your sorrows, worries, and stress will vanish like a bath, and your body will become clean and cool.”

Next, Eisai said, “When you achieve the highest state of silence, even speaking will not break your silence. The inner essence of silence will continue to flow within you. The sweetness of your words will also be reflected in your speech. When you speak, your words will bring Peace, Love, and Happiness to others. These are the ultimate benefits of silence.

Having said this, monk Eisai went into his silence.

Prince thanked him and went back to his palace.

Teachings from the Story:

As long as we continue to speak from the outside, there will be inner unrest. But the day we start to speak from the inside, we will find true peace. Speaking is the main cause of all the conflicts and troubles in the world. We don’t want to listen to the other person’s words, but rather, we want to silence them. Basically, we want to make them understand who I am, and what I can do.

We should only talk as much as necessary, as speaking unnecessarily drains our energy. And speaking unnecessarily never allows us to return to our inner selves. It keeps pulling us towards the outside world.

Therefore, all great thinkers, saints, and wise people prefer to live in solitude. This makes it easy for them to go inward journey.

I hope you liked this blog.

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