To Rishikesh in silence!

To Rishikesh in silence!

I did a silence program without even knowing that I was going for it and it changed my life in ways I cannot explain.

me one one of the mornings before silence began

It was the year end of year 2018 a lot of things are going on in my mind and in my life. I just did not know how to spend my New Year’s Eve.

I saw a friend’s post on Facebook where it said “going to Rishikesh who is coming?”.

It was some yoga and meditation program that he was going for by Art of Living. I had done the preliminary course by the same foundation called the happiness program and I had liked it. I immediately asked him what it was about and he said that he’s going to Rishikesh for this meditation program and I should come. I said okay, and in the next few days without doing any further research I just signed up for the course. Paid online and it was done.

I expected to chill and party with music and dance on the banks of the Ganges with a big group of people. It went exactly as I had imagined and totally opposite to whatever I had imagined.

our first evening we decided to go for a long walk

It was on the 28 December 2018. I was supposed to reach a spot, where the bus was supposed to take us from. My friend was coming by his own car. I reach the place where in advance only to meet one other person on time and slowly everyone started coming. I took up the responsibility of taking attendance and started the trip with a very happy and joyful mood.

a monk lost looking at the beautiful ganges

During the trip in conversations with people, I suddenly got to know that it was actually a silence program that I was going far. We were supposed to be silent for the next 3-4 days. We were not supposed to interact on the phone, not even open your mouth for a few days. I was completely shocked! I had no idea about this and had I known I would have not even opted for something like this. I started freaking out as I was wondering how can a person like me who speak so much ever be able to be quiet and live with it. A lot of people told me to calm down and not to panic. They said its something very simple.

one of the best part was getting up at 4am and walking to the ashram alone

Anyways since I was already on the way I had no option but to reach the Ashram. It was a beautiful place just based on the banks of the Ganga river. It was very late at night, we all got our rooms and went ahead to sleep. Next morning the course started. It started with basic knowledge sessions where they gave us a sessions on life and how to live life. I think it was that evening when the silence began.

I had made a lot of friends by them because of my bus trip. It was a nice company and a lot of them had come for the first time for it like me. Many of them had the repeaters and they said that it simple and it’s not something to worry about.

A few of my friends had gone for a Vipassana before and I always found it insane. I never understood how can a person, and why would a person even want to be quiet if they had the option of speaking. Why would you want to give away your speaking skills and act as if you’re dumb?

I never understood this but since I was anyway there I had no option but to take part in the silence progam.

Once the silence program began on the first day in the evening, we were given instructions on how we are supposed to manage our food. We were told what are we supposed to do, what should we do and what we shouldn’t. Something that I thought would be the most difficult part of my entire course turned out to be something that was the easiest. It was one of the most beautiful experiences, that I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Initially it was like I did not know what to do, what to think, what not to think. Its a slow process because you’re quiet. You are not interacting with anyone, a lot of thoughts come to your mind. At times you are laughing on your memories and at times you’re crying on your mistakes. You just have to be with it, and not do anything, not share it with anyone and just be. I remember standing towards the Ganga, facing it and crying one day continuously during our nature walk. We got some free time during the day to go and spend time in nature. It was accompanied by a lot of yoga, meditation, knowledge sessions and of course the magical Sudarshan Kriya.

We all were also given tasks i.e sewa to keep us involved in various activities.

I remembered everything that had gone wrong in my life for few moments. I often used to cry otherwise also but that day I just stopped and I became at peace with it. It’s not that those griefs have gone away from my life forever, but I became okay in being and accepting life the way its is. I don’t know what are the changes that silence brought into my life. I cannot even share everything here because I don’t even remember half the things. There are changes I realized within me much later after doing the course.

I also know that I was a very very scared person. I know that I was never okay in being and being by myself alone.

I was extremely scared of loneliness.

Even though there were people and other participants along with us in the course, I realize that I can be by myself. I do not need someone always to be by my side. I always lived with friends or flatmates and never even imagined living by myself before that.

During the trip I also made some very beautiful friends. They became a part of my life and I hope they remain forever. We also now spend a lot of time together. We party, we go on events together and it also gave me a good community to spend time with.

I was a person who constantly needed someone to share my thoughts, my emotions and my memories with. I do not know how it changed me as an individual but the entire silence program definitely got me peace with my life and its circumstances.

After this trip I actually had the courage to move out of my shared apartment and move into my own house. I started living by myself. I did not know which was the exact moment when things changed but I know that it did.

I know that I started enjoying my own company. I know that I stopped craving for people and peoples attention. I am even sure a lot of other things must have happened which I am not even aware of subconsciously. I also now know how people do Vipassana and how and why they do it every year.

I learned I could stay quiet and could enjoy it so much.


I know actually do have the courage of doing Vipassana now and discover what could open up for me there. I realize that there are many organisations that do science programs. If you cannot do it for 11 days do the three-day Art of living meditation and silence program. Even Sadguru’s Isha foundation offers something very similar. Most of the spiritual organisation offer something similar on these lines and it will be a life changing situation. Transform yourself and then transform the life of others around you.

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