"The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds - their prarabdha karma. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try hard how you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is for one to be silent."

What does he mean by "be silent"? I'm new to his teachings but they bring me peace. Please explain.

3 Answers 3


Beautiful answers and here is a more detailed answer.

I guess you are aware of the background in which Maharshi Quotes(Wrote on a Paper)these words.

At the outset, when Bhagavan left home, his family tried to trace him, but failed. Only some years later they discovered him at Tiruvannamalai. The Mother, not yet ripe to renounce the world and join him, went to persuade her son to return home. It was in December of 1898. At this time Bhagavan was not speaking and sat in apparent indifference to her pleas. One Pachaiappa Pillai who was nearby gave Bhagavan a paper and pencil and asked him to at least write a few words of consolation to his mother. He wrote briefly that whatever is destined to happen will happen. - Ramana Maharshi Collected Works

If we understand the context, Maharshi's mother was under the assumption that Bhagavan's act of leaving Home is volitional.So she was pleading him to return home using the same volition.

Maharshi wrote these words to console her and as well as a spiritual instruction.

Maharshi instructs that the fate of Jivas(Individuals) are controlled by Ordainer(Saguna Brahman/God)according to their past actions. The fruits of our actions are dispatched in a way beneficial to our spiritual progress. And our efforts to control the fruits(outcomes) of our actions by trying to prevent some events from happening and by trying to make some events to happen is futile. The best action therefore is to understand this fact and simply abide in oneself(Be As You Are / Abide in One's True(Own) Nature) without proliferating our egocentric actions.

The quote resonates with following verses, one from Maharishi's Upadesa Saram  and another from Bhagavad Gita.

Upadesa Saram Verse 1: Action yields fruit, For so the Lord ordains it. How can action be the Lord? It is insentient.

BG:18:61- The lord dwells in the hearts of all beings O Arjuna, and by his Maya causes all beings to revolve as though mounted on a machine.


The phrase "Be silent" is a loose translation. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi in Tamil said "Summa Iru" This should be translated to "Be still"

Bhagavan says that one should be still [in mind] and when there is stillness, one abides in the Self-Luminous Self (Brahman).

Here, the term ordainer refers to Ishvara, the Saguna Brahman, and not to the Nirguna Brahman. The mind brings an illusory world into existence, dividing it into a seer and seen. Self-realisation is having the knowledge and thus the experience that one is the underlying substratum, Brahman, not the temporary and not the transient body that is going through its allotted activities based on karma. Therefore, Bhagavan's advice is to remain still and realize the Brahman.

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    Thank you so much for your response! It's clear now. Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 5:18

Be silent here means dont do anything.

But how can you not do anything? You will have to do day to day activities. So this is Cryptic in nature.

Ghoodartha or Hidden meaning is to understand Naham kartha Harir kartha. To know that he is the actual doer and not you and to submit all your actions at his feet. He is the ordainer, the Ishwara.

This video may help https://youtu.be/tLAZvESoVgI

  • Thank you for the video and answer! Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 0:12

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