Non-Linguistics of Silenceme: Lalon

in Article
Published on: 09 July 2016

Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Professor, Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute

[This is the journal of a knowledge-monger, so to say a tongue-trader, who even though specializes in Linguistics, works in a curious amalgamation of physics and linguistic theories following the course of his mission. For the sake of his queer trade he reaches out to the bauls to play the field[1], pardon, to do the field-work while he is funded/sponsored. Some selected portions of his diary that are premised on Fakir Lalon Shah’s philosophy of the corporeal are presented here.]



January 31, 2003

A German project came my way out of the blue. The fund was routed from Germany; albeit redirected—because the fund, in fact, belonged to Uncle Sam’s land. This project, it seems, has managed even more fund than the amount of capital expended for the Human Genome Project after the Manhattan Project of atrocious atomic bombs. Heaven knows what’s the zing thing here?  Initially, the matter did not sink in me. Whatever little I could figure out was that electronic devices would be attached to the cerebrums of some ascetics at the time of their meditation.  Under the surveillance of the electronic eye their entranced state would be unveiled mainly through two different scanning methods: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT).


Today, the Project-Director took me to the lab. I saw some weird buttons attached to the head and serpentine catheters inserted into the elbow and belly of a holy-man that they managed to get hold of from somewhere. The catheter was being used for cleansing with relentless application of heparin into saline water. The Cerebral Angiography was on.


The Director confided, 'You know—, SPECT has detected a strange phenomenon in some ascetics; though their Frontal Lobes are hyper-active with intense neural activity, their Parietal Lobes are extremely inactive.'


-  So, what has a linguist like me to do with this?


- 'This Frontal Lobe houses the Broca’s Area—the domain responsible for man’s ability to speak. Now it is up to you to figure out. But certainly I shall make the task easier for you. You shall get whatever assistance I may extend from the point of view of neuroscience. You have to trace  the  Bauls’  perceptions  of  ‘their’  doctrine  of  the  corporeal  from  their  musical compositions.' It felt like I slipped into an abyss. Hardly on an occasion or two I did lend my ears to the feats of bauls and mendicants to have fun while smoking weed but more than 90 per cent of their songs had gone above my head unregistered. I got tanned, instead. ‘They’ speak in a tongue that is way beyond my sense perceptions and understanding as well. Nevertheless, I could smell lucre in the venture. I shall have to roam about a lot, in other words, nothing but field-work tourism.


The Project Director enlightened me again, 'Do not forget that their oblique anti-language [2]is the medium of their reverse speaking. With the modus operandi of your linguistic theories you have to get into the thick of their crafts and schemes. That is you have to decipher cryptic elements of those songs. Ha, ha, you will be a cryptologist then—a perfect match for us!'


On my return home it struck suddenly, 'Why are they so keen on knowing the language of the body and theory of the corporeal? What shall they do with the knowledge of this "irrational" sphere, ‘Spaces of un-reason’? Why "modern" science is paying so much heed to the gibberish of tillers and toilers?'



February 2, 2003

Not even in my dream had I thought that I would come across such a song first thing in the morning as I stepped out.


A baul was singing in the local train:

O my mind, witness the feat of ideas at the room of emotive ideas in the city of cogito. The lamp is burning inside the water. Cognize alone about the thinker within the play of emotive ideas. The raft floats by juxtaposing female and male (yang and yin). Lust is rising out of luster (and) you cannot know it simply or universally as it shows different forms... (e.g., ) The red pearl.

When silenceme would swallow the world of parole,

At that day, the play of emotive ideas would be broken up.

Lalon says then you might perceive the way out.

(Lalon Shah’s Compositions, [henceforth LSC] [3]141).


The concluding line of this one being, 'silenceme would swallow the world of parole (the act of speaking)'. Silence shall devour parole! What does that mean! My ego was hurt. I am what I am and that being a scholar of Western linguistics and on top of that a title holder. How can a person like me face a jolt at such a phrase? Sense dawned on me in a while. This can very well be an area of research, isn’t it so? One can think of the ‘linguistics of silenceme’. One can even produce a ‘paper’ on this. To write a paper, one needs paper. Manufacture of paper is predicated upon felling of trees. Ink can’t be made without lead and carbon. You can’t help but conforming to such acts that thwart nature’s beauty and bounty—after all, that little anti-green crime leads to promotion and private accumulation of wealth. Therefore, you cannot do without it. You have to conform the world of 'publish and perish' and publish rubbish.


By that time that baul mendicant had shifted to another song:

The lamp of form is always burning in the lantern.

Witness that if being desired by your heart.

You are loosening the knot of lust and making business only with parole.

That form shoots unnecessary troubles without being discerned.

When the lamp stops burning, the city of emotive ideas would be darkened.

Fri Bird will fly away from the world of pleasure.

Siraj Shai is telling Lalon, don’t be puzzled.

By witnessing the form of self inside the Form, you would get the sight of the forms of Form.'

(LSC 59).


There in that song I faced a massive jerk from Lalon as if he could fathom what was going on in my mind, 'You are loosening the knot of lust and making business only with parole[4]'. I do trade in words, why only I, we do—we the members of the academic tribe. Our education teaches us to make the most of it in terms of money-signifier and matter. Linguistics dismembers and then analyses or vivifies language—that is our—the tongue-traders’ business. Can the arena of ‘silenceme[5] devouring world of parole’ be grasped from this perspective? Words over further words—talk over further talks, meta-speaking on speaking—this is the techne of Linguistics. This discipline is nothing but a study of meta-articulation where from silence…here he begins yet another song, 'One who seriously considers human being as preceptor, S/he is accomplished in all types of pursuits.' (LSC 415).


The final couplet of this one is, '... Siraj shai is saying by calling Lalon, do not open the shops of bad polemics.'


What does he mean by ‘shops of bad polemics’? Whatever we do, do by desiring something without being withdrawn ourselves from the world of pleasure and desire. Starting from the Parliament-Assembly to academic seminars of this kind: are they all shops of bad polemics? This shop, however, is too vocal; here, the money -signifier operates as the medium of exchange. Does Lalon want to thrust aside all these constructs? I entrapped the mendicant singer with all my conceit and proposed, 'I shall pay you. Instead, you shall explain these to me.' That ‘beggar’ in turn retorted back, 'Does money beget you everything, my pal! You better come to our cabal and you shall get to hear what you want to.'


This ‘beggar’ is my point of entry. A State-sponsored and tamed science-fellow is employed to encroach into a cabal of ascetics to reveal what is concealed and he is encroaching into ‘their’ body. The governance of the ‘benevolent’ State, this way, would be appropriated on them—the sponsored State would be all-pervasive.



February 3, 2003

I got a rebuff at the very outset. What was my fault! I just suggested, 'Let’s hear a few numbers on the corporal theme.' The fault was to express such a desire in a cabal filled with the aroma of weed. I had a single point agenda—I was ready to throw cash around to extort what I needed—money can get me anything. They, of course, spoke something else, 'What the hell do you know of the corporeal? What on earth do you understand? If you want to throw coins and hear songs, you have your gadgets—you better consider them. And speaking of money, if you do not realize that we have a different mint to produce a different anti-language and a unique anatomy you shall never sail through nir-khir (essence of female and male/ yang and yin), tribeni (three channels within body), chO caka (six wheels), lalmoti (red pearl). Now tell me where in your body is the lalmoti? How does the flame quiver therein under water? How does your body-vessel contain all the vibrations of the universe? What does it mean 'macrosm (brahmaanda) in microcosm (bhaanda)'?


I played reverse dice to wade through my exasperation, 'I shall answer all your questions if you stop smoking cannabis. Take this money, fetch some food, let’s eat. Then….'


To this, a baul burst into laughter and then nonchalantly exhausted a long inhalation of weed- smoke and fired at me, 'Do you even know that weed/ganjikaa induces praxis of wisdom/jnaanyoga?' He is punning with ganjikaa and jnaanyoga. A debate would ensue; I got tense and lighted a cigarette. A fine-looking baul made his entry at that point. He was perhaps listening to everything stealthily and joined immediately, 'You shall indeed oppose weed smoking—why won’t you, after all you are the product of a colony! You have no issue with the white man’s cigarette, but with simple weed-wisdom. If I say that the sahibs conspired to employ the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission to propagate the strange Cannabis Psychosis theory to prove that weed hastens insanity only to market their Bird’s Eye cigarettes in our country? Amit[6] has written the chronicle of this conspiracy. Haven’t you read that?' No, I did not read all this. Nevertheless, human body, I mean corporal studies and not weed, was my subject. So, I tried again to set the dialogue in the right context. He almost broke into a soliloquy, 'I took to weed during my stay in Himachal. The police grabbed me. But Western instruments of anatomy could not detect any trace of weed-induced-jnaanyoga in my blood. You talk of physiology and anatomy—born in a colony—can’t realize this domain of logic-less-ness. Our mint would never resemble your money making tools.'


I asked, 'What mint are you talking about?'


-  The signifier money of yours equates two inequal objects. You may say, 'One song of mine equates to five rupees. This is your metaphysics to seek parity between disparate objects. What can be more illogical on earth than this? You move with the symbol of money and think that the world abides by this, too. You claim to be a linguist, must know about the arbitrariness of signs, and still go on fragmenting mortal words to figure out strange epenthesis and vowel mutations. Huh! You think you can understand the corporeal theory! You can at best gulp down some foreign liquor, smoke up and dance to the tune of ‘ore bhola mon’ (‘oh forgetful wandering mind’) without either realizing the body-corporeal or the insight of such songs. Now, leave this place. Before laying your hands on Siraj and Lalon learn how the mystery of the body-corporeal is unraveled through meditation….' He then broke into song:

O I do not know my-self,

How can I know the other whose name is uncatchable?

If I could know my-self, I would get the immutable establishment...

As it says in the agama purana, that Man’s instrument would get fulfilled.....

If I do not search for form inside the form of self, how can I determine my own self?

He gets the testimony of the primal refuge by knowing the simple mediator.

He who gets the knowledge of the divine, gets the space without ignorance by the silenceme.

Siraj Shai is saying that Lalon remains blind by birth due to the attributes of mind.

(LSC 334)


I stumbled on the last two lines as he sang, 'S/he who gets the knowledge of the divine, gets the space without ignorance by the silenceme…'     


Lalon’s manuscript has: 'S/he who gets the knowledge of the divine, gets the space without ignorance by the theory of self' ; where does ‘silenceme’ come from?



February, 15, 2003

My ego was, indeed, hurt, that day. A good many titles are attached to my name. How could they ever dare throw me out? I am not someone who would let it go. I am roving through places like Birbhum, Nadia and Murshidabad of West Bengal, India. I have managed to connive up a sly trick to encounter their underhand hoax. Whenever I meet a baul, I ask him, 'Joy guru, how is your physique?' I would not continue the conversation with those who would respond coarsely highlighting either the wellbeing or the illness of his health. This was the strategy of my field work. Again I came across that fine looking man. As usual, I asked him the same question. To my guile his cheerful reply was:  


.. I am viewing your performance, o great broker,

Your inner-wear is shaky,

Your minty cunningness does not apply at Lalon’s room.

(LSC 391)


He sang these two lines and then said, you see, I was an activist in the Leftist politics before becoming a baul. I had read a little bit of Marx then. The pre-Capital Marx discovered the arbitrariness of the money-sign. His predecessors, the Cynic philosophers of Greece (all of them were progeny of the slaves), too, wanted to deface that coinage.  Don’t  forget  that  the  Ph.D  thesis  of  Marx  was  on  the  Epicurean philosophers of Greece. You people deal with sign of money in your unhindered sense of mortality. We speak just the opposite in our mint. In our parole everything is just the reverse. I might as well explain that reverse philosophy to you—not only that, how my body-corporeal happens to be, too. However, you have to tell me what has actually drawn you here. You can understand that you are busted. Did you plan to leak our in-house information to the State and the corporate merchants?


Faced with such a disarming question I threw up my purpose. He soaked everything in and said, 'Those who have transcended through our mint won’t go to your mint. Even if they go you can detect nothing. You may scan them and have some graphs, but those will remain confined to the limits of your mortal senses. Whatever is anthropocentric cannot cross its mortal limits. He may boast and shout to propagate his entry into the objective truth, he still remains confined to the boundaries of subjectivity. Whatever images you may click, the mirror will reflect the side reversal of right and left. Who else is going to see them, but you—a mortal being. If you reverse your way, your waking state will seem to be a sleeping one, the truth of that awakened state will turn out to be lies. Lads will seem to be lasses and vice versa; inanimate will become lively and the conscious, insensate; hemlock to elixir and reverse—would you take in those "logicless" discourse?'


-   You, I mean, can you take me through all this?


-   Oh! Yes, it is my challenge to your altar of funded organized institutionalized science. I would like to see how do the rays of material pursuit of truth of the organized, institutionalized, post-enlightenment era ‘Science’, enter and penetrate my body- vessel.


-   You seem to be very intolerant of modern science.


-   The science of the post Manhattan-Project has produced toys, nuclear weapons and robbed the nature of  its wealth. This domain destroys bountiful nature. Merchants dictate the State to mint money, to fuel the strange machines of science. It is a domain of cunning cruelty (not of intellect), of killers and tricksters.




August 31, 2003

[In the last five months my sessions with him covered Lalon Shah’s compositions taking into account the nationalist monolith of notes, commentaries and annotations on each of them. Along with them I read between the pages of Kabir-Dadu-Rajjab and even the Upanishads, not to forget Bhartrihari’s Vaakyapadiya and the Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta. What follows here is an extract of whatever little I could understand from my experience or my recollections enthused by that ordeal. It will take loads of pages to say it all. Hence, I am going to tell the tale of parole that is eclipsed by silence.]


Session 1


He knows my path too well. I am a Brahmin by caste but bereft of the sacred thread and immersed in the education as offered by the colony. On top of that, my vocation is to jabber over what is already gibbered. He began exactly from the parameters that shaped me the way I am.


The ongoing lackadaisical path of Linguistics that was inspired by Panini’s grammar or Sabdanusasana ('The governance of language'; title given by Patanjali) which was composed with a purpose, faced a jolt upon Bhartrihari. One cannot read Bhartrihari dissociating him from the tradition, especially the knowledge of Vedanta is necessary to understand him; secondly, you cannot abandon him on any ideological principle—this, too, I understood arduously.


By ‘apoddhaara’ i.e. ‘Analytical abstraction’ Bhartrihari referred to a grammatical process that fragments language into various parts—that is nothing but child-play (vaalanaamupalaalaanaa). First  we speak  what  we speak,  then we dissect  the content  into  fragments,  we call  them inflexion and verbal root and so on. This is called anvaakhyeya (anu [that comes later/ post] + aakhyeya [aakheya or nomenclature naming]) according to him this is ‘anityajnaana’ (knowledge of the ephemeral/ non-eternal). Can this lead to salvation? Bhartrihari’s triad of human speech is what follows: the fact that we speak when we are awake is called ‘baikhari’. Lalon has spoken of baikhari in some of his padas (cf. LSC 373, 396, 417 or 220). Even a pada of Dadu Shah is a wonderful illustration of baikhari. The phenomenon of speaking while dreaming when someone is asleep is called madhyamaa. The grammarians and linguists can’t go beyond baikhari and the modern psychiatrist’s functional domain extends till madhyamaa. Pashyanti is the deepest state of sleep where speech is completely incapacitated. The  fourth stage,  hereafter,  is  paravaak—the  unconscious  domain  of  silenceme—an unattainable abode that beggars speech. This is the contribution of Abhinavagupta. When, after hearing so far, I blurted out a 'Shit!' he said, 'Tell me, how do you form unremitting and infinite sentences with the knowledge of finite set of lexemes? Do you do this when you are awake? How do you produce infinite sentences? Tell me.


-   This is Chomsky’s scientific statement. How would you relate Bhartrihari to this theory?


-   When did I wish to relate the two! All I did was to make you aware of the fact that this ability to create ceaseless and recursive formulations is induced by the miasma of the unattainable paravaak.  This is brought about by the intimation of what is beyond our reach. Nevertheless, you are at present confined in the dichotomy surrounding realism and idealism. You won’t understand this—you shall but think that you are caught into the snares of idealism, for no reason. If only you can recall our conversation of February 15, 2003, you shall see that I spoke a bit on subject and subjectivity. Those are nothing but the reiteration of the staunch realist Bertrand Russell: we are "Plunged into subjectivity against its will" and "Science is at war with itself."[7] This was the understanding of our second session. As I have already told, I shall now move forward to the third session that dealt with the premise of waking and sleeping.



Session 3

He began to sing:


O my mind, collect the news of your room,

Who is sleeping and who is waking and who is showing dreams?

Who is constraining the room of parole, and who eternally exists in the room of silenceme?

When the day of the great dissolution comes, who would repress whom?

Who is the master of corporeal and who is the disciple taking care of it?

When you will know that, the infatuation of the refuge would be gone….

Siraj Shai says that days are passing by without searching for the living space of the builder of this house.

(LSC 426).


Along this he led a brahmin bereft of  his  sacred-thread  like  me  through  Mandukyapanishad to  Kabir’s  dohas  and  Lalon’s compositions. He stressed, 'Sometimes I confuse their identity—who belongs to the lower rung and who the upper—because they exchange between them on an orbit which enables by-way traffic. See the logistics of such discourse-reception.  Live it aside and let us read Lalon with Madukya as it is your orbit. This may be politically incorrect in the view of others but what else can be done?


Mandukya Upanishad says that the awakened state is the utmost unreality like mistaking a rope for a snake. So, verbal exchanges in that state (baikhari) are also utter falsest state. The reflected image even of a puppet becomes an utterly unreal game point. To dream in sleep and musings in a dream is also an extreme unreal position (madhyamaa). The puppet-show runs here, too.   If you call a rope, a rope it is practical yet stands as false state.


The deepest state of sleep (susupti) is the falsest one. If idol(l)’s ‘real’ is the God and idol/doll is the abode of God then that is false, too. Therefore, the object of devotion with a form and contour is metaphorical, too. Here, lies the apparently indefinable ‘pasyanti’. Beyond the unfathomable depth of illusion is the arena of the unattainable paravaak where this ultimate realization does not harbour the almighty but a colossal entirety. He said, 'Look, how easily Lalon transcends from the Mandukya of sleeping-and-waking to Bhatrihari in Pada 426.' I said, 'Having understood everything so far, how shall I prove the falsest state of the awakened, the falser dream-state and the falsity of the deepest state of slumber? Secondly, how shall I understand the phenomenon of the silenceme of the paravaak that comes and devours the speech sound? Third, what is the outcome of all this? What is the end result of this praxis?'


Answer to your first question: You shall get your desired (attestable) route of the praxis after you go through the commentaries of the 4 rupee text of Kalidas Bhattacharya’s manDukkoponiSOder  KOtha;  and  you  shall  beget your  path  of  the  praxis  from  your  own corporal constitution through a preparation of a kind. How your body-vessel shall unveil the universe should be the subject of our fourth session. Third, this praxis and its route commences solely for the well-being of the world—keeping even the welfare of the intimate enemy. When the near-far dichotomy shall not hold water in the universe beyond your mortal reach—it will be a delight when you shall understand your all pervasive omniscience. There is no jouissance  in your mint, but tension, depression….



Session 4

Let us assume that within my abode or my body there are 6(+2) wheels (see the map of the human body). But, I shall not highlight the one of the bracketed two. This is the eighth wheel which is inside-out and outside-in. Here we can solve the mystery of the ‘eight cabins and nine doors’. It is true that some temple architecture bears its evidence, but if I have to discuss it here, I would require beginning with a foreword. Hence, I shall speak only of the six+one wheels.  There are upside down lotuses whose petals are closed. The numbers of their petals are also certain. They have colours. Each of them has its specific locus, too.


The houses of these six+one wheels are in various parts of the three nadis. The three nadis (three channels of the body; ‘tribeni’ to some bauls, Lalon, for example): idaa, sushumna, pingalaa. At the left side of the human body, there is idaa and at the right, pingalaa. The lower culmination point of these three nadis is called the Root chakra (Mulaadhaar). This lotus has four petals. In  the  lower  abdomen  below  the  navel  is  the  Sacral  chakra (svadhisthaana)—the lotus with six petals. In the upper abdomen in the stomach area is the Solar Plexus chakra (manipura)—the lotus with 10 petals. Just above the heart at the centre of the chest is the Cardiac chakra (anaahata)—the lotus with 12 petals. The locus of the lotus with 16 petals i.e. the Throat cakra (Visuddha) is the vocal cords of throat. The forehead is the locus of the Brow/Pituitary chakra (aajnaa)—the lotus with two petals. The account of these 50 petals of the six wheels is available in a particular tantra. In the Buddhist tantra the calculation is a little different. I do not intend to mention that here simply because the followers of Lalon do not conform to that. The petals of each lotus are again identified by 50 letters. These letters are nothing but baikhari—dependant mnemonic device. For the ease of memorizing they are known as ang, ing, king and so  on. However,  one  does  not  need  to  abide  by the  esoteric  formulations  or  the mnemonics of this baikhari-dependant alphabets (aksara) if one is able to attain in contemplation the absolute bliss (turiya) of brahmarandhra at the head wheel of the 50x20 = 1000 lotus flowers or go beyond brahmarandhra and attains the supreme state of engrossment (turiya turiya) along the path of reflection. An austere attainment that does not entertain repeated recitation of prayers (japa) is an ajapa praxis (devoid of recitation of esoteric words). No performance of chants, no object of devotion. All that is there is an attainable path: complementing the descent or exhalation of breath along Idaa (artery along the left side of the spine), then suspending or holding the breath or kumbhak and finally letting the ascent or inhalation of excretory breath through Pingala. Ascending and descendding along this strange track inside the body-vessel, the petals of lotus in the chakra open up to kindle the proper angle of the kundalini (the root origin, the serpentine power) and harmonise the idaa, pingala and sushumna. Lalon says:


Who is reporting the way of Shai?

In that way, there is always the terrible fear of the Black Cobra...

(LSC 12)

Kaalnagini (a mythical female  black cobra—the scripture-conceived coiled  female snake—the root source—Kulakundalini—the serpentine power.) But there is not only the cakra, but more like the three+two knots. The brahmaa granthi is positioned between the Root chakra (muulaadhaara) and the svadhisthaana; the visnu Granthi between the anaahata cakra and the manipura; the rudra granthi between the Anaahata and the visuddha cakra. The turya granthi in sahasrar and above all the turya turya granthi in the brahmarandhra (crown cakra).


What you need to be aware of is that when the harmonic unison is attained one does no more confine oneself to godheads like Brahma-Vishnu-Rudra and reaches an unbodied realm and does no more adore any godly name and form. It is the state of speechless transcendental silenceme.[8]



Session 5

Now let me connect the four bygone sessions in the following manner:


1.   (+A)  Speaking  the  utmost  lie  at  awakened  state  (baikhari)  expanded  from  aajnaa  to Vishuddha car. It is speaking in waking-state [jaagrat] with arbitrary ephemeral epi-phenomenal utilitarian sign-systems; it is the falsest state.  


2.   (+U) Speaking one’s mind in a dream is more unreal (madhyamaa). It is speaking in the falser dream-state or svapnaavasthaa.  This expands from aajnaa to anaahata cakra.


3.   (+M) deep unreal slumber (susupti) spreads from aajnaa to Manipur svadhisthaana. (unspeaking [pasyantii] in a deepest sleeping-state or susupti; false-state)


[+A+U+M=AUM. Accepted baikhari letters can identify them. But these ‘letters’(aksara) have no place in the untrodden realm of 4 (see below).  That is a region of unlettered letters: that can never decay (again it is a different aksara, i.e., na ksaranti iti, that does not secretes). Note the polysemy of the term aksara. In this ultimate realm the AUM extends from Brahmarandhra to the Mulaadhaar].


4.   (-A-U-M) This is not waking, nor dreaming, nor even deep dreamless slumber or sushupti. It  is  a  hymnless  godless  unmeditative  praxis.  The  un-letters  here  decay  but  then  the paraavaak wakes up and goes to slumber and wakes up again. The signs of Baikhari- Pashyanti simply vanish.[9]


[See the chart to grasp the riddle at a glance].


In this state the silence of paravaak eats up sound and neer-kheer (female-male / yang and yin) becomes one and inseparable:  


I am neither male nor female,

It is the eunuch which exists above the universe, o how can I compare it? 

Only the connoisseur can know this secret of the non-connoisseur.

(LSC 67)


The key to my abode is no longer possessed by someone else. The ‘I’ is freed from external shackles and completely owned by the self. Lalon expands on this:       

How shall I find the wealth as the controlling device is in other’s hand...?

Hundred locks at the godown...

In the room of parole there is heart of silence... They are bound together by veiling the gaze of the being...

Other’s business at the room of self, I have not seen its home...

I, the unconscious coolie, for whom am I working?

I have jewels within myself, but that is occupied by others...

So Lalon says home is a damn lie.

(LSC 140)       


Or when he says:

...Space-time and essence of its whims are not known...

According to testimony, this attributive ‘it’ resides in the flow and does not speak.

Hearing its sound, it is very difficult to recognize.

Lalon says after reflecting, I am dying after roaming too much....

The being is the truth... I concluded.

(LSC 317).

After traversing through all this he asked, 'Can you now understand the story of silence devouring up sound? Would you now speak more on the linguistics of silenceme, I mean, on non-linguistics? Or you want to keep shut?' I kept shut at the first question. But, he cited two  padas one by one—one by Kabir, the other by Dadu—more than  one analogy developed between our prolonged  discussion on Lalon and these two.


'Prime is that speech, how can the flavour be forgotten, one who knows the taste knows the sublime happiness. Says Kabir, this knowledge makes the ignorant wise and the wise speechless.'


The next one is an excerpt from Dadu: 'He is not dead, nor alive, he comes not, nor does he go, neither is he latent, nor awakened, neither hungry, nor is to satiate. (Comparable to: Isopanisada, shloka: 5)/ Be silent therein do not speak, there matters no ‘I-and-you’; oh Dadu, how less it matters there who is familiar and who not, neither ‘one’ is there, nor ‘two’. Say I one, and two are there, say I two, but one, hence, is Dadu bemused; see him as he is.' Kshitimohan Sen affixed a commentary to his Bangla translation: 'The fact that the spirit of that act has not gone astray by a myopic approach might quench the enthusiast’s interest however the philosopher might despair.' On the path of philosophy this confusion surrounding one with the two is called identity in difference (bhedaabheda, simultaneous bheda and abheda). I tried hard to walk the path of philosophy, but could not become a rasik (an enthusiast) because I wanted to enter their body-corporeal driven by a purpose—that means I came not as a mendicant or a fakir but to respond to my accountability. Nevertheless, after all of this my funded research lost its motif. I could no longer bring myself to gain promotion by producing the linguistics of silenceme after excelling in this praxis. Borne by an unconcerned renunciation when I let my breath rotate in my heart in ascent and decent, a composition of Tagore crossed my mind, 'aji mOrmOro dhoni keno bajilo re.' (Why today did the rustles ring). He corrected my Freudian slip; said, 'Sound rings all the same, but here Rabindranath Tagore did not use the verb ‘ring’.' And he began melodiously, 'aji mOrmOro dhoni keno jagilo re.' (Why today the rustles are awakened). Sound is not played but awakened—nonetheless from within, my heart was blossoming into a full-bloomed lotus slowly and gradually. From the wounded sound of the baikhari-dependant linguistics of the Vishuddha cakra my un-bruised resonance is being ‘awakened’ in the cardiac lotus of the anaahata chakra….  Where  is  the infatuation  of  linguistics,  fame,  seminar,  designation  and dignity…where is the desire driven concerns… my superannuation is round the corner… that of course does not mean that since now I shall survive on others’ surplus labour—like Kabir, the weaver I have to weave my own clothes, like Dadu, the cobbler I have to make my own shoes, like Lalon, the farmer I have to produce my own food, i.e., socially necessary labour. When I have passed through this essential exercise, limitless time will be at my disposal to indulge in frolicking. I may even have to encounter the mercenaries of the Maharshi with pauper Harinath as my compatriot—'Oh humble beggar! Thou maketh me humble beggar, too'. The dhvani (phone)—naad (sound)—bindu (spec) and letters here denote/connote specific senses. Some musings here sounds like APORIA—undecidable decidable and noncontradictory contradictions: waking-sleeping, letters-phoneme-sound-spec etc. create an ultimate riddle of reversed praxis. A dissecting discourse on this can ensue some other day. Another treatise may take up these issues.



February 1, 2006

They have dragged me to the lab. The purpose is to incise into my body with their instruments. A catheter has reached my brain through an artery. Positrons, photons….varied isotopes are incessantly knocking. He was especially cautious. He told, 'Never confide your meditative route to the unworthy. Guard yourself on your own as ever.' I have an imprint of his advice in me. Let them image the vibes as much as they can. How far can they analyze those graphs with the limitations of their mortal sensory perceptions! Did anybody ever perceive the ‘original’ (?) in the reflected images on a screen? The gulf between the sense perception and cerebral understanding pertains to hermeneutics.


A time came when the vibes on the graphs became still, the monitor screen displayed blurred drizzles before going blank—nothingness! Their machines cannot enable them to annihilate the self awareness and intrude into my own domain of transcendence of self.


My austere soaring to the realm of silenceme has no indulgence for their anatomo-bio-politico- technical tricks. Their ‘will to know’ is nothing but their ‘will to power’. O corporate-bred State-dictated ‘modern’ science why do you keep on prying in how I nurture my-self? How do I take care of my-self (epimeleia heautou)? I, a mere signifier given by the ‘other’, am trying to reduce my-self to a ‘null entity’ (In Arabic, it is called ‘fana’), starts singing a song of Lalon:


If you can make your-self dead,

You can know the differ-ance.

In which name I should call him,

By which he would be present in my heart?

In Arabic, they call it allah,

In Persian, they call it khuda-tallah,

Jesus’ Apostles have called it ‘God’,

Differently in different cultures.


To describe one’s thoughts,

Parole was created in this world.

But to know the unnameable and unknown,

Parole is of no use.


Ritualized Worshipping of Allah and Hari,

Are the inventions of ignorant men.

But to know the unspoken and unspeakable truth,

These are not at all needed.


If you can make your-self dead,

You can know the differ-ance.

In which name should I call it

By which it will be present in the sky of my heart?

Siraj Shai is telling Blind Lalon,

Briefly, see the Form(less) inside your own form!'


Translated from Bangla by Sanchari Bhattacharya and Akhar Bandyopadhyay
















(negation of aum)


States of being



Dream-state or


Deepest sleeping-

state or susupti

Neither waking,

nor sleeping???


Gradation of







Bhartrihari & Abhinavagupta on speaking





Bouddha Darsana

on speaking









Vedanta Visuddhadvaitavda on the states of world(s)



world of illusion, where we are playing with toys or painting on a canvas (pataakaasa)or perceiving a rope as a snake



Practical or pragmatic world of appearance Perceiving image in the mirror (ghataakaasa)

Cf. Plato’s Cave




Perceiving the source of image as real phenomenon.



source of image and I =  big I

Corporeal-points according to

Hindu’ (umbrella


Brow cakra to

Throat cakra

through naadis

Brow cakra to

Cardiac cakra

through naadis

Brow cakra to

Navel cakra or to sacral cakra through naadis

Brow cakra to

Sacral and root cakra and back to void cakra via crown cakra through naadis

Corporeal-points according to Buddhist Tantra












Paandaraa, Candaali, et al.

Dombinii, Maamakii et al.

Loconaa, niraatmaa et. al

Yoginii, Taaraa, sahajasundarii et






The following papers (both in Bangla and in English as well as Italian translation)  of the present author are utilized for writing this paper.

2001. 'Folklore: Serching for Logistics'  in Culturation. Jawharlal Handoo Felicitation Volume. ed. U.N. Singh. Mysore: CIIL, pp. 26-34.

2002. 'Soul’d in and out: Representation of Body, No-Body in the Hindu Philosophy.'  From the Margins. (pp. 182-202). Kolkata

2005. ''যেদিন নিঃশব্দ শব্দেরে খাবে' : নৈঃশব্দের ভাষাতত্ত্ব ' ['When Silence Would Swallow Non-Silence': Linguistics of Silence] Ebang Mushayera. XI.4:226-47.

2006b. ''বাংলার খোয়াবনামা (Bangla: A Genealogical Fantasy)''. SOtobOrser aloke bONgo bhONgo, Kolkata: Pustak Bipani. (pp. 426- 447). First published in 2005.Chattopadhyay, D. ed. Parikathaa. VII.2:320-40.

2006a. 'স্বত্ব নিয়ে সমস্যার নিবেদন' On my-ness and economic entitlement) (Problems of Possession). Baromas, Vol XXVIII, October ’06. (pp. 217–22) Reprinted in Interaction. Nov. ’09. (pp. 5-11).

2007. 'জেগে বা ঘুমিয়ে-- 'ভারতীয়দর্শনে' (Hanging between Sleeping and Waking -- ‘Indian' Philosophy).' (Hanging between Sleeping and Waking -- ‘Indian' Philosophy). Tepantar. Vol. V (pp.141–66) Kolkata: Sanhati. 

2009a. 'Architectural Description of Konark Sun-Temple"কোনারকের বিবরণকিতাবের সমালোচনা'.  Review Article: 'konaraker bibaran by Nirmal Kumar Basu' (Ed. Prasenjit Dasgupta, Somyen Pal 2009). Bandyopadhyay, Sumahan Loukik. IV:1-2 (pp.111-121). Revised Version of The Review published in Sen, Ashok ed. Baromas. (2009) Vol.31. (pp. 286-88)

2009b. 'নীরবতার নাভাষাতত্ত্বলালনে Non-Linguistics of Silenceme: Lalon.' Shaktinath Jha ed. Ocin pakhi. Lalon saMrokgrontho. Vol.XX. Nadia, West Bengal Lalon Mela Samiti. (pp. 16-24). Revised version: 2012. ei nisOrgo pOtro. 1.1:9-16.

2011a. The Psychology of Silence: The Story of BharatDiaforia, No. 5, July 2011. Italy.

2011b. An Interview on "Psychology of Silence" (English & Italian Versions) Diaforia, No. 5, July 2011. Italy.

2011c. কালকুটের কায়াসাধনা (Kalkut’S Corporeal Studies)' Sadhana Barua ed. Sabda. III:3 (pp.154-62)

2012a.  In Search of Linguistics of Silence : Caryapada চর্যা-চর্চায় নীরবতার ভাষাতত্ত্ব সন্ধান : উপক্রমনিকা]. Pranab K. Chakroborty ed. Interaction VIII. (pp.23-31)  Nabadwip, West Bengal. 

2012b. 'The Movement Within: A Secret Guide To Esoteric Kayaasadhanaa: Caryaapada'. Journal of Bengali Studies 3.1: pp. 113–27.

2013.  'Language: From I-Dentity to My-Dentity' in Alternative Voices: (Re)searching Language, Culture, Identity… eds. S. Imtiaz Hasnain, Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta and Shailendra Mohan. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholar publishing. (pp. 158-73) 



Basu, Amitranjan. 2004. 'Gonjika ar grass: ekTi adhunik JaMjapuran'. Bandyopadhyay, Debaprasad ed. Ababhas (special issue). (pp. 186-213). Kolkata.

Bhattacharya, B. 1985. Vaakyapadiya. Vol. I. Kolkata: Pascimbanga Raajya Pustak Parsad.

_________________. 1991. Vaakyapadiya. Vol. II. Kolkata: Pascimbanga Raajya Pustak Parsad.

Bhattacharya, U. 1364 bangaabda. Baanglaar baaul o baaul gan. Kolkata: Orient Book Co. 

Dasgupta, S. 1352 bangaabda (1945). Bhaaratiiya sadhanaar aikya. Kolkata: Visva Bharati.

____________. 1962. Obscure Religious Cults. Kolkata: Firma K.L.M.

____________. 1974. An Introduction to Tantric Buddhism. Kolkata: University of Calcutta.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1978. Language as a Social Semiotic. London Edward Arnold.

Iyaer, K.A.S. 1969. Bhartrihari. Poona: Deccan College.

Jha, Shaktinath. 2005. Lalon Shaier Gan. Kolkata: Kabitapaksik.

Kaviraj, G. 1995. Taantrik Sadhona o Siddhanto. (Vol. I & II). Bardhaman: Bardhaman University.

Monier-Williams, M. 1899. A Sanskrit English Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarasidas

Shastri, H, T. Bhattacharya. 1323 bangaabda. Hajaar bacharer puraano bangaalaa bhaasaay bouddho gaan o dohaa. Kolkata: Bangiya Saahitya Parisat.

Sen,  Kshitimohan.  1995 (originally 1910-11). Kabir. Kolkata: Ananda.

______________. 1342 bangabda (1935). Daduu. Shantiniketan: Visva Bharati.

Sen, S. 1956. Caryaagiiti-padaavalii. Bardhamaan: Saahityasabhaa.



I am indebted to Dr. Amit Ranjan Basu for his commentary on weed. Many manuscripts have been collected by Suchandra Chowdhury of the Asiatic Society. I am grateful to her. This paper would never have materialized but for the persistent prodding of Professor Shaktinath Jha and continual exchanges with him. Thanks are not enough for Sanchari and Akhar for translating it from a difficult Bangla.


[1] In Bangla, the author uses the word ‘maThkOmmo’ that literally means ‘to defecate at the open field’. In this way, author is ridiculing the process of fieldwork that is an anatomo-bio-political tool, i.e., a means for surveillance. 

[2] If an externalized linguistic  arises antithetically to the synthetised situation of standardized variation(s), the  antithetical variation is called anti-language. Cf. Halliday, M. A. K. 1978. Language as a Social Semiotic. London Edward Arnold.

[3] This paper follows the cardinal numbers of the Lalon’s songs as it is found in Bholai Shah’s manuscript. Cf. Jha, Shaktinath. 2005. Lalon ShaiMer  gan. Kolkata: Kabitapaksik.

[4] Saussure’s langue- parole dichotomy is associated here. Parole is act or performance of speaking.

[5] Silenceme (the term is coined in analogy with phoneme, morpheme, sememe, lexeme, pragmeme etc) is at a time a non-sign and a sign and does not have a fixed componential meaning and thus violates the law of excluded middle.  Speaking/listening subject is perceiving something as 'silence' is actually cognizing 'absence' of stipulated non-silence in a locus. Thus, the speaking/listening subject perceives the 'absence' of couterpositive (stipulated non-silence) in the locus of supposed/ stipulated silenceme. And silenceme is always perceived in an absential relational term.

[6] Basu, Amitranjan. 2004. 'gonjika ar grass: ekTi adhunik JaMjapuran'. Bandyopadhyay, Debaprasad ed. Ababhas (special issue). (pp. 186-213). Kolkata.

[7] Every attempt to grasp the reality-object by empirical method is at stake as Russell pointed out, 'Science seems to be at war with itself: when it most means to be objective, it plunged into subjectivity against its will. And therefore the behaviourist, when he (sic) thinks he is recording observations about the outer world, is really recording observations about what is happening in him(sic)'(1950:15). Russell, B.1950.An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. London: Unwin.

[8] Those ascetics, who have reached the fourth and fifth stages developed a special bond and stay put there. The relation is based on equanimity of accountability (samavaaya). This is a kind of bond that can be disowned anytime – an attached proximity. The relation between the paper in front and the pen I hold is one of attachment. But can you detach the shivering leaf from the vibrations it receives in use? ‘Samavaay’ is such an inseparable attachment: the universe holds the self of human and no-human alike, this is an omnibus. But in this matter a salt-doll may melt in a salty sea yet comes back for pleasing keep-sake of the multitude (lokasamgraha).