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Silent Baba: The Man Who Hasn’t Spoken For 9 years Because Of A River

silent baba

The Origins of Ganges near Tapovan, above the Gangotri Glacier.

What comes to our mind when we think of Sadhus? These are generally considered as a holy figure in Jainism or Hinduism who have renounced the worldly pleasures and live an austere life. They follow a path of spiritual discipline, dedicated to achieving moksha. India is a country perceived as the land of sadhus and saints since time immemorial. And yet, given the number of scams that we see around us of various babas, kind of shatters our faith and helplessly makes us think twice before trusting any of the saints.

In the midst of declining faith in the sadhus, here is Muni Baba, famously known as the ‘Silent Baba’ who reinforces our faith in their holy beliefs and teachings.

Who Is Silent Baba

silent baba

Yes. This is for real. As incredible as it sounds, it holds true. A holy man, Muni Baba, popularly known as the ‘Silent Baba’ of the Ganges is a silent monk who hasn’t spoken for almost ten years !

The Home Of Silent Baba

silent baba

Muni, or Silent, Baba poses near his tiny home at Tapovan.

Babaji lives in a base stone ashram at a height of 14,200 feet in a meadow called Tapovan in the Himalayan range. It resides above Gaumukh, which is the headwaters of the Ganges where the river comes out with force from the beak of the Gangotri Glacier.  His tiny structure is a rustic ashram situated in the shadow of the Meru, Bhagirathi and the Shivling, few of the most stunning peaks one can witness.

He lives a life of solitude without anyone’s company and hasn’t spoken to anyone in nearly ten years. However, Baba can write and communicate if need be.

The Reason For Going Silent

silent baba

Muni Baba, or Silent Baba, shares his thoughts about life and the Ganges River with the GangaS2S team at his ashram in Tapovan.

This is his chosen form of reverence to the Holy Ganga. It is enigmatic to see the man who chose to stay silent as a mark of utmost respect to the Sacred Ganges.

He believes that by offering his prayers to the Sacred Ganges he can curb many problems which prevail in our society and it is because of these divine mantras India is moving on. Baba believes in the beauty and the power that lies with the Ganges. He has faith in the love she gives and the sustenance she offers along with its 1500 mile course.

Baba is also aware of its fury, the destructive power of the Shiva which can be released if Ma Ganga is not equally loved in return. Like any other Hindu, Baba believes the Ganges is sacred to a greater extent at its headwaters.

The Making Of  Silent Baba

Baba hasn’t spoken since December 27, 2008. He quotes, “My guru encouraged me to begin a fasting of silence and maintain it as long as I could. He will probably scold me for giving this interview”, Baba smiles.

Making a conversation with a man who doesn’t speak is quite challenging. But fortunately, he knows how to write and that is how he communicates if at all he does any.

Baba used to work as a clerk in the Ministry of Health. His boss didn’t like him because he used to pray aloud all the time. There came a time where he had to choose between his faith and his career. He quit his job and became a sadhu/monk at the age of 36. Today, he lives in a cave.

Silent Baba, nowhere has ever forgotten his motherland. He feels that even though he couldn’t work as a public servant, he can help India by offering his prayers and help the society in his own way.

No wonder he prefers to stay silent and live a life of solitude. Silence, meditation, reflection and complete tranquillity is what the Himalayas promises to everyone who goes there.