The words “peace, calm, quiet, silence” have each their own shade of meaning, but it is not easy to define them.
Quiet is a condition in which there is no restlessness or disturbance.
Calm is a still unmoved condition which no disturbance can affect—it is a less negative condition than quiet.
Peace is a still more positive condition; it carries with it a sense of settled and harmonious rest and deliverance.
Silence is a state in which either there is no movement of the mind or vital or else a great stillness which no surface movement can pierce or alter.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, p. 137
Do not confuse calm with inertia. Calm is self-possessed strength, quiet and conscious energy, mastery of the impulses, control over the unconscious reflexes. In work calm is the source of efficiency and an indispensable condition for perfection.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p.134
Calm are the thoughts, the words and the acts of one who has liberated himself by the true knowledge and has achieved a perfect tranquility.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM,Vol. 3, p. 223
The sage who has steeped himself in the Teaching, becomes perfectly peaceful like a deep lake, calm and clear.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM,Vol. 3, p. 219
Then a calm Power seated above our brows
Is seen, unshaken by our thoughts and deeds,
Its stillness bears the voices of the world:
Immobile, it moves Nature, looks on life.
Sri Aurobindo – Savitri: CWSA, Vol. 34 , Book Nine, p. 571
At last you have the true foundation of the sadhana. This calm, peace and surrender are the right atmosphere for all the rest to come, knowledge, strength, Ananda. Let it become complete.
It does not remain when engaged in work because it is still confined to the mind proper which has only just received the gift of silence. When the new consciousness is fully formed and has taken entire possession of the vital nature and the physical being (the vital as yet is only touched or dominated by the silence, not possessed by it), then this defect will disappear.
The quiet consciousness of peace you now have in the mind must become not only calm but wide. You must feel it everywhere, yourself in it and all in it. This also will help to bring the calm as a basis into the action.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, p. 124
Be very careful to remain always calm and peaceful and let an integral equanimity establish itself more and more completely in your being. Do not allow your mind to be too active and to live in a turmoil, do not jump to conclusions from a superficial view of things; always take your time, concentrate and decide only in quietness.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p.133
There can be no firm foundation in sadhana without equality, samatā. Whatever the unpleasantness of circumstances, however disagreeable the conduct of others, you must learn to receive them with a perfect calm and without any disturbing reaction. These things are the test of equality. It is easy to be calm and equal when things go well and people and circumstances are pleasant; it is when they are the opposite that the completeness of the calm, peace, equality can be tested, reinforced, made perfect.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, p. 129
Remain quiet, open yourself and call the divine Shakti to confirm the calm and peace, to widen the consciousness and to bring into it as much light and power as it can at present receive and assimilate.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, p. 125
How can we call calm…?
Oh, “call”? Um, um. Make calm come to us, you mean? How? Simply as when you want to call someone, you call him, don’t you? (Laughter) It is the same thing. You must remain as calm as you can and wish for calm, aspire for calm, call calm, like that, remaining as calm as you can at that moment. Ask to be yet calmer. Want calm. But all this calmly, because if you want it agitatedly, calm will not come.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM,Vol. 6, p. 377
The difference between a vacant mind and a calm mind is this: that when the mind is vacant, there is no thought, no conception, no mental action of any kind, except an essential perception of things without the formed idea; but in the calm mind, it is the substance of the mental being that is still, so still that nothing disturbs it. If thoughts or activities come, they do not rise at all out of the mind, but they come from outside and cross the mind as a flight of birds crosses the sky in a windless air. It passes, disturbs nothing, leaving no trace. Even if a thousand images or the most violent events pass across it, the calm stillness remains as if the very texture of the mind were a substance of eternal and indestructible peace. A mind that has achieved this calmness can begin to act, even intensely and powerfully, but it will keep its fundamental stillness—originating nothing from itself but receiving from Above and giving it a mental form without adding anything of its own, calmly, dispassionately, though with the joy of the Truth and the happy power and light of its passage.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, p. 145
In reality, calm is not a negative thing, it is the very nature of the Sat-Purusha and the positive foundation of the divine consciousness. Whatever else is aspired for and gained, this must be kept. Even Knowledge, Power, Ananda, if they come and do not find this foundation, are unable to remain and have to withdraw until the divine purity and peace of the Sat-Purusha are permanently there.
Aspire for the rest of the divine consciousness, but with a calm and deep aspiration. It can be ardent as well as calm, but not impatient, restless or full of rajasic eagerness.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 29, pp. 146 – 47
At first the peace and calm are not continuous, they come and go, and it usually takes a long time to get them settled in the nature. It is better therefore to avoid impatience and to go on steadily with what is being done. If you wish to have something beyond the peace and calm, let it be the full opening of the inner being and the consciousness of the Divine Power working in you. Aspire for that sincerely and with a great intensity but without impatience and it will come.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA,Vol. 30, p. 45
Getting upset and impatient certainly will not help this bad period to end any sooner. On the other hand, if you can maintain a little inner calm, you will get out of your difficulties more quickly. It is only in a state of calm that one can enter into contact with one’s psychic consciousness.
The Mother – More Answers from the Mother: CWM,Vol. 17, p. 92
You must learn to be calm and quiet even in the midst of difficulties. This is the way to overcome all obstacles.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p.134
There is a place in the inner being where one can always remain calm and from there look with poise and judgment on the perturbations of the surface consciousness and act upon it to change it. If you can learn to live in that calm of the inner being, you will have found your stable basis.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA,Vol. 31, p. 700