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Chapter 7: Silence Is a Song without Words

That’s why you felt, reading Mirdad, that your breathing changed. It has to be understood very carefully: your breathing changes with each of your emotions. When you are angry, watch: you will have a different kind of breathing, unrhythmic, chaotic. When you are in love, just holding the hand of your beloved, your breathing will be different - peaceful, silent, musical, harmonious. And these are small things; I am just giving you examples to understand.

When you are sitting with the master, the breathing becomes so harmonious that sometimes you may think it has stopped. There will be moments when you suddenly become aware, “Has my breathing stopped?” Because it will be so silent that even you cannot feel its movement.

There was one very significant man in south India, Brahma Yogi - but he got distracted. He was able to bring his breathing to such a harmonious state that doctors declared him to be dead - because if there is no breathing. And not just for a second or two, he was capable of ten minutes. Medical science has its own limits. For ten minutes, no sign of breathing. In Oxford, in Cambridge, in Calcutta University, in Rangoon University - he went all over the world.

He completely forgot the mission of his life: that he had been meditating to attain to his innermost self. That’s how people get distracted. He became an entertainer, a showman. He earned much, he became world famous. And the doctors everywhere were shocked. He was examined in every medical college of importance in the world, with all their refined instruments. They had to declare that the man was dead, and after ten minutes he would start breathing again.

It was not that he was not breathing for ten minutes; he was breathing, but the breathing had gone so slow that it was beyond the instruments’ capacity to capture its movement.

This happened to you reading Mirdad, that you felt your breathing was changing. It was beautiful. And because your breathing changed, that’s why you came to a point where you were indecisive. Whether you were sad or silent, blissful, ecstatic, you could not decide, because the thing was so new and you had no category to put it in. But I will tell you: you were sad, sad because you have wasted your whole life - and this space was so close; you were just to reach and it was going to be available to you. You were sad, just like a beggar will be sad who comes to know that he is the emperor and there has been some mistake; the beggar is sitting on the throne and the emperor is begging in the streets. All those years of begging.a shadow, a sadness.

You also felt silence, because The Book of Mirdad has been created by a man who knows the inner workings of human consciousness. He was not a writer; hence nobody ever bothered to give him a Nobel Prize. He was alive in this century, he was our contemporary. His book has not been translated into many languages for the simple reason that the book is unique - it is not a book, it is a device. And it is not meant to be read, it is meant to create a certain atmosphere around you. If you are ready, available, receptive, the atmosphere will be created and there will be great silence. And silence is always blissful.

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