Chapter 1: Understanding Silence
He forced me to speak. He said, “Look, I have remained silent my whole life, but they do not hear, they do not listen. They cannot understand it; it is beyond them. I have failed. I have not been able to convey what I have been carrying within me, and now there is not much time left for me. You are so young, you have a long life before you: please don’t stop speaking. Start!”
It is a difficult, almost impossible job to convey things in words, because they are experienced in a wordless state of consciousness. How to convert that silence into sound? There seems to be no way. And there is none.
But I understood Magga Baba’s point. He was very old, and he was saying to me, “You will be in the same position. If you don’t start soon, the inner silence, the vacuum, the innermost zero, will go on pulling you inward. And then there comes a time when you cannot come out. You are drowned in it. You are utterly blissful, but the whole world is full of misery. You could have shown the way. Perhaps somebody may have heard, perhaps somebody may have walked on the path. At least you would not feel that you have not done what was expected of you by existence itself. Yes, it is a responsibility.”
I promised him, “I will do my best.” And for thirty years continuously I went on and on talking on every subject under the stars. But I came to a point which Magga Baba had not come to. He saved me from his disappointment; but I came to a new realization, a new point. I had thrown my net far and wide to catch as many people as have the potential to blossom. But then I felt that words are not enough.
Now I have found my people and I have to arrange a silent communion, which will help in two ways: those who cannot understand silence will drop out. That will be good. That will be a good weeding; otherwise they will go on clinging around me because of the words, because their intellect feels satisfied. And I am not here to satisfy their intellect. My purpose is far, far deeper, of a different dimension.
So these days of silence have helped those who were just intellectually curious, rationally interested in me, to turn their back on me. And secondly, it has helped me to find my real, authentic people who are not in need of words to be with me. They can be with me without words. That’s the difference between communication and communion.
Communication is through words, and communion is through silence.
So these days of silence have been immensely fruitful. Now only those are left for whom my presence is enough, my being is enough, for whom just the gesture of my hand is enough, for whom my eyes are enough - for whom language is no more a need.