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Chapter 14: Silence Is the Right Soil

Every intellectual will condemn me, saying, “What kind of speech is this?” But he has not understood my purpose; it is not a speech, it is not a lecture. It is simply a device to bring confidence to you and to your heart that you can be silent. The more you become confident, the more you will be able. Without my speaking you will start finding devices yourself. For example, you can go on listening to the birds, and they suddenly stop, and they suddenly start. Listen.there is no reason why this crow should make noises and then stop - it is just giving you a chance.. You can find them, once you know - even in the marketplace where there is so much noise, everything is going on, crazy.

Just the other day I came to know that in Greece the government was very much worried about the taxi drivers because they were not following any rules, any regulations of traffic. Their taxis were going anywhere they wanted, against the red light! Finally they decided to specially train the taxi drivers for a week, and they announced three big awards to the perfect taxi driver.

For first place, they could not find anyone; the police were searching for someone to give the prize to, but they could not find anyone. In fact, the moment they found one taxi driver who was behaving exactly the way he should on the road - the moment they tried to stop him to give him the first prize, he became afraid seeing the police, and he ran against the red light and spoiled the whole game! He did not think that they would give a prize; he must have thought that he was bound for trouble - he did not care. Just in front of the police, just a moment before he was going to be the first award winner he ran against the light.

In seven days’ time they could not find anyone. They could not find a taxi driver to give him the prize, because the moment the taxi driver saw the police standing there, he became even more crazy. The seven days’ experience showed that the police and its presence had been making taxi drivers more nervous, and they were getting the whole traffic into a mess.

I don’t follow any rules. I have read books; for example, I mentioned Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People, but my whole life I have been doing just the opposite: how to influence people and create enemies. And I have been successful in that!

Your question is, “I realize that it is easier to become silent while listening to you.” The reason is that you are attentive; your mind is still because you want to listen to me. When I stop, your mind cannot start quickly, and before it starts, I start again! I am watching you! I give you only this much gap, so you cannot start your taxi again; otherwise you will run against the red light, and create more chaos.

So my speaking is not oratory; it is not a doctrine that I am preaching to you. It is simply an arbitrary device to give you a taste of what silence is, and to make you confident that it is not a talent - that it does not belong to any specially-qualified people, that it does not belong to long austerities, that it does not belong to those who call themselves virtuous. It belongs to all, without any conditions; you just have to become aware of it. And that’s my whole purpose in speaking to you.

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