He was waiting for his time, because he was told by Buddha, “You are not to interfere while others are present…only in the night if you have some problem.”
When everybody was gone and Buddha was going to sleep, Ananda said, “Today I have got a problem. It has nothing to do with me, you have created it. And I cannot sleep unless you explain it to me completely. To one man, you said, ‘no,’ to the other man you said, ‘yes,’ and to the third man you remained silent. You have given three answers in a single day, about a single subject, God! And just think about me, a poor man…I have heard all the three answers and I am puzzled about what is right.”
Buddha said, “You should not get into other people’s troubles. Those were not your questions, why should you be worried?”
But Ananda said, “I have ears, what can I do? I heard the answers. I have eyes. I saw you sitting in silence for half an hour, I heard the man saying that he had received the answer and I have not heard it.”
Gautam Buddha’s logic has not only duality, his logic is threefold. He says that to everything from one aspect can be said yes, from another aspect can be said no, and from a third aspect nothing can be said about it except being silent.
The man to whom he had said no was a theist –he believed in God. He looked at the face of the man and said no –he was a believer. And the man to whom he said yes was a non-believer –he was an atheist. To the atheist he said yes. And the third person was neither a believer nor an unbeliever. He was just a seeker; that’s why he remained silent. And the man followed, he closed his eyes and became silent. And in the silence something transpired.
Nothing was said from Buddha’s side as far as Ananda was concerned, but something was understood by the man who was silent with Buddha. Something happened to him, something he experienced in that silence which cannot be expressed.
Buddha had a threefold logic and Mahavira had a sevenfold logic. Mahavira is even more puzzling because every question has seven answers…. And both of these were alive five hundred years before Aristotle was born.
Recently, in the West, they have started doubting Aristotle’s logic. Existence is far bigger; you cannot just divide it into two. It is too big, it needs something more. This division is very simple –simplistic.
Mahavira divides it into seven, just as light rays are divided into seven colors and it becomes the rainbow. And strange, all seven colors of the rainbow put together create a color which is not a color, it is white.