I have tried, and cannot find the words that adequately convey the beauty of those moments when you enter the auditorium. I see the heads of my beloved friends bend down: their love and reverence for you is so poignant, and touches me so deeply. And when your eyes fall on mine, I feel as if I am drinking from a chalice full of golden light. This connection between you and us, your devotees, this is the real “holy communion,” isn’t it?
Maneesha, the space, the connection, the merging and the melting that can be called communion, is one of the great secrets of religious life. We have to understand another word before we can comprehend the meaning and the fragrance of the word communion, and that word is communication. We all know what it means. When two persons are meeting without meeting, without any merging, without any melting – both are keeping a safe distance from each other – it is called communication.
They may be talking, but nobody is hearing. They are talking almost as if in sleep. Their talk may be apparently relevant, rational, but deep down, it is something totally different. When one is speaking, the other is pretending to listen, but he is really preparing what he is going to say after the other stops. He is not silent, he is not absorbing, he is not allowing the other to approach his heart.
In fact, when two persons are meeting, there are four persons, not two. Two are the real persons which are hidden behind two false personalities; both are pretending to be what they are not. Both are trying to show their best, both are on exhibition, both are showmen. The real persons are hidden behind; they are unapproachable. You can at the most have contact with the mask, with the personality.
And because the personality is false, all its promises are false, all its commitments are false – it says something, it does just the opposite. It says something, it means something else. To watch two persons, just as an observer, you will be surprised: nobody is hearing anybody, and yet both are pretending that they are not only hearing, they are understanding, they are responding. And what is their response? They just catch a word, and they jump in and start talking. It seems to be related, because they have caught a word from your talk. But they are not responding to you; they have been preparing what they are saying without hearing you.
I have heard…An old man is sitting in a railway compartment and a young man in front of him asks, “Can I know the time?” The old man has a watch, but the old man thinks for a while. The young man thinks, “It is strange, I have just asked about the time – what is he thinking? Perhaps he is deaf, he is old.” So he shouts loudly, “I want to know, what is the time?”
The old man said, “Listen, young man, I am not deaf. I have heard that you want to know what the time is, but I was thinking whether to tell you the time or not, because life is such a puzzling affair, and I am so experienced.”
The young man said, “This is such a simple question. You have a watch, you can just tell me the time; there is no problem, no puzzle, nothing.”