What did you do in those years immediately after your enlightenment?
It is a difficult question. The first thing was that a great silence, almost unbreakable, followed the experience, as if the mind had stopped functioning. There was nothing to do about it – except to watch. It was difficult for my family, my friends. Obviously, they thought I have gone mad.
My family has always been worried about me, concerned that I’m not following the well-trodden path and I am moving into dangerous experiments. And the danger of going mad was easily conceivable.
And when I stopped speaking – it would be better to say that the speaking stopped itself, I was not a partner to it – people would ask questions and I would not even be able to give answers to simple things.
For almost two years, inside it was a tremendous rejoicing. Outside, it became a trouble. The people who thought they were trying to help me were really a nuisance. I should have been left alone to myself. But they were worried that I may go deeper into this madness.
They could also feel that I am not miserable, that I am immensely happy. But mad people ordinarily are happy, are rarely miserable. So that was not against their idea of madness; on the contrary, it was supporting that something should be done to me.
They were bringing people thought to be wise, and I was really amazed that these people were not even in the category of the “commonsense” people. They were full of the garbage of the scriptures.
Just one man, a man who was not known to be a wise man, met me in those days – and he was the only sane man in those two years of my silence. He was a strange beggar – strange because he was respected by many people, but he was a beggar. His only possession was simply a small mug. Because of that mug, he was called Magga Baba and people would drop money or food or anything into his mug. And he would not prevent others who wanted to take money from his mug or things that others had dropped into it. He would be as willing to those who wanted to take money out of it….
One of my uncles thought that perhaps this man may be of some help. He was silent, or sometimes he would speak gibberish. You could not understand what he was saying. Nobody could even figure it out, what language it was: it was no language. He was just like small children when for the first time they start speaking. They go on saying anything, repeating anything.
But the man had some magnetic quality. During the rains he used to lie down at night under the shade, just in front of a shop. I had seen him a few times and he had smiled whenever I had seen him. He was not far away from my place; his smile was of great understanding.