Sometimes it has happened…for example Mahavira lived for twelve years in silence. Naturally, living twelve years in absolute silence, he forgot how to speak. When he came out of the mountains he found himself just like a newly-born child who knows no language. And a beautiful parable exists about him, that he never spoke in his whole life from then on. He had to devise a totally different method for conveying a simple idea – that that which you are searching is not outside; it is within you.
The device that he had to develop…because he had forgotten speech – he had forgotten those words, those languages, that he had known once; the silence for twelve years had been so deep, it had erased everything else – the device that he found was telepathy. He had his closest disciples just sit silently with him, and they would speak to people. Something would transpire between him and his closest disciples which was invisible; no word was exchanged.
And the miracle was that his closest disciples could hear that which was not said. How to decide whether they are hearing the right things? It was more a vibe…he was vibrating with tremendous ecstasy and silence and peace. They had become just sensitive enough to receive that vibe, and to translate that vibe into language. The only criterion that they were right was that they all were saying the same things to people. There was no quarrel, no conflict, no question that, “You have heard wrong.” They simply repeated that which was not possible for Mahavira to speak. He used their language, their words, to convey his silence, to convey his solitude.
Just in this century, one of the most important men was Meher Baba. He remained silent his whole life. Although he again and again announced that he was going to speak at a certain date, when the date came it was postponed.
His closest disciple, Adi Irani, used to come to see me. All Meher Baba’s books are written by Adi Irani. His name is not on those books as the author; the author is Meher Baba.
I asked him, “Why, again and again, do you declare that this year Meher Baba is going to speak? This has been going on for thirty years, and people gather on that date and he does not speak.”
He said, “I don’t have any explanations.”
I said, “My own experience says that perhaps he has forgotten language.”
Adi Irani was not aware of Mahavira and his state that had happened after twelve years of silence. Perhaps he was trying, but he was failing again and again. The silence is so much, and the words are so small they cannot contain it. The truth is so big and the language is so trivial.
I told Adi Irani, “Drop the hope that he will ever speak.”
And he did not speak; he died without speaking. But with Adi Irani he had a telepathic, non-linguistic communion.
I asked Adi Irani, “Do you feel sometimes suspicious whether what you are saying is exactly what he means?”