In the eternity of life, we all will be meeting – of course, without our old photographs, without our old faces. But nobody loses his individuality of consciousness even in the universal. He becomes part of the universal, and yet that universality does not destroy his individuality but enhances it. So not only me, but all the souls that have moved into time and gone beyond time, are still here now.
There is a beautiful story in the life of Mahavira. The followers of Mahavira have not been able to explain the mystery of the story. The story is certainly not historical; it is a parable, poetry, an indirect way of saying the truth. It says that Mahavira never spoke. The historical fact is that for forty years, he spoke continuously. But the story is that Mahavira never spoke. He was always silent, and in the audience there were three categories: one was of those who had left their bodies and had not entered in bodies again. They were all around – only visible to Mahavira, not visible to anybody else.
In the second category were human beings – seekers and searchers who had come to him, pulled by his great magnetic, charismatic personality.
And there was a third group, of his most intimate disciples – eleven disciples. They were also human beings, but they have to be put into a separate category because they had come to such communion with the master that they could understand his silence.
He never spoke – but those eleven disciples, called ganadharas, spoke to the people who could not understand silence. They said to people what Mahavira had communicated to them in his silence.
And there were two pieces of evidence whether they had heard rightly or not. One was that all the eleven had their own disciples: there were eleven branches of the disciples; if they all spoke the same message, that was one evidence that nobody had heard wrongly, that nobody was trying to make up the message himself.
And the second piece of evidence was that whenever those ganadharas, those eleven disciples spoke, the unembodied souls showered flowers, because they were able to understand the silence directly. And they were rejoicing because if these eleven people had not been there, Mahavira’s message would have been lost. Those unembodied people could not communicate with human beings. The flowers were showered on the eleven ganadharas as a proof to all human beings that souls – which had become enlightened before – were still supporting and giving evidence that what these people were saying was exactly what had arisen out of Mahavira’s silence.
It is very difficult to give historical proofs for it. But my own experience is that it may have some basis in reality, because I have come to know a few disciples of my own who can understand when I am not speaking. And whatever they understand is exactly what I wanted to convey, but kept it within myself. Here, also, many of you not only understand my words, but also my silences.