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4

THE SILENCE

by Francis Brabazon

 

On 10th July, 1925, Baba ceased speaking. He told his disciples that he would be silent for one year, but the year stretched to the rest of his earth time with us — forty-four years.

 

In the beginning he wrote his instructions to the mandali on slates; later, he spelt out words by pointing to the letters of the English alphabet painted on a board, and as some of the disciples became adept at reading his fingers, this became his way of conversing and dictating his discourses and messages. Much later again, in 1954, he discarded the letter-board and communicated by signs, gestures and expression; and to the disciples who lived with him, and to those with whom he lived in their homes and daily work, and on occasion were permitted to come to him, this was the most eloquent way of all — for he was the master of expression and the perfection of mime.

 

Although Baba was silent, there was no 'sitting silently at the feet of the master' with him; indeed some who came to the ashram for that purpose were looked upon as oddities, unripe yet to enjoy the Master's company. Conversation was winged; and when the jokes were rich and the stories absurdly tall Baba was hard put to prevent his merriment breaking into sounding laughter. This was truly God-the-Man — God enjoying his Lovers' efforts to entertain him. And the greatest entertainer of them all was the silent Gustadji. But always behind the lightest moment was a numbed sense of the terrible weight of the world burden he bore and the crucifixion he suffered because of our ignorance; and a horizonless rejoicing that one day he would speak and deliver himself of his burden, and us into a New Humanity.

 

God-Man's Silence was our waiting. And still we wait. And we can wait cheerfully because there is nothing else to do, for he does everything. We wait while he peels off the skins of our ignorance and we stand naked in the truth that each himself is the beloved Who-Alone-exists.

 

In reality God said everything that was to be said when he uttered the Word of creation. In that one word he said the stars and suns and Earth and all its forms and people. It took six periods of vast duration for God's speaking to be completed. Then he stopped speaking, for everything actual or potential had been said. And the seventh day was of the Original Silence.

 

Even when he was speaking that one Word which brought the world into existence, and made all words — even when he was shut in the darkness of Nothing which his Word had caused; when he was locked in the hardness of stone; when as a leaf he longed for movement, as a worm for travel, as a fish for wide ocean-acreage, as a bird for rarer atmospheres, as an animal for beautiful man-form, he was silent. All these things were by his imagination, not of his Truth which is indivisible, and of the very Silence itself. His communication with all the things and beings of his Word has always been in silence, because in silence are all the best things given and received — and all love-talk ends in the silence of a sigh.

 

If only we could have become silent when he was with us, enjoying nothing but the sweet word of his presence, we might have lost ourselves entirely in his song and seen him as the real Self of ourselves.

 

We wait for the Wave of his Word to rise on his Ocean of Silence and beat on the doors of our hearts, and cry: Who? Who is your God? — And we will answer in tremendous gladness You, you Beloved, are our God. You are the Ocean of us and we are the drops of You.

 

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