Why Meher Baba Observed Silence
Source: “Meher Baba on His Silence,” The Awakener Magazine, vol. 5, no. 4 (Second Quarter 1960), pp. 32-39
The question asked most often about Baba is, “Why is He silent?” The Master Himself has made many illuminating statements about His silence, which began July 10, 1925. The bulk of them appear below:
When from the depths of his heart, man desires something more lasting than wealth, something more real than material power, the wave of destruction will recede. Thence peace will come, joy will come, light will come.
The breaking of my silence—the signal of my public Manifestation—is not far off. I bring the greatest treasure which it is possible for man to receive—a treasure which includes all other treasures, which will endure for ever, which increases when shared by others. Be ready to receive it. —“The Avatar,” in Discourses, vol. 3, pp. 32-33
I am not limited by this form. I use it like a garment to make myself visible to you; and I communicate with you. Don’t try to understand me. My depth is unfathomable. Just love me. I eternally enjoy the Christ-state of consciousness, and when I speak I shall manifest my true Self; besides giving a general push to the whole world, I shall lead all those who come to me toward light and truth.
I intend, when I speak, to reveal the One Supreme Self which is in all. This accomplished, the idea of the self as a limited, separate entity will disappear, and with it will vanish self-interest. Cooperation will replace competition, certainty will replace fear, generosity will replace greed. Exploitation will disappear . . .
The benefits that shall accrue to different nations and countries when I bring about the spiritual upheaval will be largely determined by the amount of energy each possesses. The greater the energy—however misapplied—the greater the response.
When I speak, there will be many proofs of my spiritual power, and of my ability to bestow illumination. People will then realize that Truth, which is the source of all love and existence, rules supreme in all departments of life . . .
When he [the God-man] speaks, Truth is more powerfully manifested than when He uses either sight or touch to convey it. For that reason Avatars usually observe a period of silence lasting for several years, breaking it to speak only when they wish to manifest the Divine Will, and world-wide transformation of consciousness then takes place. ―Message at the Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood, May 31, 1932
For nearly twelve years no word has passed my lips. Yet I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is my voice . . . the voice of inspiration, of intuition, of guidance. Through those who are receptive to this voice, I speak.
My outward silence is no spiritual exercise. Once a devotee asked a Perfect Master why He fasted. The Perfect Master replied, “I am not an aspirant. I am Perfect. So I am not fasting to attain perfection. It is for others that I fast.”
A spiritual aspirant cannot act like One who has attained to perfection, but One who is Perfect can, for the sake of others, act like an aspirant. One who has received a Master of Arts degree can write the alphabet on a board to teach children, but it does not mean he is no longer a Master of Arts. So my silence has been undertaken and maintained solely for the good of others. —Nasik, 1936
Question: When will be the actual manifestation (of your silence)—what period?
Baba’s answer: Twelve years after I speak. These twelve years of my silence were in preparation for it.
Q.: What will be the effect of this manifestation?
Q.: At once or gradually?
A.: Gradually . . . like crops and rain. Rain falls spontaneously in showers, but crops take time to grow. So the fruits of my work will grow gradually during the twelve years of my manifestation.
Q.; Will there be a war before you speak?
A.: Yes, unavoidably. But none will win, none will lose. Rather it will awaken a desire for a better and higher ideal of life. All the existing ideals of race, nationality, religion, etc., will be eradicated and destroyed, and the ideals of human brotherhood established.
—Interview on November 21, 1936
May God, whom the Muslims call Allah, whom the Zoroastrians call Ahuramazda, whom the Hindus call Ishwar Paramatman, and whom many others call by many other names—may He whose union the lovers seek in self-annihilation, whom the seers see as the only Reality, and whom the knowers know as their own real Self, may this Supreme Conscious Being, this conscious Soul of souls, who eternally manifests as Avatar and Perfect Masters—may He, through His all-merciful act, bestow on us His Grace, and may He solve our difficulties by the end of this year, and may He, according to Baba’s circular of 1949, finish everything by the end of this year, to enable Baba to break His silence in the beginning of the next year, to speak the one and the last word of all-embracing Divinity.”
—prayer dictated by Baba and recited prior to “The Great Seclusion,” 1949
Things that are real are given and received in silence.
[Source: Spelled out on the alphabet board for a visitor, Dr. Frederick Kettner, at the Stokes residence in New York City in 1934. Lord Meher (online rev. ed.), p. 1654.]
God has been everlastingly working in silence, unobserved, unheard, except by those who experience His Infinite Silence . . .
When I was in America, people asked me when I would break my silence. I, in turn, asked them, ‘If my silence cannot speak, of what avail would be speeches made by the tongue?’ When God thinks my speaking would be heard universally, He will make me break my silence. However, silence or no silence, he who would deeply ponder over the Truth which I declare, shall eventually be initiated into the Life Eternal.” —”Fiery Free Life,” November 1952
Time, implying a beginning and an end, like space, has no existence in the eternity of God. For us here, time does exist, and the present is fast approaching a junction of an old and the beginning of a new cycle. Time is thus almost ripe for a fresh Universal Divine Manifestation that will infuse new vitality in the body of the old and timeworn truths.
Although political, economic and sex problems are not directly connected with the Divine Theme, the moment God speaks, all problems, all over the world, will by themselves get solved and adjusted. ―Velegu (Telegu magazine), March, 1953
This much I can say now (being) in the best of moods, that soon God will make me break my silence and then it will mean God manifesting Himself; and within a short period, humiliation and glorification will come and then will follow my violent physical death. I will come back again after 700 years, this I can say now.
—Hamirpur, February, 1954, Lord Meher 12: 4282
Before the end of this year, God will make me sing the first original Song, and those who love me will be lost in that Song and find me to be in everyone. When I break my silence, the greatest miracle of all times will happen. Be worthy to receive the Divine Grace and for that be prepared now to receive the grace . . . I really am, as always, the slave of my real lovers.
—Eluru, February 23, 1954
Although I appear to be silent, I speak through you all. I am ever silent and everlastingly speaking, but time has arrived when soon I will break this apparent silence and then those who love me will see my Real Self.
—Nauranga, February 5,1954
. . . I feel very happy to hear music. It reminds me of the first Song that was sung ages ago and that Song produced this phenomena called the Universe. God will make me soon break my silence and that first original Song will be sung again, and the world will realize that God alone is real and that everyone of us is eternally one with God.
—Masulipatnam, February 22, I954
When I say that my Manifestation is connected with the breaking of my silence, people should not expect an outpouring of verbosity . I will utter the Word of words that will irresistibly impart to those who are ready the ‘I-am-God’ state (Anal Haq or Aham Brahma Asmi state).
My mission is to utter this Word of Truth which will pierce the mind of the world and go to its very heart. It will convey the simple Truth in its utter and indefinable simplicity. It will mark the moment of fulfillment of the Divine Life. It will throw open new gates to Eternity. It will bring new hope to despairing humanity.
The Word that I will speak will go to the world as from God, not as a philosopher; it will go straight to its heart. With the dawn of the realization of the Unity of all life, hatred and dissension will come to an end. There will be unfaltering love and unfailing understanding, and men shall be united in an inviolable brotherhood based on the realized Oneness of God.
Be ye guided by Love and Truth. This is the simple way that leads to God. Not by the endless maneuvering of alluring illusions, but by loyalty to the Unchangeable Truth can ye hope to be established in Abiding Peace.
When I speak, it will be only one Divine Word; but it will be the Word of words or the Manifestation of Truth. This word will have to be hearkened by the heart, and not merely by the mind. It will go home to you and bring you the Awakening.
—Andhra, March, 1954
‘But today I do say this: that the moment I break my silence and utter that Original Word, the first and last miracle of ‘Baba’ in this life will be performed. It will be the miracle as I never have performed. When I perform that miracle, I won’t raise the dead; but I will make those who live for the world dead to the world, and live in God. I won’t give sight to the blind, but will make people blind to illusion and make them see God as Reality.
I will now do the work of my personal program and break my silence shortly . . . I am fed up with this board and my silence, and I must break my silence soon. You all who have come into contact with me will have some glimpse of me. Some will have a little, some a little more and some still more. When the ‘power-house’ is switched on, wherever there are electric bulbs and if they have connection with the ‘power-house,’ there will be light. If some of the bulbs are of small candle-power, the light will be dim; if some of the bulbs are of high candle-power, the light will be bright. If the bulb is fused there will be no light at all. I perform no miracles, but when I break my silence, the first and the last miracle will be performed.
As I said last night, now I will have to work out alone my own programs of silence and breaking the silence . . . All will know (about it) . . . Just as the ‘power-house’ is to be switched on and all connected with it will be enlightened, so it will be not only here, but throughout the world. But bulbs not working or fused will not be giving the light. That is why I have been telling you all to love me more and more. All this talk of books and literature is good for preparing the ground; but the time for the ‘power-house’ to be switched on is so near that the only thing that will count now is love . . .
—Rajahmundry, March 1 and 2, 1954
Remember, that although I do not perform miracles, I will give anything to whosoever asks for it from the bottom of his heart. If I am Baba, I can do anything. You ask wholeheartedly and you will get from me. But this I tell you, too—that the one who asks for my love will be the chosen one. The time is very near when I will break my silence, and then, within a short period, all will happen, my humiliation, my glorification, my manifestation and my dropping this body. All this will happen soon and in a short period. So, from this moment, love me more and more.
―Ahmednagar, September 6, 1954
If you were to ask me why I do not speak, I would say I am not silent, and that I speak more eloquently through gestures and the alphabet board.
If you were to ask me why I do not talk, I would say, mostly for three reasons. Firstly, I feel that through you all I am talking eternally. Secondly, to relieve the boredom of talking incessantly through your forms. I keep silence in my personal physical form. And thirdly, because all talk in itself is idle talk. Lectures, messages, statements, discourses of any kind, spiritual or otherwise, imparted through utterances or writings are just idle talk when not acted upon or lived up to.
If you were to ask me when I will break my silence I would say, when I feel like uttering the only real Word that was spoken in the beginningless beginning, as that Word alone is worth uttering. The time for the breaking of my outward silence to utter that Word is very near.
—Meherabad, September 29, 1954
My Word of words will touch the hearts of all mankind and spontaneously this divine touch will instill in man the feeling of oneness of all fellow beings. This feeling will supersede the tendency of separateness and rule over the hearts of all, driving away hatred, jealousy and greed that breed suffering, and happiness will reign.
—Meherabad, September 30, 1954
Unity in the midst of diversity can be made to be felt only by touching the very core of the heart. That is the work for which I have come.
I have come to sow the seed of love your hearts so that, in spite of all superficial diversity, which your life in illusion must experience and endure, the feeling of oneness through love is brought about amongst all the nations, creeds, sects and castes of the world.
In order to bring this about, I am preparing to break my silence. When I break my silence, it will not be to fill your ears with spiritual lectures. I shall speak only One Word, and this Word will penetrate the hearts of all men and make even the so-called sinner feel that he is meant to be a saint, while the saint will know that God is in the sinner as much as He is in himself.
—Sahavas, November, 1955
Ages and ages ago, I did perform one great miracle and the whole of this illusion of creation came from me. I will perform another such miracle at the time when I break my silence. That will be my first and last miracle in my present incarnation. Expect no other miracle from me.
—Sahavas, November, 1955
The time is rapidly approaching when a tidal wave will rise in the ocean of grace. Then the usual process by which the water in the rivers flows into the oceans will be reversed and the ocean water will rush through the river beds. Be prepared to receive this overflow of grace.
—Sahavas, November, 1955
The silence which I have been observing for the past thirty-one years is a call from the silence of unfathomable Divinity. Invite that Divinity into your hearts so that you may become permanently established in the immortality of universal life … [My] silence … is not intended to veil my Truth but to manifest it.
—”The Immortality of Universal Life,” in Life at Its Best, 1956
Why Is Meher Baba Silent?
Source: Eruch Jessawala, The Ancient One (ed. Naosherwan Anzar), pp. 101-2
We would often question Meher Baba about His long silence, asking Him when He intended to break it and one day in 1954 in answer, He just dropped His alphabet board and said, “From now on I will not use the board.”
We thought this was a hint that He might be about to break His silence but the days passed without incident except that He then started to communicate by using finger gestures. All He would say, referring to His silence, was, “What a binding it is” but it was a binding with a purpose — for our sake.
However, one lasting benefit which developed out of this, came one day when He asked us this question: “Why do people shout at one another when they are angry?”
We said, “They shout because they are angry and they want to express their anger,” and Baba responded, “Yes, they can express their anger that way, but even if someone is seated at their side they will shout at that person. Could they not speak softly?” We volunteered different explanations, saying different things which came to mind at the time, but our answers did not satisfy Baba. So He gave us the answer.
“When a person is angry with another person,” He said, “that person is far removed from his heart and distance is created between them. That’s why the physical reaction is to shout, and the greater the distance, the greater is the shouting. Love disappears and one goes on shouting at the other who in turn barks back at him. Then he barks and so it goes on and on.”
But Baba did not stop there as He doubtlessly wanted us to see the same thing from a different angle. So He continued, “Now take the other case of two people in love. When two individuals are in love with each other, how do they speak?”
“They speak softly,” we answered.
“Yes,” Baba agreed, “they do speak softly and the greater the love between them, the softer is their tone of speech. And when they are still further in love, no words are needed and they just look at each other, and eventually there is not even the need to look — no need at all.”
Well, that is the reason why Meher Baba observed silence. There was no need for an exchange of words. It was very good to hear that, to be reminded that He was so very close to us; as He has said, “I am closer to you than your very breath.”
Whether the world accepted His closeness or not was immaterial to Him for whom there was no need to speak, and it was so true that whenever people came in contact with Him, although there was an exchange of signs or words through interpretations, Meher Baba always spoke directly to the hearts of people. There is no doubt at all about that, He simply reached deep into their hearts.
“I Speak Through You All”
Source: Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher, vol. 6, pp. 2129-130
On March 13th , Baba was in Nasik. Malcolm Schloss had met a Catholic priest at a religious conference in Nasik and he urged the priest to meet Baba, but he declined. When he told Baba, He also seemed uninterested. However, due to Malcolm’s persuasion a meeting was arranged. The following conversation between the priest and Meher Baba then ensued:
. . . [T]he priest asked, “Why do you keep silence? Why don’t you speak?”
“I always speak!” Baba smilingly replied, “I continually speak through you, through all the high priests and through everyone.”
Not following what Baba meant, the priest asked, “Then why do you use the alphabet board?”
“I talk through you and all, and I answer questions through this board.”
The priest looked more perplexed and asked, “How? I don’t understand.”
Baba taunted the man, replying, “Yes, you cannot follow because you are in Rome, and I know because I am at Home! This is the difference between you and me. You are in Rome and I am at Home!”
The priest then left, quite puzzled by his encounter with Baba. What Baba meant by “Home” was that he was one with God, and “Rome” was the church — rites, rituals, orthodoxy. God abided in Baba, and Baba abided in God. But to the priest God was in Rome — the church in Rome.