Silence — the Deepest Mystery
by Charles Purdom
Source: C. B. Purdom, The God-Man (originally published 1964), pp. 413-414
Is it not terrifying that Baba should have maintained silence all these nearly forty years? For silence is the abyss, or the very edge of the abyss. In the ordinary way in silence we come dangerously near the gap of meaninglessness, in which nothing has a name or a rightful place. To me it is astonishing that a man should look into the darkness so long, and should live; it shrouds Baba with the deepest mystery, a word I have constantly used.
Unless it is the Word, in Baba’s sense, the noise that breaks the silence is ignorance. When he breaks his silence, he says he will speak one Word, which will ‘go to the world as from God, not as from a philosopher, it will go straight to his heart.’ Why the Word is not yet uttered we do not know, except that he is waiting for the moment. It will mean much, for after all these years of silence he will be bound to speak to the point. Indeed, he says, his Word will reverberate for seven hundred years. He has to choose the time because of the danger of men hearing what exceeds the possibility of what they are able to hear: it might destroy the balance of mankind. In Francis Brabazon’s Stay with God the following statement by Baba is contained:
When I break my silence and speak, it will be this Primal Oceanic ‘M-m-m’ which I will utter through my human mouth.
And because all forms and words are from this Primal Sound or Original Word and are continuously connected with it and have their life from it, when it is uttered by me it will reverberate in all people and creatures and all will know that I have broken my silence and have uttered that Sound or Word.
The effective force of this Word and their reaction to it will be in accordance with the magnitude and receptivity of each individual mind.
And the reaction will be as instantaneous and as various as the reaction of people in a room through which a cobra suddenly and swiftly passes, when some would nervously laugh, some lose control of their bowels, and some feel great courage or reasonless hope and joy.
As the Word will be an inner word, heard by the inner ear only by those able to hear it, those who, in Goethe’s words, can bear ‘the living and instantaneous revelation of the Unfathomable,’ they will know that they hear it and what they hear. Baba told me in Poona, in November 1962, that he would not after ‘speaking’ resume speech in the normal way. He is reported to have said (in Bombay, November 1936), ‘My active and intensive work will last for twelve years after my speech’. It seems, however, that the speaking may have something to do with his end, for he has said that his speaking and his manifestation will be one. We cannot know, for he does not, in this matter, speak our language. What we do know can perhaps be expressed in some aphoristic lines of Nietzsche:
He who has much to announce
first silences much into himself.
He who has to kindle the lightning
must be the cloud for long.