Meher Baba's Silence
When did Meher Baba’s Silence begin?
You have had enough of words, I have had enough of words. It is not through words that I give what I have to give.
Having announced that he was to keep silence for one year, Meher Baba stepped into a hut known as the Jhopdi at Meherabad on the night of 9th July, 1925. When he came out of the hut the following morning, he had already begun the silence which was to last not for one year, but until he dropped his body in 1969.
How did he communicate?
Initially he communicated by writing on a slate or pieces of paper, but after seventeen months he stopped writing and began using an alphabet board. He would move his fingers so fast across the letters, that only those mandali (disciples) who were experienced in reading it were able to keep up with him and speak out his words. In 1954 he also gave up using the alphabet board and began using a unique system of hand gestures and facial expressions which he developed. This included, amongst other things :
- an alphabet (on his fingers)
- signs for concepts (such as love/forgiveness, freedom, worry, happiness etc.) and
- gestures for certain people (based on their appearance, characteristics)
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.
How can I be silent? I don't speak with my tongue. I speak continuously with my heart.
As with the alphabet board, when necessary his words would be spoken by one of his mandali (disciples). However, Meher Baba was so animated with his facial expressions and he connected so directly with people’s hearts, that there are many stories of visitors who spent time in his company and hardly noticed that he was silent. His sister Mani said: “Baba would make these gestures - with the facial expressions so beautiful… it was more eloquent than any words you could use from the dictionary.”
Others who kept silence
From time to time Baba would ask some of his closest disciples to keep silence for short periods of a few days. However, two of his nearest ones did so under Baba’s instructions until they died. These were Gustadji, (silent from 1927 to 1957) who Baba described as “my dear old friend and companion in silence”, and Daulatmai (silent from 1933 to 1952), mother of Baba’s dearest female disciple, Mehera.
Did Meher Baba break his silence?
When I break my Silence, the impact of My Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it.
Despite many predictions that he would break his silence, Meher Baba left his physical body without doing so. This has led to much speculation. Some feel that the breaking of his silence has yet to come and will be noticed on a world scale. While others feel that it is constantly happening on a personal level as God awakens in the hearts of individuals all over the world.
For the anniversary of his silence in 1968, Meher Baba asked his followers to keep silence for 24 hours, from midnight to midnight, local time. This tradition is still kept by Baba lovers round the world every year on 10th July.
When the Word of my Love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that that is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear.