So when masters speak, they don’t speak to tell the truth that cannot be told. They have a choice: either they can remain silent or they can talk. With silence you will miss them completely. With words a possibility opens, not a certainty because everything depends on you, but a possibility opens. Listening continuously to a buddha you will someday become silent, because just being near a buddha is being near a pool of silence, an energy, a tremendous energy which has become silent. This is what Indians call satsang – to be near the truth. It is not a question of communication. Just to be near the truth can be infectious – just as you come near a river and the breeze becomes cooler. You may not see the river; it may still be far away, but the breeze carries the message and you feel a coolness coming.
When you come near a buddha the words are carrying just such a coolness. Buddha is somewhere near. You may start groping for him. You may be lost in his words; then you are lost in the forest and the river is missed. But if you are alert, intelligent, then by and by you will feel from where this wind is blowing, from where these words are coming. And these words carry a silence around them. It may be just a rubber band, but that rubber band has been in deep contact with the notes. It carries something, something of the source from where this breeze is coming. If you can follow intelligently sooner or later you will reach the source.
The words of a buddha may not be able to communicate the truth but they can communicate the music, the music that exists in one who is enlightened. They carry the melody, something of the source, a tiny part, a very tiny part, but something of the source. It should be so, because when a word comes out of a buddha it carries something of the buddha. It has to be so. The word has been vibrating in his being, it has been in touch with the buddha’s heartbeat, it has passed through the buddha’s silence, it has been in the womb, the womb of the buddha. It carries the scent, the fragrance. It is a very far off cry, but still….
You may be lost in the words, then you miss the buddha; but if you are aware that the word cannot carry the truth, then you will always put aside the word and follow the perfume, put aside the word and follow the music, put aside the word and follow the presence. If I suddenly say, “Hey!” you look at me. The word is meaningless, but the look…. Suddenly you become aware of me. That awareness has to be followed, so then words can become a help. They may not tell the truth but they can become a help, a step towards the truth.
This story is beautiful. A master is on his death bed; soon he has to leave this earth and its vehicle, the body, and he would like to have a successor – one who can carry the flame that he has kindled, one who will be able to continue the work that he has started. He chooses a disciple, calls him near, and says to him, “You are the most capable of those who are around me and you are going to be my successor. You will have to continue this work. For seven generations a book has been passed from the master to the disciple who is going to be the successor. I received this book from my master and I give it to you. It is very precious, a unique treasury. Seven enlightened persons have noted down their experiences of truth in it, and I have also added a few of my own understandings. Preserve it, don’t lose it; don’t let it be lost.”
The disciple said, “But I have achieved the experience without any book, and I am happy and blissful. I am not even a little bit dissatisfied, so why add this burden to me, why give an unnecessary responsibility to me? I have already experienced the truth and the book was not needed. It is unnecessary.”