Read this story over internet and really liked it. Cannot reproduce the story verbatim, would try to recall it from memory and reproduce here for the benefit of everyone.
Once upon a time, there was a saint who was living on the banks of river Ganga. Many people used to come to the river ghat and would take a dip in river Ganga and some would perform rituals, etc. The place was always swarming with people.
One fine day, a family turned up and there were many people in the family. They performed pooja at the bank of the river and decided to visit the saint. Just before they could enter inside the hut of the saint, an argument broke between two people in the family. Since the argument got very heated they did not realize that entered the boundary of the saint’s hut and they were shouting at each other.
The saint and his disciples looked at them and wondered what was happening. The saint was able to calm them down after some time. They all took their seats and settled down. The saint decided to give them some discourse.
The saint turns towards his disciples and asks them, why were the people shouting at each other when they were standing very close to each other? The disciples gave a wide range of answers. One of the disciples told that the anger itself was the reason. Another disciple speculated on the reason behind the quarrel or argument.
After hearing them all, the master or the saint told this, “Look when people are angry towards each other, even though their bodies are near, their hearts grow apart. The distance between their heart is so much that mind tries to bridge that gap by shouting and making the other person hear what one wants to say. That’s why when people are angry, they shout. When people are affectionate towards each other or they are in love, they speak softly and gently. They whisper in each other’s ears because their hearts are very close. They do not have to shout to bridge any gap”.
Everyone in the family and the disciples liked the explanation. They learnt a lesson in affection, love, talking softly and gently.
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I have heard this story from Eruch Jessawala, close disciple of Meher Baba, as follows:
WHY MEHER BABA OBSERVED SILENCE
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.
(Source: THE ANCIENT ONE, ed. Naosherwan Anzar, pp. 101-102)