A Wise Man Becomes Silent Because He Knows, And Whatsoever He Knows Cannot Be Said.

Buddhist bhikkhus have been wanderers, and Buddha has said, ”Be a wanderer until you attain. Be a wanderer. Not only inside but outside also, be a wanderer until you attain. Don’t stop before it.” When you have attained, when you have become a siddha, a Buddha, then you are allowed to sit.

Ignorance and wisdom have a quality about them which is similar – that is innocence; neither is cunning. So sometimes it has happened that a man of God has been known as a foolish man, a fool – God’s fool. Saint Francis is known as God’s fool. He was! But to be God’s fool is the greatest wisdom possible, because the ego is lost. You don’t say that you know, so you are a fool because you don’t claim knowledge. If you don’t claim, who is going to accept that you are a knower? Even if you do claim, nobody accepts. You have to hammer it on others’ heads. You have to make them silent, argue it. When they cannot say anything, then, with a grudging heart, they accept that maybe, maybe you are. But they will always say, ”Maybe.” They will keep the possibility open that some day they can deny it.

And if you don’t claim, who is going to accept you? And if you yourself say, ”I am ignorant, I know nothing,” who is going to think that you are a knower? People will accept immediately if you say, ”I don’t know.” They will accept it immediately; they will say, ”We knew it before. We accept it, we totally agree with you that you don’t know.”

God’s fool! If you read one of the great novels of Dostoevsky, then you will feel what this God’s fool means. Dostoevsky always has, in his many novels, one character who is the God’s fool. In Brothers Karamazov he is there. He is innocent, you can exploit him. Even if you exploit him, he will trust you. You can destroy him, but you cannot destroy his trust – that is the beauty. What happens to you? If one man deceives you, the whole of humanity becomes the deceiver. If one man deceives you, you have lost your trust in man – not with this man, but with the whole of humanity. If two or three persons deceive you, you make the judgment that there is no man worth believing. All trust is gone.

It seems that you wanted not to trust from the very beginning and these two or three people have given you the excuse. Otherwise you will say, ”This man is not trustworthy… but the whole of humanity? – I don’t know, so I must trust unless the contrary is proved.” And if you really are a trusting man, you will say, ”Not only is this man totally untrustworthy this moment, this man was untrustworthy… but the next moment who knows? Because saints can become sinners, sinners can become saints.”

Life is a movement. Nothing is static. At this moment the man was weak, but in the next moment he may gain control and will not deceive again. So the next day, if he comes, you will believe him again because this day is different, this man is different; the Ganges has flowed so much, it is not the same river.

Once it happened: one man came to Mulla Nasruddin and asked for some money. Nasruddin knew this man, knew well that this money was not going to be returned, but it was such a small sum that he thought, ”Let him take it; even if he is not going to return it, nothing is lost. So why say no for such a small sum?” So he gave him the money.

After three days the man returned. Nasruddin was surprised. It seemed impossible, it was a miracle, that this man had returned. After two or three days the man came again and asked for a big sum. Nasruddin said, ”Now! Last time you deceived me.” He said, ”Last time you deceived me – now I am not going to allow it again.” The man said, ”What are you saying? Last time I returned the money.”

He said, ”Okay, you returned it, but you deceived me – because I never believed that you would return it. But this time, no. Enough is enough. Last time you behaved contrary to my expectations. But enough; now I am not going to give it to you.” This is how the cunning mind works.

One was ignorant in this temple – a simple man, one-eyed, certain. One was a learned man, and the learned man is always tired because he is working so hard over nothing. So busy without business, he is always tired. You cannot find a learned man not tired. Go and look! Go to the pundits of Kashi and look. Always tired, always tired, working so hard – with words. Remember, even a laborer is not so tired because he is working with life.

When you are working only with words, futile words, just with the head, you get tired. Life is invigorating! Life rejuvenates! If you go in the garden and work, you perspire but you are gaining more energy, you are not losing. You go for a walk and you gain more energy, because you are living in the moment. If you just close yourself in your study with words, with words you go on thinking and thinking and thinking – it is such a dead process, you will be tired. A learned man is always tired. A fool is always fresh, a saint is also always fresh. They have many similar qualities.


… Because he knew that his brother was stupid. So silence is golden if you are stupid, and silence is golden if you are a saint also. If you know something, you will remain silent. If you don’t know, it is better to remain silent.

A wise man becomes silent because he knows, and whatsoever he knows cannot be said. A fool has to be silent, because whatsoever he says he will be caught. A fool can deceive if he is silent but he cannot deceive if he speaks, because whatsoever comes out of him will bring his foolishness. This learned brother knew well that this younger brother was not a man of words, was a simple man, innocent, ignorant, so he said, ”REQUEST THAT THE DIALOGUE BE IN SILENCE.”


This other man must have also been a learned man, and if a fool is silent he can defeat a learned man. If you speak you will be caught, because then you enter into the world of the learned man. With words, you cannot win. This other man was also a learned man, a man of words. It would have been very difficult for him to remain silent and debate. How to discuss? If you are not allowed to speak, just use gestures, the whole thing becomes dumb and your whole cleverness is lost, because if you are not allowed to speak….

That was your only efficiency. So if a learned man is to remain silent he can be defeated by a fool also, because his whole efficiency is lost – it belonged to words. In silence he is a fool – this is the meaning. That’s why scholars will never be silent, they are always chattering. If nobody is there, they are chattering with themselves, but they are chattering. They go on talking and talking and talking, within and without, because through this talking their efficiency grows greater and greater, they become more and more proficient. But if they encounter silence, suddenly all their art is gone. They are more stupid than a stupid man. Even a stupid man can defeat them. They are out of their professional world, they are simply switched off. He must have been in very great difficulty.

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