Oshos interaction with Jainas
Thousands of people have come to me and gone. There was a time I was surrounded by Jainas. Unfortunately I was born in a Jaina family, so naturally my first audience was of Jainas. They were immensely happy because I was saying things which they had never thought about, I was interpreting their scriptures in a totally new way. They had great hope in me. They thought that
Their religion has remained very small; it is the smallest religion in India. And it is the ancientmost religionit is more ancient than Hinduism. But what calamity has happened? Even today there are not more than thirty-five lakhs of Jainas in a country of nine hundred million people. What has happened? Jainism is at least seven thousand years oldthat is at least. It can be more, older, because in Harrappur and in Mohanjodro two ancient cities have been excavated, and Jaina statues have been found in those cities.
Now it is a scientific fact that those cities were destroyed somewhere between seven thousand and ten thousand years ago, and that is a very conservative estimate. But even if we take that estimate, in ten thousand years the population of the Jainas has remained negligiblethirty-five lakhs. That is not worth any consideration! That is why in the great religions of the world Jainism is never countednever counted with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. They are great religions, and they are all very new as far as Jainism is concerned.
Because of my interpretations they had a tremendous hope in me, that perhaps I may spread their religion to the whole world, take the message to the whole world. But they were unawarethey were my first audiencethey were not aware what kind of man I am: I cannot support anything which my heart is not ready to support.
So a few things I have supported in Jainismpeople were very happy. But the moment I started telling about things which I cannot support, they were shocked. I have walked on their fingers. Just a small thingwhich is so rationaland the Jaina community
their supreme command decided to expel me. I wrote a letter to them saying, "Don't be stupid. I expel you all from my life. You don't have to expel me; you cannot. I am no more part of you."
And what was the reason? I addressed a Jaina conference and told them, "You are the oldest vegetarians of the world. You eat the purest food, but you have not produced a single Nobel prize winner. What is your contribution to art, to music, to science, to mathematics, to painting, to poetry? What is your contribution to the world? There are the Jews who get forty percent of all the Nobel prizes, and the rest of the world has to live only on sixty percent."
And I told them, "The reason isI have deeply enquired into the matterthat in vegetarian food something is missing which is necessary for intelligence. That is why you have remained retarded."
Vegetarian food is not complete, and particularly for intelligence certain vitamins are missing. Those vitamins can be found in meat. Certainly I cannot support non-vegetarian food. Even though it gives you better intelligence, it destroys your very soul; it makes you cruel, violent, inhuman.
So I suggested to them, "I have found something which should be immediately accepted if any intelligence is left in you, and that is eating eggs which are not fertilized, non-fertilized eggs. They are not living, there is no life. If you leave them they will simply rot and disappear. There is no life in them because the male sperm has not entered into the mother's egg; the mother has grown the egg without the male sperm. It is not alive, so there is no harm in eating it. It is vegetarian."
Suddenly they were very angry. I am suggesting for them to eat eggs, and they are afraid even to eat tomatoes, because tomatoes look like meatjust the color, poor tomatoes
How can they conceive of themselves eating non-fertilized eggs? Somebody stood up and said, "Maybe that is right that they are not living, but they are coming from animals."
I said, "So is milk; what is the difference? If you are avoiding anything that is coming from any living being, your children are from the very beginning against Jainism; they are drinking their mother's milk. And you are drinking milk"and Jainas drink milk and milk-made products more than anybody. They cannot enjoy meat and non-vegetarian foods, so to substitute they have invented thousands of ways of delicacies made of milk products.
But the very word `egg' was enough for them to leave me completely; the Jainas disappeared. I was dangerous! I was teaching something that they have never done in ten thousand years. No scripture of theirs suggests anything about it. But they were absolutely unable to answer my questions"If you are eating the purest food, your intelligence should have been the purest flame, the sharpest genius, the most creative, but it has not been so." And immediatelythey had come to me because they thought I was supporting their system, but I am not supporting anybody's systemthey disappeared
Now the vegetarians are very much against me. They would like to kill mealthough they are vegetarians. They don't want to kill anybody, but as far as I am concerned, they are ready to kill me: "This man is going to teach people to eat eggs." upan18
It happened in one Jaina family I used to stay with
. It must have been six in the evening. A very old man, the father of the woman in whose house I was staying, came to see me. Now, in Jaina families, six is almost the last limit for the evening supper. As the sun sets, you cannot eat.
I was just going to take my bath and then to take my supper, but because the old man had come from far away and he must have been almost ninety-five, I said, "Wait, there is no hurry. I can take my bath a little later on and the supper can waitthere is no problem in it. First, let me talk to him about why he has come."
He was a ninety-five-year-old man and he had been living in a Jaina monastery for thirty years: he had renounced the world. He was recognized as a saint*, but just to come to see me was still to be in the Jaina community, so many Jainas had come following him. He told me
the first thing, he touched my feet. I said, "This is not right, because you are ninety-five; even my grandfather is not ninety-five."
He said, "I have wanted to touch your feet for so long. I was afraid that death might spoil everything, and I might not be able to touch your feet. I have read only one of your booksPath to Self-Realization, and that was it. It changed my whole life. Since then, you have been my master. If it was in my power
Jainas have twenty-four tirthankaras, twenty-four prophets, in one period of creation. That means that after millions of years, when this creation dissolves and a new creation starts, then again there will be twenty-four teachers.
He said to me, "We already have twenty-four tirthankaras, but if it was in my power, I would have declared you the twenty-fifth, because what the twenty-four have not been able to do for me, you have done." He was just all praise.
Just then, a servant came and said, "Your bath is ready and the supper will become cold."
The old man was in a shock. He said, "What? In the evening you take a bath?"
The Jaina tirthankara does not bathe at all because that is decorating the body, making it non-smelly. It is in the service of something that is lower than you; it has to be sacrificed for the higher. So Jaina tirthankaras don't bathe.
I said to him, "Yesone in the morning, one in the evening. I take two baths."
He said, "Moreover, the sun has set, and you have not taken your supper yet?" In the first place, the Jaina tirthankara eats only oncethere is no question of supper. And even if you are eating twice, at least you should be understanding enough to see that it has to be before sunset.
He forgot all his praiseI was no longer a tirthankara. I had been for years, and just because of a single expectation which I had never promised him I would fulfill
. That was his mind.
But he said, "Then I have been completely wrong. For all these years I have praised you, I have read your booksbut you are not the right man to follow."
I said to him, "Understand a small thing. I never told you to follow me, I never said to read my books. I never told you to make me a tirthankara. I never asked you to have any expectations of me. It was easy because you had not seen me, you had not known me. A book is dead, and the book you are reading is my first book; and I have gone far. If you had started reading my second and third and fourth books, they would have spoiled all your admiration."
But he was so angry that when he left, I said, "Won't you touch my feet again?because you are so old, and next time
we may meet, we may not meet."
He said, "I have made the mistake once, I cannot make it twice." light02
*Note: A traditional renunciant means one who has renounced the world, eg a Jaina muni, Buddhist bhikkhu or bhikkshu, Hindu saddhu or sannyasin, Mohammedan Sufi or fakir, Christian monk, etc. The word saint traditionally means a holy person, but nowadays is often used for any renunciant; he may or may not be a guru. The word guru has 3 main connotations in India: a spiritual teacher, a teacher, a charlatan.
It happened once that I was speaking in a conference with a Jaina monk who was very much respected among the Jainas, Chandan Muni. He spoke first, and he talked about the self, the realization of self, and the blissfulness of self. I was sitting by his side, watching the man. All those words were empty; there was no support from his experience. I could see in his eyes, there was no depth.
I spoke after him and the first thing I said was, "Whatever Chandan Muni has said is simply a repetition of scriptures, parrotlike. He has done a good job. His memory is good, but his experience is nil."
There was great trouble because it was the conference of the Jainas. A few people started standing up and going. I said, "Wait! You will have to listen for at least five minutes to me and then you can go. I am new to you; you don't know me. At least five minutes just to have a little introduction as to what kind of a man you have left behind, and then you are free; everybody can go."
Speaking for five minutes was enough, and after five minutes I asked, "Now, anybody who wants to go should immediately leave."
Not a single man left. I spoke for almost two hours. I was not supposed to speak for that long; I was asked to speak only for ten minutes. But seeing that now people were listening and nobody had left the president was afraid. Even Chandan Muni was listening very intensely and alertly. The president was afraid to disturb me because he knew that I am not a man who can be stopped. And I was not going to stop, I was going to throw out that president.
I said, "If people want to hear me
You are no longer president of this conference. You simply get out."
He understood it so he was sitting silently.
But having heard me for two hours, Chandan Muni sent me a message that afternoon saying, "I want to meet you alone, in privacy. I cannot come to the place where you are staying because a Jaina monk cannot go anywhere except the Jaina temple. So please forgive me, you will have to come here."
I said, "There is no problem. I will come."
I went there, and at least two hundred people had gathered. But he wanted absolute privacy, so he took me in, closed the doors of the room, sat down with me on the floor and said, "You were right. I don't have courage enough to say it in public, but I wanted to say to you that you were right: I don't have any experience of self; I don't have any experience of self-realization. I don't know whether such a thing exists or not, and you were absolutely right that I was just like a parrot repeating the scriptures.
"But help me. I am imprisoned, I cannot go anywhere. I am the head of a community; I cannot even ask questions to you before others. They think I am already self-realized, so why should I be asking questions?I should know the answer myself."
And there were tears in his eyes.
I said, "I will do my best to help you, because I have seen many religious leaders but not with such a sincere heart. And I know perfectly well you cannot remain in this bondage long. You have met a dangerous man, and you have invited me yourself!"
And it happened within two years. He was in contact with meletters, learning meditation, doing meditationand after two years he dropped out of the Jaina community. He was so well respected, and the Jaina community is very rich
and he dropped out.
He came to meet me. I could not believe it. When he came to my house and said, "I am Chandan Muni," I said, "You have changed so much."
He said, "To be free of a prison, to be free of borrowed knowledge has been such a great relief that I have again become young"and he was seventy years old. He said, "Now I am ready to do whatever you want. I have risked everything; I was rich, I renounced that to become a Jaina monk. Now I have renounced Jainism, the monkhood, just to be nobody so that I can have total freedom to experiment." socrat27
It happened in Hyderabad that one Jaina monk who was very much respected in South India became interested in me. Listening to me, reading my books, he finally gathered courage and dropped the monkhood.
I told him, "You are taking a very risky step. Don't blame me for it later on because there is no need to drop it; you can keep this show. What I am saying is, remain alert. I don't even say to an actor to stop acting, so what is the problem? You act the saint; let this whole life be a drama. Remain alert. So my teaching is to be alertI am not telling you to drop all this nonsense."
"But," he said, "it seems insincere. I did believe in it; then it was one thing. Now it will be sheer hypocrisy. And I cannot speak with the same authority. You have taken away my authority. I know it is all bogus; I cannot play-act."
I said, "Then remember there will be risk."
He said, "I understand." He dropped the monkhood.
I was staying with a friend and he came there. My friend was a Jainahe could not believe his eyes! He asked, "What happened to your special dress of the monk?"
He said, "I have dropped it."
My friend said, "Then you cannot enter my house." My friend was one of the monk's very devoted disciplesthat's why he had come there. I was staying there, that was one reason, and second, my friend had been very devoted to the monk. But he simply would not allow him to enter the house: "Just get lost! I don't want to get involved."
On that very same day I was going to speak in a Jaina conference and that ex-Jaina monk went with me to the conference. Jaina monks always sit on a high platform, so just out of old habit he followed me on to the platform from where I was to speak. He sat just behind me, afraid, because there were at least five thousand Jainas, utterly angryyou could see it. These are "nonviolent" people, and that man had done nothing muchsimply changed his dress.
There was great turmoil. Somebody stood up and said, "That fellow should be dragged down from the stage. He cannot sit on the stage."
I said, "What is the problem? I am not a Jaina monk, and I can sit on the stage. Then what is the problem? He is no more a Jaina monk."
They said, "Your situation is different. You have never been a Jaina monk. But he has insulted our whole tradition." And they were already coming on the stage to pull the man down.
Seeing the situation I told the fellow, "You'd better get down yourself; otherwise they will pull you down and that will look more ugly."
But you see the human mind! He would not move. He could not sit with the ordinary people; he had never sat with them.
I said, "You used to be their saint, but now you are no more their saint."
I had to stand in between the crowd and the man, and I said, "Just out of old habit he has come up on the platform. If you want to listen to me you will have to tolerate him on the platform; if you don't want to listen to me I will leaveonly then will he leave behind me. You can decide."
They wanted to listen to me so they had to tolerate it, but they were making gestures to the man that "we will show you, once the speech is finished." And that's what happened: as I concluded and stepped down, the whole crowd got hold of the poor man and they started beating him.
I tried hard. I said, "You are nonviolent and you are beating someone! Yesterday you were touching his feet. He is the same man; nothing has changed."
It was so difficultthey would have killed himto drag him out of it and force him into the car. And people were still trying to get him out of the car from the other side.
When I reached home I told him, "It was absolutely stupid of you. You don't understand: the religious mind is the most hypocritical mind. It says one thing, it does just the opposite. And now you have seen your worshippers. You would never have understood them. They were touching your feet; now they are ready to kill you. You should leave this place, you should move to some other place. Here they won't let you live peacefully. You move to the mountains, find a silent place and meditate."
What he said was very surprising. He said, "I can do everythingfasting, yoga asanas
I can chant mantras for hours on end. I can recite the scriptures because I have memorized thembut meditation? That I have never done. And what you are describingthat I have to be awareis so new to me that I don't think, without you, I will ever be able to get into the experience."
I said, "So you have become my responsibility!" I had to take him with me
for three months he was with me. And it was the most difficult thing for that person to learn meditationfor the simple reason that he had dropped the clothes but he could not drop the beliefs, he could not drop his mythology, he could not drop his religion. That is not so easy. To change the clothes is very easy. mystic43
What others say about meditation is meaningless. Once I came upon a book written by a Jaina saint about meditation. It was really beautiful but there were just a few places by which I could see that the man had never meditated himselfotherwise those places could not be there. But they were very few and far between. The book on the whole, almost ninety-nine per cent, was perfect. I loved the book.
Then I forgot about it. For ten years I was wandering around the country. Once in a village of Rajasthan, that saint came to meet me. His name sounded familiar, and suddenly I remembered the book. And I asked the saint why he had come to me. He said, "I have come to you to know what meditation is."
I said, "I remember your book. I remember it very well, because it really impressed me. Except for a few defects which showed that you have never meditated, the book was perfectly rightninety-nine per cent right. And now you come here to learn about meditation. Have you never meditated?"
He looked a little embarrassed because his disciples were also there. I said, "Be frank. Because if you say you know meditation, then I am not going to talk about it. Then finished! You know. There is no need. If you say to me franklyat least be true onceif you say you have never meditated, only then can I help you towards meditation."
It was a bargain, so he had to confess. He said, "Yes, I have never said it to anybody. I have read many books about meditation, all the old scriptures. And I have been teaching people, that's why I feel embarrassed before my disciples. I have been teaching meditation to thousands, and I have written books about it, but I have never meditated."
You can write books about meditation and never come across the space that meditation is. You can become very efficient in verbalising, you can become very clever in abstraction, in intellectual argumentativeness, and you can forget completely that all the time that you have been involved in these intellectual activities has been a sheer wastage.
I asked the old man, "How long have you been interested in meditation?"
He said, "My whole life." He was almost seventy. He said, "When I was twenty I took sannyas, I became a Jaina monk, and those fifty years since then I have been reading and reading and thinking about meditation." Fifty years of thinking and reading and writing about meditation, even guiding people into meditation, and he has not even tasted once what meditation is!
But this is the case with millions of people. They talk about love, they know all the poetries about love, but they have never loved. Or even if they thought they were in love, they were never in love. That too was a 'heady' thing, it was not of the heart. People live and go on missing life. It needs courage. It needs courage to be realistic, it needs courage to move with life wherever it leads, because the paths are uncharted, there exists no map. One has to go into the unknown.
Life can be understood only if you are ready to go into the unknown. If you cling to the known, you cling to the mind, and the mind is not life. Life is non-mental, non-intellectual, because life is total. Your totality has to be involved in it, you cannot just think about it. Thinking about life is not life. beware of this 'about-ism'. One goes on thinking about and about: there are people who think about God, there are people who think about life, there are people who think about love. There are people who think about this and that. art01
Osho writes to a friend:
I have just returned from Rajnagar in Rajasthan. I was invited to a religious function there organized by Acharya Shree Tulsi. I put four hundred monks and nuns through an experiment in meditation. The results were extraordinary.
In my view meditation is the essence of all religious practice. All the restsuch as non-violence, renunciation of wealth, celibacy etc.are just its consequences. With the attainment of Samadhi, the culmination of meditation, all these things come by themselves, they just happen naturally. Since we forgot this central sadhana all our efforts have been external and superficial. True sadhana is not just ethical, it is basically yoga practice. Ethics alone are negative and nothing enduring can be constructed on negation. Yoga is positive and can therefore form a base.
I want to convey this positive basis to all. teacup01
Twenty people from all over the country were invited by Acharya Tulsi to address a gathering; they were celebrating a great festival. The gathering was big, nearabout one hundred thousand people.
I was one of those twenty people and Morarji Desai was also. Morarji Desai was then the finance minister. An incident happened that started his animosity, then many things got added to it. From my side there is no animosity against him.
The incident was that these twenty invited guests were sitting on the floor and Acharya Tulsi, the host, was sitting on a higher stage; nobody had bothered about it. Morarji, just like a political leader, arrived last.
The twenty people were gathered to first discuss human problems before they addressed the one hundred thousand people who were waiting outside. But Morarji said as he entered, "Before any other question is raised I have to ask two questions. First, when I entered I folded my hands the way in India we greet each other, but Acharya Tulsi did not respond with folded hands. Rather, he raised one of his hands to give a blessing."
That was very insulting to him, although Acharya Tulsi was simply following a Jaina traditionthat only the monk can bless you because he is higher than you. He has renounced the world, you have not renounced the world. You can bow down with folded hands, you can touch his feet, but that does not mean that he will respond in the same manner. The tradition is ugly, because to me, the higher person should be more humble.
And he said, "The second question is: why are the guests sitting on the floor and you, the host, are sitting on a higher stage? First, answer these two questions and then we can discuss other things."
Acharya Tulsi himself is not a religious man. He wears religious garb but he has a very political mind. He was in a fix what to do, how to answer; he did not want to annoy Morarji Desai. There was silence for a few seconds, then I saidMorarji Desai was sitting by my sideI said, "The question has not been asked to me so I have to ask the permission of both the parties. Acharya Tulsi has been asked but he seems to have no answer. If he allows me to answer I can answer, but I want Morarji Desai to give me permission, because he has not asked me."
He said, "It does not matter from whom the answer comes. I want the answer."
I said, "Now things can be sorted out. One thing: there are twenty guests, nineteen guests have passed through the same process, and nobody raised the question. You seem to be a very egoistic person, hence the question has arisen in your mind. Otherwise, what does it matter? He is sitting on a high stage, he can hang himself from the ceiling, still he will not be the highest. There are spiders moving on the ceiling, you can see them. If to be higher is to be greater, then those spiders are the greatest here.
"Secondly, when you greet someone with your folded hands you are showing your heart. It cannot be conditional, it cannot be that the other should respond in the same way. Otherwise, you should first make the condition that, `I will fold my hands and bow down to you if you are also ready to do it to me.' It was your faultyou did not make the condition.
"As far as Acharya Tulsi is concerned he has proved himself simply stupid. There was no need to answer the questions, he could have just come down from his stage and sat with us on the floor. There was no need to use a single word, his action would have been an answer. But he is sitting there almost like he is dead. He cannot move, he cannot step down from the stage, he cannot fold his hands to receive you. These two egoists are facing each other and destroying the whole conference. You both can keep quiet, the remaining eighteen people can continue the discussion."
That was the beginning of the animosity from Morarji Desai and Acharya Tulsi. To say the truth in this world is to create enemies. But from my side I don't feel any animosity, I simply feel sad for these people, they are retardedthey don't have any intelligence to understand simple things. last612