I was talking about the death of my Nana, my grandfather. Just now I remembered that he never had to go to a dentist. What a fortunate man! He died with all his teeth intact. And look at me. When you were examining my teeth I heard you say that one is missing. That may be why I am so hard:
thirty-one teeth instead of thirty-two. That may be why I hit so mercilessly. Naturally, when even one tooth is missing, what else can I do but hit mercilessly this way and that, at whatsoever I can put my hands on?
That was my way during those first years when I lived with my grandfather, and yet I was absolutely protected from punishment. He never said "Do this," or "Don't do that." On the contrary he put his most obedient servant, Bhoora, at my service, to protect me. Bhoora used to carry a very primitive gun with him. He used to follow me at a distance, but that was enough to frighten the villagers. That was enough to allow me to do whatsoever I wanted.
Anything one could imagine... like riding on a buffalo backwards with Bhoora following. It was only later on, in the university museum, I saw the statue of Lao Tzu sitting backwards on a buffalo.
I laughed so loudly that the museum director came running to me saying, "Is anything wrong?"
Because I was holding my stomach and sitting on the floor, he said, "Are you suffering from something?"
I said, "No, and don't bother me, and don't make me laugh any more, otherwise I will start crying.
Just leave me alone. Nothing is wrong with me. I am just reminded of my childhood. This is the way I used to ride on a buffalo."
In my village particularly, and all over India, nobody rides on a buffalo. The Chinese are strange people, and this person Lao Tzu was the strangest of all. But God knows, and only God knows,
how I discovered the idea - even I don't know - to sit on a buffalo in the marketplace, backwards. I assume it was because I always liked anything absurd.
Those early years - if they could be given to me again, I would be ready to be born again. But you know, and I know, nothing can be repeated. That's why I am saying that I would be ready to be born again, otherwise who wants to? Even though those days were full of beauty.
I was born under a wrong star. I regret that I forgot to ask the great astrologer why I was so mischievous. I cannot live without it; it is my nourishment. I can understand the old man, my grandfather, and the trouble my mischief caused him. The whole day he would sit on his gaddi - as the seat of a rich man is called in India - listening less to his customers, and more to the complainers. But he used to say to them, "I am ready to pay for any damage he has done, but remember, I am not going to punish him."
Perhaps his very patience with me, a mischievous child... even I could not tolerate it. If a child like that was given to me and for years... my God! Even for minutes and I would throw the child out of the door forever. Perhaps those years worked a miracle for my grandfather; that immense patience paid. He became more and more silent. I saw it growing every day. Once in a while I would say, "Nana, you can punish me. You need not be so tolerant." And, can you believe it, he would cry!
Tears would come to his eyes, and he would say, "Punish you? I cannot do that. I can punish myself but not you."
Never, for a single moment, have I ever seen the shadow of anger towards me in his eyes - and believe me, I did everything that one thousand children could do. In the morning, even before breakfast, I was into my mischief until late at night. Sometimes I would come home so late - three o'clock in the morning - but what a man he was! He never said, "You are too late. This is not the time for a child to come home." No, not even once. In fact, in front of me he would avoid looking at the clock on the wall.
That is how I learned religiousness. He never took me to the temple where he used to go. I also used to go to that temple, but only when it was closed, just to steal prisms, because in that temple there were many chandeliers with beautiful prisms. I think, by and by, I stole almost all of them. When my grandfather was told about it he said, "So what! I donated the chandeliers, so I can donate others.
He is not stealing; it is his Nana's property. I made that temple." The priest stopped complaining.
What was the point? He was just a servant to Nana.
Nana used to go to the temple every morning, yet he never said, "Come with me." He never indoctrinated me. That is what is great... not to indoctrinate. It is so human to force a helpless child to follow your beliefs; but he remained untempted. Yes, I call it the greatest temptation. The moment you see someone dependent on you in any way, you start indoctrinating. He never even said to me, "You are a Jaina."
I remember perfectly - it was the time that the census was being taken. The officer had come to our house. He made many inquiries about many things. They asked about my grandfather's religion; he said, "Jainism." They then asked about my grandmother's religion. My Nana said, "You can ask her yourself. Religion is a private affair. I myself have never asked her." What a man!
My grandmother answered, "I do not believe in any religion whatsoever. All religions look childish to me." The officer was shocked. Even I was taken aback. She does not believe in any religion at all!
In India to find a woman who does not believe in any religion at all is impossible. But she was born in Khajuraho, perhaps into a family of Tantrikas who have never believed in any religion. They have practiced meditation but they have never believed in any religion.
It sounds very illogical to a western mind: meditation without religion? Yes... in fact, if you believe in any religion you cannot meditate. Religion is an interference in your meditation. Meditation needs no God, no heaven, no hell, no fear of punishment, and no allurement of pleasure. Meditation has nothing to do with mind; meditation is beyond it, whereas religion is only mind, it is within mind.
I know Nani never went to the temple, but she taught me one mantra which I will reveal for the first time. It is a Jaina mantra, but it has nothing to do with Jainas as such. It is purely accidental that it is related to Jainism....
NAMO ARIHANTANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO UVAJJHAYANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO LOYE SAVVA SAHUNAM NAMO NAMO AESO PANCH NAMMUKARO OM, SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI....
The mantra is so beautiful; it is going to be difficult to translate it, but I will do my best... or my worst.
First listen to the mantra in its original beauty:
NAMO ARIHANTANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO UVAJJHAYANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO LOYE SAVVA SAHUNAM NAMO NAMO AESO PANCH NAMMUKARO SAVVA SAVV PAVPPANASANO MANGALAM CHA SAVVESIM PADMAM HAVAI MANGALAM ARIHANTE SARNAM PAVJJAMI
SIDDHE SARNAM PAVYHYANI SAHU SARNAM PAUHYANNI NAMO ARIHANTANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO UVAJJHAYANAM NAMO NAMO OM, SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI....
Now my effort at translation: "I go to the feet of, I bow down to, the arihantas...." Arihanta is the name in Jainism, as Bodhisattva is in Buddhism: "One who has achieved the ultimate but cares nothing about anybody else." He has come home and turned his back on the world. He does not create a religion; he does not even preach; he does not even declare. Of course he has to be remembered first. The first remembrance is for all those who have known and remained silent. The first respect is not for words, but for silence. Not for serving others, but for the sheer achievement of one's self.
It does not matter whether one serves others or not; that is secondary, not primary. The primary is that one has achieved one's self, and it is so difficult in this world to know one's self.
Just this morning I gave Gudia a car-sticker from California that says: "Warning! I brake for hallucinations." This should be on every car - not only on cars, but on everybody's buttocks too.
People are living in hallucinations; that's what their life is - an hallucination. They brake for ghosts which are not there... perhaps a holy ghost? But what does it matter whether the ghost is holy or unholy? All that matters is that it is not.
And what a stupidity! What a climax of stupidity to put a holy ghost into the Christian trinity: God, the Son, and the Holy Ghost! Just to avoid the woman they put a holy ghost in there. What unholiness!
Do you see the trick? They could not put in the mother; they have painted out the mother and written in the Holy Ghost. This Holy Ghost has destroyed the whole of Christianity because from the very beginning, from its very foundation it depends on lies, hallucinations.
Californians can be forgiven - they are all Californiacs - but Christians cannot be forgiven for bringing this ugly fellow, the Holy Ghost, into the trinity. And this Holy Ghost did the unholy act of making poor Mary pregnant! Who do you think made the poor carpenter's wife, Mary, pregnant? Why, the Holy Ghost! Great! Great holiness! Then what is unholiness?
One thing is certain, that Christianity has been trying to completely avoid the woman, to erase her completely. They even create a family. If a child paints a picture of a family - of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost - you would say, "What is this nonsense? Where is the mother?"
Without a mother how can there be a father? Without a mother how can there be a son? Even a child would understand your logic, but not a Christian theologian. He is not a child, he is a retarded child. Something is wrong with his brain. Particularly the left side of his brain is either empty or full of junk - maybe theological junk, the Bible - in short, the Holy Ghost.
I am against this fellow. Let me say it most clearly: if I meet him... I want you to know that although I am a non-violent man, if I meet this Holy Ghost fellow I will kill him. I will say to myself, "To hell with all non-violence, at least for the moment, kill this fellow! Later on we will see. We can be non-violent again later on." I would put a woman in his place. Immediately Christianity would come to its senses.
Another Californian car-sticker which I gave to Gudia to keep says, "The best man for the job is probably a woman." Not probably, but certainly, a woman could do the job of being the third partner of the holy company. Without a woman it is an absolute desert: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
The Jainas call the person arihanta who has attained to himself and is so drowned, so drunk in the beautitude of his realization that he has forgotten the whole world. The word "arihanta" literally means "one who has killed the enemy" - and the enemy is the ego. The first part of the mantra means, "I touch the feet of the one who has attained himself."
The second part is: NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO. This mantra is in Prakrit, not Sanskrit.
Prakrit is the language of the Jainas, it is more ancient than Sanskrit. The very word "sanskrit"
means refined. You can understand by the word "refined" there must have been something before it, otherwise what are you going to refine? "Prakrit" means unrefined, natural, raw, and the Jainas are correct when they say their language is the most ancient in the world. Their religion too is the most ancient.
The Hindu scripture RIG VEDA mentions the first master of the Jainas, Adinatha. That certainly means it is far more ancient than RIG VEDA. RIG VEDA is the oldest book in the world, and it talks about the Jaina tirthankara, Adinatha, with such respect that one thing is certain, that he could not have been a contemporary of the people writing RIG VEDA.
It is very difficult to recognize a contemporary Master. His fate is to be condemned, condemned from all quarters, in all possible ways. He is not respected - he is not a respectable person. It takes time, thousands of years, for people to forgive him; only then do they start respecting him. When they are free of the guilt of having condemned him once, they start respecting him, worshipping him.
The mantra is in Prakrit, raw and unrefined. The second line is: NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO - "I touch the feet of the one who has become his being." So, what is the difference between the first and the second?
The arihanta never looks back, never bothers about any kind of service, Christian or otherwise. The siddha, once in a while, holds out his hand to drowning humanity, but only once in a while, not always. It is not a necessity, it is not compulsory, it is his choice; he may or he may not.
Hence the third: NAMO UVAJJHAYANAM NAMO NAMO..."I touch the feet of the Masters, the UVAJHAYA." They have achieved the same, but they face the world, they serve the world. They are in the world and not of it... but still in it.
The fourth: NAMO LOYE SAVVA SAHUNAM NAMO NAMO..."I touch the feet of the teachers." You know the subtle difference between a Master and a teacher. The Master has known, and imparts what he has known. The teacher has received from one who has known, and delivers it intact to the world, but he himself has not known.
The composers of this mantra are really beautiful; they even touch the feet of those who have not known themselves, but at least are carrying the message of the Masters to the masses.
Number five is one of the most significant sentences I have ever come across in my whole life. It is strange that it was given to me by my grandmother when I was a small child. When I explain it to you, you too will see the beauty of it. Only she was capable of giving it to me. I don't know anybody else who had the guts to really proclaim it, although all Jainas repeat it in their temples. But to repeat is one thing; to impart it to one you love is totally another.
"I touch the feet of all those who have known themselves..." without any distinction, whether they are Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists, Christians, Moslems. The mantra says, "I touch the feet of all those who have known themselves." This is the only mantra, as far as I know, which is absolutely non-sectarian.
The other four parts are not different from the fifth, they are all contained in it, but it has a vastness which those others do not have. The fifth line must be written on all the temples, all the churches, irrespective of to whom they belong, because it says, "I touch the feet of all those who have known it." It does not say "who have known God." Even the "it" can be dropped: I am only putting "it" in the translation. The original simply means "touching the feet of those who have known" - no "it." I am putting "it" in just to fulfill the demands of your language; otherwise someone is bound to ask, "Known? Known what? What is the object of knowledge?" There is no object of knowledge; there is nothing to know, only the knower.
This mantra was the only religious thing, if you can call it religious, given to me by my grandmother, and that too, not by my grandfather but by my grandmother... because one night I asked her. One night she said, "You look awake. Can't you sleep? Are you planning tomorrow's mischief?"
I said, "No, but somehow a question is arising in me. Everybody has a religion, and when people ask me, 'To what religion do you belong?' I shrug my shoulders. Now, certainly shrugging your shoulders is not a religion, so I want to ask you, what should I say?"
She said, "I myself don't belong to any religion, but I love this mantra, and this is all I can give you - not because it is traditionally Jaina, but only because I have known its beauty. I have repeated it millions of times and always I have found tremendous peace... just the feeling of touching the feet of all those who have known. I can give you this mantra; more than that is not possible for me."
Now I can say that woman was really great, because as far as religion is concerned, everybody is lying: Christians, Jews, Jainas, Mohammedans - everybody is lying. They all talk of God, heaven and hell, angels and all kinds of nonsense, without knowing anything at all. She was great, not because she knew but because she was unable to lie to a child. Nobody should lie - to a child at least it is unforgivable.
Children have been exploited for centuries just because they are willing to trust. You can lie to them very easily and they will trust you. If you are a father, a mother, they will think you are bound to be true. That's how the whole of humanity lives in corruption, in a thick mud, very slippery, a thick mud of lies told to children for centuries.
If we can do just one thing, a simple thing: not lie to children, and to confess to them our ignorance, then we will be religious, and we will put them on the path of religion. Children are only innocence;
leave them not your so-called knowledge. But you yourself must first be innocent, unlying, true, even if it shatters your ego - and it will shatter. It is bound to shatter.
My grandfather never told me to go to the temple, to follow him. I used to follow him many times, but he would say, "Go away. If you want to go to the temple, go alone. Don't follow me."
He was not a hard man, but on this point he was absolutely hard. I asked him again and again, "Can you give me something of your experience?" And he would always avoid it.
When he was dying in my lap, in the bullock cart, he opened his eyes and asked, "What is the time?"
I said, "It must be nearly nine o'clock."
For a moment he remained silent, and then he said, "NAMO ARIHANTANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO SIDDHANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO UVAJJHAYANAM NAMO NAMO NAMO LOYE SAVVA SAHUNAM NAMO NAMO OM, SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI...."
What does it mean? It means "Om" - the ultimate sound of soundlessness. And he disappeared like a dewdrop in the first rays of the sun.
I am entering into it now.... There is only peace, peace, peace....
NAMO ARIHANTANAM NAMO NAMO....
I go to the feet of those who have known.
I go to the feet of those who have achieved.
I go to the feet of all who are Masters.
I go to the feet of all the teachers.
I go to the feet of all who have ever known, Unconditionally.
OM, SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI.