I could not even begin to tell you what I wanted to tell you. Perhaps it was not meant to be, because I tried so many times to bring myself to the point, but in vain, and then everything went sane. But it was a most fruitful session, although nothing was said, and nothing was heard either. There was so much laughter, but I felt imprisoned.
You must have been wondering why I laughed. It is good that there is no mirror in front of me. You must arrange a mirror; at least that will make this place what it is meant to be. But it was really good. I am relieved. I have not laughed perhaps for years. Something in me must have waited for this morning, but I was not making any effort in that direction, at least not today - perhaps someday.
Sometimes these circles overlap each other, and they are going to do that again and again. I try my best to keep clear-cut directions, but those circles, they just go on trying to encircle everything they can. They are mad people, or who knows? - perhaps they are Buddhas again trying to have a glimpse of the old world, to see how things are going now. But that is not my purpose. I could not get where I was trying to go, and I laughed instead of continuing in spite of your laughter.
Now, these are just the introductions, but I became aware of one thing this morning - not that I was not aware of it before, but I was not aware that it needed to be told. But now it needs to be told.
On the twenty-first of March 1953, a strange thing happened. Many strange things happened, but I am only talking about one thing. The others will come in their own time. It is, in fact, a little early in my story to tell you, but I was reminded this morning of this peculiar thing. After that night I lost all sense of time. Howsoever hard I may try, I cannot - as everybody else can at least approximately - remember what time it is.
Not only that, in the morning, every morning I mean, I have to look out of the window to see whether it was my afternoon sleep or the night sleep, because I sleep twice each day. And every afternoon too, when I wake up, the first thing I do is to look at my clock. Once in a while the clock plays a joke on me; it stops working. It is showing only six, so it must have stopped in the morning. That's why I have two watches and a clock, just to keep checking to see whether any of them is playing a joke.
And one of the other clocks is more dangerous, better not to mention it. I want to give it to somebody as a present, but I have not found the right man to whom I would like to give this clock, because it is going to be a real punishment, not a present. It is electronic, so whenever the electricity goes off, even for a single moment, the clock goes back to twelve P.M. and flashes it... twelve... twelve...
twelve... simply to show that the electricity has gone off.
Sometimes I want to throw it out, but somebody has presented it to me, and I don't throw things away easily, it is disrespectful. So I am waiting for the right person.
I have got not only one, but two such clocks, one in each room. Sometimes they have deceived me when I go for my afternoon sleep. I usually go at eleven-thirty exactly, or at the most twelve, but very rarely. Once or twice I have looked out from a peep hole in my blanket, and the clock is showing twelve, and I say to myself, "That means I have just come to bed." And I go to sleep again.
After one or two hours I again look. "Twelve," I say to myself. "Strange... today time seems to have finally stopped. Better to go to sleep rather than to find everybody else asleep." So I go to sleep again.
I have now instructed Gudia that if I am not awake by two-fifteen, she should wake me up.
She asked, "Why?"
I said, "Because if nobody wakes me I may go on sleeping forever."
Every morning I have to decide whether it is morning or evening, because I don't know. I don't have that sense; it was lost on that date I told you.
This morning when I asked you, "What is the time?" you said, "Ten-thirty." I thought, "Jesus! This is too much. My poor secretary must have been waiting one-and-a-half hours already, and I have not even begun my story." So I said, just to finish it, "Give me ten minutes." The real reason was that I was thinking it was night.
And Devaraj also knows, now he can understand it exactly. One morning when he accompanied me to my bathroom, I asked him, "Is my secretary waiting?" He looked puzzled. I had to close the door just so that he could be himself again. If I went on standing there in the doorway, waiting - and you
know Devaraj... nobody can be so loving to me. He could not say to me that it was not nighttime. If I was asking for my secretary, then there must be some reason; and of course she was not there and it was not the time for her to come, so what should he say?
He didn't say anything. He simply kept silent. I laughed. The question must have embarrassed him, but I am telling you the truth, just because time is always a problem for me.
Somehow I go on managing, by using strange devices. Just look at this device: has any Buddha spoken like this?
I was telling you that Jainism is the most ancient religion. It is not a value to me, remember it, it is a DISvalue. But a fact is a fact; value or disvalue, that is our attitude. Jainism is rarely known in the West. Not only in the West, but even in the East, except for a few parts of India. The reason is that the Jaina monks are naked. They cannot move into communities which are not already Jaina. They would be stoned, killed, even in the twentieth century.
The British government, which remained in India until 1947, had a special law for Jaina monks, that before they enter a city their followers had to ask for permission. Without a permit they can't enter.
And even with a permit they cannot enter great cities like Bombay, New Delhi or Calcutta. Their followers should surround them in such a way that nobody can see that they are naked.
I am using "they" because a Jaina monk is not allowed to travel alone. He has to travel with a group of monks, at least five; that is the minimum limit. The limit is placed so that they can spy on each other. It is a very what you would call "suspicious" religion - suspicious naturally, because everything it prescribes to be done is unnatural.
It is winter, and one is shivering, and would like to sit by the side of a fire - but a Jaina monk cannot sit by the side of a fire, because fire is violence. Fire kills, because trees are needed for it, so they are killed. The ecologists perhaps may agree. And when you are burning a fire, many very small creatures, alive but invisible to the naked eye, are burned. And sometimes even the wood carries ants within it, and other kinds of insects which have made their houses in it.
So, in short, the Jaina monk is not allowed to come close to a fire. Of course he cannot use a blanket - it is made of wool; that is again violence. Of course something else could be found, but because he cannot possess anything... Non-possessiveness is very fundamental, and the Jainas are extremists. They have taken the logic of non-possessing to its very extreme. It is really a sight to see a Jaina monk. One can see what logic can do to a man.
He is ugly, because he is undernourished: just bones, almost dead, just his belly is big, though his whole body is shrunken. That is strange, but you can understand. It happens wherever there is famine and people are starving. You must have seen pictures of children with big bellies; such big bellies, and all their limbs, hands and legs, are just bones covered by skin, and that too not very beautiful... almost dead skin. The same happens to a Jaina monk.
Why? I can understand because I have known both. The bellies of both starving children and Jaina monks immediately became my interest. Why? - because they both have the same kind of bellies, and also their bodies are similar. Their faces too are similar. Forgive me for saying it, but their faces
are faceless. They don't say anything, they don't show anything. They are not only empty pages, but pages which have waited and waited for something to be written on them, to make them significant...
but they became sore because nobody ever came.
They became so bitter against the world that they turned over - rolled over rather, because I am using the page as a symbol - they rolled over and closed themselves against any future possibilities.
The starving child has to be helped; the Jaina monk has to be helped more, because he thinks that what he is doing is right.
But an ancient religion is bound to be very stupid. This very stupidity is a proof of its ancientness.
RIG VEDA mentions the first Jaina Master, Rishabha Deva. He is thought to be the founder of the religion. I can't say for sure because I don't want to blame anybody, particularly Rishabha Deva, whom I have never met-and I don't think that I will ever meet him either.
If he was really the founder of this stupid cult then I am the last person he would like to meet. But that is not the point; the point is that the Jainas have a different calendar. They count their days not by the sun, but by the moon, naturally, because their year is divided into twenty-four parts, so they have twenty-four tirthankaras. Their whole creation is the circle, in the image of a year, but moon-oriented, just as there are sun-oriented people. It is all arbitrary. In fact the whole thing, at this moment, according to me, is stupid.
Just look at the English calendar and see the stupidity, then you will understand me. It is easy to laugh at the Jainas because you don't know anything about them; they must be idiots. But what about the English calendar?
How come one month has thirty days, another month has thirty-one days, one month twenty-nine days, another month twenty-eight days? What is all this nonsense? And the year has three hundred and sixty-five days, not because you have made a calendar according to the sun, it is not because of the sun.
Three hundred and sixty-five days is only the time it takes the earth to complete its journey around the sun. How you divide it is up to you; but three hundred and sixty-five... ? Three hundred and sixty-five days has created trouble, because it is not exactly three hundred and sixty-five, there is also lingering behind a small part which becomes one day every fourth year. That means three hundred and sixty-five and one fourth days should be the whole year. Very strange year!
But what can you do about it? You just have to manage, so you divide the different months into different numbers of days, and February has to be one day more every four years. A strange calendar! I think no computer would allow this kind of nonsense.
There are, just like sun-oriented fools, moon-oriented fools too. They are really lunatics because they believe in the lunar. Then, of course, the year is divided into twelve parts, and each month has two divisions. And these fools are always great philosophers. They go on building up strange hypotheses. This was their hypothesis in the Jaina tradition of fools. I mean all traditions are foolish.
This is only one tradition of fools.
The Jainas believe that there are twenty-four tirthankaras, and each cycle will again and again have twenty-four tirthankaras. Now, Hindus felt belittled. People started asking, "You have only ten, not twenty-four?"
Naturally the Hindu priests started talking of twenty-four avatars. It is a borrowed foolishness. In the first place, foolishness; in the second place, borrowed. That is the worst thing that can happen to anybody. And this has happened to a great country of millions of people.
This disease was so infectious that when Buddha died the Buddhists felt naturally very deceived - what do you say?... put down, belittled, humiliated. Why had he not told them about the figure twenty-four? "Jainas have it; Hindus have it... and we have only one Buddha," so they created twenty-four Buddhas who preceded Gautam the Buddha.
Now, you can see how far nonsense can go. Yes, it can go on and on... That's what I mean, but I have to end the sentence. Remember, that does not mean that I am putting a full stop on nonsense; it has no end.
If you are stupid, you are as infinitely stupid as they say God is wise. I don't know anything about God and His wisdom, but I know about your foolishness. That's what I am here to do; just to help you get rid of the stupidity you are now carrying. First the Jainas carried it, then Hindus borrowed it, then Buddhists borrowed it, then the number twenty-four becomes an absolute necessity.
I have seen one man, Swami Satyabhakta... he is one of those rare people whom I always have wondered why existence tolerated at all. He thought that he was the twenty-fifth tirthankara.
Mahavira was the twenty-fourth; of course Jainas could not forgive Satyabhakta and they expelled him.
I told him, "Satyabhakta, if you want to be a tirthankara, why can't you be the first? Why stand in a queue, just trying hard for your whole life to be the twenty-fifth, the last? Just look behind you, there is nobody there."
He made great effort, and worked very hard writing hundreds of books - and he was very scholarly.
That also proves that he is a fool, but not an ordinary fool, an extraordinary fool.
I told him, "Why don't you create your own religion if you have known the truth?"
He said, "That's the problem, I'm not certain."
I said, "Then at least don't bother others. First be certain. Wait, let me call your wife."
He said, "No, no!"
I said, "Wait. I am calling your wife. You cannot stop me."
But I need not have called, she had come already. In fact I had seen her coming, that's why I had said, "Don't stop me." Nobody could have stopped her, she was already coming. I don't mean the word "coming" as you westerners mean it. She was really coming, and she came with great force.
I mean that she really came in with great force and she asked me, "Why are you wasting time with this fool? I have wasted my whole life, and not only lost everything, but even my religion. Just because he has been expelled, naturally I am expelled too. One is born a Jaina only after millions
of lives, and this fool has not only fallen himself, he has degraded me. It is good that he is impotent and we don't have any children, otherwise they would have been expelled too."
I was the only one who laughed, and I told them, "Laugh. This is wonderful. You are impotent. I am not saying it, your wife is. I don't know how much she knows about gynecology, but if she is saying it, and you are listening without even raising your eyes, it is proof enough that she is a gynecologist.
You are impotent, great! You are not even able to make your wife your follower, and yet you are trying to prove to be the twenty-fifth tirthankara! This is really amusing, Satyabhakta."
He never forgave me, just because I found him exactly at the right moment. Satyabhakta is still an enemy, although I sympathize with him. At least he can say that he has an enemy. As far as a friend is concerned, he has none. And the credit goes to his wife.
In the same way Morarji Desai became my enemy. I have nothing against him, but just because he had to wait ninety minutes for a young boy of no political importance at all, naturally, he was immensely offended. When he saw the prime minister opening the door of the car for the boy... I can still see the scene; how to describe it? There was something very slimy, slippery, about the man; you could not catch hold of it. It slips again and again, and every time it slips it becomes more and more dirty. There was something slimy and slippery in his eyes, I remember. I saw him later, on three other occasions. Some other circle may cover them.
Very good. After such an experience only "no" can be any good, because there is nothing like no.
Devageet, stop it. I have other things to do. Gudia has opened the door to remind me.