Chapter 5: Session 5
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, Muslims. 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 nonsectarian.
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.