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Chapter 10: A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose.

A word is born. It is alive for a few moments; it throbs around you. If you can listen to it, it will enter into your being, it will become part of your being. If you don’t listen to it, if you take notes and you think that you will try to understand it back home, it will be already dead. Then you will understand something which was not said at all. You have already made a private scripture.

Mahavira spoke out of his inner silence. His words are the most wonderful ever spoken. I love that man - he is the most antisocial man you can find, and antitraditional. The other twenty-three tirthankaras, twenty-three masters of the Jainas, they were all clothed. This man became nude. Tradition has it that Jainas in those days tried to deny this man. They said, “What is he doing? Our other tirthankaras have never been nude, why is he moving around nude?”

They did everything to deny this man, and because of that denial Jainism has been divided into two parts from that very day. They have two sects: those who followed Mahavira in his nudity, very few people, and they are called Digambaras - people who believe in nudity. The other older sect, who tried to avoid this Mahavira, who tried to deny this Mahavira, they are the Swetambaras. They believe in white clothes; their monks are white-robed. And the conflict has continued.

If some Jaina says, “Yes, this man is a Jaina,” he is right. I love Mahavira - a rare flowering, a rare fragrance, very rare and unique. But the others are also right when they say, “This man is not a Jaina but against them, the enemy.” They are also right - because I am against tradition, against all rituals and forms, against scriptures, against the past. I am all for religion, and all against sects. They are also right.

If you ask Hindus, Hindus will say, “This man is Jaina, and trying to sabotage Hinduism from within - because no Jaina has ever talked about the Gita, and no Jaina has ever commented on the Upanishads. This man is trying to sabotage Hinduism from within.” This is what the Shankaracharya of Puri says about me: “Beware of this man! He is not a Hindu.” And he is right in a sense. In the sense that he is Hindu, I am not. But in the sense he is Hindu, Hinduism is worthless.

I am Hindu in the sense Patanjali is Hindu, Badrayana is Hindu, Kapil and Kanad are Hindu. The really religious people never belong to the establishment: they cannot. It is possible that the establishment may follow them, and someday around them an establishment may be created; that is possible. But they are never part of any establishment - either of others or their own. They cannot exist in the establishment, they are free.

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