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Chapter 12: Of the Thousand and One Goals

The Jaina monks and Jaina nuns cannot use modern toilets. Obviously, they are not mentioned in their scriptures. On the contrary, their scriptures say, “You should not defecate or urinate in water.” That was good, twenty-five centuries ago; otherwise you will pollute the water, and people have to drink the same water. But this is how human stupidity is: they cannot use the modern toilet because it has water in it. And in a big city like Bombay you cannot go out of the city, so what are they doing? They are urinating in buckets, defecating in buckets; and in the night, when everybody is asleep, they are throwing all that garbage and crap on the street. These are the holy men of the Jainas, and the holy women.

The Jaina monks and Jaina nuns cannot take a shower; they cannot even clean their teeth, they cannot use any mouthwash. The idea was that to clean your teeth, to have your mouth washed, to have a shower is decorating your body; and Jainism is against the body - the body is your enemy. It is so difficult to come close to Jaina monks and Jaina nuns, because they stink: it is disgusting. And to talk to them.I had to tell them, “Please, keep as long a distance as possible,” because even their breath is foul. The air that comes from their mouth is sickening, and their whole body, which has been accumulating layers of perspiration and dust, is obviously nauseating.

But this is thought by the Jainas to be a great spiritual value. These people have renounced their bodies; they are no more servants of the body. It is ugly, but hallowed by the tradition. The community of the Jainas is cultured, civilized, educated, rich, but they cannot change it. These tables of values are unchangeable. You cannot improve on your scriptures: they are the final word.

No word can be final, because tomorrow will bring new things in life, tomorrow will bring new experiences to life. If you are intelligent you will have to change your values and your lifestyle. Only idiots can go on carrying dead corpses. And when you are carrying so many dead corpses you cannot be alive yourself - you become just another corpse amongst the dead.

What it accounts hard it calls praiseworthy:

Whatever is thought to be hard is called by people praiseworthy. Nobody bothers whether that hardness is of any value, or not. Somebody is standing on his head, and people praise him because it is hard. Somebody is walking on a tightrope stretched between two towers, and it is praiseworthy. It enhances nothing, but this is how values have been created.

What it accounts hard it calls praiseworthy; what it accounts indispensable and hard it calls good.

Strange definitions. I have seen one man in Varanasi who has been standing for years with one hand raised. His hand has become almost like a dead branch, thin, just bones. All the blood has gone, in accord with gravitation, into the body. Now, even if he wants to bend it, he cannot; it has become stiff. People go to worship him.

I inquired, “What is the quality that you are worshipping.”

They said, “Quality? For almost 12 years he has been keeping one of his hands up towards the sky.”

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