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Chapter 12: Discipline, Devotion and Krishna

It is ironic that even this handful of Jainas don’t treat Mahavira the way he should be treated. It is all right to worship Krishna, but it is repugnant to Mahavira’s teachings. And the Jainas are worshipping Mahavira. Worship is okay with Krishna but not with Mahavira. It means Mahavira will not agree with the minds of even those few who are born into the Jaina community. The reason is that the dimension of Mahavira is very exclusive; it accords with few. So being born in the Jaina community one continues to be a Jaina, but takes on many things that don’t belong to Mahavira’s dimension. Devotion has entered Jainism, and along with it have come worship and prayer and other rituals. They have nothing to do with Mahavira; they are alien to his genius. In fact, devotion and worship are an outrage against Mahavira; there is no place for them in the life of Mahavira. But the Jainas have their own difficulty; they cannot feel gratified without worship and prayer. So they go on incorporating all these things into the religion of Mahavira.

Here I would like to say that all those who have attained to one-dimensional wholeness are bound to be unjustly treated by their followers; they cannot escape it. But you cannot misbehave in this way with those who have attained to multidimensional wholeness; whatever you do they will accept it. While all types of people can walk with Krishna, only a particular type can go with Mahavira.

This is the reason I have said that all the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas are travelers on the same path; their direction is the same and their spiritual discipline is the same. And I don’t say that they don’t arrive at the goal, they do arrive. It is not that ultimately they don’t achieve what Krishna achieves; they achieve exactly that which Krishna achieves.

It does not matter whether a river reaches the ocean in hundreds of streams or in a single stream. On reaching the ocean all journeys end and all the rivers become one with the ocean. Yet there is a difference between the two rivers - one has a single stream and another has many. While a river with many streams can water a very large area of the earth, the river with a single stream cannot - only a few trees and plants can be benefited by it. This difference has to be understood, it cannot be denied.

This is what I would like to say in regard to multidimensional wholeness. And you ask: “What is samyama, the discipline of balance in life, without repression?” In terms of renunciation samyama generally means repression. By and large, every seeker on the path of renunciation understands samyama in the sense of repression. For this reason the Jaina scriptures have even a term like body-repression; they believe that even the physical body has to be suppressed and repressed. It is unfortunate that samyama has become synonymous with repression.

But in Krishna’s terms, samyama can never mean repression. How can Krishna say that samyama can be achieved through repression? For Krishna samyama has an absolutely different meaning.

Words sometimes put us in great difficulty. Words are the same, whether they come from Krishna’s mouth or from Mahavira’s, but their meanings change from mouth to mouth. This word samyama is one such word which has different meanings with different people. Mahavira means one thing when he uses this word, and Krishna means just the opposite when he uses the same word. While the word comes from the dictionary, its meaning comes from the person who uses it.

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