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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
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Chapter 19: Of Old and New Law Tables Part 3

The Jaina monks don’t take a bath, they don’t brush their teeth, they don’t clean their mouth. Their breath is disgusting; their bodies are so smelly. It is natural, but no Jaina points out to them that it is stupid. On the contrary, they have reasons. First, that when you are using water you will kill many small germs in the water - and they are nonviolent; they cannot kill. Secondly, when you are taking a bath or brushing your teeth, you are decorating your body - and the body is the enemy; you have to torture it as much as possible. The more you torture it, the more spiritual you are. But Jainas will not see it - it is their madness.

There are many sects within the Jainas. One sect uses pieces of cloth to cover the nose and the mouth, tied to the ears. It is very difficult to hear them, what they are saying. And the reason is that when you speak or when you breathe, the air coming out of the mouth or the nose is hot, and it kills small germs in the air. So they are protecting the small germs. And their followers will never think that this is not intelligence.

There have been Christian monasteries where monks use shoes which have nails inside them, penetrating into their feet. And they walk on them. Those wounds remain always fresh, because the nails go on making them worse and worse. They also have belts with nails forcing themselves into their bodies.

There is still a Christian sect in which the greatest saint is the one who lashes himself the most - that is their early morning prayer, they lash themselves all over the body. Blood starts oozing.somebody has lashed himself fifty times, somebody sixty times, but somebody has lashed himself two hundred times. It is a question of how many times you have lashed your body that makes you a greater saint.

I cannot conceive that there is any spirituality in it. These people are masochists, they enjoy torturing themselves. So they are profiting by lashing their bodies in two ways: they are enjoying torturing themselves, one thing, and they are getting great respect and honor.

The more you look at the so-called religious people, you will find so many things which only mad people can do. But because they are worshipped, deep down you are also hoping someday to be able to do the same things. One worships only when he feels that he is not strong enough to do what the other is doing. Naturally, he has to be respected. But he’s your ideal.

This, however, is the other danger: he who is of the mob remembers back to his grandfather - with his grandfather, however, time stops.

The mob is always thinking of the golden past. Their golden age is always in the past. And what is the past? It stops with the grandfather - and on no account was the past golden.

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